California Recap

Here is the synopsis of my 3 1/4 week visit to California.

  • Long Beach moto show, where I purchases incredibly cheap offroad boots and goggles and saw a lot of old friends.
  • A weekend in Vegas with the girls, where I found the BEST slot machine ever. Behold, the Kitty Glitter.

  • My father, who understands my aversion to Xmas, made me a tumbleweed Xmas tree. I completed the display with booze.

  • Great two days in the desert, camped in a borrowed Pirate Monkey Cult tent, imbibed in some Chelada and gave myself some nice bruises.

  • Xmas at my mom’s house with my brother, where we presented my mother with a new Xmas ornament to keep in the family for generations to come – An Incredible Hulk snorkle:

And worked in my company’s office. A lot. Like 10 hours a day a lot. But I’ll take it, since this job allows me to work anywhere in the world.

Now I am back in Barcelona, preparing for 2010. I have plans that involve motorcycles – of course!

Going back to Cali (for 3 weeks)

Before I post awesome Aprilia factory photos, let it be known that I am currently in the US.

You see, I had an interview for a perfect job with an important company I have been longing to work for since before I ever moved to Spain. You might say it is the reason why I moved here. Yes, I had a legitimate interview, in person, after an initial phone interview had me lookin sharp. Ya’ll may know who this company is and it’s the best place I could ever hope to get into. I thought the interview went well, I was feeling fancy. I even started making plans around my new schedule. But Dream Job decided to go with someone else. So, jobless, I bought a ticket for three weeks of nursing my wounded dream in California. Fortunately, the day after I learned my true love rejected me, I had word that I was wanted on a Navy project for my old company in the US. Good timing, as it would be helpful to be at some team meetings and discuss in person the project.

I have been here three days hanging out with my very happy dogs and cleaning my fathers house. I made him buy a vacuum and an industrial carpet shampooer and have been throwing out  mountains of junk and scrubbing the cat pee out of the rugs. When I’m not cleaning, I nursing my rejection with comfort food and reality TV. For today’s self comforting event I went shopping at Trader Joe’s. God how I miss TJ’s. I love absolutely everything in this store and there is not one thing similar I can come close to buying in Spain, except for the tomatoes. The cookie selection alone brings me to my knees.

I have a funny airport story for you all, but you’ll have to wait, because I hear my mini oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and Project Runway calling.

California Love, continued.

So where were we?

Oh yeah. Suz and I hit the town Friday night.

We caught up with our Catalan friends at the Mucky Duck in Monterey. It was pretty gangsta on a Friday night and at first we were wondering why the hell they would want to stay, what with all the sideways ball caps, 4ft x 4ft 22 year old single mothers of 3, and pop-inflected rap tunes. But then we figured it out. It was where they picked up all their dance moves for the year.

Suz gets a lift, though I am not sure why. Usually you pick up cute, little people, right? Not the six footers?
Though I don’t recall this photo being taken, I guess it was my turn for a lift.

After goofing off outside the club for an hour after closing,  I found a cab and immediately upon climbing in, my brother called.  He insisted that I have the cab go to the Carl’s Jr. drive through and that I buy 20 dollars worth of burgers and fries, because he and Jeff and another friend were in the room withering from hunger, and too much beer. THEIR cabbie wouldn’t go through the drive through at 3am, so I was their only hope.

Not wanting to allow my kin to suffer unnecessarily, I obliged and directed the cab to the drive through. Three guys behind the cab walked through the drive through behind me, making car noises. They honked at my cab a lot. Surprisingly, they got served.


I made it back with the bag full o’ burgers and three noisy guys with many drinks inside them cheered me like a hero. One of those guys was none other than Christian Fletcher. Shawn met him on one of his many extended surf trips to Bali, where Christian was residing at the time. I guess CF is back in California now, and digs motorcycles so he went to the GP. My brother met up with him and he hung out with us all weekend. He was funny and honest and not not nearly as intimidating as I always heard him described as.

Side Note: If you surf, you know that this guy is one of the most influential surfers of all time. I remember hearing about the crazy things he was doing 15 years ago on a surfboard – he was a living legend at 25 year old and his name struck fear in people who had to compete against him or even paddle up next to him in the surf line up. Descriptions of his personality used words like dangerous and wild, and people who knew him said he was crazy and out of control.

Jeff, who was staying in the house, had a man crush on Christian since he was a kid. So hanging with him Friday night made him school girlishly giddy, and the next day he made me take a nonchalant photo of him and his hero.

Jeff and his man-crush, Christian.

