Monday, August 11, 2008

A Weekend in the O.C.

Laurie and I spent a WONDERFUL weekend in the heart of Orange County, Newport Beach.

Sandy and Loren Brucker

I first met them as a sophomore at the University of Washington in the fall of 1966!

Loren was in need of tutoring in a Spanish class and I was in need of a roommate to share expenses after the football season was over and we would no longer be living in the athletic dorm/Crew House on the shore of Lake Washington.

Loren wound up being my roommate for the rest of my college days and Laurie and Sandy would also room together for two years!

They now live in a BEAUTIFUL home on the "Peninsula" of Newport Beach near the Fun Zone.

Sandy and Loren's son Ryan

The main reason for our visit was Ryan's 30th birthday party. How is it possible that he still isn't the "little guy" who used to play with our Andy and Mike? 

Ryan's son Jack and his bride Karli

Ride 'em Cowboy!

At the end of the evening, Jack made the announcement that he was going to be a big brother!

Congratulations Karli and Ryan on your second child due in April!!!

Blessed Brian FitzGerald?

As opposed to Italy, where an area as large as the "Peninsula" would have at least 30 Catholic churches, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is the only Catholic church to be found!

Mass lasted OVER one hour and included a sermon against the International Olympic Committee's choice of Beijing as the site of the 2008 games. I almost became a Protestant...

I was stunned to find this stained glass window as an ode to a known Agnostic.

The Balboa Fun Zone

The Ferris Wheel was closed for repairs, thus the missing seats. The Fun Zone here was a BIG part of my youth hanging out as a teenager back in the '60's. Lots of nostalgia here for me.

We decided to rent a boat and cruise
Balboa Bay.

Duffy Boat

We rented this electric powered, low speed, blue topped Duffy Boat for the adventure!

As you may know, Balboa Bay has been a hot bed of pirate activity for years now so we decided to bring a swashbuckling enforcer with us just in case.

The obvious choice was Cameron, who is Loren and Sandy's niece's son. Cameron brought his grandparents, Bob and Lucy along as backup.


Loren checking out this HUGE blue yacht.

While Cameron skippered the boat, we came upon this yacht owned by the former Prime Minister of Yugoslavia...NO JOKE!

The Wild Goose belonged to John Wayne

The Wild Goose has three decks.

During World War II, the Wild Goose was actually used as a mine detector because it is made of wood and would not set off Japanese magnetic mines.

A GREAT Day to Work on Your Tan

The orange storm fencing is, IN THEORY, supposed to keep the seals off your boat.

You see all sorts of vessels in the bay.

What the heck is this University of Arizona boat doing here?

Somehow I think Jason had something to do with this...

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