Volleyball Tournament: East Beach

This weekend I signed up to play in a beach volleyball tournament at East Beach, Santa Barbara.  The tournament was through CBVA and was a men’s tournament.  I played with a partner from another school who’s a pretty good friend.  We showed up to the tournament at around 8:30 AM and started warming up for our first game at 9:15 ish.  Unfortunately, we played in 5 team pool with only one other high school team.  Our first game was against a team who were in their 30’s, and they were pretty decent. We lost the game 12-21 and it was pretty rough.  Then we played against a high school team and beat them by about 6 points.  We then went against a UCSB men’s doubles team and got beat badly as expected.  I was actually impressed by how we played, and despite the 8-21 loss, we rallied most of the points and made a lot of good plays.  After being eliminated from our pool, we went over to East Beach Grill and had burgers, fries, and shakes.  After that we got back to the beach and played doubles for another hour or so; we jumped in the ocean to cool down before we left the beach.

We met up at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club later and enjoyed some Arnold Palmers and beach views.  Finally, I met up with my friend Christian and we went to 1000 steps beach to take some pictures of the sunset.  The picture above has no color correction and the one below is edited slightly.  We messed around with the camera’s settings and upped the exposure to add a mist effect to the water.  We stayed there until about 8 PM then headed over to Mesa Burger to have some chicken sandwiches.  Then we headed over to his house and watched a movie and I spent the night.  The next day was Sunday and we went back to the beach to play a bit more volleyball.  About 8 people showed up so we had enough for 4 teams, but we only took up one court.  I was surprised that there was parking at 10 in the morning with great weather conditions.  Great Weekend!

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Mother’s Day at The Bacara

Mother’s day weekend was this past one, and I think it went pretty well.  Friday after school there was a massive dodge ball competition between youth groups from all over Santa Barbara and Goleta.  Our team had a lot of good friends from multiple youth groups and we all got together to form the most op team out there.  We won the entire championship and most of the games were pretty one sided.  Fortunately, the final round was pretty close but I’d say it was a decisive victory.  Saturday morning I met my friends at the East Beach volleyball courts and we were lucky to have an open court to play on.  I got there a little after nine but most of my friends were there before 8.  We played for about 4 hours until it got too hot and we were all wiped out.  We then went to Habit for lunch, and as part of celebration for the end of the season, my friend Ethan’s parents bought us all Habit which was around $70 in total.  Later that day I hung out with my friend Christian and we had a bit of a photo shoot for an hour and we went over to his house to edit the pictures.  After we finished that we played video games for a while until it got late and I went home.

I woke up on Mother’s Day morning at about 9:30 because I needed a lot rest.  My mom told me she was feeling sick and so my little brother and I were offered to go to the Bacara with some family friends.  So we ended up getting there at 10 ish and ordered steak burritos, pancakes, loads of nachos, and pina coladas.  We hung out around the pool all day for about 7 hours, going in and out and playing chicken fights in the water.  Eventually, they were ready to leave, but because my friend let me know he was coming and could give me a ride home, I decided to stay and wait for him.  He showed up and we went in the hot tub and had dinner and eventually went home.  I’d say it was one of my favorite weekends of 2017.

Eling’s Park

After my AP Biology test, which took place two days ago on Tuesday (which by the way I thought went pretty well and hopefully I got a 4 or a 5 on it), I got home and took a nap for about an hour and realized I hadn’t taken my dog to the park in a few days.  Since I didn’t have much to do for the time being, I thought I might relieve some post-test stress by bringing Finn to the park.  By the way, the first picture is one not taken during my day at the park.

As soon as I started getting dressed to go my dogs eyes perked up at me.  Before I was even finished with the phrase, “Do you want to go to the park?”  he was up and running to the door.  When I opened the front door he was already to the car.   So I opened up the car door and he jumped in as I started the car.  His eyes were big and I felt like his tail was going to bust through one of the doors it was wagging so fast.  I rolled down the window and his head flew out to soak up the sun.  I played music and headed up to Eling’s park, which is about a 7 minute drive from my house(depending on the route I choose to take).   We got there at about 1:30 and I thought we should stay for about 45 minutes or so because I didn’t want to be there too long.  He hopped out of the car door and headed up the street towards the baseball fields at full speed ahead.  I followed after him but not quickly because I knew he would wait for me.  As I  headed up the hill his bleached white coat was finally visible.

