Posts Tagged With: football

The Raiders just keep on giving…

Since the Raiders lost during my “birthday” game (seen in “A day in silver and black”) it was felt to attend one more in high hopes for them to redeem themselves. Before I even try to drag this post out, let me just lay it out there. We got demolished. I mean, they generously sacrificed yet another win to allow the visiting team to feel welcome. I just can’t get over how unselfish the Oakland Raiders truly are!

Let’s make this post quick, fun and painless.

Instead of driving, Hayden and I decided to take the route that required no wheels. The first transfer required light rail, a regional transit system, from our home town of Folsom to the main Sacramento train station. Once arriving there, we hopped over to Amtrak that would take all the way to the Oakland colesium!

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Finally arriving to Oakland, we exited the tracks to cross a bridge before entering the sea of black and silver. Tailgaters are already in motion on this side of the gates! Can you spot the flag being carried under us?

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Trucks, food, friends and reunions. Yes please!

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Here are two sets of “last game/this game” photos.

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Football time! Today the Raiders are playing/donating a win to the Denver Broncos.

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Well look here… A foreign color sitting right next to me. Clearly he didn’t get the silver and black memo. Ooh, game on buddy!

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Lucky for Tom, his mustache and fun conversation made up for his choice of team.

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Here’s the last photo I took of the charitable event before we decided to beat the crowds back home.

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So when I say “beat the crowds”, what I meant was join the herd of like-minded fans.

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Waiting for the train… Game over.

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A day in silver and black

NFL- the National Football League is a North American sport that will be defined in many different ways depending on who you ask.

For example, the average American might say, “It’s a full contact game with 4 exciting quarters, a half time show and the best fans ever”!
Someone less enthusiastic might claim it to be a “4 Hour commercial, with some occasional football in between”. (That is unless they have the NFL red zone ticket). A diehard rugby player could accuse it of being “An over padded, handball game with too much structure and unnecessary penalties”.

For the most part, it’s generally an event that gives people another wonderful reason to gather on a Sunday to enjoy food, drinks while sharing the support (and hassling others) for the their favorite team. Although I don’t base my entire social schedule around this league, I do consider myself a fan.

Which team do I root for you may wonder? Well, non other than the Oakland Raiders! As of now, they are currently 0-5.
If you’re unfamiliar with the meaning of those numbers, let me explain:
Zero times have they selfishly taken a victory for themselves… which means they have kindly donated 5 wins to other teams in order to divi out the prosperity. Sharing is caring.

That is why I am such a loyal fan of this generous team (to be said in a sarcastic voice ending with the tone of a question. You may also vision it with a head tilt and one eyebrow raise).

Moving on. It used to be a tradition that my mom and I would go to one game a season. Since she now lives on the other coast and I, well you know, it’s been a few seasons since I have gotten to enjoy it live.

Flashback collage with my fabulous mom!

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Compliments of my dear pal Hayden (thanks for the early birthday present) I got to go! Ride along as I share with you the experience of a NFL game.

Alarm clock: 4:45am. Depart at 6:00 to meet with friends for the 6:30 carpool. Below, is a series of photos from the sun rising to the opening of the gates at 8:00am.

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Without exaggerating, I took the next set as we were parking and snapped the second picture when I got out of the truck. Please notice the sign in the back to prove this is the same angle, just seconds a part. These people mean business!

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Parked, unloaded and set up (in less than 60 seconds). Now we’re ready for the well known act of “tailgating” – An outdoor party or picnic, typically in the parking lot of a sports stadium. Served on the tailgates of trucks, station wagons and any other vehicle that can be sat on or in front of.

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If you take a minute (or an hour in my case) to walk around, you’ll get to see the many unique sights the parking-lot gathering has to offer.

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Yes, pictured below is a DJ mixer inside of a barbecue.

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This popular tailgater brings a supply of beer, liquor, shooters and food to generously offer to all fans for free. A drink and a burger? Jell-O shot and some nachos? Sure! He accepts donations to support this routine, but if you don’t have a few bucks, cheers till next time!

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More grub, friends and… the game hasn’t even started yet!

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I planned on “a” handstand shot, but with friends like mine… It turned into 4! Thank you Kate, JC and Hayden for the photo suggestions!

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The kickoff is nearing so we wrapped up the grill and headed in.

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After being guided in a structured, slow manner (ha ha ha) we made it into the stadium. This is when that sensation rolls over you that I explained in the post called cricket… not the insect.

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The photos say it all. Here is just a glimpse of the view that consumes the day.

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Our team was on the 10 yard line ready to score (fingers crossed). I sat back and waited for the touchdown so I could capture the crowds response… Success!

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Final score was 28-31. The Raiders so graciously followed their pattern by granting the opposing team a win. I had no idea I was a fan of such a generous team.

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“This girl is on fire!” (to be sang like Alicia Keys)

On my way from Asia back to the United States, I made a pit stop in Japan for some family time and to also gather the rest of my belongings. My dear cousin Brandon, who is stationed in the Navy there, let me stash some bags there until my return. Thanks pal!

Most of my previous experiences in this unique country you can read about in other posts. Some of the popular ones are “You know you’re in Japan when…” and Buddha, when we went to visit the 2nd largest Buddha statue in Japan.
For this one, I’m going to wrap up a few random events that leaves me still smiling about a country I wouldn’t want to live in, but don’t want to live without.

First up is my welcome back buffet. It’s becoming tradition that with each visit, we choose a night in which we hit the local store, grab several random items that look good and/or questionable. Here’s a snap shot from last years spread in “Snacks, Japan style”.

