Oracle Ballpark – Home of the San Francisco Giants

Without doubt this is one of my favorite baseball stadiums on the planet. Situated right next to the San Francisco bay, plenty of bars and restaurants in the nearby vicinity, and a loyal fan base, the home of the Giants is a great place for a baseball game. Once inside you’ll realize nearly every seat is a great view of the field and the food options are to die for. This is one of the only stadiums I have been to with views of the sea. A massive baseball glove sculpture sits along side of a giant Coke bottle in left field, and if a homer is hit down the right field line it will most likely land in the bay to a gang of kayakers waiting to fish the ball out of the water. I’ve been fortunate to sit in the corporate boxes for a game here and it’s nothing but a party. I highly recommend going to a game at Oracle Park if you’re in San Francisco, but take note that tickets don’t come cheap, but you can always check Nomadic Nolan’s Golden Tickets for the best prices. You can find Oracle Park at 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107.

MLB Stadium Series – First stop Yankee Stadium

Baseball is back in full swing after a shortened 2020 season due to Covid and the game is hot! I haven’t seen enthusiasm for the sport like this for a long time. With so many stars and so many great teams I’ve made it a point this summer to visit as many ballparks as possible. First on my list is Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. The Yankees have been my favorite team since I was 6 years old and the first biographies I read as a kid were Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. I had the pleasure of visiting this replica of the old Yankees Stadium back in 2009 when the Yankees won the World Series and this year I decided to go back for a game against the Angels to see another one of my favorite players Shohei Ohtani. Covid measures and security checks have made getting into the stadium tedious to say the least, but I finally made it in after checking in my backpack across the street at a Yankees memorabilia store for $20. Getting there was a breeze as I took the subway from Downtown after visiting the Statue of Liberty on a cruise which I will write about in a later post. The subway runs directly to the stadium from Manhattan and I took the 4 train there. Once inside the layout is similar to the old House that Ruth Built, but with modern updates like dine in restaurants, bars, and a massive scoreboard that lights up like the moon in it’s full LED beauty. I spent most of my time walking around taking pictures, then nestled into the left field stands to charge my phone on one of the many USB charging points throughout the stadium which I found to be very useful since I was running low on charge. I bought my tickets on my affiliate Golden tickets web site for about $40 which was a great deal I thought. Please check out that link for all your sporting, concert, and event ticketing needs, each purchase you make I’ll get a small commission that will help me maintain this blog. Finally, I had myself a polish sausage loaded with peppers, onions, and mustard. Boy was it good! The Yankees ended up winning with their ace Gerrit Cole coming away with the victory. You can find Yankees stadium at 1 E 161 St, Bronx, NY 10451. Take a look at my pictures below.

The Clancy Hotel in San Francisco, Ca a property of Marriott’s Autograph Collection

I had the chance to stay at the Clancy in early June for a business trip and this hotel offers everything you need while in the city. Located on 2nd street and just a few blocks from Market and the Oracle ball park, home of the San Francisco Giants, you’ll find the Clancy is a nice place to call home for a few days. This hotel is ideal for someone without a car that comes into the city on the BART or by Uber as the overnight parking is rather high. Also, you might want to bring your own beverages as the hotel does offer drinks from their market, but a beer can cost you $8 or more. You can find the Clancy at 299 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94105. Please see my room review below.

New Mexico – The land of enchantment and some cool funky shit.

