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So Much More To Say

So many things happened this weekend that I don't really know where to begin...but this time it won't be from the beginning. The next couple of posts will be a little bit out of order. You see, as I was traveling through Colorado and Arizona I had a few particularly noteworthy things happen and a few of the more interesting parts of the adventure really warrant more detailed posts. So for the moment I'm just going to begin with an overview of the things that happened in Arizona and then circle back to take a bit more time to share the other things that particularly stood out, such as intriguing custom crystal bases, checking out a unique tactical arena and...I kid you not...playing laser tag with Olympic athletes. So consider this an overview of the more typical parts of the trip and check back soon because all those stories are coming as quickly as I can type them. :)

My trip began in Denver with a really amazing night of tag in support of a really great cause, but I will dedicate a post specifically to that night soon. At the end of that experience I got about four hours sleep and the next morning I boarded a flight for Arizona. When I arrived in Phoenix on day three of my trip I was met at Whipple's Fun Center by my family members from Tucson including Mike, Ivon and their five kids. It was my niece Mary Anne's birthday the day before so we all celebrated with some laser tag.

Although Mike and Joshua had played laser tag before, this was a new experience for the girls. I helped them put on their Helios vests and showed them what to do, then we all entered went the colorful arena.

The double level arena was decked out with all the CW aesthetics that I have seen countless times, but the kids were definitely in awe of the space and thought that it was very cool. I thought it was really special to watch how they took it all in and immediately got into the fun of a family game. Meanwhile, Ivon and the younger kids were enjoying the trampoline park in another part of the center. We played a few rounds of tag, took a turn on some spin zone bumper cars and all the kids really seemed to enjoy the arcade. I was glad that I could introduce them to this place and see them really get into laser tag. After spending some time visiting I set off to explore a few more sites in the Phoenix area.

The next stop will also get a separate post because my time at the American Paintball Coliseum was also a standout part of my trip. Suffice it to say that this was a really fun time in a tactical environment that I would love to visit again!

From there I headed off to Main Event Phoenix. I'm glossing over it here only because it has all been said before. There was nothing particularly new here. In fact, looking at these pics just give me a sense of deja vu from the other Main Event locations I have played.

I appreciate getting to play Delta Strike because it is a novelty I don't get to play in very many other locations.

However, the only really notable thing for me to say here is congratulations to the player on the other team who tied with me for top score. This game was tighter than usual, but otherwise pretty typical.

And from there the sense of deja vu continued as I made my way to Stratum in Mesa (you see the last time I was in this part of the country I played at Main Event Albuquerque followed by a visit to Stratum). This time I got some additional insight into some unique aspects of their arena and Infusion system, specifically their custom bases, so we'll discuss that separately as well.

From there it was off to Laser Quest Phoenix. First I remembered to ask about magnets! :)

Then I went into the game and found myself in a full game that looked like it would be intense, but turned out to just be a great time.

And from there I decided to visit one more site and set off for Uptown Alley in Surprise, AZ.

This place felt like a Dave and Busters kind of atmosphere with bowling (I assume...I never actually saw the lanes), arcade, laser tag and a bar and grill area where I got a burger for the road. When I walked over to the tag arena I discovered that I would be playing on Rift with a group of mostly teenagers and one VERY little boy who I would guess was about three years old. Let me take a moment on this. In my opinion this child was probably too young to be playing with this group and certainly too young to be doing so without a parent (although I believe one of the teenage girls was probably his sister who should have been watching him). This was not an especially aggressive game, but there were much bigger players moving quickly and I worried that this child might get overrun by the teenagers, so I kept my eye on him during the game. He had no idea what he was doing and aimed the phaser without having a clue how to hold it, but watching this gave me an idea. I was able to see everything that was going on from a distance as there was a good view from the top level of their two floor arena.

So, I watched this boy aim his phaser at various players throughout the game. From where I was positioned above them I could easily tag the other player out for him. It was great fun because the little boy thought that he was the one who got the shot so he was very happy and proud of himself. And even better, I think the older players also thought that he was the one getting the shot since their attention was on him and they never saw me giving him an assist from above. So for a good part of the game I would "help" him to get tags, which made him feel good about the game and made me feel better that he wasn't getting trampled. Although I still think he was too young for playing alone in this particular group I am glad that he had fun. I had a good time too. And once I got my "Uppy Burger" from the grill I was off again to the airport to return home after a wonderful weekend of memories and experiences tagging from Denver to Phoenix and having a blast every step of the way.

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