Posted in Events, Football/Soccer, Life, Travel, Wrestling

Summer 2017

Labor Day, which was a little over a week ago, signifies the end of the summer for most people. Summer 2017 was good for me. It started off when I finally graduated and got my bachelor’s degree in history from Cal State LA. I also went to San Francisco twice- once on a road trip with my family for a vacation after 4th of July and the second time in a plane with my grandpa and sister for a half marathon I signed up for. I also started training for my first marathon at the beginning of June.

One of the first things I did in summer was take my sister Angelina to Monday Night Raw. It was at the Staples Center in Downtown LA, so of course we had to go to Bottega Louie for macarons. We also went to Little Damage for the first time. I had avocado ice cream, which happened to be vegan and it was actually really good. Earlier in the day we got to meet Bayley in Compton and take pictures with her. At Monday Night Raw, we saw Enzo Amore and Big Cass, who had broken up earlier in the month. Even though it is scripted, their breakup really sucked. I thought they should’ve had a chance to be tag team champions for a while before breaking up. We got to see our faves, Sasha Banks, Cesaro, Sheamus, etc.

Every summer, my family goes on vacation for a few days. This year we decided to go to San Francisco/Northern California for 3 days. The last time my sister (Destiny), my mom, and I went to Northern California was about 13/14 years ago, when I was 12 or 13 years old. This time it was going to be my mom, my brother, three of my sisters, and me. My sister Aleah stayed with my grandma because she said she didn’t want to walk around so much.

We went on our trip July 5, 2017. We left our house early, around 5 am. After all, my mom was going to drive from our hometown to San Francisco which was about an 8 hour drive or so. It was so hard to wake up early especially since the day before was 4th of July and I had worked a long shift and then we watched fireworks before going to bed.

We stayed in Oakland because it was much cheaper than staying in San Francisco. We got to there a little late. After checking into our hotel, we went to the Jelly Belly factory which was in Fairview. We got to tour the factory and got samples at the end of the tour. We took so many pictures, especially of Ayanna. Afterwards, we went to the hotel and just rested. We went to McDonald’s for dinner and they had garlic fries. They were surprisingly good, even if it was fast food.

The following day we went to San Francisco. One of the first places we went to visit was the Full House/Fuller House house. We also got to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, visit Fisherman’s wharf, and visit the seals at Pier 39. I treated my family to lunch at a crepe place. I got a turkey crepe with pesto. My mom got clam chowder, which was sooo good.

On our way back home, we decided to stop by and visit Sacramento, the capitol of California. It was so hot that day, over 100 degrees. As someone who enjoys history, I am a history major after all, it was interesting to see the history of California. We had a long trip home. I think we ended up getting home around 8 or 9pm.

I went back to San Francisco towards the end of July for the weekend. This time my sister Destiny and grandpa joined. The reason I went was to run a half marathon. I was doing a challenge. Run a half or full marathon in Surf City (Huntington Beach, California) and a half or full marathon in San Francisco and you would get an extra medal called the California DReamin’ Racing Cup.
On the first day of July, I somehow stubbed my toe and was in so much pain that I could barely walk. I ended up not running for about 3 weeks. I was worried that not training for so long would affect my run. This was my 3rd half marathon of the year. I was so stressed out, not only because I felt I didn’t train enough, but also because San Francisco is known for their hills and hills were my weakness. I guess I didn’t need to worry so much because I ended up running my best time, 2:21.

Getting to San Francisco was a hassle for all of us. I went to San Francisco first. This was my time ever going on a plane by myself. In the past, I usually travel with my friend Giovanna, sister Destiny, grandpa, or mom and grandma. Although I have been in planes before, I was terrified being alone. I listened to my iPod and read my books to keep myself occupied. The first thing I did when I got to San Francisco was go to the expo to pick up my bib and t-shirt for the race. Then I went to check in at my hotel. It took me almost an hour to walk there. I ended up walking through North Beach, which is like their “Little Italy” and somewhere I would like to stop by when I go with my bf. It felt so weird exploring a major city like San Francisco all alone. I don’t have much experience travelling alone. I am at the age (26) where travelling alone is encouraged and I would love to be able to do this more often, if only money wasn’t an obstacle!

