Hammer's Birthday Bash from my camera's POV (This will kill your computer regardless) >>>&g
April 13 2010 at 3:43 AM
(Select Login ERSanchez) from IP address 22.214.171.124
As last time, I found a song on my iPod on the way home that really captured the weekend for me. You surely do not have to listen to it while you read the post, but you can if you wish. The song shown on the iPod screen is not the same one playing, but the artist is the same ... Gary Go. I hope you enjoy.
>>>> Wow, what a weekend!
I can tell you right now this post will fail miserably in capturing all that happened. Afterall, this post is nothing more than an explanation of the pictures that I found in my camera this morning. And I've looked over them many times and quickly realized they do not even begin to cover the last few days. But regardless, here goes. But please remember, a camera (especially one being controlled by me) cannot do this past weekend justice. It was, for me, one of the best weekends of my short time here on Paneristi.
For me everything started on Thursday. After grabbing a coffee at the airport I was ready to hit the friendly skies. Next stop, California!
Even though the flight was late to take off, it was a very short flight according to a wristwatch. Took off at 12:35 and landed in Cali at 1:10 (2 hour time difference).
Not long after I landed and made it to the hotel I was to meet Micah downstairs of the hotel so Taylor (justhideandwatch) could pick us up and head over to the BHB in L.A..
We had to make a quick stop so Taylor could pick up a new piece for his collection.
Taylor was nothing but smiles as you can see. Honsetly, who wouldn't be?
A couple of hours later we landed in L.A. and headed straight over to the boutique. As you can see we were not early.
Immediately I was blown away with all the Risti's that were there. But I was expecially pumped to meet Dean for the first time! He was everthing I had heard he was .... a genuine super great guy. Dean ... it was a real pleasure chatting with you, mate! I hope our next meet allows for more time together.
Some people I was so excited to see again I didn't even get a photo with. I had found Robert Dickman inside who I hadn't seen in quite a while (Dude, you rock! I wish we could have hung out more but nevertheless it was great seeing you again!) and Diego was amongst the crowd outside. I wouldn't see these Ristis for the rest of the trip but the short time together really made a difference.
Chad and his crew at the BHB really went ALL out for us. Champagne, (yummy!) hors d'oeuvres and a bunch of cool Panerai swag! Not to mention the opportunity to finally see the 339 in person. Chad ... everytime I meet you I understand more and more why you are our go-to guy. You really know how to make us feel like part of this incredible brand. Thank you.
The sun went down but the evening was just beginning. After saying our goodbyes to the BHB crew, some of us went down the street to grab a bite to eat.
Just like every other time I've done it, walking the streets of LA (this time) with a bunch of Risti's was a blast! Good Times in Mobile form! It's not the walking, but those conversations that you never know where they will lead, that make it so special.
Soon it was time to leave L.A. and start heading back to SD. A few hours later I found myself in my hotel room for the first time. I went ahead and set up my computer to watch the season's first MotoGP race on Sunday but that never happened.
Friday morning came and I was out of bed like a giddy school boy getting laid for the first time. A quick bite to eat (ooops, walked the bill and didn't even know it) later and I found myself cruising with the one and only, Bo.
Although it was the second time in four months I'd seen Bo, this was the first time I really got to "hang" with him. And without sounding too gay, I really enjoyed our rides together (there were several). Even though all the photos I've seen of Bo paint a much more "Bad-ass" dude, he is really a true gentleman (although I would NOT want to piss him off).
But I am convinced if we weren't following Marc in his granny-rental Caddy, we would have made it everywhere twice as fast as we did.
We arrived at Encinitas for a bite to eat, but or real destination was La Costa Resort. But first, time to fill the bellies and grab a few laughs.
Here's Jen showing of her new smile.
I didn't think anyone could sleep while talking to Marc, but Bo proved that to be not true.
After we finished up we headed over to our real destination, La Costa Resort. Every car that pulled up while we were in the parking lot revealed another great group of Paneristis.
The next group of photos are that of my time in La Costa. Tons of familiar faces but also a few that I had yet to see in person.
Here, Davie Lee and BillS (both who I had never met before) chat it up, while Marc and Farhad have a conversation with Gregoire (NeilD in the background).
Of course, Hammer was there! This was also my first opportunity to meet Hammer's lovely wife, Dee, and their wonderful kids (not pictured).
Hey, I know that guy!!
Yes, Mr. Eng Tay was in Da House!
One thing Paneristi is, and these gatherings are no exception, International!!
Kia, someone else who I had never met before (although we'e spent much time together via e-mail), was checking out one of many incredible pieces.
Here's Bill enjoying what turned out to be a very warm day.
I forget sometimes that there are some cool watches here.
After a few hours we were off! Time to head back to the hotel to get ready for what tonight might have in store for us.
After I showered I headed downstairs to see where everyone was. No one in the lobby. no one by the pool, but I sure could hear some shenanigans coming from somewhere!
After walking around the pool, I found a gazeebo filled with Risti's and tons of booze.
NiLo looking every bit Giant size!
Micah doing what he does so well .... relaxing.
Michael M wondering where all the beer went.
Oh yea .... (Bo's) killer watche ....
Soon we headed out for a night on the town. Our destination was somewhere that I will never forget the name of .... uh .... The Green Necklace. Wait, I mean the Pearl Necklace. Hmmm, doesn't sound right. I got it ... The Green Pearl Kitchen!! LOL!
Another long-time Risti that I met for the first time ... Kiril.
