Cruising The N.L. West, San Diego 5/5

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Just four days after cruising The Bay we head down south to San Diego for this Sunday afternoon Cinco De Mayo matchup against the Padres. With the Dodgers holding the top spot in the NL West and the Padres also off to a good start all three games at Petco Park would sell out. After winning the first two the Dodgers would come into the series finale with a chance at a sweep. 

Of the five NL West venues aside from Dodger Stadium, Petco Park is my most ventured. With San Diego being 2 hours south of L.A., a trip to America’s Finest City always makes for a great Sunday day trip, especially when traveling by rail. 

20190505_095855San Clemente

20190505_102129Almost there…

20190505_113740We’re Heeeeeere !!!

Petco Park, opened in 2004 is now in it’s 15th season of operation. As for the Padres, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of their MLB existance…

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In their 50 years as an MLB franchise in San Diego the  Friars have won five NL West crowns and 2 pennants, their first coming in 1984…

20190505_123127Steve Garvey’s bat from Game Four of the 1984 NLCS. Of course it would take a Dodger to lead the Friars to their first World Series appearance…

Steve Garvey would be the first Padre to have his number retired, a topic that has some Friars followers divided

20190505_133000Today’s ballpark eat’s…Single Bacon Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

The Friars would jump out to a 4-0 lead. However the Dodgers would rally for five runs on the strength of a 3-run jack by Max Muncy and a 2-run shot be Chris Taylor to give The Blue a 5-4 lead heading to the home ninth. 

With the bases loaded and two-out. Two strikes from a series sweep, Hunter Renfroe would come off the bench for the Friars and deliver a game-winning Grand Slam for the Friars. That would be the second two-out walk-off I would witness in less than a week. Ugh !!!

20190505_1546432 2-out walk-off losses. Ugh ! Hopefully I’ll bring better luck to Colorado come late June…

2019050595164509.jpgThe Blue needs to retire the Garv’s number already…

Time to head over to Basic Bar for a blood orange IPA or two and a Mashed/4-Maggio pie…

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After my previous experience with potato on a pizza I was a little hesitant to want to try the Mashed, the side with the basil. I’m happy to tell you this time my experience was much better, with the mash being a perfect compliment to the mozzarella and bacon. 

The area around Petco Park has really developed over the years with more dining options popping up around the ballpark. 

OK, time to head back to L.A. But before we do…

20190505_195458.jpgPaying respects to two Padres HOF’ers, Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman…

20190519_160250.jpgCruising the Gaslamp with Josh…

Extra Innings…Petco Blue Out

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Cruising The N.L. West, San Francisco 5/1

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Throughout this 2019 season it is my goal to catch our Boys in Blue in every NL West venue. Though I’ve have been to each venue and have seen my share of Dodgers games in San Diego and San Francisco, it’s been awhile since i’ve been to either Chase or Coors Field. When I last set foot inside Chase Field, it was known than as Bank One Ballpark, or simply , The BOB. I’ve made two trips there, in ’99 and in ’03 to see the Dodgers do battle with the ‘Snakes as Hideo Nomo would pitch a masterpiece with Eric Gagne collecting one of his saves during his record breaking streak. 

I would venture to Coors Field in August of ’06 on my ballpark journey to see the Rockies take on the Mets for a couple of games. It was during the second game a Long Beach State Dirtbag, some guy named Troy Tulowitzky would make his MLB debut. 

But of all the NL West yards, I’ve yet to see my Boys In Blue in the Mile High City. And for that matter, it’s been 16 years since I’ve seen The Blue in Downtown Phoenix. While it’s still my goal to venture to all 30 MLB parks, my goal for this year is to catch the Blue in every NL West yard in the same season. 

As of now, I’ve been to and seen games at 16 current yards, 7 past and set foot inside one other former yard and passed by another relic.  Of the total 9 former yards, two are still  standing and one is still in use. If all goes well for me, my count of current yards will be 17 come September. 

So as I venture my way through each NL West city and venue all Dodger Blue, I’ll also be sharing other ventures as well.  

As I have mostly done with my trips up north, I’ve been as economical as possible by using the Flixbus. On this occasion I have decided to red-eye it both ways, leaving L.A. on Tuesday evening on the last day of April…

20190501_020436Rest stop, Avenal, CA

Though we would arrive to The City about 30 minutes late, I would still have enough time to catch the Golden Gate Transit to San Rafael to catch a connecting train to Petaluma. With a whole day ahead of me I decide to venture outside The City…

20190501_060422Wednesday Morning, May 1, 2019. In the distance, you can see the light towers from AT&T, ahem, Oracle Park

After arriving in Petaluma shortly after 8:30, I would venture into this Hallie’s Diner. I would start my day with their fried plantain rum souffle. 