After checking in, I went to my other hotel and waited for my grandpa and sister. It might be weird that I had two hotel rooms, but the reason for this is that when I had made plans to go to San Francisco, it was originally going to be me by myself. The original hotel I reserved was close to the starting line. The other hotel was in Sausalito and I would have no way of getting to the starting line because the Golden Gate Bridge was going to be closed in the morning. My sister and grandpa had a tough morning. My sister couldn’t find her id anywhere and we were all so stressed that she wouldn’t be able to fly to San Francisco. Somehow they allowed her to go to San Francisco. I stayed with them for a while and at night I went to my hotel. It was soo small! It was smaller than my bedroom back home and it didn’t even have a bathroom. There was a bathroom that each floor shared.

I was so scared that night I couldn’t sleep much. In fact, I only slept an hour. I just stayed awake listening to my iPod, reading, and talking to my friends on Snapchat. I left my hotel around 430/5 am on race day. The weather was perfect. We started our race in the Golden Gate Park. I felt good when I started running. I just tuned everything and everyone out and focused on my running. We passed by so many historic San Francisco neighborhoods. We even passed by the San Francisco baseball stadium. I’m not a big fan of baseball so I’m not sure what team plays there, but it looked like a nice stadium. After the race was over, I met up with my grandpa and sister at Pier 39. After running 13.1 miles, I had to walk another 1.5 miles to get there.

We went on a boat ride and passed by the seals on Pier 39 and even got to see Alcatraz from far. This was my first boat ride and while I didn’t get seasick, I was pretty scared being out there especially when the boat driver said we were in 100 feet deep water. I finally got my clam chowder and it was so good. Can’t wait to go back to San Francisco to get that again. We also went to the bakery where they make sourdough bread. Another thing San Francisco is known for. Afterwards we went to the Golden Gate Park. We went to the Japanese Tea Garden. It was fun. We left a little early because it was super windy. When we got back to our hotel, we just watched soccer on TV.

My next runcation will be in Las Vegas. I plan to go with my family on a road trip for the weekend. I will be doing a 5k on Saturday night and a half marathon on Sunday night. Both races are part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas weekend, can’t wait!

After coming back from San Francisco, I was able to resume my training. In fact, in August I ran the most miles. I ran a total of 89 miles! I even started running my long runs. Prior to training, the longest I had ever run was 13 miles. In August I ran 20 miles! It took me about 4 hours, which is not very fast, but this was something I never thought I could do. I have only been running for about a year and at first running a mile was a struggle, so running 20 miles was a huge accomplishment for me. It shows that with training and belief in yourself, you can achieve things you thought were impossible.

I did a few other smaller races. I ran three 5k races. One at the Stubhub, where LA Galaxy plays. Another one was at the OC Fair. I did that one with my sister, it was her first 5k and she did a good job. The last 5k I did was at Griffith Park. I got my best time for a 5k, 25:30.

One other thing that happened during my summer is I went to a Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert at the Staples Center. It was such a great concert!!! It made me love Tim McGraw even more. He’s so awesome live! I also have a new favorite singer, Rachel Platten. I heard “Fight Song” and that is my new theme song in life. I honestly cannot wait for Tim McGraw to come back

I also went to a soccer game with my sister at the Coliseum. We watched my two favorite teams, Real Madrid and Manchester City. City won 4-1. While at the game, we ran into two of my coworkers, my friend and my manager. They even got me a beer even though I normally don’t drink.

So that was my summer in a nutshell! I had a really good summer, spent it with family, my boyfriend, and friends.

Posted in Football/Soccer

On to the Final

Can you believe the World Cup is almost over? I can’t, it feels like it just started. The month flew by pretty fast! The final will be on Sunday between Germany and Argentina. Pretty sure most people expected Germany to be there, but not a lot of people expected Argentina. Not that Argentina is a bad team or anything, but based on how they’ve played most of their games during this world cup, they’ve been average. I, along with most people, expected Germany, Brazil, or Spain to be in the final. Spain shocked everyone by getting knocked out in the first round. Brazil lost a couple days (7-1!!!!) to Germany. How did the other teams do? Did they do better or worse than what was expected of them?

