Some weekends are better than others…and long weekends are simply the best! This past weekend was one of the most fun times I have had yet, here in California.
On Saturday and Sunday we attended BottleRock in Napa…and it did not disappoint. Saturday’s highlights from BottleRock were clearly Death Cab For Cutie and Florence + the Machine. Death Cab was very solid, but Florence stole the evening. Her energy during the show was fabulous (while her outfit was interesting)…but she had the stamina of a distance runner with all of her running around on stage. It was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a very long time…I was impressed!
2016 BottleRock Line-up
Death Cab For Cutie
Florence + the Machine
Sunday’s highlights from BottleRock were The Lumineers and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Lumineers were very good, but the Chili Peppers were AMAZING! I can’t believe that was my first time seeing them live in concert. They had so much fun on stage and brought tons of energy (and I did lots of jumping)…I already can’t wait to go see them again.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Then something called GAME 7 happened on Monday…and I was there (thanks Grant)! What. An. Experience. Another sports bucket list item fulfilled. I wish all Monday’s were like that…and I wish the Bucks would be that good just once in my lifetime.
Steph Curry after his 3-point dagger late in the 4th quarter (it was pandemonium in the Oracle)
2016 Western Conference Champions
It was quite the weekend indeed…definitely the first taste of summer! And then reality hit today…70 minutes to get to work this morning (there were two accidents…it’s like everyone forgot how to drive over the weekend) and another 70 minutes plus on the way home…and not to mention 100 degree temperatures today as well. So while it said Tuesday, it still felt like a Monday. But the good thing is…the weekend is already only three days away…and we’ve got more things to go do and see!
Last night, Clara and I took in a stand up comedy show in Oakland (unfortunately, we didn’t see Jerry Seinfeld). I had been craving to see some stand up comedy since we stumbled upon a random show while visiting New Bohemia Brewing Company in early February. So this past week, we scoured the Internet, looking for something up and coming (i.e. affordable) in the Bay Area.
We came across, Critical Hit! Stand Up Comedy Show…and it fulfilled all of our requirements. When you advertise your show for $5 admission, free pizza and candy, and BYOB…how can you go wrong?! The guy that sat next to us actually brought in a full bottle of Bulleit Bourbon…and put quite the dent in it during the show! As for the location of the show, it took place in a games and hobbies store named It’s Your Move. Quite interesting indeed, but it worked very well.
Outside of all the Nazi references early on…there just happened to be an attendee in the audience who claimed to have lost a close family member (a mother?) during The Holocaust (yeah, that was an awkward moment when the individual spoke up about it…and yet that individual stayed for the entire show…even more strange), it was a great show and an even greater find for only five bucks! I would definitely go back again as the comics were all very good and had a great variety of jokes.
Now, a little bit about the comics themselves…
And the headliner…
All, very funny comics…but none, as good as this guy!
I just can’t stop watching these Rayovac commercials…
One of the neat things about living in California is that your hometown teams (the teams you grew up rooting for…and still avidly follow and cheer for) come and visit once in awhile. This past weekend, it worked out to perfection…the Bucks played the Warriors on Friday night and the Packers played the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. We now have officially checked off the “Oakland Double” on the list of things to do in the Bay Area.
To put into perspective…Oracle Arena (right) and O.co Coliseum are neighbors that share parking lots.
Bucks vs Warriors
Not a bad seat in the house.
We took BART to the game, and due to the rain, we went straight into the game instead of checking out nearby bars for our pregame. Oracle Arena opened at 6pm and we got the opportunity to explore everything the arena had to offer…as the game was still 90 minutes from tip-off. We witnessed something, that if you ever get the chance, you absolutely must do…watch Steph Curry’s pregame warm-up. I’m not sure what Michael Jordan’s warm-up included back in the day, but Curry’s is simply amazing and fun to watch…including this shot.
