I am going to preface my first blog of the trip by saying that I don't mean to sound like a baby. With the rush of thoughts running through my brain this morning, I can tell what kind of tone I might set to kick things off and I truly don't mean to be negative.
I understand there are thousands of people out there who wish they were travelling to Buffalo to watch Gonzaga play in the NCAA Tournament. I am the luckiest person in the world, because I'm being paid to make this trip. I am so excited to get this ball rolling (so far, so positive).
Our flight leaves at 10:30am. We have layovers in Seattle and Washington, D.C. I'll be updating this entry throughout the day, so be sure to check back to KREM.com for the latest. You can also follow me on Twitter for constant updates of our trip (not just today, but every day we are in Buffalo).
My biggest question though...why Buffalo? The Zags could have been sent to Milwaukee (where I was born and still have family), Jacksonville (beautiful weather), or even New Orleans (no explanation needed). Instead, we get Buffalo.
I was in Buffalo when I was a kid (we flew in there when I took a trip to Toronto with my family). We didn't spend any time in the city (we just drove through), but I remember thinking what a dump it looked like. Maybe things have changed in the last 15+ years? Again...I'm trying to be positive.
I know I'm not the only one who is down on the city. When the announcement was made on Sunday, text messages started to flow into my cell phone and Twitter account (flow is a strong word...I'm not that cool). A couple of examples, "Buffalo? Sorry about that." and "Have you come to grips with the fact you're going to Buffalo."
There are cool things to look forward to. I'm excited to see Niagara Falls (just 25 miles from the airport) and also eat some authentic Buffalo wings (they originated there in the 1960s). If you couldn't tell by looking at me...I LOVE FOOD!
Most importantly, though, we are going to see some of the best college basketball in the country.
I'll be your tour guide to Buffalo every step of the way on KREM 2 News, Twitter, and right here on KREM.com. I'll have all the latest on Bulldogs and I'll share behind-the-scenes stories that no one else will have. Who knows what we'll end up talking about over the next few days? I'm looking forward to it.
I have to get running, but I'll be back on here with updates later in the day.
UPDATE 12:15pm: I am kicking it in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport...there's nothing else really cool to report. I snapped this very unexciting picture over Seattle from the plane.
I saw Luke Sikma and the Portland Pilots walking through the airport. I point out Sikma because he was the only guy I recognized. The other dudes in Portland gear looked like they were too small to be basketball players. I even told Brett Allbery (the photographer with me) that it was probably the tennis team...and then I saw Sikma. They must be on their way to Greeley, Colorado. The Pilots face Northern Colorado tomorrow in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
I also wanted to mention that a TSA agent in Spokane told us that Buffalo is a beautiful place (she is from Maine). I might be wrong about this place after all. I guess I'll find out soon.
We have a short layover in Washington, D.C., but I'll try to give you a quick update when I am there. If not....I'll talk to you in Buffalo.
UPDATE 9:36pm (ET): I don't have much time. We just landed in Washington, D.C. and our flight for Buffalo boards in a few minutes.
The longest plane ride of the day is over...that's nice (even though I was stuck in a middle seat). There was also lackluster in-flight entertainment. They showed us some movie called Fantastic Mr. Fox. I didn't even waste my time (it was some really weird looking cartoon).
Instead, I became an expert on sea salts, the Irish music legends The Chieftains (even though I'd never heard of them before), and Austin, Texas (it's too bad we aren't going there), thanks to United's Hemisphere magazine.
I also learned about a machine that promises a full workout in four minutes. It looks ridiculous and it costs $15,000. I'd rather pay a gym membership and workout four hours a day than have that machine in my house. Click here for a glimpse at what I am talking about.
I can't guarantee it, but I also think I just saw Indiana head basketball coach Tom Crean strolling through airport. I'm 60% sure it was him.
I was hoping to snap a cool picture while we were in D.C., but that's not going to happen. Sorry!
It's time to go. I'll let you know when we settle in Buffalo!
UPDATE 11:19pm (ET): We made it to Buffalo!!!
For those of you who didn't get to spend all day on airplanes, I thought I would include you on the fun. I snapped this random photo on my plane before we left the nation's capital.
There's nothing really cool to report from here yet. Everything is shut down for the night because it's so late. Our real Buffalo adventure begins on Wednesday.
Brett and I are going to truck around town with a camera and act as your tour guides. We have stops planned at Niagara Falls, the Anchor Bar (I did my research and found the original home of Buffalo wings), and other interesting places we might find along the way.
The Bulldogs also fly into town tomorrow, but we won't have access to them until they practice and meet with the media on Thursday. That doesn't mean we won't have great Gonzaga coverage for you tomorrow. We are airing our Bulldog Madness special at 8pm (we'll also have live reports from Buffalo on KREM 2 News at 5pm, 6pm, 10pm, and 11pm).
That's all I have for you tonight. I'll be blogging again tomorrow. You can also get constant updates throughout the day by following me on Twitter.
One other reminder...don't forget to sign up for our March Mayhem contest. It's really simple and it's free. All you have to do is beat my score and you can win awesome prizes. I'll be honest with you...I'm not very confident in the bracket I filled out.
Thanks for tagging along today. Have a great night!