Sunday, April 30, 2017

San Diego, California (April 2017)

San Diego is one of our favorite California cities, and whether we stay a few days, a couple of weeks, or a couple of months, we always thoroughly enjoy our visit. The beautiful ocean beaches, abundant hiking in and around the city, bike trails galore, and challenging golf courses, there simply aren’t enough days in the week to take full advantage of all the outdoor living San Diego has to offer. But we tried! This visit was for one month only, but we squeezed in as much activity as we could, including visits with my sister who is lucky enough to live here.

The pictures below are a montage of our many outings, in no particular order. They include bike rides on the Bayshore Bikeway and around Mission Bay itself; hikes at Torrey Pines State Park, Cowles Mountain, Stonewall Peak, on the beach, and around Lake Murray; a snap or two from the pretty Mission Bay Golf Course; our visit to the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala; and a trip to Historic Old Town San Diego. Along the way we were treated to the massive spring blooms and a variety of birds (and when they cooperated with us, we got pictures of them as well).

We’re wrapping up our time here for this year, but already look forward to our next visit! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Anaheim, California)

California has five Major League Baseball teams (San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and San Diego Padres), each with their own stadiums in their respective cities. On Sunday, April 23, 2017 we attended a game at the Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Angels versus Toronto Blue Jays), marking the 4th stadium we’ve visited in California, and the 26th of the 30 stadiums nationwide.

Originally known as Anaheim Stadium, and later Edison International Field of Anaheim, Angels Stadium is one of only ten stadiums left without a corporate name, something I really appreciate. Since its opening in 1966, it has been the home ballpark for the Angels, and also to the Los Angeles Rams football team (1980 – 1994). The stadium is often referred to by its unofficial nickname The Big A. It is the fourth-oldest active Major League Baseball stadium, behind Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and Dodger Stadium.

The Angels lost to Toronto when we were there, in an 8th inning turn around. The Angels were leading 1-0 up until then, when Toronto woke up and scored 4 runs in the 8th and 2 runs in the 9th. The Angels scored one more run in the bottom of the 9th, for a final score of Angels 2, Blue Jays 6.

Some interesting facts about the Stadium include:

Seating Capacity: 45,050

Northridge Earthquake Damage: January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake caused the Sony Jumbotron to collapse onto the upper deck seats beneath it. No injuries were caused, as the stadium was unoccupied when the earthquake occurred in the predawn hours of a national holiday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day). The damaged section was deconstructed and rebuilt with a new scoreboard structure and Jumbotron, eliminating the A-frame spire that evoked the Big A.

Light Up The Halo! : Located near the eastern boundary of the parking lot is the landmark "Big A" sign and electronic marquee, which originally served as the scoreboard support. The halo located near the top of the 230' tall, 210-ton sign is illuminated following games in which the Angels win (both at home and on the road), which gives rise to the fan expression, "Light up the Halo!"

Motion Picture Set:  Several major motion pictures have been shot at Angel Stadium. The final sequence of The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) features an electronically manipulated Reggie Jackson trying to shoot Queen Elizabeth II; the Disney remake of Angels in the Outfield (1994) prominently uses the ballpark.

UC Irvine Commencement Ceremony:   In 2014, Barack Obama spoke at the commencement ceremony for the University of California, Irvine, which was held at the stadium to accommodate capacity and security concerns.