 

 

The diner is very intimate and gives you that classic Americana vibe. Though my breakfast was anything but American, the plantains are just the way I remember dining on many Filipino and Latin dishes. I really wanted to get an omelette with my souffle and had I known the omelette’s served we’re not so big I may have ordered one. Oh well. Perhaps the next time I find myself around these parts I can double my pleasure. Oh, speaking of that classic American vibe… 

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Cruisin’ through 1962. Before Star Wars, George Lucas had American Graffiti. One of my favorite movies because of the music and the classic car culture of the early 60s. I decided to take a stroll through some of the spots where AG was filmed. Above is the corner where Toad’s accident occurred during his failed street race…

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It was at this corner where Carol, after getting splashed by a water balloon, gets her revenge with the help of badass John Milner…

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As for that building…

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More American Graffiti and sights of Petaluma soon…

Moving on, I now hop back aboard the SMART Train  on my way to Santa Rosa for another venture before The Blue’s Wednesday evening battle against the hated one’s. This time, my venture takes me to the Charles Schulz Museum. Many of you may be familiar with that name as he is the creator of all those classic Peanuts cartoons. 

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The Charles Schulz Museum is a small 2-story museum which features many of his work with a special feature on the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, for whom best bud would be named after

20190501_144508Something really needs to be done about this…

20190501_162643STOP!!! CHUCK DON’T DO IT !!!

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Just a couple of us “Blockheads”… To this day, like Chuck, I still have a hard time comprehending what certain people who call themselves adults say. It’s as if all I hear coming out of their mouth’s is “WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH…”

SAN FRANCISCO OPEN YOUR GOLDEN GATE…

20190501_165856Gotta give The Bay’s most famous landmark a Touch of Blue…

Of course this isn’t the first time Drei has done this…

20170913_135712.jpgFLASHBACK, SEPT ’18…KID N DREI !!! 

Even local legend Karl The Fog provided for a nice backdrop…

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Oracle Park. Now under it’s FOURTH NAME in just it’s 20th season !!! Hey, that female Dodger fan just gave me an idea…

20190501_180043Ready to bring my Blue in enemy territory…

Since opening in 2000 I’ve ventured inside 18 times. The Blue came out victorious 10 of those 18 times so I guess I can say my presence has helped…

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Tonight’s eats…The 40 clove chicken garlic sandwich and garlic fries. Yes, the mints we’re included (I get a feeling I won’t be heckled tonight…). In spite of the early 6:45 PM start time, I would still have enough time to down my meal. As for the 6:45 first pitch, it’s something the Giants are doing for Monday-Thursday evening games, something that would never work in L.A….

Because i’ve taken so many trips here over the years I didn’t bother taking many pics tonight…(OK, my battery ran low from all the pics taken earlier in the day…)

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Oracle Park’s new board. Come October these two will be neighbors. It’s funny how both these team’s fanbase has expanded throughout the Bay since 2010…Some of these folks don’t recall baseball played at Candlestick and some of these folks think Run TMC is that famous rap trio from the 80’s…

A lot of teams partner up with another local team or school during these theme nights. The Dodgers have done so with all the pro and several local colleges as well. Across the bay the A’s have done their theme nights, even having a Cal-Stanford night. The A’s though never seem to have an A’s-Raiders night…Hmmmm….

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Triples Alley. This is where home runs and long fly’s come to die. There’s been recent talk about possibly moving in the fences sometime in the future and maybe relocating the bullpensA couple fans I spoke with said they like the deep dimensions. I also understand the concern for moving the bullpens to the outfield as well as i’ve never cared for bullpens being in the field of play. 

The game would be a classic pitchers duel between Hyun-Jin Ryu and longtime nemesis Madison Bumgarner. The game would remain tied at one until the home ninth, when with two outs Buster Posey would deliver a 2-out walk-off single off Pedro Baez to give the Giants a 2-1 win over The Blue…

20190501_215438Postgame…A Flock of Seagull’s. Time for the locals to run so far away…

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Yard One of my Blue Journey through the NL West is complete. Where will my next journey be?