As for the game itself, it was quite possibly the best regular season NBA game I have ever attended. Watching a game at Oracle is fabulous…as the arena reminds me a little bit of The Kohl Center in terms of layout. The fans are super into the game and the arena gets really loud (something you don’t often experience at the Bradley Center)…and you get to stand up A LOT (something I love). The Bucks played their hearts out (please play like this all the time), but fell short in the 4th quarter, when none other than Steph Curry, took control of things. Clara and I were two of just a handful of Bucks fans at the game, but we represented, and we’re treated very cordially by the Warrior fans. As for Draymond Green, he’s still the same whiny little bitch that he was at Michigan State…grow up!
2-0 vs the Warriors would have been amazing…but the Bucks are still the only blemish on Golden State’s record.
Packers vs Raiders
Great seats…I could watch all Packer games like this (home and road).
Thank you Grant for the tickets! Who would have thought that Mike Tice (yes, him) would one day be our connection to getting Packers tickets (in Oakland). Well, thank you sir! With our tickets in hand, we set out early to enjoy the full Wisconsin tailgate experience…cheese, brats, and cold Miller Lite. Of course, it started to rain during the tailgate and into most of the game…as I’m now 0 for 2 in terms of nice weather for Packer games (I’ve attended) this season.
As for the game, it was nice to see lots of Green and Gold (Lambeau West?)…and the GO PACK GO chant late in the game, made me smile. Our seats were wonderful (players section), and we even had another Packer fan next to us (they’re everywhere). The Packers once again struggled offensively and at times it was really hard to watch the futility of the offense, but it was nice to see another win…and it was nice to leave O.co Coliseum in one piece (thankfully we weren’t anywhere near The Black Hole). This was my second time at O.co as I took in an A’s vs Dodgers game there last summer…and it truly makes you appreciate Lambeau Field even more when you attend a game at an out-dated facility like O.co.
Grant dressed like a Raiders fan, but didn’t hold back when the GO PACK GO chants started.
All in all, a very successful Oakland Double…a sweep would have been awesome (and almost un-thinkable as the Bucks were 19.5 underdogs), but the Packers probably needed to win the most. I can’t wait to do it again sometime…and I’m still holding out hope for Super Bowl L (because you never know) as the Packers are officially in the playoffs.
Or should I say…Happy Th4nksgiving! May your day be filled with lots of family, food, football, and Favre…lots and lots of Favre! Like John Madden slobbering levels of Favre…one has to wonder if Madden (or Frank Caliendo) will be at the retirement ceremony and in the booth…please make this happen NBC.
Gobble, gobble, gobble…
Here’s hoping the Packers pull out the win (they better…as they’re playing against, arguably, the 4th greatest QB in Packers history) and all can finally be 4given with Brett…as it is time to put the past in the past (and make Favre 4ever). I really can’t wait to see Bart Starr back at Lambeau Field either…it is bound to be a special evening and I wish I could be there to witness this in person (I want pictures, Rau). Instead, my DVR is all set to record the three greatest quarterbacks in Packers history, on the same field, one final time.
If you saw the commercials put together by the PGA Tour a couple of years back, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Yesterday, Clara and I went to the Fry’s.com Open at Silverado CC (North Course) in Napa to be reminded (again) just how good these guys are. Let’s just say…they didn’t disappoint.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy watching live golf…especially when it is at a smaller venue with way less people. I’ve often said, I’d rather watch golf at (the former) U.S. Bank Championship at Brown Deer Park versus the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching a Major Championship in person, but there is something to be said about the intimacy at the smaller tournaments that you don’t often get at a Major venue (unless you’re the shotgun microphone guy…more on that later). Also, having played the North Course a few times (it pays to have connections), I know my way around just enough to avoid the crowds and see some of the best shot making on the course.
Today, is the final round of the Jackass Open at Whistling Straits (Irish Course) with my friends back home. Obviously, I won’t be able to make it (as tee times are in less than an hour), but it was nice to golf with (okay, watch) one of the best players on the planet yesterday…Rory McIlroy. It kind of made up for missing the JAO…just a bit. While McIlroy wasn’t on top of his game yesterday, it was very cool to see the world’s former #1 (depends on the week these days) play…up close and personal. We almost saw a hole-in-one too…by his playing partner, Adam Hadwin…he almost had one¡ Somehow, that shot didn’t make the third round highlights package or this one…nice work PGA (I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it).
