Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ruth's Birthday......at Apango

April 28th is a special day around here......it's Ruth's Birthday. She's 61 years young and looks fantastic. While she was working in the garden today and taking phone call after phone call, she decided she wanted to go to Apango up on 2nd Street for her birthday dinner. For us an evening of sushi is a great treat. Regarding kiting, unfortunately the wind didn't cooperate. I got skunked. I should have gone to Seal. There were 6 guys out while I watched them from Belmont.

Fortunately for us it was just a walk up Santa Ana to the restaurant....and there we were.

Come on let's go in....because the Laker game is on and I want to find out the score.

We were really lucky because we found four seats at the sushi bar right in front of Paul the sushi chef and the huge TV on the wall.

I think Sara was very excited when Paul brought us a tray of halibut. Mmmmmm.

The next dish is my favorite, white tuna. Keep them coming Paul!!!!!

This was the last plate, it was called "The Amazing Spider Roll." But in between was three more pieces of white tuna sushi. It's to die for.

Paul fired up his matches and here comes the birthday desert.

Mmmmm, birthday cake/ice cream. Very healthy.

It was an exciting end of the evening because we dragged Paul from behind the sushi bar. Everyone was happy, for Ruth's Birthday and because the Lakers won. They beat the Denver Nuggets 107 to 101 and they won the first round of the Western Conference by sweeping the series. It was a great game. Check out the highlights.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Saturday and Sunday....Santa Ana winds at Belmont

Kiters and beach goers came to Belmont on Saturday hoping for some relief from the heat. The swimmers splashed in the water and the kiters did their thing too.

Some rigged small and some rigged big. I don't know what report Bobby read, but I think he rigged TOO big. I think it was a 20.

Then the fun began. All of a sudden the wind came out of the West at about 20 mph with gusts much higher.

Just about everyone got off the beach. No one wanted to be left out.

My son Dan didn't seem to have a problem staying up wind. I think this was only his second time kiting side shore winds. He was out on a 12 meter North and a 136 board.
I don't think this was his first jump, but it was the first one I caught on film. Now come on, at least he got a little air. I told him we have to watch some videos on how to pull off better jumps.

Everyone was having a great time....until the wind died. Including Naji. Then he had to swim in.

Please, if you're the least bite squeamish don't look. Or if you haven't seen a stingray hit on the bottom of a foot you can look now. Ouch that hurts.
As the sun set in the West, it was time for Dan and I to change our clothes and go to a birthday party. We drove up to Hollywood and met up with a group of party people at the famous Hollywood Billiards. Eight ball in the side pocket.

Val, the birthday girl, is third from the left. What a cute group.....don't we pose well???

We sang "Happy Birthday", she blew out the candles and then cut the cake.

Ok, one more picture and that's it. I turn into a pumpkin at 11 o'clock. Come on Dan, we've got to get our beauty sleep.

Sunday was another hot one in Long Beach. It felt like over 90 degrees. But thank goodness it blew. I was able to get out for quite a while until the wind shifted side shore. Then my kite fell from the sky like a rock. It was a long swim in but I finally made it.

While I was trying to straighten my lines the wind came up side shore again and Dan picked up where he left off yesterday. No jumps but he's staying up wind.

Wow, look at this port reach. I don't believe it. Dan's in total control. But he didn't want to chance it so he didn't do anything crazy because he didn't want to swim in.

As the day was coming to a close, Chad walked up the beach to grab his surfboard because somewhere out in that big stretch of water was his other board. A little earlier, when he was out on his short board, the wind died and he couldn't got to it. So he went back and forth looking for it as the sun was going down.

Dan walked down to the peninsula to give Chad a hand back to the ramp. Chad was one happy camper. He found his board.

As the sun set, Dan and I headed home for dinner. Ruth had gone to the store and prepared a fantastic dinner for the two kite boarders that had been out slaying kite dragons all day. Thanks honey and Happy Birthday. Today is her special day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday....how did so many get the day off????

I knew I was going to invite Jason Darlington, my nephew down to Belmont today because he had the afternoon off. But who knew the wind was going to gust over 25 mph and blow for over 3 hours?

