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California - June 2022 - Day 11

Take me out to the ball game Take me out with the crowd

A rare day without a start for us. Not for me though as I had scheduled another attempt at trying to get the referral for my knee that I want in order to see a consultant through our health insurance. I don’t see the point of paying the premiums each month if we don’t use it. This time it was straight forward as I fibbed and said I was now back in the UK and within a couple of minutes with another online private GP it had all been sorted. I just need them to arrange the MRI scan asap.

The only thing we had booked to day was the baseball this evening and so we had a whole day to fill. That actually proved more problematic than it should have been as Karen wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. One minute it was to sit by the pool and the next not. Neil and I were not sure what was going on. We were making use of the washing machine facilities whilst we contemplated it all. I also managed to find some batteries for the remote for the TV so we got that working. The TV news was all about Sleepy Joe and his plea to remove taxes from the cost of petrol over here for the rest of the summer to help everyone out. It is interesting that he could only request it and not implement it, whereas our government could just do it to a large extent but seem to be against it despite the unexpected windfall they are receiving every minute from it.

In the end Karen & I went down and sat by the pool for about 45 minutes. It was pleasant enough although I couldn’t get the Wifi signal. Then about noon we headed out to Target for what is hopefully the last time for shopping to get some rolls, snacks and fruit. The shop wasn’t that busy and with the three of us working as a team we soon completed it.

We then decided to drive down Harbor Blvd to see not only where Barry & Ellie stayed last November but also the couple of cheap motels we have stayed in before. In my view the area all around Disneyland has been gentrified and is much less tacky that our first visit many years ago.

For lunch we went to In/Out Burger which has been on Neil’s list to visit all holiday. We know it is one of Barry’s favourites as well. It is a chain that seems to be restricted to the West Coast. It is known for making everything fresh. The menu is pleasingly simple and even more pleasingly cheap. We all had a really tasty burger that we ate outside in the shade of the 31c heat.

Our final stop to pass the time we decided would be the Outlet Mall of Orange County that was less than a mile from the apartment. We wandered in a couple of shops. By now the heat was terrific and when Karen & I came out of the Old Navy outlet we wandered along to sit in the shade and for Karen to get a drink outside Starbucks. I messaged Neil to let him know where we were. Unfortunately, he had his phone on airline mode and didn’t get it. He was not best pleased that we had moved along slightly from our previously agreed meeting place. He was entitled to be annoyed as he had stood for a while in the blazing sun waiting for us.

Back in the apartment whilst more washing was being done, we all sat down to watch another episode of Stranger Things. This was in the middle of the day and so decadent. Yet we were all glad to be in the cool and having some down time. It was also a really good episode.

After this I boiled some eggs for us to have with some bagels I toasted. It was all quite lovely to have time for do this for a change.

Then despite us only being about a mile from the Angel Stadium we decided to drive as the pathway looked as though it could be challenging on the way back in the dark. It was the right and a good decision.

As ever the car parking was well organised and we were soon in the stadium to see the LA Angels against the KC Royals. As we entered, we were all given a free T Shirt to commemorate the 20th anniversary since they had last won the World Series. Neil never mentioned once the lack of freebies at Carrow Road. The 2002 team were being brought onto the pitch as we found our seats.

The game itself was boring for the main part. Indeed, the highlight was the Rally monkey they have which holds up a sign to say ‘Rally Game and then waves to the crowd. This tradition dates back to a game in 2000 where they were losing at the bottom of the 9th and before they batted again showed a clip of the monkey from Ace Ventura jumping around. This really stirred up the crowd and which invigorated the team who scored the needed two runs to win the game. So, they bought their own monkey who I have found out used to play Marcel the monkey from Friends! I have yet to confirm whether that was the one we saw in the flesh at the game or a younger replacement.

Anyhow back to the game. It eventually got going and the Angels won 5-0. Yet again there were no home runs. Apart from the monkey the other thing I will remember is being able to seeing Shohei Ohtani (known as Showtime) in the flesh. He managed 13 strike outs a personal best for him. He is the first player since Babe Ruth to achieve over 300 Strike outs and 100 Home Runs (the previous night he managed 3 home runs along with 8 RBI’s. Last season he made the All-Star Team as both a pitcher and batter independently. Understandably the home crowd adore him. Being Japanese makes him even more marketable and a real cool dude. We were lucky to have seen him.

We left just before the end to try and get ahead of the crowds. As ever the Americans have their crowd control sorted and we made it out of the car park with hardly any delay. In the UK you could be hours trying ot get out of Wembley, not that being a Norwich supporter that is a problem we have to think about too often.

Back in the apartment we had a quick cuppa before retiring as we have another busy day planned for tomorrow.

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