October 2007

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October 26, 2007: So a nice relaxing weekend. On Saturday morning, I got up around 6, showed, grabbed a sleep Clarice and headed out the door. At 7:00 AM I picked up Christopher Allen (Justin's brother) from Cal State Hayward and we headed out for a day trip to Yosemite National Park. Figured it would be a good way to kill a day and it was. LOL the ride there is about 4.5 hours and we got into the park/valley around noon.

Clarice enjoys the view

I am smiling...

A wild chow-weenie dog captured on film!

Now that's a rock

Good shot of Christopher with a rare smile!


The new car on its first big road trip (oh so fun to drive on those big back roads!)

Clarice in her own car seat :)

We would leave the park around 2:30 PM and go out the Southern exit which allowed us to visit a giant sequoia grove on the way out. We'd take the long way home, driving just a big North of Fresno before we'd turn North and make our way back to the Bay area. I dropped off Christopher around 6:00 and would make it home around 7:00. LOL and by 10, was zonked out! Hahah, it was a long day, but a fun one.

October 15, 2007: Last night I got back from a fun trip out East for Porky and Marian's wedding. I got in to Philadelphia late Saturday morning (like around 1:30 AM, thanks to another 3 hour delayed flight by United Airlines) and was at the hotel by 2:15 AM. Paul and Kara were already there, so after chatting for a bit, we all crashed and didn't get up until about 9 the next morning.

First thing I did when I woke up was get our room changed because instead of two beds, we got 1 king size and a pull out couch! I slept for shit so we got that fixed right up and all was good. Eventually we'd all head down to the tux shop to have some last minute alterations down (my shoes were the wrong size and so were Paul's pants) but in short order, we were ready to go.

The afternoon was pretty chill although Porky did give Paul and I our bridal party gifts! We unwrapped the following, and they came complete with a hand made wall mounted rack/plaque! LOL best bridal party gift ever :)

1851 Confederate Navy .44 Caliber Revolver: This reliable sidearm is based on the original 1851 Navy revolver. It has a brass frame like those used by the Confederacy due to their limited supplies of steel. It features a blued 7-1/2" octagonal barrel; plain blued cylinder; tough, good-looking walnut grips; and brass trigger guard.

We all gathered around 4:00 for the rehearsal dinner which was held at the hotel. Linda and Jamie had a nice catered dinner and I actually bought out my Bose iPod docking station and my iPod to provide the music (thanks for my good friend and DJ Matt Consola, the music was perfect! During the dinner, there was a pretty funny slide show going of pictures of Porky and Marian. LOL there were a few funny ones of me and him from back in college that made me chuckle (especially the one that captured me with my uni-brow). The crowd hung out until about 8 and then broke up. We regrouped at the bar for a few more drinks and by 10, I crashed out.

Happily, I slept like a rock and was in good form for Sunday. Around 1:00 PM, Paul and I started to head over to the Glen Foerd Mansion where the ceremony/reception was going to be held, and we happily got to see Tab, Alex and Spidey as they pulled into the parking lot. After a quick hello, we headed out.

Paul (groomsman) and Penz (best man) dressed up and ready to go!

The location for the reception was really nice and we immediately made friends with the bartender who hooked us up with some drinks before everyone got there. Paul has us drinking crown royal with grand mariner which made for a pretty tasty drink. After about 4 of them, our 'edge' was gone and we were ready to go.

The ceremony was short and sweet (15 min). LOL the funniest part was when the nondenominational minister announced the new married couple as "Mr and Mrs Shipman" instead of "Mr and Mrs Watkins"! Hahaha, talk about a goof up.

Porky, Penz and Paul waiting for the bride!

Tim and Marian Watkins! The beautiful couple :)

Paul and his fiancee Kara :)

After the ceremony, the appetizers were served up and Conroy Catering did a great job! There were a lot of tasty ones from jumbo shrimp cocktails to sushi to crab cakes but the full size grilled lamb chops (meat on the bone) were absolutely awesome! Hahaha, Paul and I devoured a few of those and they were hands down the best appetizer we'd ever had.

Then it was time for the toasts. I was up first with mine and it went off without a hitch (hey, what can I say, I'm good :) The maid of honor gave hers and after we all sat down dinner, the father of the bride gave his.

