Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Long Drive Home After the PAC-12 Championship Game of American Football

Saturday, December 3, 2016:

After saying our goodbyes at our hotel to the Johnson family in the morning, we started the journey home.

We had one more stop to make in the greater Bay Area in the Silicon Valley suburb city of Gilroy.

The old Gilroy City Hall

 The City's Founding Father
John Cameron Gilroy
circa 1854

Shaking Hands

The reason for the stop in Gilroy was to get together with family, in this case, Mike's cousins Lyndsey Hicks and Sara Tidwell, plus Sara's lovable husband John.

John loves food, thus he is lovable in my book.

He suggested that we all go to a local's restaurant in Gilroy's historic old downtown district called OD's Kitchen.

 Just ordered our food

The OD in OD's Kitchen must
stand for Over Dose

Holy Mother of God!

I'm back in portion-crazy America.

It was excellent I must admit, but sharing a meal with family was even better.

L. to R.: George, Mike, Sara,
Lyndsey and John

 Gilroy Mural Artwork

I liked the Train Mural on the
side the cafe across the street too

Back on the road . . .

Bear crossing on the 101 Freeway
near San Luis Obispo

It made me wonder how the Osos Rivas Juniors did today against the Majadahonda Wildcats in a battle of undefeated clubs.

I was able to keep driving until we got to the Rest Stop at Gaviota Pass. At this point I tapped out and Mike drove the final 90 minutes to our house in Camarillo while I slept.

Once home, I revived, but lasted for only an hour maximum before Jet Lag completely kicked my butt.

The next thing I knew, it was Sunday morning.

Still, a great first two days back in California!

PAC-12 American Football Championship Game

Friday, December 2, 2016:

Jet lag could simply not be an issue today, it was a HUSKY GAME DAY of magnitude proportions!

The PAC-12 Championship
was on the line!

At the very worst, a win would put the Dawgs into the Rose Bowl. A good, solid win could put us into the four team College Football Playoff picture.

We entered the final weekend of the 2016 season before bowl and playoff pairings were to be announced ranked #4 behind, in order, Alabama (12-0), Ohio State (11-1) and Clemson (11-1).

Even if we were to win, many thought that it may not be enough to get us into the playoffs. Only a win and the wait for this coming Sunday's bowl assignments would tell the final tale.

The game was being played at a neutral site, Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the new, state-of-the-art home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.

Since Santa Clara is located about a five hour drive north of our home in Camarillo, our son Mike and I were up early and out the door by 7:00 a.m. to start our game day trek.

I felt strong, so I drove the car northward.

Breakfast stop in San Luis Obispo
 at the Splash Cafe

Breakfast is your most important meal of the day you know.

We arrived at our Wyndham Hotel in San Jose easily and met up with the Johnson family, Mark, Susie, Sophie and Mallory.

The Johnson's are also rabid Husky fans.

But first, we needed sustenance . . .

Nice Grill Work

One Hungry Husky

A random Husky fan
with great goat leggings

Early Trump supporter?

George, Mark, Susie, Sophie,
and Mallory about to enjoy a great BBQ
in San Jose with Mike taking the photo

Tailgating with Mike and Mark

The tailgaters next to us
were doing face paintings

 Mike succumbed to peer pressure
from the ladies

This is definitely way out of Mike's health comfort zone.

We were ready and raring to go!

Family bonding

I really wish that our son Andy could have made the trip from Las Vegas for the game.

The Johnsons in front of
Levi's Stadium

 Although Levi's Stadium was
awesome, it did have
one obvious drawback . . .

 . . . it was the home of the 49ers

Crazy Colorado Buffaloes fans

Just as crazy Washington Huskies fans

Mike with the
Colorado Super Heroine

Mike with the Union 76 ball 

Mike will pose for a photo with just about anyone.

First view of the field

The attendance at the game was declared to be 47,118.

Levi's Stadium has a seating capacity of 68,500. 

Looking good from the end zone

ONE churro for $5.50 USD?

Levi's Stadium engaging in highway robbery.

Colorado Band
Pre-Game Performance 


 Opening Kickoff

At the end of the First Quarter it was a 7-7 tie.

In the exclusive Club Lounge

Mark Johnson has connections and, as it turns out, we have Mark Johnson. 

Getting close to the action 

Real close


With Mark Johnson

Mark is one of my oldest and dearest friends.

Two old Huskies wandering
about Levi's Stadium

At Half Time, the Huskies were leading 14-7 in a bit of a sluggish performance by both clubs.

With Mike D'Antuono and Paul Sabolic

We hooked up with these two Husky greats at halftime and sat with them during the Third Quarter.

Two more of my oldest and dearest friends. It was great to catch up with them and their families.

The Third Quarter was a great one for the Huskies as we scored the first 17 points of the Second Half. At the end of three periods of play, it was Washington 31 - Colorado 10.

Game Over!

Let the Celebration Begin!

Purple W Reflection

The Huskies are the 2016
PAC-12 Champions

The Huskies were dominant, having a large lead in Total Offense over the Buffaloes 383 yards to 163 yards.

My biggest concern going into the bowl/playoff system was the play of record setting Washington QB Jake Browning on this chilly night.

He only completed nine of his 24 pass attempts for a modest 118 yards and two TDs with no interceptions.

If we do face Alabama in the playoff semi-finals at Atlanta's Georgia Dome in the Peach Bowl game on December 31st as expected, that stat line just will not do.

Nevertheless, on this day as always, I was . . .


Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Loooooong Day Traveling Home to California

Thursday, 1 December, 2016:

Before we talk about today's adventures in
air travel,  let's take a quick look back to Wednesday night's Osos Rivas practices as I was in a hurry to finish yesterday's blog post before going to sleep in the wee hours of the morning.

Juniors working on their
Stances and . . .

. . . Starts

Discussing the finer point of . . .

 . . . Fold Block

I am already starting to miss the entire Stings and Osos families.

As stated earlier, today was going to be a long day.

Our first flight from Madrid
for our journey home to Camarillo
left at 7:40 a.m.

This meant a 4:00 a.m. wake up call at La Casa Grande followed by a 5:00 a.m. departure in the Land Rover chauffeured by Osos Rivas Head Coach Jesús Sánchez.

There was no traffic at this hour, thus we arrived at Madrid's Barajas Airport at 5:30 a.m.

Check-in was easy as we were the only ones in line at the Lufthansa ticket counter. We did suffer a slight delay at the Security check point but it only amounted to about a six minute delay.

At our boarding gate for the flight
to Munich in plenty of time

Boarding in the dark

Sunrise over España

 Over the Alps

We arrived in Munich with plenty of time to spare from our two hour and 30 minute flight.

Now for the hard part . . .

The 11 hour and 35 minute
flight to Los Angeles

They were ready at the gate

We were ready too



We touched down at LAX about 20 hours after first awakening on this long day spent chasing the Sun.

Our friends Brian and Koreen FitzGerald were there to greet us and drive us home . . . GRACIAS!

Koreen survived battling the typical Los Angele traffic jams at this hour in getting us home safe and sound.

About an hour after dropping us off at Casa Contreras, Our son Mike and his bride Vanessa brought their two kids over to see us. Both Mary and Jacob seemed much bigger and more well spoken than I remembered them.

Jacob is now an Atlético fan

Looking good in a boina hat

Two more team sign additions
had arrived in my absence

I may need a bigger wall.

They both looked GREAT!

Our football adventures continue as Mike and I will make the five hour drive to Santa Clara on Friday night to watch the PAC-12 Championship game between 10-1 Washington and 10-2 Colorado.

It should be fun.

Go Dawgs GO!