Archive for August 2nd, 2006

MONDAY – FRIDAY

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

Wow. It has been an incredible vacation so far, unfortunately it’s almost over.

I’ll start at the beginning. We all made it here without incident — flights were on time, and Mike and the kids (Joey and Anne) arrived at PoPo’s about 10pm on Monday. On the plane ride over, Johnny kept talking through how much time he had left once we got here, and I convinced him that anytime we had will be fun no matter what.

On Tuesday, we all slept in. Once we finally got our act together, we loaded up the truck and headed over to the skate park so the kids could play and Mike and I could plan our vacation. Soon we were all huddled together and although we still had two full weeks, we all said in unison “It’s not enough time!”. Anne LOVES SoCal. I don’t think her mom will let her come on vacation with us anymore. Her first phone call to her was about coming here for college. I hope it works out for her…

During our family meeting we decided that Wednesday was Disneyland, and Thursday-Sunday would be the US Open. Our good friends in SAN, Sarita and Matt took their little girl Isabella to Disney when she was diagnosed and told me that you can get a pass that allows you to get in the handicap line. I was hesitant, but we did it anyway. I’m so glad I did too. Even with the pass (we didn’t have to wait AT ALL), Johnny only lasted about 2-3 hours — and that’s in a stroller too. Mike and Johnny headed home, I stayed with the rest of the kids until about 9pm — Joey could have closed the place down (midnight –ahh, to have that much stamina again….) and still have enough energy to go some more, but Anne and I were BEAT! Not to mention being covered in theme park grime (there’s no better feeling… YUCK!).

Thursday we met our friend Desi, from Adio, who had special passes that would allow us to hang with the pros in the competitor’s area. For the past few years (with the exception of last year), we have been coming to watch the Open. It’s fun,
C R A Z Y, and there are throngs of people (and sadly, people in thong’s — and I’m not just talking women –eewww!). It’s all just part of the experience, you gotta take the good with the bad…

We mainly just wanted to get out of the dust bowl, as it is affectionately known, and to get away from the estimated 105,000 people each day.

We had no idea what was in store for us. On Thursday, Desi mentioned that his guys (he’s the Team Manager for the Surfing piece of Adio Shoes) Timmy Curran and Mike Lossness might take the boys out on Friday, it was still up in the air, but wanted to see if we would be interested if he could make it happen. Would we be interested? um, yeah — we would. Johnny and I watched a movie with those guys on the plane out here, and they CRACKED Johnny (and me) up so he (and I) was pretty excited about the possibility of meeting them.

Friday we checked in and got our wrist bands that would allow us unlimited VIP access anywhere we wanted to go at the Open. We headed to the competitor’s booth. It was still really early, and the first heats were starting. We met Desi and his counter part Romey, and watched the pros surf. While we were up in the competitors area I didn’t take too many photos, I didn’t want to bother anyone, that is where they go to get AWAY from all of that stuff. But we did manage to get a few good shots…

Everywhere you looked were pros. We would all whisper to each other “that’s _______, from Drive Thru Europe, or South Africa…”, “hey, don’t be obvious, but right behind you is (insert your favorite surfers name here)…” We TRIED not to embarrass ourselves too much. Most of the time we did a pretty good job. Of course when we meet Mike Lossness — who by the way to SO SWEET — I did the whole Chris Farley thing from Saturday Night Live, “Remember when you were in Drive thru South Africa? That was funny…” “Hey, remember when you guys were in South Africa and you rode ostriches? Yeah, me too…”

Meanwhile, Mike (my Mike) noticed that Rob Machado had just arrived. When Johnny made his initial Wish last October, it was to see Rob surf in the Pipeline Masters on the North Shore of Oahu. Since the contest fell during the hardest part of treatment (December), he missed it, and we took the trip in February. Mike went over to Rob and mentioned to him that Johnny was here and if he had a chance, to come over and say hi. He did. I was gone at the time, but it blew Johnny and Joey AWAY. Mike snapped a few pictures, then Rob had to go — he was competing in the next heat (and won), and right after his heat he was being inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame. After the heat, we ran over to watch him be inducted. Johnny was on Mikey’s shoulders and Rob spotted them in the crowd. He told someone to grab the boys and had them sit next to all of the inductees during the ceremony (Bob Hurley, Layne Beachley) During the ceremony, various people were asked to say something about Rob, they even asked Johnny, who was completely awestruck and speachless, so Mike said a few things for him. After the ceramoney we were invited to a Luncheon for the inductees and their families, but Johnny was ready to get out in the water. We said “but it’s lunch with Rob Machado…”, He wanted to, but he had watched surfing all day, and it was all he could take. He was about to hurt someone if he didn’t get in the water (he had that crazy look in his eye) — we understood and headed for the beach.

We met up with Mike L., Desi, Romey and Timmy Curran for a quick session at the HB pier. When Mike and I visited his dad here, I always whined to him “Why do we always have to go to Tressles? (it’s about 45 min. Away) Why can’t you just surf the pier?” Mike told me that the surf’s not always great and it’s pretty territorial. I thought it was just a line he was feeding me, but OH MY GOSH. It was SO packed. It was INSANE. Mike L., Timmy, and Johnny said it was like a water park. People EVERYWHERE. It’s true. It was super hard to catch anything without taking out a tourist or two along the way. Johnny caught a few waves, and Timmy gave him the thumb’s up sign and asked Mikey how long he’s been surfing. I have to admit, the little guy has style, if you don’t believe me just ask either one of his Grandma’s… they’ll tell ya.

Timmy had to get back to his family, but Mike L. stuck around to play with the kids. He showed them “the corn dog” — okay, get your minds out of the gutter– it’s a family show here. At first he asked us if we ever heard of corn dogs, we all said yes, then he asked us if we wanted a corn dog. It had been a long, hot day at the beach, we were all hungry, so we said “YEAH!”, the next thing I know Mike ran to the nearest open spot of beach (which wasn’t very big) and rolled back and forth screming “CORN DOG! CORN DOG!” We were all a little disappointed that it wasn’t really something we could eat, but looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and said “what the heck!” — “CORN DOG! CORN DOG! LOOK AT ME I’M A CORN DOG!”.

That night, there was SO much sand at the bottom of the tub, it wasn’t even funny… but it was worth it. The kids had a lot of fun that day, I asked if they could call Mike L. Uncle Mike…

I will post photos when we get back…

ON THE WAY OUT TO SoCal…

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

Just a few days late… but the journey begins.

The crew.

I’m not sure what is more disturbing, seeing my eldest son (whom is supposedly in the “Gifted and Talented” program) putting found objects in his nose — he knows better than that…

Or this photo…

Mike, at a rest stop in the middle of the desert wearing what appears to be a pair of heavy duty janitorial gloves. Was he unplugging a toilet? Was this an out-take from Good Fellas? I’m not sure I want to know… hopefully it’s some sort of a location joke that the rest of us will never understand. You know what they say, “What happens on the road, stays on the road”.


This one is kinda self explanatory.


Camouflaged. Where did Anne and Joey go?


Anne in the middle of the hot desert.


Ahhhh…. water at last!