This year I took dad to New Mexico for Father’s day. We headed to Albuquerque & Santa Fe, New Mexico with stops in Flagstaff, AZ, Winslow, AZ and a final stop in Sedona, AZ on the return ride home to Las Vegas. By car this trip takes about 8 to 9 hours to Albuquerque from Vegas so I feel better splitting up the drive and spending a night half way along the route. We considered driving to Kingman, taking an Amtrak and renting a sleeper room, but the cost didn’t justify the investment so road trip it was. Flagstaff is the perfect stop for such a short night trip. We stayed at a Courtyard Inn by Marriot which is well maintained and close to the 40 freeway exit. I ordered takeout BBQ and had some amazing chicken wings that you can see below in the gallery of photos. The next day we hit the road at about 11 am and drove an hour to Winslow to see, what else? The “Standing on the Corner” exhibit made famous by the rock & roll legends the Eagles. Needless to say the place is pretty cool, with several dining options and souvenir shops that you’ll most likely go into when you are there. We had tacos at BoJo’s that was served with rice and beans. The food was tasty, but it was time to move on to our destination. From Winslow to Albuquerque it’s another 4 hours of driving, but it’s a nice desert landscape with plenty of options to stop and buy Native Indian jewelry and visit the reservations. However, we just wanted to get to our hotel, eat and rest so we could explore Albuquerque. Keeping to our tradition of ordering takeout during the pandemic, we chose Italian. The place we chose is called Saggios. The restaurant is located at 107 Cornell Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. They have pizza, pasta, salads and also serve beer and wine. The location was just a few miles from our hotel at the Fairfield Inn and right across the street from the University of New Mexico. The next day I played golf at the University of New Mexico’s golf course which I’ll write about separately in another blog post. We ended up staying in Albuquerque 3 nights, then drove through the turquoise trail with a stop in Golden, NM and a final stop in Santa Fe. I wish we had more time, but we spent just one night in Santa Fe and it was time for us to drive back. Next time I visit New Mexico I would like to visit with a date and explore more of the dining options. In addition, I would like to learn more about the native Indian population since we didn’t get to do a lot of that. Until next time New Mexico! Thanks for having us and treating us to some good food and awesome photo opportunities.

Reserva Conchal Golf Club- A tropical layout nestled in the hills of Guanacaste Costa Rica

Ocean views, crocodiles, iguanas coati-mundi(raccoons) and one hell of a practice facility the Reserva Conchal Golf Club should be on your bucket list in Costa Rica if you enjoy golf as much as I do. This is a Robert Trent Jones designed layout that offers golfers a fantastic experience and challenge for players of all levels. My favorite hole is the number 4 par 5 that faces directly into the pacific ocean. The view is just spectacular off the tee and gets better as you approach the green. I was lucky enough to be one of the only golfers on this course during a nice, but very steamy hot day. I really enjoyed the golf cart as it had a terrific GPS system and also the staff in the bar & clubhouse who treated me like a king. You can book a tee time by calling or on their website, and you will receive a discount if you are a hotel guest at the W or Westin resorts. The Reserva Conchal is ranked 2nd in Costa Rica according to Top 100 golf Courses and you can find the Reserva Conchal at Playa Conchal Guanacaste Cabo Velas, 50308, Costa Rica.

The W at Playa Conchal in Guanacaste, Costa Rica – A tropical oasis with howler monkeys.

From the moment you drive into this property you can tell you are in good hands. Greeted by a security guard at the gate and making your way up the winding drive it becomes clear that the W Conchal has it all for the seasoned veteran traveler who prefers the finer things in life. Park your car in valet, it’s included in your stay and the bell service is top notch, friendly and ready to cater to your needs. The reception desk is located in an open air lobby with an enormous center bar and a pool behind it with a swim up drink station and also a Dj spinning relaxing tranquil beats. Take a look beyond the pool for breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Playa Conchal. The setting is quite comforting to say the least. There are 3 towers in this hotel with elevators and easy access for the handicap. If you need assistance with your party, you will need to reserve a wheelchair or request one upon your arrival as I had to for my dad. Have a welcome drink in the lobby as you wait to check in and just enjoy the process. We were upgraded to an ocean view double queen room with a sizeable balcony. These rooms retail for over $500 a night depending on the season, but you might just book a standard room and see if you get lucky with a complimentary upgrade. Our bathroom was enormous and was all windows that you can leave covered or uncovered while you shower above the jungle. The hotel offers 24 hour room service, a gym, sauna, and steam room. You can also find a beach club, just steps away from the ocean which comes with a restaurant that offers Caribbean cuisine. The W also shares the hotel grounds with a neighboring Westin which is an all inclusive resort and an awesome golf course that I will write exclusively about in another blog post. There is also a ton of wildlife that you will hear and see. I was lucky to spot several Howler monkeys on a walk down to the beach, a coati (Costa Rican racoon) on the golf course, and a ton of green and black iguanas. You can reach the W Reserval Conchal at Reserva Conchal, Guanacaste  50308 Costa Rica and book rooms at Nomadic Nolan’s Travel Site.

