Bridge Road Warriors: Esplanade Bridge Center

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The life of a Bridge Road Warrior has the occasional very long day, but it has its rewards.

GS Jade Barrett y Anna y Karen
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21:13 26 November 2013 by GS Jade Barrett, USA CSBNews correspondent

Grantland Rice

Grantland Rice

“Does the road wind up-hill all the way? Yes, to the very end. Will the day’s journey take the whole long day? From morn to night, my friend” – Grantland Rice

Wake up 05:00 in Padova, Italy. 06:30 train to Milan. 09:55 train to Milan Airport (MXP) 13:00 Flight to JFK, NY, USA, arrive 21:30 Italy time. Fly to San Diego, CA landing at 05:00 Italy time. Drive to Dana Harbor Bridge club to deal boards for their club 06:50 Italy time. Arrive at house, Vista, CA 09:30 Italy time. Total time in transit from Padova, Italy to Vista, CA: 29:30.

And then, after a well deserved five hours of sleep, back to the  Esplanade Bridge Center in Solana Beach, CA.

The life of a Bridge Road Warrior has the occasional very long day, but it has its rewards. The opportunity to visit many great cities and meet the great people who participate in our chosen game provides a lifestyle virtually unlike any other. As hard as it is, the job has been very fulfilling, and I am very grateful for the opportunities it has afforded me.

Our fellow bridge athletes come from every walk of life, from every level of society, from every corner of the Earth. They range in age from the nearly ancient to barely old enough to hold the cards. This year, I have personally competed against a seven year old girl and a 103 year old man. My opponents have hailed from Botswana to Boston, Frankfurt to Framingham, Johannesburg to Joliet, Padova to Paris and literally every place in between. I have enjoyed meeting them all. Bridge is a bonding tool.

Every second of every day, someone is playing bridge somewhere on the planet. Since the advent of bridge sites on the Internet, there have been witnesses to both the follies and the greatness of every player, everywhere – and prepared to tell their friends about it. Thanks to Bridge on the Internet, I met the great player who married me back in 1995, making us the longest online bridge marraige (I always liked being a trend setter). The best part about the online bridge environment is that I do not even have to get out of bed to start my day.

That is also the worst part.

I play a lot. As in all the time. Without much natural affinity for the game, I am a product of hard work. It also means I am envious of those who understand the very nature of the game the moment they sit down. My wife, Karen, is one of those. Back in the late 1990’s we had decided to play in the upcoming World Championships. As the months went by I became concerned with our lack of preparation. Finally breaking my silence, I expressed my fears regarding our lack of practice. She then reminded me that she rarely played at all between North American Bridge Championships (she did not have to add the fact that she went to the NABCs, played an event or two, always placed in the top 10, went home. This pattern went on for nearly a decade). Then she sighed.

“Ok, Dear, if YOU need the practice, we can go the club”.

My Father warned me about marrying up.

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