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This year we did just fine after wandering the aisles with confusing character writing and giggling store clerks. If you’ve ever been here, you can vouch that a grumpy employee of any customer service industry is rarely seen. They are typically overly eager to help you and smile while they chant something in Japanese (that I still don’t understand). No matter what mood you walk in with, you generally leave feeling the uncontrollable urge to skip to your car. Back to the snacks…here’s our dinner!

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Fun fact: In Japan, “Sunday Funday Football” starts extremely early on Monday morning. I thought I’d give it try and see if any of the local channels would air it. To my surprise there were some enthusiastic hosts describing the highlights!

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For the halftime show, women’s bowling! How do you not smile when you see this?

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Ok, let’s move on to a night out on the town where I get to introduce a new friend. Originally from California, Craigg is also serving in the Navy at the same base as Brandon. Don’t let his easy going attitude fool you, this relaxed guy not only has an abundance of energy, but a sharp witted sense of humor to match. These two boys in the same room will leave your cheeks aching and mind stimulated (and probably slightly confused).

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After our train ride to the city, we laughed the evening away while making random pit stops in the vibrant streets. On this handstand shot, I was more impressed that Brandon captured it on the first try over the fact that my feet didn’t come in contact with any innocent bystanders. For more detail of this specific area, check out the post called “Wait, it’s not Halloween yet…is it?”

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The next and final event was a extraordinary surprise from my moms dear friend Rome. To this day my mom still speaks of the fond memories she created while working with him. On this day, I was lucky enough to be treated like royalty at an Alicia Keys concert right here in Yokohama!

Me and Rome before the show.

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My date to this international opportunity? Only the perfect partner in small crime, Craigg! We had no idea where the seats were, so we just handed the Japanese written card to the guard and followed their finger pointing directions. A few security men later we were finally led to a roped off area on the floor. What? No way! We were in prime seats, three rows from the stage!

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Let the show begin!

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These employees were clearly not enjoying the show.

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…but I was! “Everybody put your phones in the air!” (For those of you under 20 years old, this used to be an arena full of lighters in the sky).

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*Thank you Craigg for bringing your phone to get the pictures from above!

After the show, we dodged the ropes and shined our V.I.P passes to get backstage. What do you find behind then scenes when the curtain drops? Exhausted musicians, random snacks, a variety of drinks and a bundle of hard working crew members. For obvious reasons he didn’t snap any photos in this area.

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Rome, you’ve raised the bar once again. Many thanks and warm hugs!

Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beach fun, good food and football…the American kind!

I’ll go ahead and admit to you now, this trip to Greece was not to explore ancient history or keep myself busy with guideed tours. I traveled here to see a new culture while visiting my dear friend Florian and of course try the food!

I’m hungry at the moment, so I’m going to begin with the edibles! My favorite thing about Cretan food? The abundance of organic, real and raw veggies. The restaurants are locally owned and operated and most ingredients are gathered right in their backyard!
Not so favorite fact… the lack of spice! “Hot” to them, means there is black pepper on the table.

Typically, you’ll get complimentary bread and butter before every meal and after, they bring you fruit aside a bit of Raki. Also known as Tsikoudia, this strong distilled spirit contains approximately 37 percent alcohol and is produced from the must-residue of the wine-press. I was told that Cretans are often disappointed when they travel abroad and these two customs are not delivered.

Our fancy meal of the trip was sword fish, stuffed mushrooms and greens. Followed of course, by the complimentary dessert and drink. Sorry, we devoured the delicious mushrooms before I took this photo.

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This italian restaurant claimed to have fresh pizza from a wood burning stove. Turns out they were advertising the truth! Here’s the afternoon delivery of fresh wood, followed by the pizza that the boys ordered.

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For this lunch stop, Hayden went for crougette balls (fried zucchini) and a typical cheese dish.
I thought I’d branch out and order the “special salad” (that was the actual name of it on the menu) and the only special thing to me was the 1/2 cup of mayonnaise in the middle. Why is this necessary and what we’re they thinking?!

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Hamburger and fries? Yes he did!

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A morning market treat for me was pomegranate and Greek yogurt. I added lime juice to make it into a dressing for my carrot, cucumber and mushroom salad. Top it with crushed almonds and viola, a scrumptious breakfast!

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Lets head to the beach! On this specific shore, you’ll find clear shallow water with fine sand to kiss your feet. I really don’t need to describe much else, as the photos say it all. Florian took time of his busy schedule to show us around the water. What a wonderful way to spend a day under the blue sky!

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Same sunshine, same beach… Different day. Time for a handstand!

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By night, you can be entertained by the usual bars, dance clubs and restaurants. Then there’s the not so well known options that we chose! First pick was heading to the sand with tiki torches, an adult punch bowl and Florian’s guitar.

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This was a Sunday night in which Hayden and I got spoiled with a local bar that was willing to play American football for us. Turns out there was another couple that had requested it as well. Before long, we had new friends, snacks, drinks and the Raiders game… What a night!

Dear Jennifer and Joel, it was a beautiful surprise to meet you two and I truly enjoyed our conversation! Cheers to what started with hand shakes and ended in hugs. I send you nothing but the good stuff!

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One of the last nights there, the city called for a power out during a rainstorm. This doesn’t slow them down at all! What was once loud bars filled with music and lamps is now candle lit rooms with the sound of waves crashing between conversations. Extremely peaceful and yet so thrilling with every unexpected strike of lightning and thunder.

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To my dear Florian, Daniel, Jule, Johanna and Irene. Our time in Crete has been marked “special” due to your enthusiasm and welcoming energy. To “the program”, we shall be in touch soon about future plans.

This is when my current partner in crime departs back west to the states as I journey east to Japan. I’m not sure I could possibly come close to properly describing my gratitude for our adventures together. Hayden, you and I both know that when I say “adventures”, I use that term in the least. Cheers to the next path crossing my friend!

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