Monday, June 20, 2011

Lake Arrowhead and Beyond

The Newbury Park High School Panthers just hired a new teacher/J.V. football team Defensive Coordinator, our own Michael Contreras!

After spending an enjoyable first year as a teacher/coach at Hueneme H.S., Mike was one of over 30 first year teachers given a pink slip by the Oxnard Union High School District due to budget cuts. He heard about the opening at nearby Newbury Park, had a solid interview and was hired two days later. This should be a great situation for Mike in a Blue Ribbon School with both a great athletic tradition and a great staff.

Good luck and congratulations Michael!!!

Lake Arrowhead Weekend

For about the last six months our niece, Lyndsey McKenzie, has been planning this reunion weekend of all of the extended family of Bill and Florene Gardner. With Bill's passing last December and Florene's Memorial Service last Thursday in Camarillo, it was a welcome relief after the stress the last few months, especially for Laurie who has now earned the title of "Matriarch of the Gardner Clan."

The site for the reunion would be the alpine mountain retreat of David and Gayle Hicks. Gayle is Laurie's sister and they would prove to be great hosts, no surprise here.


Lake Arrowhead is located in the San Bernardino Mountains about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Casa Contreras. When we arrived at the Hicks's Cabin, we were greeted by a deck full of revelers including our son Andrew hoisting the beer salute.

To the left of Andrew is his bride Jenn and our first grandchild, Tank Ranger, a.k.a. "Kevin Gardner" Contreras.

O.K., Tank isn't due to pop out until August but I think that he had a good time too in the mountains.

Four Surviving Pines

Apparently, a few years ago, a bark beetle attacked the pine trees in the Lake Arrowhead area, killing off many of them. As it is with nature, oak trees are now taking up the ecological void for the dead pines.

The Lake

The Hicks's Cabin is located a short distance from the lakeshore, so we decided to take a walk along the shoreline path.

A Manzanita


The Kitchen and the Dining Table

As one would expect, much of this enjoyable retreat was spent in this area of the cabin.


A really good game that we had never played before.


Saturday on the Lake

A simply gorgeous day, it was time to cruise the lake and see the sights.

Our Tour Guide, Dr. David Hicks

Truly an amazing and gentle man, David can also skipper a boat like nobody's business.


Sarah Gardner and Lyndsey McKenzie enjoying a bit of speed on the water.

O.K., Lyndsey maybe not so much!

The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson's "Cabin"

One singer's cabin is another retired teacher's castle.

"Ship Ahoy!!!"

Besides wind power, this tar also used foot pedals to propel his craft through the water.

A Modest 13 Car Garage, Lakefront Cabin


Twin Peaks

On Sunday, Laurie and I drove into Lake Arrowhead's Village to do a little shopping.


Who doesn't love a kid on a Merry-Go-Round?

Lake Arrowhead Fauna . . .

. . . and Flora

Modern Age Technology

We all brought some equipment to keep us connected to the social network during our retreat although Jenn, in the middle, seems to be practicing some pre-natal breathing techniques.


The 111th U.S. Open was hosted by at Congressional Country Club outside of Washington, D.C. over the weekend. It was won yesterday by a 22 year old Northern Irishman named Rory McIlroy in spectacular fashion as he shot a 16 under par, 72 hole total of 268 to take home his first Majors title.

It reminded me the time just ten years ago in Summer of 2001 that I joined our friend Mike D'antuono and our son Andrew to play this hallowed course.

As one would expect, I brought the course to its knees that day, shooting a remarkably consistent +26/+26 for an 18 hole total of 124.

I know exactly how Rory McIlroy felt yesterday as he entered that storied clubhouse after a fantastic day of golf.

Another Great Wallander Book

I finished it at the lake, excellent! It was on the New York Times Bestseller List for a reason.

The author, Henning Mankell, says that this is the last of the Kurt Wallander books he will write. I've had the pleasure over the last year to read all 11 of these fantastic mystery novels about Ystad, Sweden's favorite police inspector.

Good-bye old friend.


2011 Division I Södra Standings
The top two teams at the end of the regular season will play in the 2011 SAFF Division I Playoffs along with the top two teams from each of the other three Division I Conferences.

Kristianstad Predators (7-1)
Ystad Rockets (6-2)

Limhamn Griffins (3-2)
Lugi Vikings (3-3)
Hässleholm Hurricanes (0-5)
Ekeby Greys (0-6)

Week 9 Results
Kristianstad 43 - Ekeby 6
Ystad 22 - Lugi 14
BYES: Hässleholm and Limhamn

Week 10 Games
Saturday, July 2nd
Hässleholm (0-5) at Ekeby (0-6)
Limhamn (3-2) at Lugi (3-3)
BYES: Kristianstad (7-1) and Ystad (6-2)

SAAF Division I Södra Notes: Ryan Bolland's 7-1 Kristianstad Predators just keep marching steadily towards their initial goal, the Division I Södra's 2011 championship, after a solid 43-6 victory over the cellar dwelling 0-6 Ekeby Greys. One of Ryan's hardest chores is now squarely in front of him, the dreaded SAFF imposed Summer Break. The Predators only have two games left on their regular season schedule. Their next contest is at home against the 3-3 Lugi Vikings on August 13th, a full EIGHT WEEKS between games. Traditionally teams in Sweden face dwindling attendance at post break practices and many players just flat out never return to their teams in August.

Next Friday, Sweden celebrates one of its biggest holidays, Midsommar. As a result there will be no games played over the June 25-26 weekend.

Up next for our beloved 0-5 Hässleholm Hurricanes is a road game with the 0-6 Ekeby Greys in two weeks. An instant classic in the making don't you think?

Hässleholm Hurricanes U15-13 Team

The big American football news out of Skåne was the first ever contest, a scrimmage, for the Hurricanes first year youth squad. The mini-'Canes scrimmaged their Kristianstad Predators counterparts. The Predators are, in my opinion, the model for how to build an American football program from the ground up in Europe.

As expected, the Predators won the scrimmage 6 TDs to 2 TDs but it was a start, a big first step in creating a program not just a team in Hässleholm.


Ryan Bolland said...

Give my congratulations to Mike!

George said...

Will do.