Better than Expected

1. USA

2. Mexico

3. Costa Rica

Worse than Expected

1. Spain

2. England

3. Italy

All 3 teams that did better than was expected of them are part of CONCACAF. USA and Costa Rica especially had really tough groups to get out of. Mexico was expected to have some trouble in their group too, but they weren’t in the group of death. The 3 teams that did worse than expected were all former World Cup champions.

Today the 3rd place match will take place. I’ll be rooting for Brazil because I really dislike Netherlands, mostly Robben and Van Persie. As for the final tomorrow, I would like to see Germany win. No I’m not a fan of them, but throughout this whole tournament, they’ve been one of the best teams. Also, I really don’t want Argentina to win.

Posted in Football/Soccer

Group of Death

One of the matches that a lot of people were looking forward to was the Germany-Portugal one. These are two of the teams in Group D aka the “Group of Death”. (The other two teams in this group are USA and Ghana). After all, Germany is one of the best national teams in the world (unfortunately, I am not exactly a fan of their team, honestly) and Portugal has the best player in the world (Cristiano Ronaldo, who helped Real Madrid win La Decima last month when they won the Champions League for the first time in 12 years). Well, it didn’t get of to a good start for Portugal. They gave away a penalty in the first 15 mins. Later on in the game, Pepe was sent off for headbutting Thomas Muller, which was a dumb move by Pepe. Germany was up 3-0 at HT. Portugal ended up losing two defenders to injury so Cristiano Ronaldo, who wasn’t 100% fit, ended up playing the whole 90 mins. It got worse for Portugal, Muller got his hat trick and Germany won 4-0. I know a lot of people will say that this proves Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t such a good player, but 1)he wasn’t completely fit and 2)his teammates weren’t exactly doing such a good job either, esp at defending. Next up for them is USA on Sunday. it’s just my bad luck that I will miss that match thanks to work *sigh*

The US also played today. They played against Ghana, who had beat them in both the 2010 World Cup and the 2006 World Cup. Over the last few weeks, leading up to the World Cup, people have been complaining about Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision to leave off Landon Donovan off the World Cup squad. Many wondered if the US had a chance without him. The US got off to a great start when Clint Dempsey scored within the 1st min. His goal was the fastest in US history and 6th fastest in a world cup. Unfortunately for the US, they ended up losing Jozy Altidore to injury, though they haven’t said how serious his injury is. The US was up 1-0 at half time. In the second half, both teams had more chances. Ghana brought on two very good players, Kevin Prince Boateng and Michael Essien. Ghana scored the equalizer with less than ten minutes to go and it looked like this match would end in a draw, much to the disappointment of USA fans. However, thanks to John Brooks, who was subbed on in the second half and playing in his first World Cup ever, who scored a header, the US finally beat Ghana. Game ended 2-1. Next up for the US is Portugal. Germany is at the top of the group, followed by the US, Ghana, then Portugal in 4th place.

Next match I will be watching is Brazil-Mexico. Looking forward to that. I hope the refs are fair this time and don’t favor Brazil. No, I’m not a Mexico fan, I’m just a football fan that wants to watch a good match.

Posted in Football/Soccer

2014 World Cup

So excited that the World Cup is finally here! I (along with all the diehard football/soccer fans in the world) have waited 4 years for this! Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be able to watch a lot of the games because of work. (Unless the Dish office inside my job shows the games on their tv like they did for the Brazil-Croatia game on Thursday!)

The matches that I’ve watched so far are: Brazil-Croatia (first half and last ten minutes of second half), Mexico-Cameroon (second half), Spain-Netherlands (whole game, unfortunately), and England-Italy (also the whole game).

The view I had for the Brazil-Croatia match wasn’t the greatest. To be honest, I’m not really a Brazil fan, but I like a couple of their players-David Luiz and Marcelo. Despite the fact that I like two of the players, I really don’t want to see them win the World Cup this year, even if it is at their home. I think most people expected much more from Brazil against Croatia. But they got off to a bad start. The first goal of the match was an own goal by Marcelo! I felt bad for him (because he is a Real Madrid player). Neymar scored for Brazil and then later on in the game, Brazil was given a penalty. I didn’t see this part, but I know a lot of people were saying it shouldn’t have been a penalty, that Fred flopped. Well, either way, Neymar scored the penalty and they were up 2-1. A few minutes before the game ended, Oscar scored for Brazil and they won 3-1.

