We weren't sure how long we'd be here today, so we parked the car way up the hill where there are no meters and walked over half a mile to the beach. Walking down the hill to the beach is no problem. That walk back up with all our gear is going to be fun, but that's for future Joe and Theresa to deal with.
There's 11 courts today with games going on, including 10 regular courts and 1 stadium court. Matches started at 8:30 this morning and we didn't arrive until nearly 10am, but were still able to find a close spot right next to court 1. Perfect!
Theresa recently found a big umbrella with sides that extend down almost like a tent and it worked out great today! We set that up along with a blanket and had plenty of shade the entire day.
Go volleyball players!
John Hyden and his partner Tri Bourne would ultimately make the finals!
Really nice to have all these sponsors here providing samples to everyone. We'd make many trips throughout the day. T and Ian came back with nice cold Ocean Spray cranberry drinks and some acai sorbet with granola.
Next we'd watch 2008 Gold Medal winner Phil Dalhausser and his partner Nick Lucena play on court 1.
Really fun to watch the Beijing Beast play.
The 6'9" Beast gets pretty high above the net.
Man. The net is 8' high and he's got to be 3' over it.
Ultimately, Phil had to pull out of the Manhattan Beach tournament after injuring his calf during a jump serve. I hope it doesn't affect his performance in the Olympics. It's only 3 weeks away!
After the match Ian and I went out in search of food. I told him to pose for a picture in front of the giant volleyball.
To get down to his level, I was bending over sideways. So he followed suit. Goofy kid.
Heading to the top of the stands at Stadium court.
Looking over all the outer courts. "Can we go play in the water daddy?" Sure buddy, let's go.
He really wanted to play in the water and loved it when it got his feet.
This one got a little too close. Good thing mommy packs a change of clothes.
Walking back, we made sure to get samples. The Nestle Quik tent was giving out chocolate milk. The person handing them out gave one to him and asked if he liked chocolate milk. He said, "Yes, and daddy wants one." Thanks for looking out for me buddy.
And yes, he does love his chocolate milk.
As well as a bag of cheddar popcorn from the Skinny Pop tent.
He's certainly enjoying himself.
Everyone's having a good time on the beach. It's been really nice having the shade and all the free samples.
Lunchtime! T ran up the street and grabbed us mexican street tacos. Ian eating a giant tortilla chip. Alli loved the guacamole.
Dessert? How about a free frozen yogurt bar.
Casey Patterson and Jake Gibb will be making an appearance at the 2016 Olympic Games as well. And here they are, playing 10 feet away from us.
Casey and Jake actually went on to win the Manhattan Beach AVP and will have their names on the Manhattan Pier.
Ian loved playing in the sand with toys and tossing the ball back and forth to me. Actually he wanted to go on the court and toss the ball around, but he settled for tossing outside the court.
Just a couple weeks ago while playing on Wednesday in Hermosa, we saw Jace Pardon and her partner practicing. Really cool to see them playing for real.
She's really laying out to get the ball.
By the time we were done, it was 4:30pm and we'd spent nearly 7 hours on the beach. Alli took 2 naps and was perfectly behaved. Ian was great the whole day too, but on the walk back to the car actually started falling asleep on my shoulders.
And exhausted boy.
We weren't able to make it out to the rest of the AVP weekend, but had a really fun time watching on Friday.