Extra Innings…Oracle Blue Out

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OK. Time to catch that red-eye Flixbus back to L.A. But before Drei leaves The Bay, there’s something Drei need’s to do to repay Kid back for this pic he sent from that “HIPSTER FEST” called Coachella… 

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Because Drei know’s how much  you love IHeart Radio, Kid…

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Two can play this game…

Here’s some past pics from AT&T Park from April 2018

‘Til the next episode…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L.A. to The Bay…3/22-24The Road to The Final Four

The evening prior to making my way to San Jose for the NCAA March Madness Regionals, I would take in a Kings game at Staples Center against, of course, the San Jose Sharks. With the SAP Center being occupied for the upcoming weekend for the NCAA Regional’s the Sharks would be on the road. Though the Kings have had a rough year on the ice, they would still come out on top on this Thursday evening on a night we’d receive a miniature Wayne Gretzky statue…

20190321_191051This one’s JUST a little larger than our mini statue…

On this night our lovable Lion King of a mascot, Bailey, couldn’t help but poke fun at our NoCal rivals…

After seeing a rare Kings win, I decide to take in some late night bites at a historic 24-hour L.A. institution, The Pantry…

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20190321_231316I can never go wrong with the Ham Steak & Eggs…

Allright, time to head to LAX and TRY, I mean, TRY to get some shut-eye before a Friday Morning 7AM departure…

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20190322_065126Little Bailey decided to tag along for this road trip…

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Our featured mural for this trip, painted sometime in the mid to late 2000’s with the image of Joe Thornton of the Sharks and  HP Pavillion, now the SAP Center. There was recent talk of this iconic mural going away to perhaps make way for (more) Google Transit developmentan already sore topic to residents in San FranciscoIf visiting San Jose anytime soon, you may want to capture a pic of this mural before it potentially goes away…

20190322_101922SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks and host of the NCAA Mens Basketball Regionals

20190322_102024Little Bailey having a great time trolling the streets outside the SAP Center…

Here for my first ever March Madness assignment for Stadium Journey the day would start off early as the first of four games for the day would match the 13th seed UC Irvine Anteaters against the 4th seed Kansas State Wildcats. 

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There’s a reason why they call this March Madness. Schools that you least expect to make in impact end up coming out of nowhere and making a name for themselves. The first game would see UC Irvine pull off the first upset of the day. The win by the Anteaters would be the first ever tournament win for UCI to the delight of many in the building. Though UCI did bring a good contingent up from SoCal, the building was decidedly pulling for the underdog, as most venues in the early rounds tend to do…

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The second of four for the day would pit the Pac-12 against the Big-10 as the 12th seed Oregon Ducks would take on the 5th seed Wisconsin Badgers. Any college basketball fan will tell you that 12th seeds have a long history of pulling off first round upsets and the Oregon Ducks, who struggled early in the season but finished strong and we’re one of the hottest teams entering the tournament. 

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As you can see Wisconsin was no match for Oregon as the Ducks would dominate Wisconsin, making them the second team to pull of an upset on this day. On a side note, though Oregon was a 12th seed, it really wasn’t much of an upset as mentioned earlier they we’re one of the hottest teams coming into the tournament and 12 seeds have a history of pulling off first round upsets. But an upset is just that….

20190322_154454Deforest Buckner, defensive tackle for the 49ERS showing support for his alma mater…

20190322_154624Had I known I would cross paths with DeFo I’d have donned my Niner hat. DeFo was very gracious taking pics with the Oregon and Niner Faithful…

20190322_144127Time to do a hard push to set up for games 3 and 4. Do your business before the “under four” timeout…

20190322_104308Time to help myself to a couple cupcakes provided to the media. That’s quite a display. I’m tempted to want to chomp on that chocolate replica trophy…

20190322_155117Counting down the minutes to tip-off between the 12th seed Liberty University Flames and the 5th seed Mississippi State Bulldogs

In spite of  Liberty U being one of those lower seed schools that could carry your heartwarming March Madness story-line, not everyone was crazy about jumping on Liberty U’s Cinderella bandwagon

Nonetheless, Liberty U would make their own March Madness history by knocking off Mississippi State and becoming the third double-seed team at the SAP Center. With one more game to go talk started swirling around the building of a complete 4-game sweep by double digit seeded teams. With their victory, Liberty U, like UCI earlier would win their first ever NCAA March Madness game. 

20190322_184924Liberty U players celebrating with their fans after their first NCAA tourney victory…

One more game to go on this Friday, this time between the 4th seed Virginia Tech Hokies and the 13th seed St. Louis Billikens. Can St. Louis pull off the sweep?