The best part of the day, was the hook-up we got from our friend Erin…18th hole skybox passes! With these passes, we had all the food and drink you could imagine…for free! Oh, and great views of the 18th green, of course.
Rory and his caddie on 18 from the skybox.
Rory striking his pose of the day on 18.
Rory eyeing up another missed putt.
Rory on 11 waiting to tee off.
It truly was a great day of golf! I can’t wait to go check out Pebble Beach in February for the AT&T Pro-Am (talk about a checklist item). Now, can someone please tell me how I can get this job…
Sorry, not the greatest picture.
It seriously looks like the best job on the course. If you know, please drop me a line. Thanks!
Was a major SUCCESS (dare I say it was the best ever, but then again…I’m biased)! Thank you to all my friends and family for helping me pull off the greatest Wisconsin football weekend (plus golf!). This was the first time in my life that I was able to attend a Badgers and Packers game on the same weekend (the Monday night game really helped with this…Sunday would have been tough AND rough). It just won’t be the same watching the Badgers and Packers from afar for the rest of the football season…so I’ll just keep that February 7th date open here in California for all you Packer fans (book now!).
Here’s a quick recap of the Badgers and Packers games and festivities.
Saturday…We golfed at Ironwood thanks to Greg’s connections…I shot your everyday 50 on the front nine and 39 (best ever) on the back nine (by the way Greg, I’m not sure we did all SIX shots for your birdies that day). Drove to Madison for lunch/dinner (linner?) at Blue Moon. Pregame CaptainS at Bucks(inghams)…no lip gloss (I’m disappointed)! Regent Street Liquor (hopefully someday Camp Randall will sell beer and this stop won’t be necessary). Jump Around! Badgers win 28-0 (thanks again for the seats Mike)! Postgame celebrations at Mondays (really?) and Whiskey Jacks. And who could forget, Greg’s $98 Uber to McDonalds (why did La Bambas have to be closed).
Monday…Tailgated on Potts Avenue (otherwise known as Puddy Pass…I mean McCarthy Way) in the rain (Brian Gotter really blew that forecast…and twice he tried to crash our weekend). Outdoor club seats on the 50-yard line (thanks again Greg). Halftime on the rooftop. Unfortunately, we couldn’t celebrate the Packers win (38-28) due to work and flights the next day…but Ryan did crack the code (no more waiting in traffic after Packer games…we’ve found the secret route).
Go Pack Go!
Best seat in the house
Again, just a tremendous weekend…I got to see family and friends and I was able enjoy all the things I miss most about Wisconsin. Thank you all for making this happen and we’ll see everyone again in 2016…unless any of you are planning any trips out West (come on, you know you want to).
Okay California, the ball is now in your court. What do you got?
NIGHT! Camp Randall. Guys Weekend 12. The first night game since Utah State in 2012 (#unbielemable). I wish there was more on the line (really, Hawaii?)…like this memorable game versus #1 Ohio State in 2010…possibly the earliest we have ever been into a Badger game (we just knew Ohio State was going down that night). Either way, I can’t wait to see the Badgers under the lights, a little Jump Around, and then a whole lot of State Street. Throw in the Packers game (thanks Greg) on Monday night and it is a gonna be the most epic Wisconsin sports weekend. I can’t wait to take it all in! I’ve got goosebumps.
When you’re having fun. We say it all the time. The adage held true again as Clara and I had our first visitors…my parents. While my parents stay was brief, we were able to accomplish a lot and hopefully they were able to see as much of our California life as possible. Here are some highlights…
On Saturday, after picking up my parents from the airport, we decided to head to the coast…Half Moon Bay. This excursion didn’t prove to be very successful. The drive to Half Moon Bay was extremely slow (and that’s putting it nicely)! Apparently, everyone likes to go to Half Moon Bay on the weekends. Once in Half Moon Bay, let’s just say the weather wasn’t great…overcast with temperatures in the high 60’s/low 70’s, my parents must have been wondering what was so special about this place. We did, however, find a nice place to eat lunch…the San Benito Ale House had a nice beer menu and the fish and chips were great.
