At the east end of the Waipio Valley, along a mile long stretch of black sand beach, at the base of a 1500 foot cliff, with waterfalls spilling into the ocean, in the late afternoon, the light is just so... it's the perfect time and space for a Rogo family portrait.
I recently toured Pa Ka Makani Farm in Hawaii. My friends Anne and Andrew Strawbridge have created something special on The Big Island. Kudos to them for acting as great stewards of the earth by envisioning this sustainably designed and built slice of paradise.
Big Max Waldo
It's all about the party - the after party! Every night offered fantastic after hour diversions. It started with the VIP Opening Night party at Bang Bang and ended with the Filmmakers Bash at SummerSalt Rooftop Pool & Lounge. In between was the Tribute Night reception at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla and the Almost Famous party at the decadent Pussycat Dolls San Diego Dollhouse in the Gaslamp. After Party On!
There's always a great vibe at the SD Film Festival. Not dissimilar to the laid back, easy going attitude that is San Diego's hallmark. Celebs mingle with fans, guests become celebs, everyone's a star....
Meet and greet on stage with Judd Apatow
Gentleman Norman and his escort
What is a film festival without the glamor and glitz of the red carpet? A lot less fun, for sure, especially when you're working behind the scenes. The red carpet and all that entails sets the tone for the festival and festivities. Here's a glimpse at a few moments around the red carpet events at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and at the Reading Theater in the Gaslamp District.
Red carpet arrivals for the Awards Tribute Night at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Step and Repeat in the Gaslamp
Sharing the results with Saginaw Grant
The gauntlet - Tribute Night
Luminaries of the Native American track at the end of the red carpet
There's nothing quite like camp cuisine. I've eaten at some pretty fine establishments and sampled foods prepared by some incredibly talented chefs, but there's nothing like making your own food in the great outdoors. All pretense removed - senses heightened. Even day old bagels toasted over the campfire - to a point unacceptable in most kitchens - and slathered in butter are a delight. Here's some culinary tips from our recent camping trip to Rock Creek Lake: Dry beans take FOREVER to cook at altitude.
Bacon smells just as good at 9500 feet as it does at sea level.
Kids actually enjoy learning stuff, like how to gut fish.
Veggie burgers don't travel well.
Fresh caught trout is every bit as good as you remember it.
Sunrise - Breakfast Prep
Cup of Joe- or Green Tea....
Breakfast courtesy of Peter
The stringer - one of many.
Teaching the fine art of gutting fish
A bit of a misnomer to be sure. We definitely camped. I hadn't been up to Rock Creek Lake in several years and we were due for a camping trip this summer. So we packed up the gear and headed to this gem tucked away at 9500 feet in the Eastern Sierras. We spent a week camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking, SUP and just kicking it at this beautiful location. My favorite thing about heading up there is it's still off the grid. A week away from email, text, phone was incredible. We camped, we got back to nature - Totally refreshing!
San Diego Public Market held a fundraiser Sunday - Street Food Market. The Public Market is a great addition to a wonderful old San Diego neighborhood - Barrio Logan. The Street Food Market was a fundraiser to help support the market, scheduled to open this summer. The event was great with amazing food (seems raw is in) and festivities. Live music, dancers, street performers, giant puppets, and farm animals all entertained the large crowd. Can't wait to see how San Diego's Public Market comes together.
Day four - our final day in in Phoenix for the Cactus League. We had a decision to make. We had vowed to see 4 ballparks in 4 days. With 16 teams training we chose the best games possible each day so we could see our favorite teams and players. The Pads and Angels were must sees. And we agreed the Reds were in. That left day four and my son really wanted to see the San Francisco Giants. As a Padre fan I loath all other NL West teams. I respect the Giants, even like some of the players and manager Bruce Bochy, but they are constantly beating up on my Pads so I'm not a fan of the team. There was one other option that was in the general area of the Giants ballpark. The Rockies and Diamondbacks (also both NL West teams) built a new complex a few miles from the Giants facility. I mapped it on my phone, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, and was surprised by the satellite view. The complex was still under construction with backhoes sitting in the stadium bowl. If nothing else, this was going to worth a drive by to check it out. So we set out extra early with the plan to drive by both stadiums, get a vibe for each, and then pick our game for the day. The San Francisco Giants play at Scottsdale Stadium. It's built right into this working class neighborhood. Right up our alley! Great old stadium with lots of local flavor. But to be fair we had to drive by Salt River Fields and check it out. It's only about 10 minutes away but it's a world apart. It's on the outskirts of town. Their neighbors are sprawling malls. Not our scene. The facility is indeed brand new. The backhoes are gone. It looks like a country club. Every blade of grass has seemingly been manicured. The players have every amenity they can imagine and some they can't, I'm sure. The walkways between fields are landscaped and pristine. It's an impressive facility and I look forward to checking it out next