Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Holiday Bowl Joy and Frustration

Mon.-Wed., December 27-29, 2021

An annual trip to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl game has become a tradition for us.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 game, we were especially excited for the return of this game with an interesting matchup.

PAC-12's UCLA Bruins (8-4)
ACC's North Carolina State Wolfpack (9-3)

We opted for something totally different this year. We would take the train to San Diego and rely on Lyft rides as needed once we arrived.

Monday morning at the
Camarillo Train Station

We were ready!


Jacob had lots of stories to tell
me on an entertaining ride

Staring at the Pacific Ocean
near Solano Beach

We made it none the worse for wear
at San Diego's Santa Fe Depot

It took us about five hours to make the trip, not much longer than driving and a LOT less stressful.

There was a colorful, old feel
to the Santa Fe Depot

To get a little exercise, we decided to walk to our Sheraton Four Points Hotel in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood.

It took us about 20 minutes, a much needed stretch of the legs after our long train ride.

Jacob discovered this interesting
tree through a fence construction

A Nutcracker in Little Italy

'Tis the season . . .

We saw the lady who runs this
barber shop

She was clean shaven.

Truth in advertising?

Looking for a place to dine
on a Monday night

Lots of choices on Little Italy's
main thoroughfare, India Street

India Street?

We only had to wait a few minutes
to get a table at . . .

. . . at Filippi's Pizza Grotto

Jacob and Michael were glad
to be at Filippi's

So was I as I am a repeat customer

I ate here a few years ago while attending a football coaching clinic, it was great then.

It was great again on this evening!

We even had some of Jacob's
Black Olive Pizza to bring home

We headed back to our hotel for a good night's rest before the start of GAME DAY!

Tuesday and the Harbor Breakfast Cafe
was highly recommended

It was only a ten minute walk from our hotel and was also on our way to the first of many planned activities today.

A good breakfast on

Afterwards, we continued our walk towards San Diego's harbor area with the hope of watching the scheduled 10:00 a.m. Holiday Bowl Parade.

Is that Tony Gwynn?


The things you see on the way to a parade staging area.

Darth Vadar was not mean at all

Standing on the Dock of the Bay

San Diego has a rich Mexican-
American cultural side

Someone from Halo I was told

Jacob and his Super Heroes

We had over an hour until the parade's scheduled start, it had rained and we had neither a dry place to sit nor did we want to stand for a couple of hours. Thus we decided that a walk through the staging area would be enough for us.

On to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade style blow up floats!

Garfield was ready

So was Mr. Potato Head

Elmo was face down in
the gutter

The USS Midway Aircraft Carrier
was represented

So was our Nation's Flag

Jacob wanted to get back to the hotel to get in a quick workout.

A little cardio . . .

. . . and a lot of iron pumping made
him MUCH happier!

We decided to call for a Lyft ride to take us to Balboa Park to visit the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

Jacob was ready to learn and
experience need things

A simulated Spirit of St. Louis cockpit

A Wright Brothers era plane

Cuban Pilot's Flight Pin
in pre-Revolutionary days

Add a Soviet style star and you
have the same pin after 1959

The Tuskegee Airmen of WWII

Jacob going into space

A real space capsule

Snoopy and the Red Baron

American WWI plane logos

What the?

It was WWI, years before the rise of the Nazis in Germany.

Lots and lots of classic airplanes

DON'T keep moving,
there is LOTS to see here!

It's a stubby

Nicknamed "The Peashooter"

Flying a helicopter

More American influence
on the RAF

Corsairs were good planes to
launch from an aircraft carrier

Staying calm during Japanese
Zero's strafing run
Jacob took one last turn
flying in a simulator before we
headed back to the hotel

The plan was to change into our warmer game gear and then start working our way into San Diego's Gaslamp District where Petco Park is located

Petco Park is the home of San Diego's Major League Baseball team, the Padres. The Holiday Bowl was being played here for the first and probably only time because San Digo's Jack Murphy Stadium, where all previous Holiday Bowls had taken place, had been razed in 2019 and a new football stadium won't be ready until 2022.

We were going to leave the hotel at about 1:00 p.m. to soak up the pre-game atmosphere in the Gaslamp District before the scheduled 5:00 p.m. Kickoff.

That was just about the time that Laurie sent us a message from Las Vegas . . .

What the . . .

The Bruins had Covid

The game was cancelled FOUR HOURS BEFORE KICKOFF!


Back to India Street we headed to deal with our heartache.

Jacob saw this and instantly
wanted to talk to his cousin

Jacob at the Princess Pub & Grille

What is a British pub doing in the middle of San Diego's Little Italy?

Selling us Fish and Chips and a few lamb sliders to share with a pint or two as well.

Our reaction to Michael's London based,
graphic Jack the Ripper stories

There is only one way that I know to erase these stories from a young mind.
A good, avant-garde POPSICLE!

A rare Cotton Candy flavored popsicle
with sprinkles and gummy bears

This could take awhile

Did he like it?


A cool, artsy Christmas tree
in Little Italy

We decided to ride the tram
to the Gaslamp District to
confirm that the Holiday Bowl
was truly cancelled

Maybe the rainbow was
a good omen

A deserted Petco Park

The Holiday Bowl was definitely cancelled.

What to do now?

Hmmmm . . .

A distinct possibility but no.

Another Covid-19 casualty

Good times were usually found right here back in the day but not any more.

Nope, there were few people in 
the local eateries wearing team colors

Michael did find a street vendor with
now rare $10 Holiday Bowl t-shirts

To double Michael and Jacob's misery, Vanessa informed them that their long awaited performance of Hamilton on Wednesday night had also been cancelled due to, you guessed it, Covid-19.

Because of their desire to see Hamilton, last week we had purchased tickets on the 6:01 a.m. train from San Diego to Camarillo to get Michael and Jacob back in plenty of time for the highly acclaimed play.

It was DARK when we arrived
at the Santa Fe Depot at 5:30 a.m.
on Wednesday

We were quite upbeat on the train
despite the two cancellations

One last Uno game before
arriving in Camarillo

Our two days in San Diego were still good ones despite the Holiday Bowl cancellation by the Bruins.

Meanwhile back on the EuroBall front . . .

In my recent post about sending
American football gear overseas,
I forgot to mention that the Voltors
got a whole bunch of pants

I will be doing analytics work for the Voltors when their Spanish Serie-A season starts next month.

The Europe Warriors first
Brazilian game is taking shape

The Warriors first and . . .

. . . second announced roster
additions with more to come soon

We'll need more good players like these two to compete with the Brazilian National team next March.

This game should be an AWESOME experience for everyone involved.