Saturday evening we decided to hit up a nice restaurant (my mom wanted to dress up) in our neck of the woods…the Oasis Grille & Wine Lounge in Pleasanton. When I saw the statement…Mediterranean cuisine with a modern flair…I probably should not have ordered the filet mignon kabobs, but I did anyway. To put it nicely, the food was interesting. Thankfully, we brought some of our favorite wines with us and were able to wash away some of those interesting tastes.
On Sunday (after watching Jordy Nelson tear his ACL), we decided to drown our sorrows by checking out a few wineries. My dad felt right at home when we found 3 Steves Winery on our drive through Livermore. He took to the wine so much that he even purchased a hat to go with the wine (he also now knows how to wear that hat correctly). After 3 Steves, we hit up Wente Vineyards for a full glass of wine and enjoyed a pizza appetizer. Even after all the wine tasting, it didn’t help with the revelation that Jordy would be lost for the season (I guess I won’t be wearing my Nelson jersey around California this year).
Soon to be 4 Steves Winery?
Monday morning, with Clara at work, I took my parents to the San Francisco Premium Outlets and to In-N-Out Burger for lunch (their first In-N-Out experience). In the afternoon, my dad and I hit up Poppy Ridge Golf Course for 18 holes. We found Poppy Ridge on Sunday, almost by accident, when were driving around Livermore looking for wineries, but I’m glad we found it. Poppy Ridge is a very nice course and it is super close to our place. The course has three nines (Zinfandel, Merlot, and Chardonnay) with an amazing backdrop set in Wine Country…and many different elevation changes from hole to hole. Considering how dry it is in California, the course was in very good shape. And Monday evening, we had one final dinner together at Sauced BBQ & Spirits, that wrapped up my parents stay very nicely.
The time sure went fast (and it was very fun), and we look forward to my parents next visit…and the visit from some more Wisconsinites as soon as possible. So, get those flights booked…Clara and I promise to show you a good time!
In my quest to attend a baseball game at every Major League ballpark, I was able to check another park off the list today. I went to O.co Coliseum (it’s been called so many different names through the years) to take in some afternoon baseball between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Dodgers (some would say it was Dodger Stadium North with all the Dodger fans in attendance today). To say the least, O.co was a very interesting stadium…especially when you could still see the yard lines from last Friday night’s Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams football game…and the fact that almost the entire third deck is covered with tarp. There was nothing special at the ballpark in terms of food or beer either (except high priced premium beers), but overall it was a pretty decent experience (and an easy BART to the game). The ballpark has a very intimate feel as it only seats around 35,000 for baseball games (56,000 for football). There really wasn’t a bad seat in the house and I was able to sit in a lot of different areas without any hassling from the ushers (that will happen when your team has the worst record in the AL…even the ushers have given up). So as of today, I have been to the following Major League ballparks (only 20 to go¡):
I’m not sure what my fascination is with Major League ballparks (or any athletic facility to be honest), but I just love checking out and experiencing games in different cities. From the looks of my list, I guess I have a little catching up to do in regards to American League ballparks, but that could make for a great road trip sometime in the near future.
Nothing like a little matinee baseball to make the week go by faster (or to at least give me something to do). And as luck would have it, the Milwaukee Brewers just happened to be visiting San Francisco for their lone trip to AT&T Park this season (talk about great timing). With temperatures projected to reach triple digits in Pleasanton, yesterday seemed like a great day to venture into The City and see some afternoon baseball…even though I would have to do this solo, as Clara would have to work (hey, it still is the SOH 13).
I arrived to the stadium well before the opening pitch. So early, that the gates weren’t even open yet. So I wandered around the outside of the stadium taking in all of the monuments and plaques (interesting all the Barry Bonds love, I guess cheaters can prosper), tried to imagine what it would be like to win three World Series titles in the last five years as the Giants have (could Milwaukee or our livers survive even one World Series title), and took many (many) pictures for groups of fans (not sure why they would ask the guy in the Brewers shirt to take their picture, but I did…even if some of them barely spoke English).
