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Archive for "Things to Do"

Christmas Break

Posted on January 6, 2021 by under Hobbies, Things to Do.    

I took time off work after Christmas and didn’t resume working again until the Monday after New Year’s Day. I was still checking emails and working on stuff, of course, but at least I wasn’t tethered to my desk like on a normal workday. Christmas break was a nice respite from my normal routine and I took advantage of the time off to play daytime pickleball, a luxury I don’t usually have.

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The day after Christmas, I played mixed doubles with Steve Vetter, Jon Maugans and Karen Fox. I had originally asked Tom Pham and Jimmy Cho but Tom was quarantining due to being exposed to COVID and Jimmy didn’t want to accept my invitation because he was holding out for the guys’ normal Saturday morning play at Chicken N Pickle. I should have told him not to get his hopes up because the girls couldn’t get courts and that’s actually why I arranged for a mixed game. That, and I prefer to play mixed anyway, so no having any courts available at CNP actually worked in my favor.

Jimmy eventually found out there was no King of Courts that weekend and I got a text from him late on Christmas Day asking if I’d found players. Shortly after he declined my original invite, I started working on locking in Steve and Jon and so at that point we already had our group set. I’m glad Steve and Jon were available to play that day. They are so fun and I had a great time.

Karen, Brian and I had lunch at Carrabba’s after and while at lunch I had the foresight to check Playtime Scheduler. I actually got in to the Brunch & Bingo open play at Chicken N Pickle for once. All the spots usually fill up less than five minutes after the play time is posted. It is very hard to get in because you have to time it just right. I think I experienced a Christmas miracle.

After open play on Sunday morning, a bunch of us hung around for Brunch & Bingo. I never really win but it’s a fun way to pass the time.

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The week following Christmas, I had the opportunity to play pickleball with lots of people. Karen set up several play times for us to practice women’s doubles. On Monday we played with Chandi Bongers and Lori Belew. On Thursday, we played with Chandi and Kristen Conrad. On Friday, we played with Brooke Ayala and Krista Crawford. We were trying to set up games with Chandi and Kristen because they were originally going to play in our division in the Arizona tournament in February. However, now that the tournament has been extended, Chandi is playing with Krista in the 50+ division instead.

We also had some mixed games. On Tuesday, I arranged for us to play with Tony Swantek and Logan Schrag. That was another Christmas miracle. I’d only ever played four games in total with Tony – ever. I fully expected him say no and I was ready to on move down the list but he accepted. Getting two hours of play with Tony was definitely one of the highlights of the week. On Wednesday, Karen set up a game for her friend Lucas who was in town from Utah. I’m never one to turn down games so, even though I was already playing later that day with Debbie and Dave Fanning and Tom, I couldn’t decline. So on Wednesday, I played with Karen, Lucas and Andy Bloyer from about 11 in the morning to shortly after 1 in the afternoon, and then with Deb, Dave, and Tom from 2-4 pm. And then since our court was still open Tom talked me into a partial game of full court singles. And, despite my feet killing me from playing all day, I couldn’t say no.

Besides the games that Karen set up, I also had other games set up. On Tuesday evening, I played with Janelle Lindeman’s group. And on Thursday morning (New Year’s Eve), I played with Brooke and Monty Ayala and Kim Knotts first thing in the morning before my play time with Karen, Chandi, and Kristen.

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Coincidentally, we all had our Chicken N Pickle skyline shirts that day. Naturally, we had to get a group pic.

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Here’s our group pic from New Year’s Day. (From left: Karen, Krista, Ching and Brooke.) I couldn’t believe how many people were CNP that morning despite the weather. The roads were so bad that I was amazed I made it to CNP without getting stuck. When I arrived, I expected the four of us to be the only ones there but no – all the courts were actually full.

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After pickleball, Brooke, Karen and I stayed for the special New Year’s Day bingo event. Brooke and Karen both won stuff but I did not, which is probably how this entire year is going to go. I went home briefly after bingo and then came back to CNP again later that afternoon for my 5-7 pm game with Debbie’s group. We relocated our normal Friday night mixed to CNP because Nahola was closed for the holiday, and in doing so we also moved the time up a couple of hours.