After we left thee were shots at another bar (don't ask how we got there) ....
... and then there was this .....
... and then it all went blank.
Anyway, Saturday morning I'm back downstairs for some breakfast and to hunt down some Ristis. After I get my fill of eggs and toast (I paid this time), I noticed a familiar face at one of the tables.
Our very own FrankV!
If you ever have an opportunity to speak to Frank, take it. He is one great guy with incredible stories to share, of not only himself, but the very early years of P.com.
Frank, we MUST talk again soon. It was a blast talking to you, M8te!
Watch out Keith ... that guy to the right of you has two guns ....
... and the guy to your left! Not to mention, I'm convinced the guy in the middle could take out 007!
I went outside to see what was going on and found myself talking to an extremely cool Lurker, Kevin, and his Supermodel wife (Sorry, no photos). I even found inspiration for my wife's next Panerai!
Ah, why not .... too many cool watches to not take a tableshot!
Soon it was time to head over to The Stone Brewery. And I began to notice that everytime we left our convoy was twice as big as the last one.
Since we failed to see any signs to the place, we had to rely on Bo's nose to track down the brewery (ok, it was really the Nav system).
A Dream Menu for many Ristis'.
No, Kevin, for the last time ... they do NOT have Corona!
Now this was a treat ... a major part of the Dallas Crew showed up while we were at the Stone ... Cosmic and Meric!!!
This photo only required Ravi to extend his two fingers. His arm was up like that the entire time for some reason.
Hammer and Co. in Da House!
Ableman releaved he was finally here.
Serge and Lily catching up with Farhad.
Farhad and Kia catching up with Eng.
Adeeos the most calm I've ever seen (he might have been sleeping).
These people are surely up to no good.
There was nothing you couldn't count on Kia to do .... an amazing Risti in my book!
Rudy chatting it up with Hammer.
Keith trying to convince Bo the strap was stuck and he couldn't get it off.
After an incredible meal (mostly the company made it that way) and a few extra-potent (in my book) beers, we were on the road again. But first we had to pick up something Kia had secured for the Birthday Party.
After the three S's, I found myself downstairs getting ready to head to the 94th. But before we could even make it to the door, a party broke out!
Nad knew exactly what to do ... don't move!
I've met Mike2Zero many times ... we are old buds. But somehow this is our first photo together.....Finally!!!
Now .... about this time we showed up at the events' location to prepare for the evening. You would think the photo-shooting fool I am, that I would have tons of photos of the actual Birthday Party. Well, I don't. Just a few shots of some smiling faces once we were seated to begin dinner. For me and the rest of the committee, it was non-stop. And I wouldn't have had it any other way. It was awesome to be in the front of the restaurant to greet the first 20 or so Ristis. And then i went inside and stood next to Ravi, Kia and Rudy to greet the next 100 or so Risti's!
So, first the few photos I do have ....
I also must mention a special group of Ristis in one of the back rooms (not shown). The PinoyRistis (not all were with Pinoy but all were equally as crazy!) were out of control!! They were having their own party within a party. Gene, Victor, Shella, PeeJay, JUNL (Fiddy!), Royce, Lou, Sherm, Jay, Jose, Gilbert, Ralph (I know I'm forgetting some of you guys and gals) ... you guys ROCK!! I had a blast for the few minutes I was able to hang with you guys.
Words cannot describe the room when Hammer took the mic. His speech was soo special. Even the wait staff had to stop and listen while Hammer shared his true feelings on so many things. I'm not going to say much, because the more I try to explain, the further you will be from understanding. All I can say is, Thank You, Hammer, for sharing those words with us...with me. I know that everyone left there knowing a little bit more of the man we call Hammer.
After dinner we had some time to mingle before it was time to pack it up.
GregKo was hunting people down with his tongue, but this time J-F knew what to do ... get as far away as possible!!
(Sorry J-F ... I had to post, my friend!)
J-F didn't have to worry about my tongue coming out of my mouth.
And a quick shot of the 94th Aero right before we left ...
Now, the small space between the picture above and the picture below couldn't be further from the truth. But a quick recap would be ... back to the hotel, tons of booze, blazing fire (not including patio furniture), late night run to In & Out Burger (with Guille, Bob and Martin), food on hood and 50 tacos that never showed up (at least not before I went to bed).
It was a great night beneath the Californian stars.
The next morning it was time to head out, back to Texas. Even though Rob Montana was my room mate, there were no signs of mountain climbing gear, canoes, back packing equipment, sky diving gear, or anything that would make you beliee he was there.
But I do know one thing ... and Rob is my witness ... there was an earthquake Saturday morning at 2:30am! Craziest thing, two men in their underwear, outside on the balcany, trying to figure out the best place to jump if a bigger one were to return. LOL!! Had a blast Rob!
Once downstairs I had enough time to shoot the shit for a while, snap a photo of Gregoire's Killer combo, and a shot of my brother from another mother, Ravi.
As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. And so it did (at least for me). Soon I was back on a plane and headed back to Texas.
But I knew my wonderful wife and my four-legged children were waiting for me. And that is something that will always make me smile.
Well, that is all I got. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
And thank you to all that made this wonderful weekend one I will never forget. Not just those that put it together, but also all those that made the trip (some from VERY far away!), and those that wished they could have.
It was a blast to see you all, and I can't wait to do it again!
Cheers to all!
Eddie "Sharkman" Sanchez
"It's all about the patina, Baby!"
P U R A V I D A !
The pleasure of what we enjoy is lost by wanting more ~ fortune cookie