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Delray Public Beach

Posted on April 2, 2021 by under Travel.    

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There were no pro events on Friday, March 20, so Brian and I took advantage of the afternoon to do some sightseeing. However, after seeing how busy the downtown streets were, neither of us wanted to drive. Brian didn’t feel like walking much either but it was the lesser of two evils. I managed to convince him to walk around downtown and walk to the beach with me.

The Delray Public Beach is a straight shot down Atlantic Avenue from our hotel. The walk to the beach is a scenic one that passes by many interesting sights including restaurants, gift shops, and boutique hotels.

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Atlantic Avenue crosses Gulf Stream. Here’s a view from the bridge.

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This is a view of Deck 84, one of the restaurants that we tried while we were there, from the Atlantic Avenue bridge.

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We made it to the beach in about 20 minutes but, as it turned out, hundreds of other people found their way there too.

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The beach, though not the most beautiful one we’ve ever set foot on, was quite impressive in its expansiveness. It seemed to go on for miles. It seemed like you could go for a jog in either direction and not reach the end for days.

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Neither of us got in the ocean. I dipped my feet in but the water was much colder than I’d like so this was all I could muster.

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This is a view of Atlantic Avenue from the Ocean Boulevard intersection.

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Gelato-go is one of the fun shops along Atlantic Avenue.

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I had the marscapone with nutella. It was amazing.

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There was also a Starbucks along the route, which was perfect because my friend Amy Jaramillo wanted a “been there” mug from Florida. The funny thing is, I had a Kansas mug in my carry on for Lauren (McLaughlin) and I totally thought I would be less a mug on the way home but it turns out I still had to transport one back. A Florida one this time.

The trip wasn’t a successful one in terms of pickleball but it was a nice little getaway for me and the hubs. If you don’t consider my lackluster tournament performance, it was a fantastic trip overall. I will write about Deck 84 next time. GNG.

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APP Delray Beach Open

Posted on March 30, 2021 by under Hobbies, Travel.    

Here are some of my favorite pictures from APP Delray Beach Open, my first APP Tour tournament. First of all, the location was amazing. The stadium court at the Delray Beach Tennis Center is huge!

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I’ve never been to a place quite like this. They spared no expense. Not only did they paint three pickleball courts in the stadium, they also had a couple of digital scoreboards for championship court.

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This place is so huge that even with the APP Tour’s 27 pickleball courts, there were still several tennis courts available for the locals.

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This is the view from our favorite shady spot at the stadium.

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That blue tent on the right is the main streaming booth. Brian actually got to go in and get some live streaming tips from Kyle Selinko.

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Here are a few pictures with some of my favorite people.

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With Regina Franco, who played with Sarah Ansboury in women’s doubles and Jocelyn Devilliers in mixed doubles.

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With Lauren Stratman, who played with Lea Jansen in women’s doubles and Patrick Smith in mixed doubles. Lauren and Pat took second in pro mixed doubles and Lauren also completed in pro singles where she took fourth.

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With Patrick Smith (aka the Winter Soldier) and Lauren McLaughlin of Live with Lauren fame. She’s the one who gave him the Winter Soldier nickname.

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I got a super awesome Live with Lauren shirt that I can’t wait to wear!

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One more pic with Lauren McLaughlin for good measure. We took this after I French-braided her hair.

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With Jocelyn’s wife Aleks. They took advantage of spring break by going to Florida a few days ahead of the tournament and turned it into a family vacation.

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With Belinda Dettman, photographer extraordinaire, and Dana Joseph, volunteer extraordinaire. Dana gave the best player orientations ever.

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This is a picture of Dana giving her player orientation speech. She did all of them.

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With my 4.0 35+ mixed partner Brent Huff.

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Here’s a photo of the two of us courtesy of Belinda Dettman.

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Belinda also took a great pic of Brian and me.

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With my fabulous 3.5 35+ women’s doubles partner Kerry Shannon, founder of the Pretty Picklers. She gifted me with these awesome sunglasses which I absolutely loved and wore all weekend long.

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This bright pink Pretty Picklers half zip long sleeved shirt was another gift from my new friend Kerry. I felt so official.

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With Ken Hermann, CEO & founder of the APP Tour.

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With Steve Deakin and Dekel Bar, who played together in men’s doubles.

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The guys playing against each other — Patrick and Jocelyn on the left, and Steve and Dekel on the right.

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Here’s a picture of Pat getting a butt rub.

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The community center people did not like their parking lot being overrun by tournament players.

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Here are a few more pictures of the amazing set up at the Delray Beach Tennis Center. They had so much space for everything, including an entire row of vendor tents (after the volunteer and player check in tents and the ticket sales), tournament desk that was centrally located, and food trucks.

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Lastly, here’s a picture of me in action courtesy of Belinda Dettman. It’s my first official pickleball tournament photo.

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For more about the tournament and how I did, follow Zumba with Ching on BMC. Until next time. GNG.

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Happy Hour at El Camino

Posted on March 29, 2021 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

El Camino, Delray Beach

Brian and I really liked El Camino. It was our first stop when we arrived in Delray Beach because we were both starving from the trip.

El Camino, Delray Beach

El Camino has great happy hour menu but we were so hungry we decided to order off the regular menu instead.

El Camino, Delray Beach

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The food was pretty good. I enjoyed my tacos and black beans.

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But I enjoyed my blood orange margarita best of all.

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Brian enjoyed the hot sauce. Maybe a little too much.