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Not quite. A cold start by the Billikens would lead to their demise as Virginia Tech would escape the barrage of upsets…

20190322_213305Counting down the final seconds…

20190322_21350020190322_213634End of Day One. Time to get some rest…

The first day of action would provide plenty of excitement. According to sources, the SAP Center would be the 7th venue to produce 3 double-seed first round winners. Had St. Louis U been able to pull off the sweep, the SAP Center would have been only the second venue to pull off a 4-game first-round sweep by double-seed teams. Hey, 3 of 4 isn’t bad, 2 of the 3 winning their first tourney game ever and the 12th seed Oregon, well, could they really be considered a Cinderella? 

Saturday, 3/23. Media Day

FB_IMG_1553531656115Interviewing UCI Guard Max Hazzard, the grandson of former UCLA Bruin Walt Hazzard. Max would hit a buzzer beating trey at the end of their first half battle with Kansas State that would send the ‘Eaters into the locker tied at 30 at the half… (Pic credit UCI Mens Basketball)

The day between rounds would give the media a chance to catch up with the players and coaches of the first round victors. 

20190323_144355Oregon Ducks forward and Bay Area native Kenny Wooten (Check out his tat…). Kenny Wooten is not to be confused with another legendary Kenny from UO, Kenny Wheaton

After the day’s media sessions, I would head over to the Hayes Mansion where a pep rally would be held for UC Irvine. (Hey, I gotta show my support for our states only team in the tourney. Besides, who doesn’t like a good Cinderella story?)

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20190323_190011Hey, I’m in Northern California. Why not indulge in some of their finest wine and cheese selections?

Sunday, March 22

20190324_120534Lil’ Bailey sure having a great time “trolling” the streets of San Jose…

20190324_120617We’re doing the best we can to stay out of any mischief before the Sunday games…

20190324_121653The second of two games. The game I wanted to watch but couldn’t because I had to catch my flight out of San Jose. The tipoff for that second game would be later than I expected…

20190324_124544.jpgWith some time to kill before the first game I decide to stroll the concourse and check out the plaques displayed along the San Jose Sports HOF. Here is one for former MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, who played an instrumental role in landing L.A. the 1984 Olympics…

20190324_125742Throughout the 80’s the 49ERS teams we’re often labled a “finesse” team. If that was the case, Ronnie Lott never got that memo…

20190324_125224The man who started a Dynasty…R.I.P. Dwight Clark

 

As for the first game of Sunday between Liberty U and Virginia Tech the Hokies would end Liberty U’s dream of moving on to the Sweet 16. The final day of games in San Jose would not produce the dramatics that Friday’s games did as Oregon, in spite of a frantic 2nd half rally by UCI, would be too much for the Anteaters as they would punch their ticket to the Sweet 16…

20190324_171013Lil’ Bailey and Blue we’re on their best behavior during the weekend, even receiving some love from the UCI folks and surprisingly some of the locals as well (They must’ve been A’s fans…)

It was a fun weekend in San Jose. It was fun hearing stories from the visiting fans and reporters particularly those from Kansas and Virginia talking about seeing the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time. That must’ve been some hella-hyphy sight for our visitors (Yup, we just used the Bay-Area slang once again…)

The SAP Center is tied with the Honda Center in Anaheim as the 4th oldest NHL venue. Like the Honda Center, it has that early 90’s feel but like the OC venue, don’t expect it to go anywhere anytime soon…

20190324_170717It was HELLA fun, San Jose! Next stop…The Sweet 16 and Elite 8…Anaheim !!!

20190323_191250ZOT ZOT !!!

20190323_19130320190323_191414It was a great run by UCI…

So that was my weekend in The Bay. Here’s some other bits from my Stadium Journey piece

20190323_191755Kicking it with Peter the Anteater. It was a fun run, stay hungry Pete !!!

Check out my Facebook page, Drei and Company’s Stadium Journeys

L.A. to The Bay…February 16, 2019

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DTLA FlixBus Stop
Saturday morning, February 16th. The second of my L.A. to The Bay excursions and again I find myself taking the early morning econo-bus to The Bay. This time, my trip takes me Palo Alto, CA, 20 minutes north of San Jose, where the FlixBus will take me.
Just days after one of our heaviest storms of the season that closed The Grapevine, the main route used by FlixBus, the weather on this Saturday afternoon has cleared up enough to allow passage through. San Jose here we come !!!