No pickleball for me on Saturday morning because I committed to helping with the VASA group exercise sampler event at the Harry location. Did that, and then went to lunch and run errands with Brian and completely forgot about the Saturday afternoon play with Janelle’s group that I had agreed to over holiday break. Had she not texted me, I would have missed it altogether.

On Sunday, I started my Aqua Zumba class at VASA (Harry), played pickleball at the open play at Nahola, and had a pickleball lesson with Chris Heck. In the evening, I attended the pickleball farewell party for Jimmy at CNP (more on this later). And then it was back to work on Monday.

I got to do lots of pickleball and also some Zumba (my normal classes and the New Year event – more on this later too) during my time off work. It was wonderful! The only thing that would have made it even better is if I didn’t have to work at all.

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

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New League Session is Here

Posted on November 9, 2020 by under Hobbies, Things to Do.    

The new league session at Chicken N Pickle starts this week. You know what that means. Another round of fun league photos! Anyway, here are my favorites from last session…

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Me and my partner from last session, Brooke Ayala.

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We have so many matching outfits, we didn’t have enough time to wear all of them.

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We did have a little fun on tournament night.

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Last session was a five-week Halloween league. Thus, lots of orange outfits. Between me and Brooke are Kimberly Howe and Jen Reifschneider, aka Chef Jen. Below, it’s Kim, Jen, Brooke, me and then Jenny Cole and Karen Fox.

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Me and Brooke with Jody Vinson and Amy Jaramillo between us, and a bonus Chandi Bongers photobomb.

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We all like the purple leopard print Target tanks so much that we all got it. Below are Lesli Toubassi, Tiffany Lesperance, Karen, me and Jenny.

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Me and my mixed doubles partner from last session, Tom Pham, with our nemesis — Han You and Karen Fox. In keeping with the Halloween theme, their official team name was Not Today Freddy Krueger.

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Even Tiffany and Donnie Lesperance got in on the matching shirt action. Also, they were the competitive mixed doubles league champs this past session.

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I’m so excited for this next round. I got uniforms for me and my new partner Anna.

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Also, Brian is playing in his first pickleball league ever and we got shirts made for him and his partner, Kenny Underkofler too. Check ’em out!

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Anyway, no matching shirts for me and my mixed partner this session, Steve Vetter, because he is a party pooper. We played our first two matches last night and won both matches in two straight sets. First match was against Laura and Simon (Pickled Kiwis) and second match was against Matt Mayfield and Sarah Berry. I guess as long as we do well and have fun, it doesn’t matter that we don’t have fun matching league uniforms.

Will keep you posted and let you know how all of our leagues turn out at the end of the session. Until then, GNG.

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Addicted to Bingo

Posted on October 28, 2020 by under Date Ideas, Food and Drink, Things to Do.    

I’m officially addicted to Bingo. More specifically, Brunch & Bingo at Chicken N Pickle. At first it was just me at a table by myself (usually with Ric and Brenda Thompson at the next table). Then I roped Karen into joining me.

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Look at this concentration!

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A couple of weeks ago, my pseudo-daughter Huyen joined us for the first time. She’s now very much addicted to Bingo too.

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This past Sunday, Brian and grandma joined us. Grandma is a veteran Bingo player and brought us tape. I’d never thought to do that but it was brilliant. I’m bringing tape every week from now on.

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While the games are going, everyone is super serious. You have to concentrate or you run the risk of missing numbers. Specially since Jeff calls them super fast.

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Everyone was in full concentration, even Brian.

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Grandma didn’t Bingo but she got a free shirt courtesy of Michael and Jeff. She absolutely loved her shirt and eagerly showed off to everyone when she got home.

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Grandma also enjoyed her mimosa.

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Besides FREE Bingo and $5 mimosas and bloody Marys, Chicken N Pickle also offers delicious food for brunch. This past Sunday, we ordered one of each thing so grandma could try it all.

