Monday, August 25, 2014

Football, Baseball, a Special Birthday and a French Invasion

At the behest of avid blog followers Paul Sabolic and Julien Urgenti who both expressed their withdrawal symptoms with no blogposts in quite a while, here you are.

In a word, the last few weeks have been . . . BUSY!

Marianne Damboise
arrives at LAX

Let's start about two weeks ago.

Our first bit of news is that our good friend from Lyon, France, Marianne Damboise, arrived in SoCal for a two week visit to the Golden State. Her daughter Lucie had stayed with us for for a similar amount of time last Summer. 

Her visit has given us a great opportunity to be "Tourists in Our Own Town." We will tour the Southland with her throughout this blogpost.


We gathered at my Mother's home on a glorious Saturday afternoon two weeks ago to celebrate her 30th birthday for the third time.

Her Great-Grandchildren were
all there to swim and celebrate

Jacob is on the left with his cousin Kevin.

Kevin likes to follow the Sun

Jacob loves a good pool

My sister Marilyn
with her grandson Max


Kevin, Jacob and Max

Jacob helping Chuny
blow out the candles

"Play me a song, you're the Piano Man"

With Chuny, Andy and Kevin

We all had a great time at the party but once it was over, we still had a lot of daylight left so we drove Marianne to a few iconic spots like . . .

The Hollywood Sign

Hollywood's Visitor
Information Center

Brochure's are always helpful in planning your vacation time.

Chinese Theater Courtyard

Tom Hanks

The Chinese Theater's courtyard has famous movie stars'  handprints and footprints, captured in cement.

While this picture is by Tom Hanks' slab, she was MOST excited by George Clooney's prints.

Laurie LOVES her Minions

On Hollywood Boulevard

The Academy Award's Oscars
are given out at the Dolby Theater
in the background

Hollywood's Walk of Fame

Red Carpet at the Dolby Theater

Post-Hollywood Night Run

Fortunately for all of us the Rodeo Drive shops were long closed by this time.


Posing with our flag in front
of our home for Marianne

With the Johnson's at
Chuy's Restaurant in Camarillo

We were joined by our good friends from Seattle, Mark and Susie on the left with their daughters Sophie and Mallory on the right.

They were on their way to La Mirada, California to drop Sophie off at BIOLA University to start her Freshman year of college.

How the time really does fly.


I'm all about 3D

Don't ask.

Marianne brought these back from her Magic Bus tour in San Francisco which toured all of the main 1960s hippie sites in The City. She had ventured north alone via airplane for three days at the start of the week.

I accepted the ALS
Ice Bucket Challenge . . .

. . . and then challenged Mike


This was a GREAT exhibit at Simi Valley's 
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Mike and I were able to visit the nearby Simi Valley Library/Museum after a one-a-day morning practice last week.

Big Hitting President it turns out

To stiff to be a catcher,
in my opinion

Cool Poster

Baseball in Stained Glass

The Klu

Ted Kluszewski, 1950s Cinncinati Reds first baseman, was one of my favorite players growing up.

The Klu's 1957 Topps Card

What is NOT to love about this card?

Wally Moon

Traded to the Dodgers before the 1959 season, his "Moon Shots" over the left field screen at the L.A. Coliseum helped the local nine win the National League and World Series championships that season.

Weird Glove

Round Mitt

Nice Sign for Bats

I need an NPHS game
night sweater like this one

I love baseball cards

Many rare cards were on display.

Josh Gibson

One of the greatest players from the Negro League era.

The Brooklyn Dodgers only
World Series championship team

They were good the next year too

Died way too young from ALS

The Greatest all-around player
that I ever saw

Sure they solved it . . .

Josh Gibson sliding at Home

Lots of Brooklyn and Los Angeles
Dodger artifacts on display

Love the red numbers

Long ago the Dodgers were good too

1913 Jersey

Jackie Robinson

Cap Anson

THE superstar of the 1890s, his anti-black attitude was a major factor in keeping blacks out of "organized baseball" until the late 1940s.

Even then, integration was
slow in coming to all the teams

Not a Yankee fan,
but I do like their logo

Duke Snider
"The Duke of Flatbush"

Roy Campanella

A tragic car accident left him paralyzed. Thus this great and beloved Dodger catcher never got the chance to play in Los Angeles.

I was born in 1947

Scoreline from Game 7 of the
1955 World Series

Dixon Field?


Marianne and Laurie
at the beach in Ventura

Marianne kicked off her shoes . . .

. . . and waded into the Pacific Ocean


This past weekend was Southern California high school football's scrimmage weekend.

On Thursday, we drove down to Monroe H.S. in the San Fernando Valley to scout Birmingham H.S.'s JV team that we play this coming Friday at Newbury Park H.S.

Monroe's dilapidated facility

The field and track were both in poor condition. There were no lines painted on the field for a game that is all about scrimmage lines, sidelines, first down lines, etc.

Makes you realize how lucky we are at NPHS to have the facilities that we have.

Ancient Goal Posts

Marianne sitting in the End Zone for
our JV scrimmage against Ventura

Friday night, it was our turn to scrimmage.

NPHS Press Box

Field Goal Block Team

The Newbury Park JV Panthers wore their gold practice jerseys in the scrimmage.

Tavis Valenzuela Punting

Offensive Line Building a Wall

Connor "The Hatchet" Hobson
in Hot Pursuit

Nick Cellona busting a move

TD Andrew Noble

Coach Mike Contreras


As I mentioned earlier, Marianne's daughter Lucie spent time with us last Summer.

Joanne and Paul Sabolic opened up their home for Lucie to stay with them and their daughter Nicole for over a month last Summer before Lucie came to us. Their home was a great base of operations for Lucie who was attending classes at nearby California State University at Northridge.

On Saturday night we all got together at their home for a fun BBQ.

Marianne, Joanne and Nicole

They were GREAT hosts

The Sabolics are simply very good, down-to-earth people.

We need to see them more often.


Marianne is not afraid to pose

On Sunday, we trekked to Studio City to spend a fun afternoon touring the gigantic Universal Studios Theme Park.

It is a MUST on every visitor's list of things to do when visiting Los Angeles.

King Kong in the background

In line for  the Studio Tour

Being well organized and providing lots of misters to keep us cool made the wait time go by quickly.


We barely survived our tram being in the path of a Hollywood-style flash flood.

Don't panic, all the water gets pumped back up the hill in time for the next tram to experience danger up close.

Speaking of danger . . .


It came up right by Marianne's seat.

She screamed.

A lot.

Dr. Suess Movie Set

Plane Crash Set

Marianne at the Hollywood Sign

Sort of.

Marianne is a Simpsons fan

The Girls

I don't think that is
the way to spell it

Marge, Marianne and Homer

San Fernando Valley Vista

Women love men in uniforms

Laurie REALLY loves her Minions

Memories brought back by the
Universal Studios Park

Biker Chic

Beetlejuice and Frankenstein


I'm curious about what future
adventures are in store for us

Reading Is FUNdamental

In interesting look at many of Spain's cultural secrets from the lingering wounds of the Spanish Civil War to how the bikini saved Spain to Flamenco and much more.

A very interesting look at a country that we love visiting.

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