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Once again, our rest stop finds us at Kettleman City. Unlike the last time when I stopped at In N Out on the way back to L.A, I decided to change it up a bit…

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If I had more time I’d have loved to check out some of the other local eats, especially the ice cream. Instead I settled for this pulled pork burger from Wild Jack BBQ…

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Pulled pork burger with cole slaw and black beans. Actually not bad…

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Something about these kitschy road stops along the interstate…

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Though the rain would stay away throughout the day, the clouds would continue to follow. My timing could not have been any better. The winter storm would clear up in time to re-open I-5 through the Grapevine. I-5 would close up again the next day…
After arriving to San Jose, I would catch the light rail to the neighboring town of Mountain View.

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Before catching the commuter train to Palo Alto I make a quick stop for a sweet treat at Olympus Caffe and Bakery…

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Revani. A semolina cake with heavy sweet syrup…YUM…

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Off to Palo Alto…

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And moments later…Later that evening I would head to Maples Pavilion for that evenings college hoops game between UCLA and Stanford…

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Maples Pavilion. Home of the Stanford Cardinal…

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This is the fourth Pac-12 school I have ventured to see my Bruins in action…As for the result, well…

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Even with the huge loss, there’s no such thing as a bad road trip…Check out my review of the Stanford Basketball gameday experience at Stadium Journey
Back to L.A., Sunday 2/17/2019

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Sunday morning in Palo Alto. Waiting for the Caltrain to San Jose where I will catch the Amtrak’s Coast Starlight back to L.A…

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Just before 10 AM in San Jose. Southland Metrolink riders should be familiar with those cars…
Though my train to L.A. is scheduled for a 10:10 AM departure, as per Amtrak custom, the Coast Starlight, originating from Seattle, is running two hours late. Hey, it could be worse. Over a week later passengers on this same train found themselves stuck in a rural Oregon town for 37 straight hours…

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To kill time I would walk a few blocks to San Pedro Square and find myself here at The Farmers Union.

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Eggs benedict with lump crab and home potatoes…Overall a pretty satisfying breakfast
My overall dining experience on this trip to The Bay wasn’t so hella overwhelming this time…(Oops, there I go again with hella. Spending hella time in the hella Bay will hella do that to you…)
Vida Abundante

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Abundant life. Life should be so filled with abundance. This is the featured mural from this trip to the bay…Between L.A. and The Bay are an abundance of murals from many talented artists. I really should take more pics of our murals in L.A…
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A hella vibrant abundance of fruits and veggies…Here’s more on the Da Anza Mural dubbed “Vida Abundante”

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Old Glory waving proudly in front of San Jose Diridon…

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Inside the lobby…


Some local rail memorabilia…

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Waiting patiently with Blue for our train to arrive…In the distance, the SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks…

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Just a few more minutes before Drei heads to L.A….

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And finally…Train 11, The Coast Starlight to L.A., now arriving…

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Goodbye for now, San Jose…
Along the way to L.A…

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This shot has me thinking of The Wizard of Oz…
Passing through Salinas…

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And now Paso Robles…


On the way to San Luis Obispo…

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We’re almost home Blue !!!

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I was hoping once we passed San Luis Obispo there would still be enough sun for us to catch the sunset along the ocean. With the train running late and being in the middle of February unfortunately there was no chance at snapping some shots of the sunset out in the ocean…
Almost home…

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As we now pass through Van Nuys, we’re about 30 minutes away from L.A. That old dilapidated pedestrian bridge that’s never in use? That’s an old pedestrian bridge from the days when a Busch Gardens theme park was housed here. Should you ever take a tour of the Busch Brewery you just may see some other remains from the old theme park…

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Van Nuys, CA

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As we make a quick stop in Van Nuys, as we wait atop this overpass on Van Nuys Blvd. in the distance in our not-so-great quality photo atop the sign is a neon blue P greeting visitors to The Plant. Opened in 1999, the shopping center once housed a General Motors automobile factory. Below us in the Van Nuys Blvd. underpass is a mural of several GM vehicles…

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After being delayed almost 2.5 hours we make it home to L.A. only 50 minutes past its originally scheduled 9PM arrival. Anyone who works in for Amtrak or travels the rails frequently will tell you that trains while always never on time always make up time along it’s route…

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Finally home…


Union Station L.A.

