Sunday, June 24, 2007

06/21/07-06/24/07 Hockey Camp!

Weekend Warriors Hockey Camp - Vail, Colorado

Coaches: Jim, Kevin, Rob, Nate, & Nick, the goofy looking guy on the right

Jim was our Goalie Coach, and Canadian Kevin talked funny.
He would say, "It's all ABOOOT OH-FENCE."

It was a weekend of reviewing basics, acquiring new skills, playing some great hockey, and making new friends, including a goalie named Chris - who looked suspiciously identical to J.S. Giguere. What do you think?

Coach Jimmy taught the four goalies some new warm up techniques.

Highlight: facing my first ever penalty shot - and making the save!

Rick, the camp director seemed equally happy at the bars as well as on the ice, while Chris and I decided to see if our goalie instincts could withstand the challenge of alcohol.

Jimmy, Angela, Chris and fellow goalie Mike try not to think about the Sunday morning game that started a few hours after this photo. Of course, during that game, Coach Jimmy taught us yet another valuable hockey lesson: How to convert alcohol into energy.

Coach Jimmy was just as helpful off the ice, but later that night, Chris and I started suffering from some mysterious form of "Goalie Vision" and Coach Jimmy was nowhere to be found.

What is camp without a practical joke or two? And when I was asked about the sudden appearance of "silly string" and water balloons after the final Sunday game, I simply responded that I had suffered too many pucks to the head - yet another helpful piece of knowledge I learned while at camp. Thanks Weekend Warriors!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

06/20/07 Denver

First stop - ESPN Zone in Downtown Denver where the weather was 97 degrees outside. Had a terrific lunch with my brother, played video games until our brains imploded and saw this sneak preview of tonight's game at Coors Field: a model of the stadium made out of Coors labels and caps. Pretty cool, if you like Coors or the Colorado Rockies...

Ric bowling at ESPN Zone.

After zoning out at the Zone, we went over to the stadium for the pre-game activities (aka: ordering more food from our seats in the Club Level!)

My first ever Yankees (and Rockies) ticket!

Batting practice.
The famous "Rock Pile."

Derek Jeter swings!

The Brunson kids chow down on ball park grub.

The Yankees may have lost, but good times were had,
at least until the indigestion started.

What's the perfect cure for the morning-after a Yankees loss-hangover? Touring the Coors brewery! After spending a night at the uber-hip The Curtis Hotel , Ric drove the sleepy sister towards Vail for hockey camp. The drive is about 2 hours and goes right past Golden, Colorado: home of the Coors Brewery. Normally, this would not interest me, but when the little brother mentioned "free samples" there was a sudden urgency to learn more about this historic site.

We started drinking before noon. Mom would be less than proud...

Beer can be fashionable!

At this altitude, it is important to stay hydrated!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

06/14/07 Surprise party for Lorenzo

My mission - gather Lorenzo's friends and some food at Rockreation climbing gym and surprise him for his birthday. The friends: Gray & Mary, Staci, Don, Mimi, Snow, Laura & Lexie, Jenn, Miles, Keith and Lindy and Tess, Glen and Mikey and Krista and one more in the oven and other friends. The food: Clif Bars, Boulder Mountain Chips, Pop Rocks, Sierra Mist, Mountain Dew, (catch that clever rock climbing theme...?) and of course The Cake, which I ordered in his favorite flavor - banana (usually bleccchy, but turned out to be pretty good!)

Jenn & Staci kept Lorenzo distracted in the gym until I sent the signal from the party room.

Lorenzo had NO idea and was rather surprised!

He recognized the photo on the cake from our trip to San Louis Obispo, then blew out the candles.

I wonder what he wished for....?

Maybe he wished for a bigger piece of cake!

Thanks to Snow for being such a great photographer! Here are some of my favorite photos from the evening.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

06/10/07 Valley Crest Half Marathon

Lots of "valleys" and "crests" in the Valley Crest Half Marathon

1:44:35 - 2nd place in division!

Just when you think you can't possibly run one more step uphill, the Valley crest marathon course makes you go about three more - but then you get a break. Of course, this process then repeats itself downhill, but eventually the uphill nightmare begins once again. Despite the bipolar terrain, the weather was perfect. The event began with June gloom overcast skies. When the haze cleared, there was still a nice breeze generated by other runners passing me uphill. The course has two u-turns in it which is maddening for serious racers as they try to count those in their age division running past them while still paying attention to where they are going. This skill is especially tough to master when counting females in the 35-39 division since they seem to either look much younger or much much older, depending on their level of sun exposure. The event has one of the nicest race directors around - Nancy Shura. Her side kick this year was a particularly informative park ranger who reminded us that there was "No smoking on the course" just before the start. My favorite part of the race? The downhills - all of them. Nobody passes me on a downhill. Nobody. Except Diana Rush. But her polite British accent actually made it a rather lovely and pleasant experience for me. I guess the only unpleasant part of the race was watching the other runners navigate the extremely steep downhill finish. No matter how "in shape" any of them were, the sight of them coming down on wobbly legs and the jarring thereby induced caused a severe "jiggle" factor that affected jowels, foreheads, and mid-sections in a most unflattering manner. As I pondered the effects of gravity upon the human body, I distinctly recalled hearing at least 10 camera shutters clicking when I ran down this exact hill. Great, soon there will be photographic proof that the "valleys" and "crests" of the Valley Crest Half Marathon weren't limited to describing the course.

Nancy Shura gets bullish.

Keith from Mountain Goats
and Valley Girl at awards ceremony.

Jimmy, "I feel fine!"

Keith models a new accessory, the Valley Crest Finisher Medal!