Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Giants, Bonds, and our Weekend in Long Beach

I'm watching the Giants/Dodgers game and Bonds so far has struck out and intentionally walked. In his first at-bat he anti-climactically struck out on three straight Brad Penny pitches, and then was intentionally walked in the third inning. Klesko followed this up by grounding into an inning ending rally killing double play - also validating that the Dodgers did the right thing by walking Bonds. It was funny because the Dodger crowd boo's Bonds for everything he does and periodically breaks out in "Barry Sucks" chants, but ironically also boo their own team when they decide to give Bonds a free pass and rob him of the opportunity to tie Hank Aaron's home run record. One last comment about the game is that it's the FIFTH INNING and cars are still bumper to bumper trying to get into the parking lot! Sounds like Dodger stadium has some infrastructure issues. And for a city that hates Bonds, they sure are showing him respect by selling out the series!

Changing the subject, Darcy and I were in LA, actually Long Beach, this weekend. We were visiting our college friends Mandi and Eric, who married in 2004. They both grew up in Southern California, so gravitated back there after college to work and live in reasonable proximity to their families. Darcy and Eric both studied Architectural Engineering at Cal Poly so met and became friends early on. Through their friendship, Eric's girlfriend Mandi got a room in Darcy's house in the fifth and final year of school. In that final year that they shared a roof, they also became friends. And, since I was dating Darcy, I became friends with them too. I had known Eric through Darcy, but being around him more often because our girlfriends lived together helped us become better friends.

We had a great time hanging out with them again. We hadn't hung out just the four of us since college! They have a very nice house in Long Beach. Props to Eric (and any help Mandi gave) for their backyard, which was perfectly manicured. The inside of the house was very nice too, with great paint colors in all the rooms.

In Bond's third at-bat.... he walks again :-(

Friday night we flew into LAX and instead of fighting traffic on our way down to Long Beach during rush hour, we went to Venice for an Italian meal and walk along Venice Beach. It was neat to see a famous place I had never experienced.

Friday night when we made it back to Long Beach from Venice, we went to Pinkberry. Apparently it's a popular - and very tasty - yogurt chain that is still emerging and yet to make it to the bay area. I'm an ice cream guy so opted not to get one, but I had a couple bites of Darcy's and it was mighty good. Entrepreneur's out there, open up a chain in a good location, and you are sure to make a fortune!

Three happy Pinkberry customers in Long Beach. I played the role of paparazzi.

Saturday we took the morning slow, getting breakfast burritos and playing some Nintendo Wii. Circa noon, we took off southbound along the coast, making it as far south as Huntington Beach. Unfortunately, there was some sort of event going on at the beach, combined with it being a beautiful summer Saturday, making it extremely crowded! We tried to find parking for a while as we crawled our way around the streets of Huntington Beach, but ultimately decided to head for a more low-key scene. No regrets whatsoever though as it was neat to see the Huntington Beach atmosphere. We opted for Seal Beach which is just north where we got some ice cream and walked the pier.

We returned home to Long Beach about 4pm, grabbed all four sets of golf clubs that Mandi and Eric own, and headed for the local public golf course. It was a lot of fun playing golf. I shared a cart with Eric, Darcy with Mandi, and everybody played well. Even though we all had clubs, I ended up using Eric's, and Darcy used Mandi's. They both have nice clubs that we hit well and now Darcy and I are both itching to upgrade our golfing gear, having experienced what good clubs can do to your results. Once again I failed to get any pictures of golf!

Bond's reaches on error and then is pinch ran for. Looks like 755 is going to have to wait at least another day.

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