Category Archives: Bakersfield Local

Birthday, Birthday…

What do you get when you layer fabulous hometown beer, grilled steaks, and triple chocolate mousse cake? An amazing birthday. Yesterday was my birthday, I’m inching closer to the big 4-0 and I’m actually feeling pretty good about it. It helps to have a wonderful husband who is 12 years older and has very little sympathy for me where the aging process is concerned.

Mike is going to be 50 this year and he still gets up every morning and wages a life or death struggle with his ridiculous cat. That is a man who is not going quietly into senility by any stretch. I really have very little room to complain about 40 looming out there, just two years away.

I also have to appreciate a man who will stretch my birthday into an entire weekend of celebrating. Our family is notorious for stretching out birthdays and my birthday was certainly no exception. We celebrated all weekend long and it was wonderful!!

Saturday we spent a few hours at Lengthwise Pub. We indulged in the Zeus Imperial IPA (probably the only IPA I actually enjoy) and some fabulous food. I also had a Truffle, Lengthwise Kern County Crude Porter mixed with their Raspberry Wheat. It made for a delightful, chocolate-y, coffee, raspberry, dessert beer. I’m a dark beer girl at heart so this was the ideal way to end our trip to Lengthwise.

Sunday morning we rolled out of bed and headed to a local breakfast spot, J&M’s Bar & Grill. Mike had the homemade corned beef hash and eggs with a side of biscuits and gravy. I had the eggs benedict and the girls had pancakes and french toast. The eggs benedict was really fabulous. I’m picky about my hollandaise sauce and this one fit the bill nicely. It was the ideal way to start the day of my official birthday.

We spent the day visiting some nurseries in town. Our weather has been so spring-like lately that we almost forgot it was still January. It was a great day just hanging out with family and enjoying a little sunshine and mild weather.

One of the highlights of my birthday was logging into Facebook and seeing all the sweetest, birthday wishes from friends and family. I am really blessed to know some amazing people and have some of the sweetest friends on the planet.

Sunday morning I found myself tagged on instagram with the sweetest birthday collage ever:

Birthday collage

Katie is the most thoughtful daughter a mom could ever want. Each one of these pictures is a really great memory for me. There is Katie’s first birthday up in the top right corner and the bottom slide is from a baseball game last summer. Needless to say, this was a really special and very thoughtful treat.

We ended my birthday with a fabulous dinner. Mike grilled gorgeous steaks and we had a great dinner with all the trimmings. My birthday cake this year was an amazing triple chocolate mousse cake. There really aren’t enough words to describe the decadence of that cake, it was truly a cake fit to cap off an amazing birthday weekend.

Of course, after all that weekend indulgence the girls and I were out first thing this morning for a 2 mile run. 😉

Now to figure out how to fill the next 11 months until my next birthday! 😉 We have lots of adventures planned this year so I bet it will fly by!

4th of July 2013

We had such a blast (ha! pardon the pun) this 4th of July. It’s become a bit of a tradition to go to the local minor league baseball stadium and watch the 4th of July game and firework show. I actually prefer minor league baseball to major league for more reasons than I’m going to take the time to list here, except to say that part of it is the whole “Bull Durham” feel to it.

We had great seats behind the first baseline and were trying our best not to dehydrate in 108 degree temps when, much to our complete shock, tourists arrived and settled in next to us. They were from the UK and had spent the past couple of weeks driving across the US. Bakersfield was just a dot on the map for them as they had driven down from Bishop, CA. They had never been to a baseball game and decided it would be something very “American” to do.

The gentleman seated next to Mike was a fireman at an airport in the UK and he and his wife had their two children with them, Katie and Tom. They were on vacation with their friends who were there with their daughter as well. Naturally, my husband broke the ice with him by leaning over and saying, “I don’t think these people are from around here.” The guy started laughing and we spent the rest of the game explaining the nuances of baseball and listening to them compare it to Cricket and answering all sorts of questions about Bakersfield and California.

Needless to say, it was so much fun to spend 4th of July with people who had never been to a baseball game or experienced a 4th of July celebration in the US. It made it much easier to ignore the 108 degree temps, at the very least. Best of all the Bakersfield Blaze won the game – which always makes for a better evening. I can deal with a ginormous moth flying into my face, sweat dripping down my back, and it being a tad too hot to even enjoy a cold beer if the home team wins.

4th of July Bakersfield Blaze

And, of course, we get the girls pictures with the team mascot, Torch or Heater or both every time we go to a game. This one is Torch with the girls. Maggie always looks forward to flagging down one of the mascots to get her picture taken.

Heatwave or not, a awesome 4th of July was had by all… can’t wait until next year!!!!

For The Love of the Game

4th of July Sam Lynn Ball ParkWe have never really been a sports family. It’s not our thing. My son was a runner, my daughter was more into yoga, we all enjoy disc golfing… but team sports have never really been our thing.

In fact, I have always tried to keep my kids away from the “team” mentality. I’ve got a real problem with one of the local high schools shutting down the school paper while ramping up the football program. There is an element of the community that frowns upon intellectual pursuits and praises the popularity/team sports mentality of the jocks and the cheerleaders.

I’m digressing…

I remember attending a lot of baseball games as a kid. Both of my parents played in church league softball and I sometimes helped keep score. I didn’t enjoy it, but I understood the game. It was an early education that, oddly enough, has served me well this summer.

This year out of the blue we decided to attend a baseball game. The local triple A team, Bakersfield Blaze plays at Sam Lynn Ball Park and for some reason even on really hot days there is a lovely evening breeze that blows through the park. It was a fluke decision to buy tickets. They have a fireworks show every Friday night and I thought the kids would get a kick out of it and a home town game sounded like fun. I bought tickets online and off we went.

4th of July with Torch and the girls - Bakersfield BlazeSomething very odd happened to me after that first game. In the midst of Cracker Jacks and ballpark beers I found myself enjoying the game, watching the umpire (and occasionally disagreeing vehemently) and having a, pardon the pun, ball. We have gone a few times since including 4th of July and have had the best time. We have our favorite seats and our favorite players. We tweet during the games and the girls even got a picture with Torch the team mascot.

I’ve even started watching a game or two at home (Go Dodgers!!!! – real Cali girls support the Dodgers, thank you! Just ask my cousin Tommy!) – but I don’t think I’m ever going to be one of those people who remembers all the players and their stats and why one team shouldn’t have traded this person or that. I just love watching the game and there is nothing better than doing it with my husband and kids.