We stayed at the park for about an hour while he was busy running around with all the other puppies-some of them usuals-and the occasional water break.  He got tired out about 3 quarters of the way through and so it took a while for us to walk back to the car, but luckily he wasn’t reluctant to get in my whip.  Overall, I’d say it was a good call!

Santa Barbara Zoo

This past week I went to the Santa Barbara Zoo with my cousin and my brother.  We found free tickets and had about 20 bucks in total so we decided to scope the elephants and get some grub at the restaurant which is, by the way, quite overpriced.  I think it was something like 12 bucks for a burger and fries without a drink.  Anyway, I had not gone to the zoo for about 3 years or so before we went and I figured it was a good time to go.  My cousin Austin and I had nothing to do on Sunday and the idea popped up.

When we got to the zoo our first stop was the Giraffe enclosure.  I don’t think I’ve been to the zoo since the death of the crooked neck one so being able to see them was a pretty neat experience.  Emily, a friend that works at the exhibit, told me about how their long necks help them reach food in high places.  Obviously I already knew that.  She continued to pick up the animal feces with her bare hands and constantly applying hand sanitizer.  We then went to the elephant enclosure to see our personal favorite mammals.  They were being fed at the time and Emily was cleaning up the massive amount of dung that the elephants excreted from their rear.  She followed them around making sure there was none left and when there wasn’t she left to another exhibit.  She then moved on to the tortoise enclosure to clean up after them as well.  I just realized that this blog is pretty focused on Ineka and how she has to clean up after all the animals.

At the end of our adventure we went to the reptilian section and I watched Riley go through the aquariums and clean the enclosures.  I guess the day I went was one of the days where they focus on cleaning the animals habitats because that’s basically all that seemed to go on during the day.  JACQUELINE, my other friend, met up with us and she took us to her house and taught us how to cook Italian sausage.  Overall, it was a pretty sick weekend.

My Weekend

This last weekend I had a lot of homework.  Typically I don’t have too much but I was sick for most of the week so I had a lot of catching up to do.  I was able to divide enough time from Friday to Sunday so that I could finish all the work I needed to do.  Anyways, I got a new phone about a month ago and I wasn’t really able to spend time testing out the new camera.  My mom’s friend’s kid needed a babysitter so she asked me if I could.  I said yes so I spent a couple hours at the beach with him and figured I’d kill two birds with one stone by fiddling with my camera settings and getting paid to babysit.  I needed to watch a few videos on youtube that described the specific details of the camera I have and what type of shots it’s designed for.  I went to the beach and had a good time walking my dog and babysitting a family friend.  My phone had about 50 more photos on it by the time I got home but they didn’t look that good, and so I called up my friend to see if he wanted to hangout.

So my friend Bryce and I met up and decided to go to state street to get food and dessert.  We parked in the massive parking garage and headed over to downtown SB.  When we got to Paseo Nuevo we went to Panda Express and got orange chicken and fried rice.  As we enjoyed our Asian cuisine we walked all the way down state street until we got to the sb pier.  We got ice cream as we made our way to the harbor.  As the sun set I remembered that I wanted to try the low light setting on my camera.  I took the picture below and I’m not sure if it turned out the way I wanted it to.  Obviously it’s not a great picture but compared to other low light pictures that I’ve seen on older versions of Iphone it’s much better.  Maybe I can get some better ones for next week.

Santa Cruz Island

I’ve been  wanting to go to the channel islands for a long time, and last weekend I was finally able to go.  It was about 11:15 AM on Friday at school, and my friend asked me if I wanted to go to the islands.  I immediately responded yes and let my cousin know that we were both invited to go.  I went over to his house after school after I got my stuff together for the trip.  He owns a yacht and goes out to the islands every few months or so.  We all went to bed early and slept despite our excitement (we needed to be well rested).

