2013 is the summer of adventure…errr, I mean Event-ure”.

When July knocked on my calender’s door I realized {frantically} that we were already knee deep into summer. I immediately promised myself to start taking off on some mandatory creative and exciting quests weekly. Be it big bon voyage types, a small seasonal soirée or just checking out some favorite pop-up events in my own neighborhood, I will make the most of summer! For the remaining warm weather months I will no longer be chained to my computer [when unnecessary] and start embracing the longer days and more importantly, the creative inspiration ahead.

Luckily the fine folks at Eventbrite are on the same page and have encouraged my personal change-of-scene-challenge by sending me out to experience amazing food-centric experiences all across Los Angeles. Over the next few weeks I’ll be showcasing some of these Eventures and giving you a little insight into why I love the diverse range of activities happening in my own own fair city of La La Land.

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Obviously the first thing that popped into my head was voluntarily entering a fruit battle of epic proportions…and wound licking realities.

I’m talking about The SoCal Tomato Battle.

I’m also talking about something I would never do in a million years to the tune of writing down a list of new personal boundaries. Which  may or may not include a fortress-like solitude of security for this day forward.

Let’s just cross off this bad boy off my bucket list now because it was…in a word…life changing  challenging.

 
 

Upon first impression everything seemed harmless: Set in a location with a scenic water view, a cooling mountain breeze, crisp hefeweizens paired with strangely corkscrewed  hot dog / potato madness on a stick… I’m on board  with this  peaceful fun-loving (yet slightly MTV beach house feeling) environment going on here.

Basically Summer-timing 101: Full Tilt Boogie.

Let’s live like we’re young(r).

And then I saw this.

Apparently all the fried food and libations were just a muscle relaxer to coax you into the unknown. I realized there would be a huge mess involved. What I didn’t realize is that I was about to be knee deep in a full on tomato blood bath.

Not only was I trying to strategize how to not break my neck under such slippery conditions, I was trying to envision how 500-some people were going to fit into this “field” (read: tomato paste cage of doom).

Shrugging all my control freak tendencies off my still somewhat (very) freaked out back, I reminded myself this is  the summer to try something new. And this…was definitely new.

Let’s battle!

 
 

The first five or ten minutes were invigorating. Everyone awkwardly, lunging and tossing tomato torpedoes into the air. Cheering with mid-air juicy explosions and ketchup-like rain. Joyously crushing red romas onto each others heads and getting a good giggle at the mess we’ve already made of ourselves.

T-shirts stained…the shoes ruined. Carefree.

It was like the best food fight of your ten year old life. It was awesome…minus that one grape vine under ripe bowling ball of a tomato that just grazed your right eyeball.

Things are getting real.

And by getting real… I mean quick-induced panic.

I’m not exaggerating here (maybe by 120%), but I’m thinking this might be what Lord Of Flies (or The Real World Season Whatever We’re On now) would be like. Fight/Flight, stocking up your bomb shelter, hording ammunition and all sorts of survivalist tactics that went into a square dance frenzy swing.

Suddenly without proper announcement alliances were being made… without words, just with hand signals and through foggy goggles.

Unfortunately I missed this particular recruitment call.

{THWAT}

Yup…that was me just checking to make sure I had my molars still in place.

 
 

What’s the fastest baseball ever thrown? 100 mph? 1000 mph?!?

Let’s just say that’s how fast these tomato tarts were flying. Lightning speed, invisible and ready to sting you like a killer bee:  Sleuth styles and rudely unapologetic.

Don’t plan on wearing a sleeveless shirt for the next month style.

At this point, I basically stopped trying to throw my way through the battle and just found shelter behind anything that would keep my ribs from breaking. Be it a tall man  or just someone with a costume involving a large shield.

No Shame – it’s called staying alive.

Speaking of, I should have brought armor. Note taken.

 

Now I want to make one thing clear here. I’m no baby – these fruit bullets will ruin you. Even when you’re taking a time out away from battle ground boarders and innocently trying to get a good photo of yourself in the mess to post on instagram.

In The Tomato Battle there is no such thing as a time out – just bruises and soggy pants.

 

 

Let it be known — I survived.  More importantly with a smile (and no broken bones).

I’m not sure what was more challenging for me: The actual pain and distress of the battle or the post-endurance chilling cattle herd group spray-down  with strangers by fire hose.  Sure we all laughed contagiously throughout the day at all these difficult moments….but maybe that was just the anxiety talking?

If this is what prison is like, I don’t ever want to go.

 
 

Mission complete.

Only three or four questionably painful injuries still lingering (including an arm welt so brutal it still can’t make up it’s mind if it wants to bruise or just self-amputate)  but the back pats of accomplishment are at an all time high.

Will I ever subject myself to this saucy situation again? N to the You’ve got to be kidding me NO…but I’m definitely glad I conquered it with gusto. Hive fives to all of the other slathered civilians who made it as well.

In the name of summer: Here’s to more Eventures, new experiences and personal challenges ahead.

Tell me — What wild place are you headed next!?

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This post is part of an ongoing partnership with Eventbrite LA. Eventbrite enables people all over the world to plan, promote, and sell out any event. It’s also a destination for people to discover awesome events going on in THEIR city! Whatever your desires, hobbies, or interests – from photography workshops and wine classes to food festivals and industry conferences, there’s an event on Eventbrite waiting for you to attend! Keep up on the goings-on in LA by following Eventbrite LA on Twitter, liking them on Facebook and Instagram! Planning an event? Go ahead and create an account to get started.

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