Valley of Fire – A Nevada state park and awesome day trip.

Like most things in life I saw this park on Facebook and thought it would be a great trip for my dad and I to explore the beautiful red rocks of the Valley of Fire. I have driven by the entrance several times unknowingly on the way to Mesquite and Southern Utah in the past. This time however, was a full deep dive into one of Nevada’s hidden gems. Just off the 15 N interstate on the way to Salt Lake City from Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire exposes it’s magnificent landscape for park attendees. Admission is $10 or $9 with a veterans discount and the park closes at sundown. I got out of the car several times to take short hikes around the natural wonders and snap photos. I was fascinated by the red sand that is extremely fine like the white sand found at Pebble Beach located in and around the rock formations. The park also boasts ancient hieroglyphs from long lost tribes of the southwest and many unique rock figurations including an arch that is quite simply cool. My dad and I made the trip in late March and it wasn’t hot at all. After several hours in the park we decided to stop for a bite to eat at a restaurant named The Inside Scoop. The food portions were most generous and the milkshake was killer. I highly recommend this day trip for locals and tourists looking to get away from the strip. You can find the Valley of Fire at 29450 Valley of Fire Hwy, Overton, NV 89040.

Oak Quarry Golf Course – Hit your ball of the rocks and score!

Wow this course is a one of a kind. Big rocks that you can ricochet your ball off onto greens and a track that you will never forget. One of my Facebook friends posted this course on her timeline and I knew I had to go check it out. Living in So. California for over a decade, I had never heard of it. The clubhouse and cart barn are pretty standard, but the golf carts are top notch with awesome GPS and big comfortable chairs. The layout is unique to say the least with challenging tee shots and slick greens. I was hitting the ball well that day, but I found the course to be a perfect challenge of the need for distance, control and accuracy. My only complaint was the tightly packed grass in the fairways which have a matted down feeling when hitting iron shots, but that was probably due to the time of year in early spring. I highly recommend this course for the challenge and photo opportunities. Oak Quarry can be found at  7151 Sierra Ave, Riverside, CA 92509. Their website can be found by clicking here.

Pelican Hills Golf Resort

If you’re in Newport Beach, California and you want to play golf this is the premiere course(s) to play. Pelican Hills was designed by Tom Fazio, offers 2 courses to choose from(the north and south course), is open to the public and tee times can be made on their website or sometimes on GOLF NOW. Like most things in Southern California the resort was closed for intervals during the Covid 19 pandemic, but opened back up at the end of February 2021. I was looking for a spot to play with my friend Dave and jumped on the opportunity once I found out we could tee it up on these beautiful grounds. Situated just above the historic Pacific Coast Highway, with views of the ocean and Balboa Peninsula, Pelican Hills offers golfers of all levels a chance to test their skills. Although not the most difficult of layouts a golfer must keep their ball in the fairway in order to score well as the hazard areas will engulf your ball and will be unable to find. I recommend setting up a tee time in the afternoon to take advantage of the reduced twilight rate. The practice facilities are top notch with an uphill driving range, and a beautiful putting green next to the pro-shop. If you have time grab a nice lunch or breakfast at the Pelican or Coliseum grill which has a great view of the Pacific Ocean, or stop in for a drink after your round to soak up the experience. You can find Pelican Hills at 22701 S Pelican Hill Rd, Newport Coast, CA 92657. Please see my photos below to get a feel for the course.

3 days of golf and decadent dinners with old friends.

I got a message from my friend Rocky about an upcoming PGA pro-am event sponsored by the Iowa PGA. I was happy to say yes to an amazing event held at 3 of Las Vegas’s premier courses. One of which has been on my bucket list for years, Southern Highlands. The other 2 Rio Secco and Cascata I had played before, but my round at Cascata was cut short due to inclement weather so I was happy to get back out to Boulder City to enjoy another 18 holes. It was great to hang out with my friends Frank, Rocky, Tilly and a new friend Jeff. I had not seen them in years and we had the chance to catch up on old times. We didn’t play that great, but we made up for the lack of scoring at some nice restaurants in town including Nora’s Italian cuisine and STK steakhouse at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino.