Thursday, August 21, 2014

A night out at Wrigley Field

So last night I made it to Wrigley Field for the first time.  It's one of the most iconic ballparks out there in America and after Fenway, is the second oldest at 100 years old.  From the ivy covered outfield wall (only one ball hit into the ivy in the game) to the small size, and lack of major outfield bleachers or lights, Wrigley stands out.  Sadly, for the last many years, the Cubs have not stood out.  Been a rough outing for the fans, and last night wasn't different, with the Cubbies giving up 4 runs in the first as the pitcher was extremely hittable and once threw the ball behind the batter.

This was my 3rd ballpark in 3 weeks and on Friday, I'm going to my fourth, when I'll be in Cleveland.  After visiting my beloved Dodgers Stadium for a walkoff win and a great night out, I've since seen the two home teams (Twins and now Cubs) struggle early on.  In both of these games, the score has been 7-2 after 3 innings and the home starting pitcher didn't finish the 3rd inning in either game.  But since I'm here for the ballparks and the baseball, it's still be entertaining.  We were 3 rows  away from a Joe Mauer home run in Minnesota and then in Chicago, were able to move around all over the park.

Here are some pictures from Wrigley on the night of August 20th:

100 years!

Still doing the scoreboard by hand

View from behind home plate

Up top view

Fujikawa in action

Cubs trying to figure out how to win a game

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Taste of Chicago So Far

Chicago has been amazing! Great catching up with old friends, exploring the city and eating like a Chicagoan.  The homecoming trip continues and here are a few pictures from the last couple days.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fun times in Minnesota

The journey continues!  From the west coast to now the Midwest. I had an epic time out in California and Portland, and the fun on this US tour doesn't stop. Seeing friends and family around the country, and just eating and drinking my way through amazing cities. 

I'm now in Minneapolis, which is quite the city. Surrounded by lakes, forests and chill people, it is surprisingly amazing. Full of life in the summer time, it's a super active city, loaded with bike paths all over the place. One of the only cities I know of with epic waterfalls right in the city, rushing over the Mississippi River. I've learned they they are a thriving Midwestern city, full of top businesses like Target, 3M and Wells Fargo. Mighty fine setup.

So far, there had been loads of biking involved. I was awoken just after the crack of dawn to get in a bike ride through the paths before breakfast. A round trip 15 miler took us through neighborhoods, lakes and paths to a huge waterfall feeding the Mississippi. After picking up another friend at the airport, it was back on the bike to go all over the city. Pretty damn fine tour of the city, from the university area to the mill area to underneath the baseball stadium. Blue skies and great vibes the whole way. 

Today was a hiking day up in the northern bit of Minnesota. Lake Superior is mighty superior. Very cool to be around it in several areas and finish with a cold dip in the lake. Nothing finer after a hot hike. 

The food has been better than average too, with fresh fish, amazing sweet corn and some wild rice burgers. Been living it up as always!  Great to be back in America enjoying the little things (like thousand island dressing)

Rock on y'all!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Good times in Portland

So I'm back in Portland, after a week in Los Angeles.  The Justus US Tour 2014 continues!

It's been great to reconnect with friends, walk around this amazing city, get out into the Pacific NW nature, and eat and drink my way through favorite places.  Portland has been the home base for the last 10+ years, so it does feel like home coming back.  A few new buildings, some civic improvements, friends have been married, bought houses or had kids, but overall, it's that same great city it's always been. 

I've been all over the city seeing people, often having a breakfast, lunch and dinner each day planned, living it up and loving life.  But the city isn't the only thing in the area, so I had a great hike up past waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge before swimming in the river.  Warmer than the Pacific and just as refreshing after some summertime heat.  Best time of year to be in Portland.

Another highlight so far was a Portland Timbers game.  Definitely one of the best atmospheres for any type of sport and it was wicked being back with old friends in the stadium cheering on the boys.  It feels more like European soccer than the US.  Crazy crowd, loud songs, on our feet for over 3 hours of fun and with a 2-0 victory, the perfect outcome.  Loved it!

Here are a few pictures from the time in Portland so far.  Off to Minneapolis soon to start the adventures in the Midwest.  Let the good times roll!

Timbers fans going crazy after a goal

Beer fest with Karl, Russell, myself and Ryan (Go Dodgers!)

Old mountain tunnel in the Gorge

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Portland unipiper

Dressed as Darth Vader and getting Portland amped up for the MLS All Star game 8/6/14