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Here are some pictures of our food…

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The avocado toast was so good even Brian liked it, and he’s not a frou frou kind of guy.

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You can’t go wrong with biscuits and gravy – unless you forget to tell them to fry the egg hard which is what happened on Sunday. LOL. Brian would have enjoyed it more had the egg not been runny.

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The junkyard dog breakfast burrito is our absolute favorite brunch item. I have eaten an entire one by myself but it’s better to share with another person because it really is a lot of food.

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I’m glad Karen and Huyen joined us because we were able to share our food with them. Anyway, Brunch & Bingo is my absolute favorite thing to do on Sundays. I look forward to it every weekend. The best part is, Jenni and her crew are going to join us for the next one. I can’t wait!

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World Pickleball Day 2020

Posted on October 10, 2020 by under Events, Hobbies, Things to Do.    

World Pickleball Day is an initiative that was conceived by the World Pickleball Federation for the purpose of introducing the sport to new players and spreading the love for pickleball on a global scale. October 10, 2020 is the first ever World Pickleball Day. I celebrated the day by spending my entire morning playing pickleball at Chicken N Pickle.

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We started the morning with our usual Queen of Courts. We have eight players on two courts play one game and then winners and losers play against each other the next game. Partners split each time, which gives everyone a chance to play with everyone else. We just repeat this over and over until we reach the end of our time. It’s super fun and always really competitive since winners and losers are always playing against each other.

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We made time for a few fun pics this morning. On this one, Brooke was pretending to feel left out because there were a couple of times that the four of us played together and she was the only one who was not playing with an Electrum paddle.

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Chicken N Pickle celebrated World Pickleball Day by hosting an “Addict + Newbie” tournament. It immediately followed the King and Queen of Courts (the guys have King of Courts the same time as the ladies’ QOC and they usually even have more players/courts; except for today when both groups only had two courts because the Sons of Pitches took over all of CNP’s indoor courts for their cornhole tournament).

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I managed to talk Brian into playing in the tournament as my designated “newbie” partner by bribing him with a beer and a burrito. The burrito is so good. I’m actually looking forward to having it again for brunch tomorrow.

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We didn’t do great on the tournament. In fact, we didn’t win a single match today, but that didn’t keep us from having fun. I really appreciated Brian playing with me this morning. I also love that World Pickleball Day falls during my birthday month so, if all else fails, I can play the “birthday card” to force him to play pickleball with me. I didn’t have to twist his arm too much today. I think he was actually pretty “into” it. He even picked out our matching shirts.

I love my forever newbie partner. Until World Pickleball Day 2021! GNG.

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Brunch and Bingo

Posted on October 3, 2020 by under Things to Do.    

If you’re looking for something fun to do on a Sunday, check out Brunch and Bingo at Chicken N Pickle. They’ve been doing it for a while but I didn’t get a chance to check it out until a couple of weeks ago. Now I’m hooked!

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The best part of Brunch and Bingo is that it’s absolutely free to play. You only pay for any food or drinks you enjoy while you’re there so it’s good, cheap fun. Also, bloody marys and mimosas are just $5 during brunch.

Here are some pics from the two times I’ve been.

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Two weeks ago Rick won an Engage Encore MX 6.0 paddle. It’s worth $150!

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I’ve gotten close several times and then finally on Sunday I got a bingo and won this awesome shirt. It’s actually my second black skyline shirt. I also have it in the gray and white colors because I love it so much.

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Several players from the Sunday morning open play stayed to play bingo this time. Here’s the huge stack of bingo cards they amassed at their table.

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Brenda and Rick are regulars. This is an every Sunday thing for them.

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Christian and his family also came to check things out.

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Anyway, if you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, I highly recommend going to Chicken N Pickle for Brunch and Bingo. I’m filling in for someone in the Wichita Fall-Out tournament at Riverside Tennis Center (more on this later); otherwise, I’d be there tomorrow. I’ll be back next weekend, though.

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