Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Two Day Blur - Uberpost

Wow, where did I leave off. The past two days have been a blur of activity.

On Thursday, we got up and out as early as we could. Me and my wife work together really well when it comes to getting somewhere on time. We do what needs to be done and are usually a bit early to our destination. We just hate being late.

This trip threw a 13 year old into the mix. We don’t have any kids of our own, but my brother’s son G is along on this trip. Man, do teenagers think differently. Don’t get me wrong. He is a great kid. He is great as adults go, and even further along that his peers, but that brain is still running on a different beat.

Of instance, if you ask G to get ready, he’ll reply ‘OK’ and may or may not start doing anything. If you give him something specific to do, he’ll get right to it. As he is doing his task, if you turn on the TV, he will stop an watch TV, and not just for a second, but until you break the trance by reminding him of his task. I thought it was funny as hell. It will be fun to see how much of this he grows out of and how much is just G. I’ll bet a lot of it is just G.

Anyway, back to Thursday. Our first stop was the Santa Monica Pier. We arrived about 45 minutes before the 11 am opening (who would have thought), so we strolled around for a bit. Once open, we rode the roller coaster a couple of times (Mrs. K and I rode once each – we don’t roller coaster well anymore). The coaster was a bit lame, so twice was enough. We then rented bikes and rode down the beach to Venice Beach.

The ride was great. The weather in SoCal is amazing. Highs in the 80s, low humidity and sun shine every day. It is obvious why so many people live there. If it weren’t so full of people, I could probably get Mrs. K to move there one day.

Venice Beach is something else. The head shops, tattoo parlors, tarot card readers and street performers made the atmosphere just barely the PG-13 that we required. The shops were tame enough and some of the street performers were entertaining. We had a good lunch and headed back to the pier and the car.

The next stop was the Mulligan Family Fun Center and go-cart racing. With LA traffic, it took us about 45 minutes from Santa Monica to Torrance. The carpool lane helped a bit, but it could have been much worse.

We gave G a shot at the climbing wall before the race. Let’s just say that he had fun trying. The carts were slow as go-carts go. I just didn’t have much luck picking out the rides this day. We finished up with a round of miniature golf. I learned something on the golf course: My wife can putt. She birdied the first two holes and really set the pace. I managed a tie with a late run and her unlucky 5. She claims that I cheated on the score, but if that were the case, I would have cheated to win. I can see that we will have to try this again.

Finally, it was time to head for the game. We found our way over to Angels stadium at Anaheim. Parking was conveniently next to the park and not too expensive ($8 compared to Dodger Stadium $15, AT&T $25). I got one ball in batting practice which I gave to a kid. The game was good with more than a couple great fielding plays. G enjoyed the brats and lemonade and we were out of there by 10:30.

We made the long drive back to the hotel in Calabasas and got right to bed as we had a long drive in the morning.

Friday morning, the alarm went off at 7 am. G and I had showered the night before, so Mrs. K showered, we got packed, ate breakfast and hit the road. Our destination was AT&T Park in San Francisco. The distance is a little over 300 miles.

Instead of the Pacific Coast Highway, we needed to make time and opted for I-5. There are a few cool things to see on this route, but not many. It is mostly brown desert. We did drive by what must be the worlds largest cow patty. There were cows as far as the eye could see, and we smelled every one of them from the comfort of our car. Peeee-uuuuuuu. We also came across some garlic trucks and farms near Gilroy. I didn’t like that much better, but Mrs. K loved it. It reminded her of a college friend who used to cook with garlic all the time.

We got to San Jose and a lunch meeting with my other brother (not G’s dad). He wanted to visit with his nephew. After lunch, we took a tour of his workplace. He works at TellMe. If you have every used AT&T directory assistance and spoken to the machine, that is what TellMe does. It is need stuff. The atmosphere at his office is a lot of what Microsoft used to be. I miss that. We are much to corporate now, but that is what size and law suites will do to a company.

After a short stop at the hotel, we were off to the ball park. If I have a complaint about the park in San Francisco, it would be the parking. The signs to Lots A & B are clear from the I-280 interstate, but they don’t tell you that these are permit only lots. The don’t tell you how to get to the public parking, and it is the folks who use the public parking are the ones who need directions the most. Two illegal U turns later, we found it.

The park is beautiful, but cold. Be warned, if you go to a night in San Francisco, take your ski parka. It gets COLD. Mrs. K, who has no tolerance for the cold was in her sweat shirt before the sun went down. G and I held out as long as we could. I went for my sweater after the 3rd inning, and G went for the blanket after the top of the 4th. But we keep score at the games and people who keep score don’t leave early. There was never a question about that.

Once again, the game was good , but not terribly exciting. The Giants beat the Dodgers 7 to 3. There was a great play from the 3rd baseman who caught a ball on the line and fired across the diamond to first while falling away. I love that play. Ray Durham made a great play right in front of us on a hot shot and a bad hop the get a critical out.

Getting out after the game was easy, even though it was a sell-out. We got back to the hotel by the airport and got to bed ASAP. Seven AM seemed early in LA. Four fifteen this morning was down-right cruel. But that is what we did. Mrs. K had a 7 am flight back to Charlotte. G had a 7:55 flight to Denver. They are both in the air as I write.

I’m waiting on my 9:30 flight (now 10:00 flight) to Las Vegas.

So I’m in Vegas now. Everyone reached their destination though the Misses is loney without her Ipod and dogs. The Ipod became a story as we tried to get out of San Fran. The checking and boarding was an adventure without the excitement. G was on a United flight that left between Mrs. K’s flight and mine, which were both US Airways. Given the wat SFO is laid out, that meant checking the bags of me and Mrs. K, walking two terminals (roughly one half mile) to check G’s bags, then returning to the original terminal. Here, we go through security to get to Mrs. K’s gate.

As we are going through security, they take a long look at G’s carry-on bag. I mention half-jokingly (since you can’t full joke around TSA) that they are looking at his Ipod. At this, Mrs. K gasps that she has left her Ipod (the new one we got switched out 4 days ago) in the rental car. She was actually looking out for me and my pool cue which was stuck in an odd crevas in the car and she forgot about her own stuff.

Well, she doesn’t board for another 45 minutes and the ride to the rental car garage will take about 30. I leave G with the Mrs. And take off for the train and the rental care counter. By the time I locate someone to help me and actually find the Ipod (I also left a glasses case in the car) 35 minutes had elapsed and I was too late to get it to her. I bid her farewell over the phone and instructed G to meet me just outside of the security checkpoint.

Now G and I have to hike back to Terminal 3 where we repeat the security tango and arrive at the gate for the flight to Denver. I give G a big hug, call his mom in Boulder and start my vacation.

I hike back to terminal 1, grab a bagle and settle down at the gate to Vegas. I’ve now been in Vegas 14 hours. I’ve taken a nice long nap and played one tournament (didn’t cash) and about 4 hours of no foldem holdem (AKA $2-4 limit). I’m down a bit, but feeling pretty good.

The rest of the pool crew arrives tomorrow. Ted Nugent is in concert at the house of blues (might go) tomorrow night, and the week is spread out before me. Time to partake.

1 comment:

brian --- aka "bubble master" said...

Good luck in the billiards tourney, K... but more so may you have the luck of our Colombian friend in your card endeavors this week... he was a card rack like i've never seen.