Danny & Family

Just Some Random Stories About Me and My Family

Saturday, September 27, 2008

D.O.M. Ride to Lucerne Valley - Sept. '08 (part 1)

The 2008-2009 D.O.M. season began last weekend, and we were there to kick it off. I actually wasn't planning on attending due to a couple of things. First of all, Nina is only about 1/2 way through her cheerleading season. In the past two years since Nina's been a cheerleader for Pop Warner football we haven't missed any of her games. We just didn't go riding until the football season was over. But since Laura is not the team coach this year, neither her nor Nina's absence is critical. The other reason I wasn't planning on going is financial. Laura is not working, and it doesn't look like she will return soon. More on this in some future post.

I didn't take vacation on Friday before the weekend, and Monday after the weekend like I would normally do for a club ride. This makes it all the more difficult to deal with. Hooking up our truck to our trailer and all of the last minute packing had to start after I came home from work on Friday. This takes hours to do. It did help that Laura was home. She did some early packing and cleaning up in the trailer in the days before Friday. She also did all the grocery shopping for the trip. These are some of the things I would do on the Friday before we leave - if I was on vacation.

By the time everything was hooked up, tied down, packed up and ready to go, it was about 9:30 p.m. I knew we would have about a 3 hour drive before we were in camp, and I knew once we got there I would have to find a place to park. I know this location - Lucerne Valley - is notoriously not easy to level; the place where the club camps is on the side of a hill, so there's a slope. It would be 1:30 a.m., pitch black, I would be exhausted, and I would still have to unload the quads from the cargo area just so we could make beds to sleep. That sounded like too much work for me, so we decided to leave for the desert on Saturday morning.

After a good night's sleep in our own beds, we were up early and off to the desert. We were in camp by 9:00 a.m. The fun began as soon as we unloaded the quads. Laura, Nina and I missed the "group / club" ride. I was barely able to get Brady's quad gassed up and ready to go in time for him to join the group. I didn't want to hold them up by having them wait for the rest of us. Besides, Nina is slow and gets tired easily. I didn't want to hold them up during their ride either. Brady went with the group, and Laura, Nina and I went on our own ride. Everyone had fun.

Later in the afternoon, it starting getting hot. Too hot to ride for a while. keep in mind that we wear riding gear including helmets. All of that clothing and equipment makes it uncomfortable to ride in when the temperatures start climbing. So we hung out in front of our trailer under our awning eating chips and salsa and drinking beverages. I drank beer. Lots of beer.

Enough words for you to read. How about some pictures? While we were sitting out trying to cope with the heat we heard a somewhat familiar sound. The happy tunes of an ice cream truck. Now we've heard these tunes many times at home as the ice cream man comes rolling down our block, but we've never heard this out in the desert. Well someone from the nearby town of Lucerne Valley must have known that if they came out to the off-road areas with an ice cream truck, people like us would buy lots of sweet frozen goodies. See for yourself:

While sitting outside of the trailer there's always something to look at. Sometimes it's off in the distance. Here, I borrow my binoculars back from Nina for a minute to take a look at something.

Here's the happy couple posing for a picture:

And here's Nina with her game face:

And here's a picture Laura snapped of me after I succumbed to many beers. What's not fair is that I fell asleep after Laura did; I just quietly sat there enjoying my beer and the afternoon while she slept. I didn't take her picture. Okay, next time Laura, next time.

After my nap it was cool enough to ride again, and luckily there was still daylight. So Laura, Nina and I went on another ride, but I'll save that story for my next post. Happy trails . . .

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Time For An Update

Summer is nearly over, and there's been some changes around the household. Laura is no longer employed, but continues to seek a new job. This causes a financial challenge, as we were already on a tight budget. Laura has a little more time for her volunteer position as cheer coordinator for La Habra Pop Warner Football and Cheer leading.

Both Brady and Nina have celebrated birthdays recently, and have also started school. Brady, now 15 is in 10th grade, and Nina, now 8 is in 3rd grade. Both attend a tumbling class once a week, and both will soon begin religious education classes. Brady is less than a year away from receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.

In other birthday news, we recently celebrated numerous family birthdays at my moms house with a good ol' BBQ & pool party. Those celebrating birthdays included my mom, both my kids, a niece and a nephew (who are also brother and sister), and another nephew. Absent, but not forgotten, were another niece who lives out of state, and an uncle who took ill and couldn't attend.

Nina is also cheer leading for La Habra Pop Warner. I enjoy going to the games to watch her cheer, but also enjoy watching the games themselves. Today, the boys beat their opponent 39-6. Before the cheer and football season began, the city held it's annual Corn Festival and parade. The cheer leaders and football players marched in the parade again. In order for me to get the prime front row spot on the parade route I got there at 4:30 a.m. I was surprised to see people already holding their own spots along the route.

The Corn Festival was fun as always, and this year we brought home more goldfish. Two actually, that Nina won, and one other that her friend Frankie won. Nina's fish died by the next morning, and Frankie's died a few days later. They were buried in our back yard.

The D.O.M. ride season begins next week. We will be attending, but the days of going out on Friday morning are long over. We don't want to take the kids out of school, and I'm too busy at work to take a vacation day right now.

I'm still taking the bus once a week to do my part to help the environment and save fuel. I'm pleased that gas prices are not as high as they were when I started riding. I have changed my route to 3 different bus lines compared to what I used to take. This way it's slightly less expensive, and I get to leave work 1/2 hour earlier. I have yet to see knitters on the bus, but I still keep looking for them just to be able to report that to LA and Diane.

As far as sports go, I played golf for the first time in one year. In August I played in a golf tournament along with my mom, uncle and cousin. This is an annual event named in memory of my dad. And for my spectator sports (the ones I watch, not participate in) the Angels are doing great by winning their division; the Bruins started off better than I expected by beating Tennessee, but got SPANKED today by BYU; and the Chargers lost their first one, but will hopefully win tomorrow against Denver.

Finally, my prayers go out to the families of the commuters who lost their lives yesterday in that horrible train wreck in the San Fernando Valley.

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