Saturday, 24 September 2016

Where has the summer gone?

My last post was in July. The reason for this quiet spell is simple, I went to California to get married to the lovely Lady K, and as a result have done nothing wargaming related in the interim. So what follows is a short of "What I did on my holidays" post, and then some thoughts on wargaming plans going forward, I hope this isn't dreadfully dull.

Once school was over in July, I flew over to Bakersfield, California and began preparing for the wedding. Family members and friends started arriving a little before the big day. The first arrival was my favourite cousin who lives in Australia, she treated me to my first ever NFL game. It was a preseason match between the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys. She is a Cowboys fans, hence our t-shirts. I am more of a rugby man, but being at the first game the Rams played after moving back to Los Angeles was something special. Additionally, the game finished in spectacular fashion with the Rams clinching it in the dying seconds. I would definitely go again.

We were only four rows back!

The Memorial Coliseum is worth visiting any time. 
We then headed up North to San Francisco, to meet my then future brother-in-law, who is a massive San Francisco Giants fan. He arranged for us to go and see the Giants play the Pirates at AT&T Park. After the intense excitement of an NFL game I worried that a sedate baseball match might prove a little dull in comparison. However, I was happily proven wrong and I thoroughly enjoyed my first encounter with "the national pastime." Between hot dogs, "Take me out to the ball game", and "rally caps", it was a fantastic evening out. As a lover of cricket, baseball isn't too far from my chosen sport, but different enough to be interesting in its own right. 

My dear friend Lydia has flown into San Francisco and came to AT&T Park directly from the airport to meet us. After the game we set off for Stockton where we crashed for the night before moving to Yosemite National Park. Now anyone who has ever used a Mac will be familiar with the vistas of Yosemite, they are often used by Apple as desktop backgrounds, but nothing can prepare you for the true scale of it all. 

"There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods." - Theodore Roosevelt
After this bachelor party getaway, we headed back south to Bakersfield for the wedding. Still more foreigners with thick South African accents descended upon the city and met with the raucous hordes of Greeks and Arabs of the local Orthodox Christian community as it was all hands on deck to make the arrangements for the big day. 

In our jam-packed little church I got married to the lovely Lady K, whose father married us. As with most of these sorts of things it is a blur, and the very next day we headed off to Los Angeles to fly to Vancouver for our honeymoon. Vancouver airport is absolutely amazing, and the city didn't disappoint either. We spent the next week going on Zodiac rides, going to various waterfalls and I even managed to haul myself up Grouse Mountain one morning early.

After an early morning Grouse climb, I enjoyed a coffee in the early morning chill before all the cable cars brought the hordes of tourists up. 

Awesome views from the top, and the cable car ride down was stunning.
 I would definitively visit Canada again, I think that Vancouver is a perfect destination for outdoorsy type people and I thoroughly enjoyed walking and running in the various city and national parks. Sadly we didn't have long for our honeymoon and head to head back to Britain because I started my new teaching job in London. However, before we did leave, I managed to get a picture of the world's largest tin soldier in New Westminster.

Lady K is smiling because, thankfully, none of my "toy soldiers" are this big.
That is all for now gentle reader, I am afraid I am very much still in the "adjusting to the horrific London commute" phase of the new job, and haven't even looked at my miniatures since arriving back from North America.