Dinner was good. The menu included filet mignon, lobster tails, lobster raviolis, chicken, assorted pastas.. Hehe, we ate our fill. Oh yeah, and of course, we were all taking advantage of the open bar throughout the evening :)

The festivities ended at 8 and by 9 we all regrouped back in our room. Haha, we had a couple of cases of beer chilled and we drank and listened to music until midnight. Heheh, as usual, there were a few after the wedding 'stories' created, but those are best told in person :P

Porky, Alex, Penz, Tab, Spidey (hiding behind the beer bottle) and Paul drinking some beers after the wedding! Yeah, that was Metallica playing in the background :P

The next morning, we all met up for breakfast at a local diner before heading out to the airport. It sure was great to be a part of this wonderful event and we all wish Tim and Marian the very best as they emabark on this wonderful new venture of being married!


October 1-9 , 2007: So this month has started off with a bang! On Sunday Oct 1, I took off and flew to Nashville, TN for our annual Sales/Services conference. As usual, I enjoyed meeting up with many of my coworkers of whom I haven't had a chance to see face-to-face over the past year and it was really good to reconnect with them.

On Wednesday morning, I flew back to CA where I unpacked my suitcase, did some laundry and repacked it, cause on Thursday morning, it was off to the airport again, destination: Maui! I got in around 11 AM local time and was met by Adam "Skinny Daug" Arnold. One of my closest friends of 20 years, it was great to meet up with him on this tropical isle. After grabbing some lunch, it was off to the beach at Makena State Park. We headed past the main public beach (known as Big Beach) and went straight to Little Beach. Well, this is the second time in my life that I've been to a clothing optional beach (the first time was 9 years ago with Becky out in Kauai and that was only for a few hours), and I figured why not. So it was off with the suit and on with about a gallon of SPF 50 sun tan lotion :) Hahaha, after about 10 minutes of feeling a bit self conscious, I was fine and for the next 5 hours, we laid out in the sun and swam in the ocean. It was awesome! Little Beach is only about a 1/8th of a mile long, but that's just the right size for this piece of heaven. Nothing but nice people there who just enjoy hanging out naked. LOL, it was fun. We left there around 6:30, went back to our hotel to shower up and then went out to dinner in Paia for some excellent pizza at Flatbread.

The next morning, at 6:30 am, Adam woke me up and told me to get ready. I was like "for what!?!?". He's like "it's time to get breakfast and head to the beach!". Well after I contemplated killing him, I figured I could sleep at the beach, so I showered up and we headed out. We made a stop at Starbucks for some java and by 7:45 am, we were at Little Beach! We spent the entire day there (leaving around 6 PM) and I've got to say, that's about the longest time I've spent at a beach in a long time. Very, very relaxing! Good thing I brought 3 books (The Ellinium by David Eddings) to read cause I had a lot of quiet time on my hands. That night, we had dinner in Kihei at a Maui Thai restaurant. It's where Adam wanted to go for his birthday dinner (I had reservations at a different venue) but that's ok. It was fun :)

On Saturday morning, we got up and went to breakfast at a local diner. Afterwards, we drove up to Mount Haleakala. It was a great ride up this semi-active volcano and the weather changed from bright and sunny to light rain and dreary as we headed up into the clouds. But that was just fine, because it put the two of us into a very talkative mood and we had a great conversation up/down the mountain. It was probably the best 'bonding' moment we had on the trip and I was reminded once again why we've been such close friends for 20 years now :) Yep... good stuff! After we came down the mountain, we stopped at Maui Taco's for a quick lunch and then yes, off to the beach once again! We stayed till 5:00 (and yes, I now have no tan lines :) before we headed back to the hotel to clean up. I packed my bags and loaded up the car. We drove next door to a nice little sushi restaurant where we ate and drank our fill of sushi, sake and tea before the time finally came for us to head out and take me back to the airport where I caught the red-eye home. It was a great trip and I'm truly thankful to Adam for sharing some of his 6 day vacation with me. Heheh, gotta say, great little getaway!!

On Sunday, I got back into San Francisco around 7:00 AM. I made it back to my place where I crashed out for a few hours (I did sleep a bit on the plane) and by 11:00 AM, I was up and ready to do something. Well it was Castro Street Fair that day, so Matt, Ian and I headed out to our friend Kelly's place for a nice little gathering. There were many bottles of champagne being drank and lots of nice people to drink them with, so we hung out for a couple hours before walking to the Castro for the fair. There was a good crowd there, and I stuck with my group for the rest of the afternoon/evening. We had a blast drinking some beers, taking in the sights and even managed to squeeze in a little dancing at Badlands and dinner at the Thai House Express before calling it an evening. That's to Kelly, Victor, Scott, Diego and the rest of the lads for making it a very fun day!

Hanging out with the lads at the Castro Street Fair




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