Sunday, February 20, 2011

Catching Up On The Week That Was

Let's do some recapping of the events of the past week.

Last weekend was highlighted by our son Andy and daughter-in-law Jenn coming into town from Las Vegas for a short visit. The main purpose of the trip was to stop by their grandmothers' homes for the first time since announcing that they are expecting their first child next August.

With Andy's Aunt Katica del Cueto
and Grandmother Chuny Contreras

Grandma Chuny made some fabulous Ropa Vieja, a Cuban meat dish that is one of Jenn's favorites. Safe to say, she was not disappointed!

With Grandma Florene Gardner

A joyous time indeed!

A New Bat for the Hueneme H.S.

Andy mentioned that his tax accountant recommended that he make more charitable contributions in 2011. Mike, the coach of Hueneme High School's Freshman Baseball Team this season, had mentioned the lack of funds for new equipment at H.H.S.

Thus, Andy bought the team their first, and as of this writing, only legal bat under the new high school baseball rules in effect in 2011.

Mike the Soccer/Futbol/Calcio Nut

A scarf for any season and/or any team.

During the week, I spent a ton of time at the Oxnard and Ventura libraries continuing my research for a book I'm thinking about writing on the history of high school football in Ventura County. I have found out a lot of fascinating things already and I'm just scratching the surface. You'll have to buy a copy of the book . . .

Redlands, California
located 120 miles East of Camarillo

Yesterday, Laurie and I joined Mike for the early morning drive to Redlands as his Ventura County Police Hogs football team participated in the Fourth Annual Cops-N-Jocks Bowl against the Inland Empire Enforcers. We left at 8:30 a.m. not knowing what the traffic or weather, rain off and on again the last two days, might bring.

As it turned out, it was bright skies and light traffic so we arrived hours ahead of schedule.

Only one thing to do . . .


We just stumbled upon the aromas emanating from this fine dining establishment while visiting the ATM at the nearby Bank of America. Lucky us, their breakfast special was terrific!

Still lots of time before kickoff, so we decided to stroll through Redlands Historic Old Downtown.

"Two cafe lattes, please."

Very cool little coffe house where we topped off our eggs and hash browns.

I'm not so sure about using
Augie's fire escape

Old Town Redlands is
REALLY into Wall Signs

German Family Soap?

The University of Redlands
Home of the Bulldogs

We dropped Mike off at Redlands High School to suit up/warm up for his 2:00 p.m. game. We then drove about a mile to the University of Redlands' picturesque campus to check out this delightful NCAA Division III jewel.

I liked their unique Sun Dial. . .

. . . and one of their old student dorms

I'll be returning here soon to talk to their Seniors about extending their football carrers in Europe and take another shot at Burger Town USA.

Finally, it was time to go to the Redlands H.S. stadium for the game where we discovered the famous. . .

. . . where all the REALLY BIG
deals get brokered!

Field Turf yet again!
Redlands High School, Established 1891

It was cold and crisp as kickoff time approached and I prepared to work my way down to the field to take copious amounts of pictures. It was then that the Hogs coaches asked me to stay up in the stands and be their "Spy in the Sky" for the game.

The Enforcers featured a QB, Glenn Thompkins, who was the 1993 CIF Division I Player-of-the-Year and earned a scholarship to UCLA. He would prove to be a handful to say the least.

So much for pictures.

The First Half started under Beautiful Skies

But the Hogs started off slowly as the Enforcers' Thompkins showed us all why he was a player at UCLA. He was able to throw and run his eleven to a 31-0 lead before the Hogs got anything going.

The Second Half would see much more drastic weather

The second stanza featured colder weather, torrential downpours, hale and a revitalised Hogs effort. Ventura was able to scratch and claw their way back to respectability as Hogs' QB John Catellanos started to hit receivers, move the chains and put some pionts on the board.

Final Score: Enforcers 31 - Hogs 14

QB John Castellanos and
TE/FS Mike Contreras Post Game

After the game, we decided to start the long trek back to Camarillo through heavy rain but, fortunately, light traffic. It was now about 6:15 p.m. and we were all hungry again, what to do?

Bob's in Burbank!!!

The quintessential 1950's-60's drive-in chain in Southern California. We had to order the famed Big Boy Combo . . . the original double-deck burger, fries and a bleu cheese salad with an endless supply of Cherry Coke.

What a perfect way to take the edge off a cold, wet day!

Mike and Laurie with the Big Boy

We finally got back to Camarillo about 12 hours after we left, none the worse for wear.


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