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Feels good to be home don’t it Blue? In no time plenty of Dodger Blue clad fans will be roaming these confines on their way to the Dodger Stadium shuttles…It’s almost that time of year for our favorite catchphrase…”IT’S TIME FOR…”
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The old ticketing hall and waiting area, located at the front. Today, it stands mostly vacant, used mostly for filming and other special events…
Well, that’s my L.A. to The Bay recap, part 2 of how many this year. This time, a little history revisited. What will Drei’s next L.A. to The Bay journey bring?

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From L.A. to The Bay…And Back…With Drei…’Til the Next Episode…

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L.A. to The Bay…January 12, 2019

Thanks to econo bus services like Flixbus and Megabus, turnaround trips from L.A. to The Bay have been possible for me. As a freelance writer for Stadium Journey who has provided news and reviews of venues from SoCal to NoCal, these budget friendly busses do come in handy. However, every now and then I do like to travel by rail.

Last year, I was able to travel to The Bay a total of four times, reviewing both the homes of baseball’s Giants and Athletics, as well as Haas Pavilion, the college basketball home of the Cal Golden Bears.

My first L.A. to The Bay trip for 2019 will take me to the campus of the University of San Francisco, where I will be doing a review of War Memorial Gym…College basketball home of the USF Dons. But first, the journey toward The Bay…

20190112_083231Up the Grapevine, Saturday, January 12

Prior to my departure from L.A. just after 7AM, we had been rained upon heavily. As we made our way up I-5 toward The Grapevine the clouds would follow but the rain would hold off. After a little over 3 hours, our rest stop would find us in Avenal. Our choice of eats was very limited as our stop only had one gas station and one of two choices for eats…Little Cesar’s and this…

20190112_103536The nice thing about El Sabroso is that it’s a convenient 24-hour stop for those drivers along the outskirts of I-5. As for my machaca burrito…

20190112_102159Meh…But what do you expect from your typical rest stop eatery…

20190112_103523The sun is starting to peak through…

20190112_102955Waiting patiently for our driver so we can hit the road…

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After arriving to The City just past 2, with a little over 4 hours to kill I decide to walk around and take some pics of the construction of the Golden State Warriors new home over at nearby Mission Bay as well as the changes around the Giants yard… Time to change that sign…

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The future home of the Golden State Warriors, the Chase Center, located in Mission Bay down the street from the Jints, ahem, Giants playground…

After taking some pics of the construction progress of The Chase Center, it’s time to take a walk up 3rd Street…

20190112_152852(0)From the Lefty O’Doul Bridge. New board coming…

20190112_1532233rd and King…

20190112_153357Oracle Park. Oracle won the naming rights earlier in the week. In the meantime, AT&T Park signs are still up…

20190112_153813No need to change the name of our beloved classic yard, right Blue Dog?

20190112_153702Hey Sammy, that’s 4 names in 20 years already….

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One last pic before they take down the AT&T sign. Hey, I got my SF on…Forever Hella Faithful, right? Did I just say, Hella?

After a quick stop to my hotel, I head toward The Haight for a quick bite before heading to the USF campus. In the past I would have just done an immediate turnaround back to L.A. but these days I just don’t have the energy to do late night bus rides anymore…

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Something about this corner that happened in some Summer of ’67 that draws tourists here…

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USF. A Jesuit college just a few blocks north of The Haight…

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War Memorial Gym, aka The Hilltop. Tonight’s game features the USF Dons against the number 5 ranked team in the country, Gonzaga. Whenever I think of Gonzaga hoops moments taking place in The Bay, these sights and sounds, and the voice of Gus Johnson comes to mind…

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The Hilltop is your old-school gym. When filled to the rafters, as it was on this evening, The Hilltop can have that classic intimate charm. 

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The Dons would put up a great fight on this Saturday evening but the ‘Zags would pull away late. USF could be one of those sleeper teams that could wear a glass slipper come March if they can continue their strong season and show a stronger presence come conference tourney time…

20190112_211735Gonzaga comes out on top…

20190112_212808 USF Glory…

20190112_213815Postgame autographs…

20190112_212241Kickin’ it with Don Francisco…

20190112_213056 My standard postgame shot from halfcourt…

Drei’s Bites…Slice House Haight by Tony Gemignani vs Escape From NY Pizza

Prior to the game I went over to Slice House Pizza. After the game I went back to The Haight, this time to Escape From New York Pizza. After some previous Yelp searches, I decided i’d cruise through these two and do a comparison…

20190112_172025The Purple Haze, Slice House Haight…

My first slice for the night was the Purple Haze. Topped off with Mozzarella, Pancetta, Rosemary, Pesto, Feta, Oregano, Romano, Garlic Oil and the featured Purple Potato this slice managers to fit all these ingredients nicely while also being nicely presented. 

