Monday, September 9, 2013

It's Been a While . . .


Well, it's been over a month since I last posted on the blog.

The main reason for this long delay is simply that life in California is so much more slow paced and laid back than the frenetic, up-tempo life that we lived on the Continent.

Still, we have had several fun moments since we last checked in with you.

Of course, we had a delightful time hosting Lucie Damboise for a couple of weeks in August. Lucie is the daughter of Jean-Charles and Marianne Damboise who became our friends in Lyon. Lucie spent most of the Summer living first with our friends Paul and Joanne Sabolic, then attending and living in the dorms at Cal State-Northridge before moving to Camarillo.

Lucie in Casa Contreras with Jacob

Lucie at Cronies Sports Grill

Being Grandparents now consumes a big chunk of our time. 

Teaching Jacob Tackling Techniques

Jacob checking me for signs of a possible concussion from one of his hits

Lucie Goes to Hollywood

Lucie at the famous Chinese Theater

With Mickey on Hollywood Boulevard

One of Laurie's favorites growing up

Dreaming of France on Santa Monica's
Third Street Promenade

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean

It would not be Summer without
a Dodger game and Vinny!

The view from our seats for the
New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodger

Bringing the HEAT!!!

STRIKE ONE!!!

He is Cuban and 66
I'm Cuban and 66 too

We attended a fun BBQ
at the home of the Selig's

Lucie's first Smore

Great dinner in Carpinteria
Kathleen Zant, Laurie and Lucie 

We drove up the coast to meet the Zants for dinner.

With John Zant

John and I were teammates on the 1963 St. Francis H.S. football team (12-1) that won the C.I.F. "AAA" Championship with a 7-0 victory over La Mirada H.S. at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

We will be joining other members of that team for a 50 year reunion/celebration of the championship in October.

John has been a long time, highly acclaimed sports writer for Santa Barbara newspapers.

Great food and fellowship in Carpinteria on that night.

FIFTY YEARS???

Speaking of football . . .

Much of the last month has been spent coaching the Newbury Park H.S. J.V. team with our son Mike who is a teacher and coach at NPHS.

J.V. vs. Frosh Scrimmage

Coach Contreras the Younger and
Coach Contreras the Wiser

J.V.s in Yellow

Shane Sipes can play!!!

Jacob and Vanessa were
at the scrimmage

Frosh DB trying to catch up to
J.V. WR Luke Wuesthoff

RB Connor Williams for Six

The 2015 NPHS Varsity

Before Lucie was due to fly home to Lyon, we just had to take her on a boat ride in the Ventura Harbor.

Cathy Salltee, Debi Murphy,
Laurie and Lucie

Sidewalk Art at the Harbor

Lunch at Brophy Brothers

Lucie had one last chance to shop
at LAX

Au revoir Lucie!

Again, we really enjoyed our time hosting Lucie.

Meanwhile, back to American football . . .

J.V.s at Ventura H.S. for a Scrimmage

NPHS in Yellow

RB Jonas Mello ran tough

After three weeks of practices and two scrimmages, we were finally ready to play our first game.

Our expectations for our J.V. squad were simple. All we asked was that we attended practice, stayed focused and worked hard to improve daily. 

As Freshmen in 2012, our group posted a 3-7 record but did show marked improvement throughout the season. We need to build on that base to be sure.  

NPHS Panther J.V. Helmet Decals

Our first game was at Buena H.S. in Ventura on a very hot and ridiculously humid afternoon.

DE Brock Barton pressuring
the Bulldog QB

NG Kyle Koh and DE Jacob
Blackburn on the tackle

Jonas Mello had a GREAT game!

Near the Goal Line

TD PANTHERS!!!!!!!

LB CJ Stanziano on the Blitz

Contreras and Contreras

Big Hole for Jonas Mello

We earned a hard fought 24-21 victory on opening night. It was a good feeling and the boys were happy to say the least!

Game Two at Thousand Oaks H.S.

Here Come the Panthers!!!

Swarming on Defense

FS Shane Sipes about to earn a
HAMMER!!!

CB Luke Wuesthoff played very well

LB Dawson Schmidt Blitzing

Panther Cheerleaders

QB Erich Wuesthoff played well too

Goal Line Defense

CJ Stanziano at it again

Great Job Breaking Up a Possible
TD Pass

One last chance for victory

The Thousand Oaks-Newbury Park rivalry started in 1970 and has been played every year since then.

This game was again hard fought and close but the Lancers were a bit better than us on this day taking home a 18-12 victory.

Our record is now 1-1 on the season. Our next game is at Agoura H.S. this coming Thursday.

Mike and I took young Jacob to the Camarillo Airport last Thursday to visit the World War II Air Museum.

Firing Up the Hell Cat's Engine

Flying Transport "Over the Hump"

Jacob wanted to parachute
out on the static line

Thinking about Andy out in Las Vegas

Very Cool Little Plane

WWII Bomber

Recon Plane

Jacob Wanted to fly it

Looked Easy Enough to Jacob

Japanese Zero

One of only five in the world from WWII that can still fly.

Victory Decals are not just a
football thing it turns out

The Red Baron?

Jacob by the Casa Contreras Pool
staying cool in the heat in his
Sumo Wrestling outfit

So that is basically what we did this past month, about 75% football and a bit of good old family time.

I'll try to update weekly from now on.

BEAT THE CHARGERS!!!

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