Jo and I started our Thanksgiving morning by running the 5 mile San Francisco Turkey Trot in Golden Gate Park. It was a very cold morning and unfortunately before the race, the race swag, signage, and snacks were stolen, but the race went on. More info on the theft. Jo’s new company, Chegg was kind enough to provide us both with running shirts, go team Chegg! Oh that’s right, I haven’t mentioned that before. Jo recently left Gap Inc. for a director position with Chegg, a company that provides services to students. The race was a blast. While getting up before sunrise and freezing our butts off was not that great, the run was well worth it. So after a nice 5 mile run, Jo and I had a great Thanksgiving dinner at Sutter Pub. The food was excellent and best of all, no clean up afterwords.
My wife is adorable.
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.
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.
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.
Our friend Lori joined Jo and I to check out the Star Wars exhibit at the Tech Museum in San Jose. They had a very impressive display of models and costumes used in the movies. Yes, it brought out the 10 year old, sci-fi nerd in me.
I don’t think we could top this anniversary dinner. We ate at an outdoor restaurant In Rome, looking at the Pantheon. Easily one of the best moments of my life.
Well, Jo and I had a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year. We have both been quite busy and we felt that we needed the time off to recharge and relax. So far it has been exactly what we hoped for. I hope the family understands our desire to have a low key Thanksgiving. I hope everyone else had a great one as well.
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.
Jo reading in her sister Marybeth’s apartment in North Carolina.