Every once in while life offers up some pretty amazing opportunities. This weekend was one of those for me. Jo and I were just talking about how we haven’t had a chance to rest and relax lately, so this weekend was right on time. Our friend Drew pitched the idea of renting and staying at a vacation rental on a winery. So Drew and Maika, Mike and Lisa, and Jo and myself all pitched in for the estate vacation rental on the Gustafson Family Vineyards.

First of all the house was amazing. It was a perfect weekend for spending some time with some very good friends and doing so in a stunningly beautiful location. We also got to meet Drew and Maika’s new baby boy Val. Also during our stay we made a new friend, Rampage, the winery dog. I’ll let the photos do the rest of describing the weekend.

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Jo and I caught up with our nieces and Jo’s sister Melissa and her husband in Orlando Florida at Universal Studios theme park.  Jo’s niece’s are huge fans of Harry Potter so the main focus of this trip was Harry Potter World.  Harry Potter World was very impressive.  I think my favorite part was Diagon Alley, especially the fire breathing dragon over Gringotts Bank.  The hotels and resort were also great.  The water taxis were very cool.  We were kind of shocked to find a fake San Francisco in the park.  The Jurassic Park area was quite cool and I could have spent a little more time in the Simpson’s Springfield area.  In any event it was a great time.  Here are some photos from the trip.

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So Jo and I decided to take a road trip from San Francisco to Killeen Texas to visit her family.  I made the trip from the Bay Area to Texas once before and I’m glad Jo was up for the experience because it was something I really enjoyed.  There is something very therapeutic about a long road trip.  Having that much time to think, reflect, and if you are with someone, to talk with them with no distractions is just something that many people in their day to day lives don’t necessarily get.  Also in the age of immediate gratification and travel via airlines, the idea that it will take some significant time to get to your destination, there is just something liberating abut that, being on the road, only stopping for food and rest.  So on our trip we saw some amazing landscapes and skies.  I thought I’d share some of our photos.

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Wow, so I have realized it’s been a while since I last posted.  Well, where to start?  Jo and I spent Christmas, our anniversary, and New Years in Rome.  We spent two weeks just in Rome, no rushing around to other cities or trying to keep a schedule.  It was relaxing and honestly I fell in love with the city.  If only I could figure out how to move and live there permanently.  It was an amazing trip.  We have too many stories to tell so instead here is a slide show of some of our photos.

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Shortly after we returned from Rome I made the career move from Epicor to Teachscape.  I was at Epicor for over 9 years.  I think I stayed there too long to be honest.  I guess I was always hoping that they could turn things around but after too many missed opportunities in my opinion it was time to move on.  In a fortunate turn of events I had a recruiter contact me about a position in the city and for a great company.  Teachscape is a very nice change of pace for me and I am extremely happy with the move.  I am working with great technology and looking forward to being a valued member of the development team.

The job change comes with a huge change in lifestyle.  I no longer commute via BART to the east bay and Jo and I walk to work together in the mornings and home in the evenings pretty much every day.  We never have to touch a vehicle of any kind.  We stop at the Starbucks right in front of the gate to China Town on our way into work.  It’s down right civilized.  Working and living in the city makes me feel like I am truly a resident of San Francisco now that I don’t have to commute out during the week.

Well there’s been a lot more to write about but I’ll have to save more for other posts.

Cheers,
Tim