Sunday morning March 20, 2022, Houston, Texas
I took a VERY early flight (7am) from Florida yesterday (there used to be more flights, but…pandemic related cutbacks continue) to Houston, a short (2.5 hours or so) flight. After finding the earbud that somehow escaped my ear and ended up under a seat 2 rows behind me, collecting my bags and getting a rental car, I drove to meet my doubles partner, Susan Wright, at Tennis Express to do some shopping before practicing. There is clearly a supply issue…the tennis balls I was looking for weren’t available, socks were in low supply and tennis shoes…there were only 2 brands that had clay shoes available and not all that many hard court shoes available either. However, there were a lot of tennis clothes! New brands, old brands, lots to choose from. And a lot of pickle ball clothes (though branding clothes with “dink” does limit crossover appeal in my opinion…the word does not have the same connotation for tennis and in general that it apparently does in pickle ball).
After lunch we went to the club, warmed up and played some doubles with Heidi Gerger and Sue Bushman (who also flew in yesterday and had a more stressful experience reaching the airport than I did due to a driver cancelling her ride).
It was after 5pm by the time we finished…I hit the grocery stores and then checked into my airbnb. It was a long but fun day.
Today the weather looks very nice again but tomorrow not so great…I am scheduled to play at 9am, hopefully we’ll get it in. At least we don’t have doubles scheduled tomorrow.
We have another practice doubles this afternoon. It was fun yesterday to see so many familiar faces, some of whom I had not seen in decades. At most tournaments people show up the evening before the tournament, but in Houston people arrive early and this makes for a different feel compared to other tournaments. The club members and employees are also soooo friendly (as were the people in the airport and car rental agency). This is a GREAT tournament. It starts at the top with Sue Bramlette the tournament director.