The rest of Saturday was a long day of meeting up with friends and eatin Ducati Island hospitality food.

Breakfast of champs – tall boys and doughnuts.
I ran into some folks from the US offices and they corralled me into a garage tour with Randy Mamola. We ended up standing outside of the Tech 3 garages while Randy talked.And surprisingly, two designers from the Italy office were there. It was a shock to run into them as I had no idea they would be there. Incidentally it was the first MotoGP race one of them had  ever been to.
The Italians listen to Randy.

Did I mention there were a lot of people in the house? Well there were and I was the only girl. Fabio proclaimed the living room smelled like wet dog. I agreed.



Every evening we had a nice dinner somewhere, our big group give or take a few, and usually some other stragglers.  Then I would head out with my brother, Susanna, and occasionally some of the other guys. But sometimes they weren’t up for going out, and Jeff let us know.


California Love

My visit home was two weeks long and two weeks too short. It seems I required double the amount of time I had, which is not unusual for most of the things I undertake. For one, I did not have time to attend to certain important tasks, such as meeting with my accountant to do my taxes. Yep, didn’t do that. But I did make time to see a few good friends in Camarillo and San Diego. I also picked up replacements for all of the sorry, broken down electronics I have been using like my computer, phones, earphones, and chargers. I finally picked up a Garmin Nuvi GPS, since the navigation system in my head has never functioned. However, I have discovered that I cannot download European maps, I have to order some kind of chip, which I can tell you I will never do. So that was kind of a bust.

The trip started with me arriving in LA and going to my dads. I had one day to recover, unwrap all my electronics waiting for me and to visit with my dogs, which = completely awesome. Oh the guilt was there all right, don’t get me wrong. But I put it aside and enjoyed the unconditional love. Nothing like a creature who is so happy to see you they could pee to get the spirits up.

My co-joined babaies
My co-joined babies

On day two, around 12 of us rode up to the Laguna Seca MotoGP, including Alonso Bodden (if you don’t know who that is then Google, watch, laugh, and repeat), the Cafe Firenze restaurant owners Jacopo and Fabio – Fabio was on Top Chef season 5 and will have his own show soon – Will “Hollywill” Kenefick who is also on some show to do with motorcycles and builds spanky bikes for the movis, a camera crew in a chase van, other assorted riff-raff, and Francesco Quinn with his girlfriend on a 250 Vespa. That scooter cranked at 90 MPH, two up.  Turns out Frankie is good friends with the owner of my company and had plans to have lunch with him on Friday. Small world.

Frankie and the horse he rode in on

Frankie and the horse he rode in on

Mike Foxworthy, My dad, Alonso E Coyote

Mike Foxworthy, My dad, Alonso E Coyote

HollyWill gives good face

HollyWill gives good face

Don't forget the riff-raff

Don't forget the riff-raff

A stop mid morning. Only 100 degrees out.

A stop mid morning. Check the Vespa en route. He got lost shortly after this photo was taken.

The Italians devour a mess o' nachos in Morro Bay

The Italians devour a mess o' nachos in Morro Bay

We arrived Thursday evening to our apartment/hotel after a fun but boiling hot ride. This is a huge vacation hotel with with a kitchen, two bedrooms, a huge master bath with a jacuzzi tub, living room, dining room and a balcony. My dad rented it last year and it served as such a great crash pad for any and everyone that he immediately reserved it upon checking out last July for this year. Pops ain’t no dummy! There were beds piled everywhere and my brother and I ended up sharing the double wide California King bed in the master bedroom. It could be the first time we have ever shared a bed. Fortunately.

Bridgestone really came through for me and gave me four three day tickets and 4 AMA paddock passes (they were not much different than the GP paddock passes this year). My friend at Dorna gave me an all access pass of Friday so I spent the entire day visiting with any and everyone. I did not even look at the track once.

My dad and my brother in the Ducati hospitality. Dad's friend John is flipping him the bird behind me, hence the glee on dads face.

My dad and my brother in the Ducati hospitality. Dad's friend John is flipping him the bird behind me, hence the glee on dads face.

SpeedyMoto boys = more riff raff

SpeedyMoto boys = more riff raff

Ducati hospitality comes with attitude

Ducati hospitality comes with attitude

Susanna and my brother Shawn. Susanna is on the right.

Shawn and Suz.

And of course, I found Susanna!  My fellow wayfaring moto fanatic friend. She and I hit the town later with the Spanish boys – which deserves a post of it’s own. And with that, I leave you.

To be continued…