time we're there, but for this last day of our trip, our sensibilities lie with the "inner city" and Scottsdale Stadium. So after our brief tour of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick we headed back to Scottsdale Stadium. The Giants were playing the Chicago White Sox. No big draw there. We were there to see the World Champion SF Giants. My son has many favorite players on the Giants - Pablo Sandoval (Kung-fu Panda), Hunter Pence (who he's convinced hits the hardest ball in all of baseball), Buster Posey, and Sergio Romo, to name just a few. The big side show of the day was the display of the World Series trophy, which the Giants won last October. You could have your picture taken with it by a professional photographer. It's smaller that it looks on TV, but still pretty cool. Another pleasant surprise was the SF Giants starting line-up. While we had become accustomed to seeing a bunch of scrubs start and play in the games we had seen thus far, SF looked to be starting almost all of their regulars, including one of their regular starting pitchers, Madison Bumgarner. So if I was going to endure watching the hated Giants, at least I was going to see the "real" SF Giants. Just like the previous 2 days we arrived in plenty of time for my son to get on the first base rail and get some autographs. This time, like the Reds, the players were out and signing, chatting up the crowd. Many of the regulars took time to sign and pose for pix. Far cry from the previous day in Tempe and the Angels. The game was fun even though the Giants ran out to a huge lead. And as if to prove my son's point, Hunter Pence hit a rocket shot to straight away center he legged out for a triple. We spent much of the game wandering and checking out the various angles and features of the stadium. Just as we were getting ready to leave the Chi Sox loaded the bases and the PA announcer alerted the crowd of a pitching change. "Coming in to pitch for the Giants, Brett Bochy." We decided to stick around and see how manager Bruce Bochy's son would fair in this situation. Well...it was not pretty. Brett allowed 7 runs in 2/3 of an inning. He gave up a ground rule double and a grand slam allowing the Chi'Sox to come back from a 7 run deficit and tie it. At that point we decided to call it a day. Our tour of Spring Training and the Cactus League had been a great experience. But we had a long drive ahead of us.....
World Series Champion Angel
Chalking the Lines - Actually painting....
Angel Pagan honing his swing
Hunter Pence signing autographs
Sergio Romo getting in some work - Da' socks!
Day 3 arrived with much anticipation. We were scheduled to see the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles (or whatever their current / correct name is) vs the Oakland A's at Tempe Diablo Stadium. And with anticipation often times comes disappointment.... We should have known something was up when we arrived at the ballpark and the wind was howling and the temperature was considerably cooler than the previous 2 days. But we were here to see the Angels and their big time stars. The Angels have been the talk of the baseball off-season having signed coveted free agent Josh Hamilton to go along with last year's marquee signings of Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson. They also have last year's rookie sensation Mike Trout, to go along with many many more stars - a wealth of talent worthy of the New York Yankees. The anti-Padres if you will.... But that does not always translate to a winning "team" as their inability to make the playoffs last year can attest. This was the one "must see" game and team for my son and I on our Cactus League tour (other than the Padres which my son could have easily left off the itinerary). We were both excited to see the new players the Angels had signed and the breakout players from last season, particularly Mike Trout. My son got several great autographs from the Reds the previous day so he wanted to arrive extra early to get in position to get the most and best signatures. Seems he wasn't the only one with that idea. Right away you noticed the vibe was different and it started with the size of the crowds. Granted it was a Sunday so the crowd was a little larger than we probably would have seen mid week, but it was still manageable. While the first 2 venues we had gone to (Peoria and Goodyear) had been laid back and casual, this had more the feeling of a regular season game at a pro ballpark. The players big timed the fans and the fans in turn big timed each other. It wasn't an ugly scene by any stretch, it just wasn't what we had experienced the previous 2 days and had come to expect at Spring Training. I don't think more than 3 players signed or stopped by to chat with the fans. Mark Trumbo was the only regular that started and played for the Angels. Mike Trout strode by the first base line at some point but Hamilton and Pujols were nowhere to be seen. All was not lost and there were definitely some highlights. Mark Trumbo's batting practice in particular. The guy was hitting rockets into and over the left field berm. He was absolutely crushing the ball. The game was fun and the A's played well. It was fun to watch Cuban defector Yoenis Céspedes. This guy has the potential to be a huge star for the A's. All in all it was a great day at the ballpark, albeit very cold. Much of the time it's hard to live up to expectations. The best times come when you're not expecting them. But while this was a disappointing day based on our expectations it was still time well spent watching baseball and hanging at the yard.
Coco Crisp Arriving
The Loyal Fans
The Grounds Crew - Pregame Water
Safe at Third
Oakland A's First Base Coach Tye Waller tossing a ball into the stands