Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Berkeley - Big Sur Day 1

Day one started in LA, but ended in heaven. We left early morning from my parents place to take the five hour trek to the East Bay. Our plan was to stay in downtown Oakland because the parking and hotel situation in Berkeley sounded too hectic, so our plan was to take the subway in. I thought it was a great plan, but seeing how the trains were half filled with Tennessee Orange, I was worried about a UCLA Rose Bowl situation where all the locals made a big payday on the game.

Looking for some blue and gold at the BART Station

Once we came above ground, we tried going to my favorite beer joint, Jupiter, but seeing how it was the nearest pub to the BART Station, oxygen was hard to find let alone a place to stand there. After seeing how Triple Rock Brewery was so packed that it made the air-conditioning void, we headed for a little sandwich place that was new since I lived there last.

Since we had a few hours to kill before the game, I gave Barbara a tour of the campus. There's so much architectural history that I could take hours, but we jaunted by all the main sites, like Doe Library, the Campanile, and the west entrance. We met up at Sproul Plaza where the band performed before their final march up the stadium.

Sather Gate
Cal Band Great! Sproul Plaza

My parents headed up to the stadium which allowed me and Barb a chance to hit up a couple more of my local faves before the game. We went by Yogurt Park to remind me how great their yogurt is especially since it's about half price from anywhere else in the world. Then up to Cafe Strada, my all-time favorite coffee place in the world. It kicks ass three ways: good prices, super fast service, and awesome coffee. Get the Bianca Mocha. 'Nuff said.

After a short walk past the treehuggers, we were in the stadium. There was a large Tennessee contingent, but fortunately, Cal fans outnumbered the Vols about 6-1. The atmosphere was electric. The Tennessee fans were eccentric.

"I've been smoking in stadiums since the Civil War!"

Appalachian State made me wear black today!

Cal's defense made me really squeamish, but the offense looked pretty good. Once Cal did stop a Vols drive, I started describing to Barb about how Desean Jackson was the best punt returner in the country. As the ball was in the air, I said they were kicking it short to force a fair catch. Once Desean decided to run with the ball instead, I said he wasn't going to get much. Then, we were all jumping up an down.

It's Desean's world!

That left us on the edge of our seats for the rest of the game. We got to witness card tricks(which originated at Cal) and the ever more entertaining confetti toss preceding. Cal pretty much controlled the rest of the game, although I never feel good until it's really over. The Tennessee fans were great and they were very gracious to meet, even after their loss. On the way back to the train, we found seats at Jupiter. Unfortunately, I failed in meeting my goal of trying every single one of their beers in one sitting. Almost the perfect day..

"Please pass your cards to the right"
The Band's on the Field!!..and sixty thousand
of their closest friends

1 comment:

Troy Jones said...

Very nice Zack,
Were you staying at the same hotel as the Volunteers. How do get people to visit your blog site.
You and Barbara look very happy. When are you going to show Vinnie how to hook up on line?
Ok, now that I have visited yours, go on mine.