We loved our trip to sunny California

The Portland women's soccer team spent some time at the beach and riding bikes on the boardwalk while in California for a couple of games. Courtesy of Portland Athletics

Portland is a gorgeous place in the fall. The leaves turn burnt orange, bright red and golden yellow, creating a beautiful landscape. All of these colors combined with the chilly temperatures make fall one of my favorite seasons.

Although fall is amazing due to the cozy atmosphere it brings, we left this weather and environment for an equally good one. Our team loved the sunshine in California, where we played San Diego and Saint Mary’s.

We stepped off the plane and headed straight to Ellen Parker’s family’s beach house for an evening that would get all of our competitive juices flowing. The Parker family planned a horseshoe tournament and cornhole tournament with each of us getting partnered up.

Come to find out our team is not very good at horseshoes, especially my partner Sarah Bridges and me, as we were knocked out in the first round. Head coach Garrett Smith and Bekah Kurle took the trophy as they managed to defeat every other team.

Cornhole was more of our game, but some teams still managed to struggle. After my partner, Kendall Johnson, and I demolished Sarah and Nichole Downing at cornhole, we realized that “throwing games” are not really Sarah’s thing. Assistant coach Lisa Sari and Ellen’s older sister, Mandy Parker, won the cornhole tournament.

We also cruised around the boardwalk on 14 beach cruiser bikes and two tandem bikes. I was paired up with freshman Devlyn Jeter (DJ) on one of the tandem bikes.

Everyone wondered if I was nervous having a freshman drive me around, but I had faith she could handle it. Although the beginning was rough -- very rough -- she did a great job and we made it down the boardwalk and back in one piece.

Sophomore Emily Sippel also took the handles of the tandem bike for a bit, and after almost crashing with her once, we managed to survive.

The last competition was the “guess how many jelly beans are in this jar” game. At the end of the night they announced the actual count of jelly beans was 1,595. After almost crying with anticipation, I shed a few tears when I found out I had actually won with my guess of 1,565.

My favorite part of the night was watching the game-winning celebrations, which hopefully we’ll see more of on the soccer field.