We woke up at around 7 AM and loaded everything in the car.  Our car rolled up to the Santa Barbara harbor at 7:30, and we put our belongings in dock carts to be taken to the boat.  We then stopped by On The Alley restaurant and got  delicious breakfast burritos.  Then we got on the boat and enjoyed our bacon burritos as we left the harbor.  The day was perfect.  Blue skies surrounded us and warm wind brushed against us traveling at about 10 knots towards the big island.  Santa Cruz is the largest of the Channel Islands and the closest to the mainland.  We were pleasantly surprised to see how green the island was and were eager to take the skiff out to it.  At first we wanted to swim out to the island but after jumping off the yacht into the water we discovered how cold the water was.  We went skurfing with his skiff because the water was glassy.  Then we went to the island itself and went on a hike.  The wild flowers and succulents were blooming and the rocky beaches were filled with with bright red crabs.  We jumped off the cliff faces into the chilly water but it was totally worth it.  The hike lasted about an hour until we made it to the pier where we jumped off that as well.  Eventually, we made it to the boat after swimming to it instead of taking the skiff.  We slept during the 2 hour ride home because we were exhausted.  Overall, it was an amazing experience and I would absolutely go again.

This Weekend was Rad

Lately I’ve been studying a lot on the weekends and haven’t had much time to relax.  This weekend was not the case.  I finally was able to do my own thing and not need to worry about catching up on missing assignments and instead catch up on much needed downtime.  The weekend started off on Friday night when my friend had a birthday dinner.  We all were able to eat a big plate of spaghetti and garlic bread that his mom made.  I had a great time hanging with all of my buddies at his house and was happy to share a big meal with all of them.  I was especially happy when our plans followed through to be able to go to the Glenn Annie Golf Course.  We all brought our boards and made sure we took off the fins before we left.  Fortunately, it had misted on the golf course before we arrived.  Thus our plans to slide down the hills on boards was not compromised by bad weather; in fact it actually helped us slide faster.  My friend Miles slipped backwards and hit his head though, which wasn’t fun to deal with.

On Saturday I awoke at my friend Jesse’s house thinking it was about 11 am, but it was really only nine.  My cousin Austin, Jesse, and I really wanted to do something fun but couldn’t decide on what to do.  So we were hungry enough to drive to Isla Vista to go to the Bagel Cafe, which is now my favorite bagel/breakfast place in SB and Goleta.  When we got there we realized that many college students were roaming around in minimal clothing carrying racks of beer and handles.  We wondered what all that was about so we were eating our bagels when we heard someone mention Deltopia, which is a giant party at UCSB on the beach.  Our eyes lit up at the sound of that, and we wondered what the party would be if the beaches were so high tide.  To make a long story short, the street of Del Mar was packed with drunk students and we walked through giving everyone high fives and getting free burgers.  It was a great time and we definitely want to go back next year.

Spring Break: San Diego

This past week was spring break!  Many of my friends were fortunate enough to go to Mexico, Hawaii, East coast, etc.  However, my trip to Hawaii got canceled and moved to Summer.  So at least I am still going despite not going last week.  Fortunately I have something to look forward to now.  I can’t say that this totally ruined my spring break because we spontaneously decided to go to a city that I don’t spend a particularly significant amount of time in.  San Diego! I was totally stoked when I learned we were staying on the beach in Coronado.  In case you don’t know, its an island off the coast of San Diego connected by a humongous  bridge.   I decided to bring a friend with, and from Santa Barbara its about a four hour drive depending on traffic.  The first day we got to our condo to find many super cars in the parking garage.  I was really excited to see the Ferrari’s, I8’s, NSX’s and so fourth.  I took a picture of the Acura NSX because it is one of my dream cars and costs a hefty 190 grand.