Once inside, I was hoping to catch some batting practice…no such luck. With it being a day game, the players were forced to take BP in the cages under the stadium. So instead of watching the players hit, I was stuck watching the Brewers pitching staff go through their warm-ups. While definitely not as exciting as BP, watching MLB players warm-up by playing catch (just like we did as kids growing up) still is cool to watch. All I could think of at that point, was how lucky these guys are to play baseball for a living. It just can’t feel like a job…can it? No way.
Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse (bomb) playing a little pitch and catch.
Once the game started, there were limited Brewers highlights. Outside of a couple of nice grabs by Carlos Gomez (is he/was he traded?) and another two-hit day by Gerardo Parra (will he be traded?), the Brewers failed to generate much excitement for the 50-100 of us Brewers fans that were in attendance. And by the time the wheels were starting to fall off for the Brewers in the 7th inning, I realized I could never (ever) be a Giants fan. The Giants fans were starting to remind me of Chicago Cubs fans…you know, the kind that stand up and get excited for easy fly balls caught in the outfield (not even warning track power).
So as any veteran sports fan would do when you see your team is down by a number that looks insurmountable (and you are in enemy territory to boot)…I headed to the bar. And why wouldn’t I, 21st Amendment is right up the street. It also was happy hour.
So what did I learn yesterday…I can watch the Brewers lose anywhere this year (I’ve now seen it in person at home and on the road…probably the last game I’ll see all year too), Miller Park is still way better than AT&T Park (this was my second experience at AT&T, and while I like it…I’m just not a fan of their standing room only policies, really high beer prices, and no secret stadium sauce), and I will never, ever be a Giants fan (the Brewers are probably gonna be bad for some time, but they are still my Brewers). One last add, I need to remember to pack some sunscreen next time…burnt forehead, not good!
Today marks the official kick-off to the NFL season for me. Today is the Green Bay Packers Shareholders Meeting. While I am disappointed that I will not be able to attend the meeting in person (you have no idea how much it pains me to miss this event)…you better believe that I will be streaming the meeting on my computer. Mike and Ryan, you guys better be doing the same, since you have decided not to make the trek to Green Bay (sorry I had to break up our streak…I really could have gone for a steak sandwich at the Courthouse Pub along with the multiple refreshment stops along the way). So start airing your grievances and let the season begin! Super Bowl L here we come (conveniently located in Santa Clara, California…it’s got to be fate)! GO PACK GO!!!
No, it’s REALLY happening! The cars got loaded up today and we shall see them again on July 30th…that’s right, TWO weeks from today we will get them out in California. I don’t want to know what happens with our vehicles between now and then, but just get them to California in one piece please!
The house got packed up today as well (tomorrow everything gets loaded up in a truck). Three gentlemen (in between several smoke breaks) completed this task in around six hours…they really had things down to a system. I had no idea that our stuff would fit into so many boxes. I’m just glad I didn’t have to do all of that packing, but I was informed that I will have to do all the unpacking…which I’m already dreading. Meanwhile, our cat Ari is loving his new jungle gym…jumping around from box to box. Speaking of Ari, tomorrow is his big day…as he will be flying with us on the airplane. Doesn’t this look like the most comfortable seat…for 6-8 hours!
We are hoping Ari will be a trooper and will have no problems getting to the airport, getting checked in at the airport, flying 4 hours from MKE to SFO, the craziness of baggage claim, the fun of getting our rental car, and finally driving to our temporary housing…this is GUARANTEED to be QUITE the interesting experience.
And now, here I am…sitting on my couch, staring at my 52-inch high definition television that is in it’s box.
All I can do is ponder the last couple of days/weeks…it is has been quite the whirlwind. Thank you everyone for all the kind words, thoughts, and positive vibes. We appreciate all of your friendships and you will all be missed. Special thanks to my mom and sister for going out with Clara and I one final time this evening. It was great and we will certainly miss you guys the most.
And with that…I am going to enjoy one final beer (or two) at 245 Pine Street. Cheers all!
Update: The moving semi has arrived and the loading has begun.