20190112_220308You Say Potato, Escape From NY Pizza…

My postgame appetite would bring me to Escape From NY Pizza for a slice of the You Say Potato. This slice would be topped off with Roasted Potatoes & Roasted Garlic Cloves over Pesto Sauce. Oh does Drei love him some garlic. 

So, between the two, which slice comes out the winner?

The Purple Haze does a nice job of putting all those ingredients together while at the same time not having any one topping be to overly dominant

You Say Potato has a nice concept and I can never have enough garlic. But unlike the thinly sliced purple potatoes on The Purple Haze, the potatoes on my slice of You Say Potato are just to thick. Even with the cloves and pesto, my potato slice probably could have used more flavor. So the winner…THE PURPLE HAZE

More on these two eateries soon…

Back to L.A., Sunday, January 13

Before heading back to L.A. I head toward the Castro for my morning bite at Orphan Andy’s for some Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs. This is probably the first time I set foot into this 24-hour diner while the sun was up…

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20190113_084511My happy breakfast…

Across the street from Orphan Andy’s is this newly painted mural of Harvey Milk…

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Between the rival cities, L.A. and S.F. have their fair share of attractive murals. Here’s one of Robin Williams on Market Street…

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Allright, time to head to Oak-Town to catch my ride back to L.A. 

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Somewhere by those cranes a new ballyard will be in place for the Oakland A’s…Hopefully

20190113_101615.jpgThe ride across the Bay Bridge…

20190113_111118Down 101. Hey, I don’t see Candlestick Park anywhere…

Of course, one last rest stop before heading to L.A. This time, our rest stop takes us to Kettleman City in front of this…

20190113_152959Now we can never go wrong with an In N Out as our pit stop…

20190113_151755Oh yeah, a 3×3 with extra onions…

20190113_152043With fries, Extra Well. I always ask for them extra will. I love that crispiness that gives my fries that hot off the fryer, potato chip texture…

Well, that wraps up my first L.A. to The Bay adventure for 2019. Next one will come next month as I make my way toward Palo Alto. What will come about on my next L.A. to The Bay adventure?

20190112_152951That hella vibe I get when I visit The Bay…I’m almost to that point where every other Hella word I say is gonna Hella turn out to be…Hella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drei’s Tale…A Nine Inning Oak-Town Elephant Hunt

On my recent trip to Oakland, prior to the Mariners-A’s game on September 1st, I had a chance to cruise Oak-Town. One of the celebrations taking place as the A’s celebrate their 50th anniversary in Oakland is Stomper In The Town. Stomper is that lovable elephant mascot for the A’s and to celebrate, there are fifty six-foot tall statues of Stomper scattered throughout Oakland, each with a different theme designed by fans and artists. I had a chance to track down nine of the fifty, including the two located at Oakland Coliseum. Here they are in the order tracked…

1st Inning…Bleacher Creature

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Located in the Piedmont neighborhood, this would be the first statue i’d cross paths with prior to a hearty breakfast at Fentons Creamery

20180901_095240Crab Omelette at Fentons

Fentons, an Oakland landmark is well-known for it’s ice cream and fountain sodas with a breakfast menu on weekends. The crab omelette and potatoes we’re hearty and tasty. But of course I wasn’t stopping there…

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That’s the Banana Junior ! The Banana Special is a 3 pound version of what you see here and 6 times the size of the junior. Perhaps someday I’ll take on the Banana Split Challenge. The challenge? Down that Banana Special in 15 minutes and win a free shirt ! WOOHOO !!!

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I could use the help from Stomper and The Mariner Moose…

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Stomper and The Moose bailed on me. I guess i’m finishing this split off…

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Finish this Stomper !!!

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We did it boys !!!

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I think I had my fill for the day…

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2nd Inning…A Show of Hands

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Moving on to the Grand Lake neighborhood just outside the Grand Lake Theatre is this colorful work of art, A Show of Hands…

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Moving right along… 

3rd Inning…Golden Stomper

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This one is located outside of the Ordway Building on 1 Kaiser Plaza

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4th Inning…The Oakland A’s Rock

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Stomper Rockin’ out some of his East Bay beats…(Now why would someone tag his hat?)

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YEAH !!! 

