Thursday, July 31, 2014

La Nebbia Winery and Half Moon Bay

Meanwhile, Kirk and Bo spent yesterday seeing some of the sights on the Pacific Coast Highway and even found a place to throw a few boules at La Nebbia Winery.

Valley of thr Moon Petanque Club

We spent a great afternoon visiting in the Sonoma Valley wine country and playing petanque with members of VOMPC yesterday.  With Maggie acting as our guide, driver, and companion, we were able to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

We got to meet and play with some really excellent petanque enthusiasts.  The terrain was very challenging.  I had a difficult time getting many boules close, but Shirley adapted better and shot and pointed well enough to impress some of the locals.  At the same time, we were both very impressed with Adrian, Jack, Shane, Cliff, Mike, Wolfgang, and PJ in particular.  They all played at a very high level and seemed to have mastered the very firm, very irregular, very tricky terrain.

Nice people, nice times.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lamorinda Petanque Club

We spent Tuesday afternoon playing with members of Lamorinda Petanque Club in Lafayette, California.  They were most welcoming and gracious-- just like petanque players everywhere.  They have a very meticulously landscaped terrain that maintains a natural feel and it's huge!  It looks as though it's going to be a great location for the national events on Saturday and Sunday.

It appears that there are numerous very good players at Lamorinda.  They play on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in addition to the Sunday afternoon main event each week.  If you ever find yourself in the San Francisco/Oakland area, make the effort to drive over and play with Lamorinda.  You'll enjoy it.  We certainly did!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Link to 2014 Lexington Barbecue Festival Petanque Tournament info

On the way to Walnut Creek

Shirley took this snapshot through the windshield of our rental car during our drive from Oakland airport to our lodgings in Walnut Creek, California.  We're attending the FPUSA national triples championships.  Bo, Maggie, and Shirley are playing in the Women's.  Kirk, Rick, and I are playing in the Men's.  The actual tournament starts Saturday, but we came out early to look over the area.

Bekah Bakes Birthday Cakes!

A couple of weeks ago, on the 13th, Rebekah made Shirley a great strawberry birthday cake to share with our petanque friends at Miller Park in Winston-Salem, NC.  My birthday was on Saturday, the 26th, so Rebekah came through once again by bringing another great cake to the park on Sunday.  If the word gets out that we're having home-baked cakes on Sundays, that should do a lot to drive up our attendance figures.  Thanks, Rebekah, and thanks to everyone who turned out on Sunday to hear, "Let them eat cake...".

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Shoafs' home terrain-- Charlotte, NC

Ed and Anne Shoaf invited Frank, Denyse, Shirley, and me to play on their home court on Saturday afternoon.  The offer of being able to play on a really good court, not to mention the enticement of burgers on the grill, was an offer we just couldn't refuse!

It had been a while since we were able to get over their way, and we were impressed by the improvements they've made while, at the same time, we renewed our appreciation of the original venue.  The improvements consist of an extraordinarily nice new stairway that steps its way down from the upper level of the yard to a large deck adjoining the terrain.  The deck makes a wonderful spot for dining and entertaining the petanque-a-teers [first saw this coined word in a Facebook post by Linda Motschiedler of Fresno, CA, and I liked it so much I'm "borrowing" it!] who are enjoying play.

The terrain itself is ideally located in a mostly shaded wooded area.  It's much more comfortable on warm days than most terrains we play on routinely.  There's no need for umbrellas, pop-up shelters, and the like.  The playing surface  is ideal for pointers--just a notch on the soft side.  Shooters can make contact by shooting a little short without too much worry of bouncing completely over their targets; however, they need to make solid contact to move the target any considerable distance.

We hope to play there again in the not-too-distant future.  Thanks, Ed and Anne, for a very enjoyable afternoon.