So our friend Emily invited Lori, Jo, and I along with a group of her other friends to go on a hike for her birthday near Mount Tamalpais. It was incredibly beautiful. Jo and I will definitely be going back to do this hike again. It’s also pretty amazing that this is just a short drive from San Francisco. Here are some photos from the hike.

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Over the holidays Jo and I stayed with her sister Marybeth in North Carolina. While staying with her I was introduced to fine writing instruments. My sister-in-law has a very fine Montegrappa, an Italian fountain pen. I was always a little intimidated by using a fountain pen because of the ink bottle and having to fill the pen. After using my sister-in-law’s pen I was immediately impressed and quite taken with the beauty of these writing instruments. I was so taken that I had to order my own. Of course my wife’s family heritage is Italian American and my family’s heritage is German American so I had to order a German made writing instrument. After some quick research I settled on a Diplomat pen.

Now, I haven’t actually written in cursive in quite some time. Actually I don’t write by hand much at all these days since I’m on the computer at work, at home, and I have my iPhone when I’m out and about. So I am writing letters now to family and friends and I am working on my penmanship. It’s seems very quaint to write by hand and in cursive but there is a certain appeal to it. I found that I take my time when writing by hand I can collect my thoughts. Also it is definitely a more personal touch when writing letters by hand. In any event here are a couple of photos of my new fine writing instrument. I’m not going to scan any of my letters yet since I am still rather embarrassed by my penmanship.