Once we got to our condo we hit the pool and hot tub on the beach.  It was relaxing to see the ocean from the pool deck.  We went out to get dinner and came back with full bellies and watched movies.  The next day we all went to Encinitas to visit some friends and to skate a massive bowl.  It was named after a pair of iguanas and thus called the iguana bowl.  We ate at this pirate themed breakfast place that was very inexpensive yet surprisingly delicious.  My breakfast consisted of home fries, two eggs, two sausages, sourdough toast, and orange juice for only 6 dollars.  We later went to Swami’s beach to check the surf and to find out that there was none.

We finally went to La Jolla where we all wanted to get ice cream.  We went to one of there various beaches while toting our cones in hand.  The sunset was beautiful and we enjoyed the waves crashing on the rocks we sat on.  It was a trip to remember, especially because it was my first time touring San Diego.

Beach Walk: Dog Edition

One day after school this week I came home and opened my front door and bumped into something.  I peered my head through the cracked doorway to see a white lump of fur by the door opening.  My dog Finn jumped up and ran around me as I placed down my backpack.  In his excitement, he repeatedly jumped up and down on the couch until he knocked over a glass on the night stand. ” Fooof!”  I tackled him and we wrestled for a little bit until I took off my socks and he picked them up and ran off.  I chased him down as I remembered he had not had any interactions with people today or a chance to go outside and play. “Want to go to the beach?”  He sprinted towards the door as his tail flailed in every direction.  I put on his leash and led him out the door.  He hopped into the backseat of my car eager to stick his head out the window.  I stared back at him to find his tongue hangout out the side of my car.  I pulled out of the driveway and headed towards Hendry’s beach.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Hendry’s beach is quite dog friendly.  I dragged my cousin along with me because I didn’t want to go alone.  We got to the beach and turned left to the dog part of the beach.  My dog took off along the coast and we went in pursuit.  He ran into the water and sniffed as many dogs as he could.  When we turned around the point we were pleasantly surprised to see that it was low tide and the tide pools were exposed.  We navigated through the meandering rocks while looking for starfish, urchin, and other such sea life.  My dog walked through the calm pools, disturbing their tranquility.  We turned back around and headed back for my car with our pockets full of sea glass and smiles on our faces.  We stopped by Mcdonald’s to grab a couple of Mcflurrys to satisfy our sweet tooths.  I recommend going to this beach because it is at a very unique location and there is lots to enjoy.

East Beach: Volleyball and The Habit

Two weekends ago I suffered an injury to my right ankle.  I got it x-rayed and found out that it was possibly fractured but most likely only sprained.  A week later I found myself tempted to go to the beach even though my foot was still pretty bruised up.  So I brought my dog and met my friends at East Beach.  The parking situation at the beach is unpredictable, but generally it’s quite difficult to find parking on a sunny Sunday.  I found myself diving in what felt like circles for about 25 minutes until I was frustrated enough to park in the paid area.  When I realized it would cost 6 dollars to park, I zoomed out of the lot and back to the circle of uncertainty.  After about 10 more minutes it felt like seeing an oasis in a desert; I had found a spot.  I hobbled out of my car without crutches and struggled to keep my dog under control on the leash because his excitement was through the roof (no pun intended).   I met my homies on the beach court and, because I wasn’t able to play, I only served for about 40 minutes.  We were all dehydrated, but luckily I had brought water bottles for all of us.  Always bring excess water to this beach!  Or any beach really.

  After we left the beach, we chose to go to one of my favorite burger chains: The Habit.  This is not the best pic of me but one that I got (and I like how Finn is in the corner begging).  I ordered a lettuce-wrapped BBQ bacon charburger  and half-fries half-onion rings.  Oh and an ice cold Arnold Palmer.  The meal was great and the day better.  I topped it off by going downtown with my friend Cameron and getting new shoes.  We also went to Hope ranch to check out the sunset, but were bummed out when it was way too foggy.  Overall, I had an amazing weekend and I was glad to have spent it with my dog Finn and all my friends.  Next week is spring break and I hope to have an exciting post to share with you all!