It was a good day (cue Ice Cube)! Yesterday I had the opportunity to have one final breakfast with the Assholes + Carla (the Assholes know who they are). This group of misfits (myself included) have a very special bond and I am going to miss working and hanging out with each of them. I can only hope that in my next job, I will be lucky enough to have colleagues just like them. I’m going to miss the Seinfeld-type banter that this group has, but I’m sure I’ll keep in touch as our group text messages are a LOGICAL sounding board when you need an escape from reality.
After breakfast I was lucky enough to get in one final round of golfing with my dad. I’m going to miss being able to get a round of golf in with my dad (plus Ken sometimes) during the summer months. It was the perfect day yesterday, the weather cooperated, the slower group let us play through, and I had the ball rolling for a bit on the front nine. So while we won’t be able to golf together as much, I’ll definitely cherish the rounds we had together, and maybe I could even be convinced to do a fishing trip to Canada in the future…we shall see. Either way, it may be time for my dad to invest in a golf travel bag (or borrow Uncle Jim’s) so that we can play some rounds in California…during the winter months. FORE!
To conclude the day, Clara and I had dinner with J Hawley. It was nice to catch up and talk Badgers and Packers. John and I have known each other for almost 20 years, as we met after…I allowed occupants in my vehicle to fire missiles at another moving vehicle. During that time, John has seen me grow up (a little, I hope) and it’s nice to continue our friendship even when our lives become busy and we sometimes drift apart. Hopefully we can get together sooner rather than later in California…or at the nearest Badgers or Packers event.
I got to say, today (yesterday…sorry, I watched the Home Run Derby last night) was a good day!
More: Thanks for the Reese’s Carla…they are going fast and probably won’t make it to California.
And what a weekend it was! From golfing Friday afternoon to steaks at Five O’Clock Steakhouse to bar dice at the Country Club to fist pumping/shoulder shrugging at Joe-Cat’s…it was awesome and everything I could have asked for in my last stand…MKE style. Thanks fellas!
Saturday was just as perfect as we got the opportunity to throw one last bash at our house. Thanks to all of our family and friends that attended…it means so much to us, and we are so thankful that we have each and every one of you in our lives. Please stay in touch and please make sure you come and visit us in California.
It is all starting to get real now, as these are our final days in Wisconsin (our flight leaves Friday evening). The emotions are starting to get real too as we say our goodbyes. It’s gonna be a tough week ahead, but thanks again for sending us off in style for our final weekend in Wisconsin…until September.
The Milwaukee Brewers are the hottest team in baseball! Yes, your Milwaukee Brewers have won 8 straight games overall (also won 9 of last 11 games) and just finished up a 7-0 road trip sweep with 99 total hits. That 7-0 road trip was just the 2nd in franchise history (the other was in 2008). During the 7-0 road swing, the Brewers had hit totals of 16, 10, 17, 16, 16, 11, and 13…and raised their team batting average from .238 to .250!
While Ryan Braun has been quoted as saying the Brewers are still fighting for the 2nd Wild Card spot (Milwaukee is currently 10 games back), it is time to start making some trades…and soon, while the kettle is red hot. The Brewers need to do all that they can to replenish their farm system that was ravaged by playoff runs in 2008 and 2011. We all knew the 2015 Brewers team were not as bad as their record indicated, but it is probably too little, too late for Milwaukee to salvage anything out of this season. So, here’s hoping the Crew wins 4 more games and we can all get some free burgers at George Webb, and then start trading assets to become a contender in the near rather than distant future.
Speaking of contenders, how did Japan make the women’s World Cup final? In just 16 minutes of play, the game was already over, as Carli Lloyd had scored a hat trick and the US staked a 4-0 lead. It was a stunning turn of events in a game featuring the world’s top two teams, but it was great to see the US get back on top after a 16 year drought. USA! USA! USA!
Happy 4th of July! Enjoy your day and try to eat as many hot dogs as THIS GUY. Seriously, I dare you to eat just 6 dogs, or 8, or 10…I’m sure you won’t regret it. And if you accomplish this feat, let me know how things are tomorrow…I’m sure you’ll have your own fireworks to contend with. ‘Merica…gotta love it (f*ck yeah)!