Rick Stainton: Travel Bliss and Soccer!

The Alamo was among the stops Rick made during his time in Texas.

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In his latest post with us, Sky Blue FC assistant coach Rick Stainton talks about his recent trip to Texas for the Big 12 Women's Soccer Conference Championship. Join him as he tells us about the Alamo, soccer and his long journey home!

My trip to the Big 12 Women’s Soccer Conference Championship began on Tuesday, November 2 with departing my home at 3:00am to catch a flight out of Newark to San Antonio. Being a morning person, I truly enjoy getting up and getting the day going. So the early travel was no problem for me.

My travels started great, upon boarding the plane, we were told, “Sit anywhere you want, there are only 14 of ya!” So, I got my own space and was able to get some rest. I soon found that I would need that rest because my connection flight in Memphis to San Antonio was not as comfortable. I will show some respect and refrain from sharing some of the events that I experienced. But people don’t cease to amaze me anymore with their comments and actions. It made for some interesting and funny times.

This leads me to a hobby that I enjoy doing… people watch. Why do people dress and “work” the terminal floors like they are professional runway models? I can’t imagine some of these outfits are comfortable to travel in, but this comes from a guy who travels in sweats or shorts.

People know that personal space is limited on airplanes, so why is it when we get seated, you hear the usual comment, ”these seats are getting smaller!” Though, I do feel that it’s getting snug in my seat, I tend to believe the reason has something to do with me and my habits.

Well, enough of my ranting. I am sure you all share in my hobby and have many stories of your own. If you have never done it, I encourage you to do it. You will thoroughly enjoy the environment around you. You tend to grasp an understanding of the world around you. Due to my early arrival in San Antonio, it allowed me to experience the Alamo and the Riverwalk. If you have done neither, I recommend you do so. The Alamo is rich in history and beauty. I walked about 4 miles along the Riverwalk, as I wanted to take in the lovely weather and incredible environment.

The weather on Wed, 11/3, was nothing like it was upon my arrival the day before. It was cold and rainy, but it was Big 12 Tournament day. Even with the uncomfortable conditions, many came out to enjoy the competition. I was able to evaluate much talent and hold many conversations with the coaches. I was able to identify players as potential Sky Blue FC members, but we all will have to wait for draft day in January to see if it becomes a reality for some.

I then departed San Antonio the following morning. The 1st leg of the flight went incredibly smooth once again. It was in Memphis, where my flight would have some troubles. I was to leave early afternoon from Memphis, but we were told that our flight has been delayed for 1 hour due to weather in Newark. No big deal.

That one hour grew to be a free night’s stay in a hotel with meal vouchers because apparently the weather in Newark was so bad that all flights were cancelled for the day. The mad dash had begun with the cancellation announcement. As I moved with the crowd to get my travel arrangements organized, I came to the realization that I could not panic or rush like the many before me did. I was no more important than the next person. I needed to relax and be patient, as there was nothing I could really do anyway. There were no flights going into Newark.

As the passengers grew angry, and the line did not budge, I noticed an assistance kiosk. It was at this kiosk that my patience had paid off. The kiosk was a simple phone call that arranged a hotel, meal, and re-booking for the next morning. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I was with the first group to arrive to the hotel and was awarded a first class seat in the first row. Amazing!

As I boarded the plane in my enjoyable location, I noticed the many who stood in line before me, angry and prepared to dispute the inevitable with desk assistance. They were moving towards the back of the plane still upset.

But, in the end, patience does pay… at least for me it did.

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