5th Inning…MC Stomper

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Getting closer towards Broadway and MC Stomper flashing that bling and his custom made Hammer pants…

2 Legit To Quit…

6th Inning…Oaklove Stomper

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Located inside Oaklandish this Stomper statue gives a nod to Oak-Town’s landmarks

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7th Inning…Night-Night Stomper

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Stomper in his ‘jammie outside of a Walgreens 

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That’s really cool of Stomper that he’s not phased by my Niners colors. Then again, he’s also delighted he won’t have that “other team” in his house much longer…

Off to the Coliseum…

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Kickin’ it with The Greatest base-stealer of all-time (Sort of…)

8th Inning…Stomper’s Authentically Oakland Jersey

 

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Located outside The Treehouse at The Coliseum is indeed this Authentically Oakland look…

 

Finishing off…

9th Inning…#AtTheColiseumStomper

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Located at Championship Plaza between the Coliseum and Oracle Arena this one is a collage of pics taken by A’s fans over the years…

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So those are the nine Stomper Statues I was able to chase down in Oak-Town…

Of the nine, which was my favorite? They’re all unique in their own way and each certainly has it’s own story. This is not easy, and these three really do deserve top billing…

Bleacher Creature really gives an animated fan perspective of a day at the yard…

A Show of Hands show Stomper’s musical and artistic side

Oaklove Stomper really shows  his hometown love with his Oak-Town landmarks…

But now i’m gonna cut it down to these two…

A Show of Hands vs. Oaklove Stomper. Again, picking a favorite was not easy. But of all the Stomper’s stompin’ through Oaktown, Drei’s favorite?

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A Show of Hands. It came down to this pachyderm bringing out the kid side in me, particularly the keyboards, the keys i’ve tried to get back to lately.

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Even the Mariner Moose is impressed. If only I had the discipline and determination as a kid to JUST KEEP PRACTICING…

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I could be the one entertaining 56,000 fans in October and the man to my right, Dieter Ruehle can just focus on Kings fans at The Staples Center…(OK, Dieter isn’t such a bad choice for our present day Dodger Stadium organist either…). Speaking of music…

Extra Inning From The Bay…It’s Like Cruising Music

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Kid Marlz…Here he is, 2017, struttin’ his swag from across The Bay, Golden Gate Park, giving the 4-1-5 a Touch of Dodger Blue. Hey Kid? Dodgers and Oakland in October, like 1988? ‘Til the Next Episode…

 

That’s From Disneyland

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Hey everyone. I’ve been busy this weekend doing some house cleaning. But not as busy as Richard Kraft of Sherman Oaks. This past weekend Kraft has been auctioning off much of his Disneyland nostalgic collection, ranging from posters to attraction props and even actual ride vehicles. Prior to this weekends auction Kraft set up a free pop-up gallery in Sherman Oaks, some who even dressed and acted the part of their favorite Disney characters. 

Kraft plans to use the money raised through the auction to make donations to two charities that benefit children with special needs.

Here’s my collection of pictures, no particular order, that I was able to snap during my visit on August 12th…

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20180812_115935.jpg The man himself, Richard Kraft, greeting many an eager fan and capturing the moment before the gallery opens

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Of course I had to bring DodgerMickey…Lead the chorus…LETS GO DODGERS !!!

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20180812_123906.jpgShe seems very attracted to you DodgerMickey…

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He’s greeted many a guest entering one of these People Movers. Hey, how ’bout bringing back some of these and using them from Union Station to The Ravine. We found the Blue and Yellow ones. Now to find the Orange and Teal

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20180812_133454.jpg“It’s a World of Laughter a world of tears…It’s a Small World after all…”

20180812_134105.jpgDumbo playing with his favorite mouse, uh, second favorite mouse behind Timothy Q… Dumbo ain’t afraid of this mouse…

20180812_132719.jpgOf course…We can never separate these two…

I actually had several people come up to me as I was taking my pictures of my DodgerMickey statue. Of course they wanted to know if I bought it at the gift shop by the entrance. I’ve had the DodgerMickey since 2010 and of course being among Disney and Dodgers fans it was only natural that folks would want one of their own DodgerMickey as well…I guess it would only be natural that two of our favorite’s would make such magic together…Now if only that magic can continue on through October…

 

 

Andrei here,Southern California Correspondent for Stadium Journey Magazine and StadiumJourney.com, along with the broham, Marlon B, aka Kid Marley Marlz. We like to call ourselves, KID N DREI…2 crazed Dodger fans bringing Da Beatz and Da Talez or sometimes, both. Kid with Da Beats on SoundCloud at MDario GlutenFreeSonds, and Drei with Da Talez.

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