I think you can see the sand blowing behind Omar Nazif. He first rigged his 16, then downsized to a 12. At one point he wanted his 16 back.
Day number 6 and Jason had no problem handling my 16. Later it proved a little big when the wind hit speeds of over 25 mph in the middle.

Deon Aumaier had no problems today because he "pumped" his mid sized foil. Good choice Deon.

Klaus Schultz got off work and rushed down to Belmont. He got in a great session. Now he is off to Laughlin Nevada for a motorcycle ride from Thursday until Sunday. He loaned me his kite gear until he gets, back because my 16 has a big rip up the center....Boo hoo.

Lance Smith got in a little kite time too. He pulled off some big air today and some spins too.
Joe Wilcox also got some great air time and we had a few hand slaps too. He's no one trick pony now!!

Mike Noel didn't have to get to the docks until 6 so he was back on the beach. Why not????

Dong has been getting in some incredible sessions for the past few weeks. The wind gods have been good to us this months, but where was Kyle today??? I want to see a note from his teacher.

Bill Swiskow had already taught a lesson, so when that was over he was on the water carving some transitions on his board. Nice.....

We're also lucky to have a few girls kiting at our beach. This is Brittney pulling off a smooth turn.

Even Todd Snyder wandered up to the Claremont ramp to get his moment in the sun.

But the shot of the day was when Faycal took off his board and made this great air move. I'm guessing he was over 25 feet off the water. Who cares it looked great.

Then Al Navas was nice enough to catch a few shots of me on the water. Thanks Al, I owe you one, but why didn't you catch one of my jumps???? Just kidding Al. Al back off...sorry man.

As you can see Jason is starting to get it. I didn't catch the shot but Jason made a few transitions from Starboard to Port and returned to the beach. Next challenge is to get out farther on the Starboard reach so he can stay up wind a little better. That's next lesson, but not bad for 6 days.

At the end of the day Al Navas and Jason walked the walk. But the guy who had the longest walk was Chad Belteau. I think he said he tried to pull off a trick as the wind was starting to die and his kite went into the water near the marina rocks. We took care of his Skywalker "Fatty" but suggested he keep his stuff with ours near the trash can.......WHY NOT, SOMETIMES WE BRING BEER...
See you on the beach.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday we had wind and a BD party. Sunday was just cold wind.

Saturday morning started out by saying "Bye, bye" to Ruthie who was off to the Renaissance Fair with her friend Allen Kizuka. She goes every year with him and every year I say "Have fun."

My next step was to meet Dan and Jason down a the beach with all the gear. We had to wait a while for the wind to come up but when it did, at around 4:30, it was good for the guys until after 7.

Here Dan and Jason get ready to go out just as the wind was coming up.

Dan was totally comfortable using the 16 Rhino. He gets up wind very easy now and is currently working on his directional transitions. I missed catching this one. "Dad you're so slow."

I had to leave the boys and go to Tim Howell's birthday party up on 2nd Street. Sorry guys, time to watch each other..AND NO ACCIDENTS!!!!! Ruth showed up to watch them after I left.

This was a first for me, going to a party and getting a hair cut. Hmmmmm????

Tim, the birthday boy on the left, toasts me with a Guinness. His fav and mine too.

Look out honey, don't hurt my friend Timmy. This is the before.....and....

This is the after. Betty had to check out her husbands shave. How close was it Tim??????

Ten guys and one girl. Pretty good odds Betty!!!!! It was a great fun party. Don't we look cute?

Since Tim is a Harley dude he loved all his motorcycle themed presents.

Naturally we couldn't stop just at one place, so we had to go for the gusto. Next stop Legend's. It was a lot of fun since the Long Beach Gran Prix brought lots of people to 2nd Street that night.

The next morning Luca, who just returned from Italy came over to the house with Monica to say "Ciao." They were loving the new rose blooms. Luca is still on Italy time so he is waking up at 5 a.m. He will be back kiting soon. In the mean time it was great to hang out with them.

Sunday was such a great afternoon of kiting with lots of wind. There were so many shots that I wanted to take but I was out on the water with no camera. At the end of the day I caught Faycal walking up the beach with a buddy in silhouette. I hope you like it.