Coming into the World Cup, people didn’t expect much from Mexico. After all, they had trouble qualifying and only made it because the US beat Panama. If it wasn’t for that, Panama would’ve been in the World Cup instead of Mexico. Well, Mexico had to go to play offs, but they played New Zealand, which isn’t exactly a tough team to beat. Mexico surprised a lot of people by playing really well against Cameroon. In the first half, Mexico scored 2 goals but neither counted because they were called offside. Many people, fans, commentators, and journalists, said that those goals were not offside and should’ve counted. It took Mexico a while, but they finally scored in the second half. Cameroon had a big chance to equalize towards the end of the match, but Ochoa made a huge save and denied them. Mexico won 1-0.

The next game after was the Spain-Netherlands match. Everyone, including myself, thought Spain would win. After all, they are the defending champions and many of their players come from Real Madrid or Barcelona. Diego Costa started for Spain and that was a horrible mistake for Del Bosque to start him. I think next time he should go with David Villa (honestly, I think Fernando Llorente should’ve gone to Brazil, he scored so many goals for Juventus last season). Anyways, as I mentioned, Costa was awful. He had so many chances and couldn’t convert any. He did manage to get a penalty for Spain, but some argue that it shouldn’t have been a penalty. Xabi Alonso stepped up and even though the Dutch keeper went the right way, Alonso’s shot was too hard and he scored. Spain was up 1-0. It looked as though Spain would have an easy time beating Netherlands. I don’t think anyone saw Netherlands winning 5-1. I thought Spain would win 2-1 or 2-0. Robin Van Persie scored the equalizer and as much as I hate to admit this, his goal was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. There aren’t many keepers that would’ve been able to stop that. At halftime it was 1-1. I don’t know what happened in the second half, but things took a turn for the worse for Spain. Iker Casillas could’ve done better on a couple goals, but his defense also let him down. I hate saying anything bad about Fernando Torres, but he didn’t do such a good job either. Though he wasn’t a bad as Costa, he should’ve been able to score a goal for Spain. Like I said earlier, I think Villa should start next game and Pique needs to be benched. Ramos spent too much time trying to cover for him. Robben scored a couple goals and Van Persie scored another. Of all the Dutch players to score, it had to be the two players I hate most. Sigh. When the game was over and Netherlands won 5-1, everyone was in shock. Even people that thought Spain would lose didn’t expect that score. I don’t think Casillas will be benched (well he shouldn’t) because I don’t think Reina or De Gea could’ve done better. Their next game will be against Chile who beat Australia 3-1.

England-Italy match is the one I was most looking forward to. I was rooting for Italy because my boyfriend is a huge Italy fan, has been most of his life. Plus I like more Italian players than English players (I only like Joe Hart from England because he plays for Manchester City). The last time these two played was at the Euro 2012. That match ended 0-0 and went to penalties. I was really hoping this match didn’t end that way. They didn’t disappoint. It was a really good match. At first, both teams were attacking but couldn’t seem to score. Italy scored first, thanks to Pirlo. Instead of getting the ball, he let it go and it went to Marchisio who was unmarked and scored from a long distance. Italy fans didn’t get to celebrate for too long because England scored just a few minutes later. It was 1-1 at half time. In the second half, Mario Balotelli had a chance to make it 2-1 for Italy. Hart came out and Balotelli chipped him over him. It was a sure goal, but one of the English defenders headed the ball out. Had it gone in, it would’ve been an amazing goal. Later on in the match, Balotelli would get his goal. Unfortunately, he was subbed out before he could get a hat trick. In the 90th minute or so, Italy had a free kick and Pirlo stepped up to take it. It was an amazing free kick, Joe Hart looked stuck/lost as though he didn’t know what to do. It hit the crossbar and the score remained 2-1 Italy. That would’ve been yet another great goal had it gone in. Next up for England is Uruguay, while Italy will face Costa Rica, who shocked people by beating Uruguay 3-1 earlier in the day.