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Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

Posted on August 8, 2022 by under Travel.    

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We stayed at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach for the Newport Beach tournament. It was a 5 minute walk to the beach and a 20 minute walk to the tournament venue. This place was a lot nicer than the place I booked for us in Naples for the US Open so I am hoping that I am forgiven.

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The property is pretty huge and reminds me of the resorts we’ve stayed at in the Caribbean. They have multiple building structures (hotel rooms, villas, conference areas/meeting rooms), event spaces (amphitheater for weddings and parties), and 3 swimming pools spread throughout the beautifully landscaped grounds.

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We walk by the villas to go to the beach.

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This is the beautiful amphitheater that they use for weddings.

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This is the vine-covered walkway that leads to it.

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The landscaping is an interesting combination of tropical and dessert. It’s different than anything I have seen but it is well-maintained and lovely.

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The beautiful grounds are not only appealing to hotel guests. They are equally appealing to bunnies, squirrels, and other critters.

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There are activity areas throughout the property for guests to enjoy. This sand volleyball court is right by our building. We actually took this picture from our balcony. We saw people playing down there a couple of times but we never went.

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This is the main restaurant at the resort. Brian and I had a nice, leisurely breakfast there one day.

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We never used the fitness center but it was roomy with lots of equipment and space to do your own thing. What I liked most is this poster they had on the wall for runners. It shows you a map of some runs that you can do based on the how far you want to go. It made me wish I was a runner.

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Anyway, I realized not all of my pictures made to Flickr which is kind of a bummer. I guess you’ll just have to go and experience this resort for yourself. Here’s a link to book your stay. Until next time, GNG.

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USAP Newport Beach Highlights

Posted on August 7, 2022 by under Pickleball, Travel.    

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I had a blast playing with my friend Ramon Lozano at the USAP Newport Beach Championships pickleball tournament. On the one hand, we wanted to win gold but on the other, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go to Nationals since I’ve already committed myself to going to the Diamond Amateur Championships in Florida this year. Plus, I didn’t want to go if I only had one golden ticket. We took 3rd and, while we could have done better, I’m totally okay with it.

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One of the best parts of the trip was meeting Ramon’s wonderful family. Uncle Ramon decked everyone out in Chicken N Pickle gear. What a great uncle he is!

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The group pic above was taken in the morning and then this second group pic is after we got our medals.

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Here are some pics of Back Bay, a beach that’s literally just a five minute walk from our hotel room. We walked over a couple of times. We didn’t get in the water but we took some pics and people-watched.

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The area was breathtaking and the weather was absolutely perfect (as it often is in California – they are fortunate to have wonderful weather year-round). I would totally go back if Brian is up for it next year.

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Here are some pics we took at Back Bay. Thank you to Lucky in Love for the cute outfit in the next pic.

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Back at the tournament, I met some really fabulous people and made new friends (as always). I may not bring a bunch of medals home but I can always count on making new friends.

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Above is a Filipino lady from Illinois that I met at the tournament, Michelle Chow. Below is my blind date/new friend and women’s doubles partner Nancy “Moondust” Kaplan.

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I met the amazing founder/creator PlayTime Scheduler, Reine Steel.

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And, I also got to watch my friend Jenna Doffer (Hessert) kick major butt in the pro division.

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Meanwhile, Brian got a cool new ball cap from the Zelus booth.

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Brian and I also got to go to Fashion Island.

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I’ll end it here for now and share pictures of our hotel/resort in the next post. Until next time, GNG.

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Best Day with Jay Devilliers

Posted on August 6, 2022 by under Pickleball.    

Here’s a highlight video from the best day ever hanging out with one of our professional pickleball players Jocelyn (Jay) Devilliers.

We started at Chicken N Pickle. From left: Matt Nola, Nico Acevedo Olmos, Chie Cline, Jay Devilliers, Huyen Nguyen, and me.

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Then continued on to Zach’s house, where we played some additional games.

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Jay is so fun. At one point, he told me not to come up to the non-volley zone because were working on our baseline and transition zone drop shots.

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It was super fun and a day I won’t soon forget. Until next time, GNG.

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More Wicked Brew Adventures

Posted on August 5, 2022 by under Food and Drink.    

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This is us trying to get a couple more stamps on our Wicked Brew passports. First stop, River City Brewery.

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The sausage and cheese board was just okay but the corn dip was delicious. I think I’ve got Brian converted.

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No visit to downtown is complete without stopping at the Cocoa Dolce Sweet Lounge. We opted to go there for dessert because they have delicious cheesecakes. Brian got the Oreo one.

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I got a tipsy gelato, which is my favorite thing to get. It’s a shame that we are done with the Wicked Brew Tour because it was the perfect excuse to visit all these places. I guess we will just have to go for no good reason. LOL. Till next time, GNG.

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Ramon in Wichita

Posted on August 4, 2022 by under Community, Food and Drink, Pickleball.    

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My friend Ramon Lozano came to Wichita on the last weekend of June so we could play some games together before the Newport Beach tournament. We decided to play in the Y’s Men charity tournament benefiting the Greater Wichita YMCA so that we could kill two birds with one stone – we’re helping the community raise money for a great cause and we are getting to practice.

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We didn’t fare as well as I’d hoped in the tournament but it’s always a good time playing with Ramon. There’s a reason “Everybody Loves Ramon” – LOL. That was our team name for the tournament.

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Ramon drove into town early on Friday to get some games in with Kyle (Starkel, aka “Soapdish” also “Pornstache”) and a couple of other guys. Brian and I needed stamps for our Wicked Brew passports (something that we do every summer) and so we were game when Kyle suggested we meet up at Norton’s.

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Here are some pics of our delicious food… BTW, you cannot go to Norton’s and not get bacon crack. It is a must!

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Here are some pictures from the charity tournament at Chicken N Pickle the next morning. I had to get a picture with my friend Erica Lopez because we both were playing with Joola paddles that day. Formerly, we both played with Electrum Pro paddles. So we still managed to match somehow.

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Here’s a pic of the top two teams of the tournament: Ian Carr and Jen Reifschneider vs. Karen Fox and Chris “Sexy Legs” Heck.

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Karen and Chris won, obviously. Chris always wins. But, not too shabby for Ian who has come in second to Chris every time.

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Anyway, that’s all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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