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More about our recent trip next time. Until then, GNG.

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First Time at the Belmont (and Frost)

Posted on March 28, 2021 by under Food and Drink.    

Brian and I finally got a chance to check out the Belmont. The place is so popular that it is extremely hard to get in during regular hours. The times that we’ve tried to eat there, the wait has been too long and so we’d never been until now. The funny thing is, we didn’t even plan to eat there. We were out for a drive on a beautiful day and on the hunt for root beer floats. We decided to go to TJ’s since we were at Seneca Park but we were too late. I’d forgotten that they close at 2 PM on Sundays.

Plan B was to get our root beer float fix at Ziggy’s. Ziggy’s also has great root beer floats. But on the way there, we saw that the Belmont wasn’t busy so we ended up ditching the root beer float plan and going for happy hour instead.

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We’d never been able to get in before so we decided to take advantage of this opportunity. It ended up costing us more than what it would have cost us had we stuck to our original plan because we also got a cheese board but happy hour at the Belmont is actually really good. They have $8 pitchers of beer and their cocktails, which are normally $10, are only $6 during happy hour.

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I really wanted to try all six cocktails but Brian wouldn’t let me. Since I could only have two, I decided to try the first two on the list: Calumet and Daylight.

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Even though both drinks were very good, I liked Calumet (pictured above) best out of the two. Daylight (pictured below) was yummy too but was a bit tart.

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Here’s a picture of our cheese board.

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When they brought out our check, they also brought out a couple of cookies. One was oatmeal raisin and the other was snickerdoodle. I’m not a fan of snickerdoodle cookies but this one was really good. Hands down, the best snickerdoodle cookie I’ve ever tasted. The experience made me realize that I probably don’t like snickerdoodle cookies because I’ve only ever had bad ones before.

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Our server told us that the cookies were homemade by the Frost people next door. As it happened to be Pi Day (March 14), we decided to walk over to Frost to get a piece of pie. However, they were overrun and were completely out of pie (except for pecan flavor, which Brian doesn’t like). We ended up with a slice of chocolate cake instead. You can never go wrong with chocolate cake.

Here are a few pictures we took at Frost. They’ve only been open a few months and we’d really not even heard of them had it not been for our server mentioning it. Frost is totally worth checking out if you’re ever in the College Hill area.

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I guess that’s all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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Linwood Recreation Center

Posted on March 26, 2021 by under Community, Hobbies.    

After two solid years of playing pickleball, amazingly enough, I’ve still never visited all of the locations that offer open play in our area. I think what happens is that, now that I’ve found places that fit my schedule close to me, I don’t ever venture out to new places any more. Once established, it’s always hard to step out of our comfort zones. That said, I’m going to try really hard to hit (and take pictures) of the various places on our Wichita pickleball open play schedule.

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First stop: Linwood Recreation Center. I visited the rec center for the first time ever a few weeks ago. With rec centers, you never know what kind of surface you’ll be playing on. Most of the time they have wood gym floors. Occasionally, you’ll run into vinyl tile floors like at Linwood when they use a multipurpose space.

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At Linwood they have room for three pickleball courts and play using temporary portable nets. Similar to the format used at Edgemoor, everyone lines up on the chairs set up at one side of the room and they use a “four on, four off” rotation. As each game finishes, the games shift toward the furthest court so that they’re always feeding into the nearest court. This limits the need for players to walk back and forth and interrupt play.

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I’m not a huge fan of the “four on, four off” system because sometimes you get stuck playing with the exact same people for the entire open play but it does keep things moving and, even when there are over twenty players there, the wait time is limited. Groups do get mixed up a bit when there is an odd number so there’s opportunity to play with different people.

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The player demographic at Linwood is similar to the player demographic at most rec centers. There’s more older people than younger people but it seems like, unless you’re playing at Chicken N Pickle, that tends to be the case with pickleball because the sport was popular with the retired folks before it became mainstream.

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On the Saturday that I went to check out Linwood, I ran into some people I knew like Ken (above) and Bill (below), and others who I’d never met before.

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I also met a new friend, Phil, who recently discovered pickleball and, just like all of us, is now completely addicted.

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Anyway, I’m going to try to make it out to all the other locations to take some pictures and videos and meet some pickleball players. If you’re looking to play, here are two things you must do to get started because open play options on the weekend are usually quite limited:

The Facebook group will help you connect with other pickleball players so you’ll get invited to play outside of the regularly scheduled open play. PlaytimeScheduler shows you an open plays arranged by people at the parks (or other locations) that are outside of the normal schedule.

As far as the normal open play schedule goes, here’s what typically happens on the weekends:

    SATURDAY

  • Linwood Rec Center – 10 AM to 12 PM
    $2 per person, limited to the first 25 players
  • Edgemoor Rec Center – 1 PM to 3 PM
    $2 per person, limited to the first 25 players
  • SUNDAY

  • Nahola – 12 PM to 2 PM (competitive)
    $7 per person for non-members
  • Edgemoor Rec Center – 1 PM to 3 PM
    $2 per person, limited to the first 25 players
  • El Dorado Rec Center – 2 PM to 5 PM
    FREE open play
  • West YMCA – 4 PM to 7 PM
    $10 per person for non-members

Now that I’ve been to Linwood, I can saw that I’ve been to all of these places. Now I just have to check out all the other locations which is a bit more challenging because I work during the day. I will do my best to get it all done this year, though. Until then, hope you have a great time playing. See you all on the courts soon!

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