Our trip to Maui

Well I have been so excited for this trip for such a long time, we’ve been doing a ton of planning and that has only made it more exciting. We’re finally here and I’m going to write a breakdown of each day here in Paradise.

Saturday March 10 – flight leaves at 4:50, delayed by a half hour, bumpy flight most of the way. Got in about 10:30 and made it to the hotel by 11:30.

Sunday March 11- got up early and had breakfast, then drove out to shop for food, and pick up my bike in Lahaina. I had a mostly pleasant ride down the coast, it was windy but a perfect temperature. A little exhausted from the day before but took a quick nap and then went to the pool with the kids where we got very cold quickly. We showered and got warm then went and walked along Wailea beaches then had dinner at a place near the hotel. Kids were wiped out so we came home and crashed out.

March 12- we were up early and put in the car by 7:45 for the long drive to Hana. The journey took us 9 hours total but was well worth it. It was raining like crazy but there were breaks in the rain that allowed us to check things out. We were able to check out a gorgeous black sand beach and a red sand beach by Hana. The red sand beach was much more remote to get to and the path was a bit treacherous so it made me really nervous with the kids. It was well worth the drive and the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen.

On the way back we stopped for a bite to eat and saw one more waterfall. We got back to the hotel at 5pm then got cleaned up and had a bite to eat at a fresh grill in Kihei.

The kids were great during the ride and slept for most of the way. Seneca is so absolutely cute, she gets so excited when she sees the water and the pool. She flaps her arms and screams with excitement. Everywhere we go she smiles and waves at people and they say she is so cute.

One last thing, the Halfway to Hana shack has the best fresh baked banana bread I’ve ever tasted, I ate a whole loaf!

Tuesday March 13- today was the day where I knocked riding Haleakala off my bucket list. I was really worried about the rain because it came down so hard the day before but luckily it wasn’t bad. I rode to Kihei to pick up Chad around 9am then we stopped at the beach to get a photo. The first 18 miles were flat and windy then we started the 36 mile climb with a bad head wind. After about 25 miles things got a lot better, more humid but no wind or rain. As the miles went on my legs started to suffer, my back started to ache and I got a bad headache. After 6000 feet things got really tough at an exponential rate. Chad was losing a lot of water and started to cramp up, eventually so bad that he had to stop a few miles from the top. Luckily I was able to make it but it was super painful and very cold at the top. I had Angie waiting for me and had her drive me back since it was so wet and unsafe at the top. Glad to have that done with. I came back and had a hot shower then went to dinner with Angie and the kids.

Wednesday March 14th- today was mostly laundry and transferring from one hotel to another. I rode my bike from Wailea to Kapalua, it was a pleasant but humid ride up the coast. We checked into the Ritz Carlton then went swimming for a bit, then are dinner with Sharrell and Jaron, had a few drinks then went to bed.

Thursday March 15 – today may have been my favorite day of the trip so far. It started out with an awesome ride over the North Shore of Maui where the roads were absolutely beautiful and there were relatively few cars on the road. The humidity was so high that my hands slipped off the handlebars and I crashed pretty hard taking a huge gash out of my leg. I was able to get a ride back from a motorist thankfully because the front wheel was bent.

I got back and patched myself up and went to the CHG welcoming brunch which was beautiful and amazing. After that I took the bike back and we went to the pool for a bit. We then went to the Westin hotel for a wonderful Luau which I enjoyed a lit more than I expected I would. The food was great and so was the entertainment, Liam loved the fire dancers. My favorite part was holding my baby girl and slow dancing with her. My heart was filled with such joy.

Friday March 16 – we got up kind of early then went on a whale watching tour from Lahaina. We were able to see quite a few humpback whales from afar but there was one that came up right next to the boat and surfaced then went underneath, it was absolutely amazing and beautiful. We also saw a calf playing and jumping out of the water and landing on her back. Poor little Seneca got sea sick and threw up twice. When we got back to shore we ate at a wonderful place called Paia Fish Market, the food was awesome. Went back to the hotel and rested for a bit then went swimming and back to Lahaina for dinner.

Disneyland 2017

This is the third year that we have taken Liam to Disneyland and the first year that we took Seneca. Last year during our Disneyland trip we found out that we were having a girl. This year we decided to go a little later in the year so that we could hopefully avoid the busy lines, but with it being the first week decorating for Halloween, there were long lines and plenty of crowds. Our vacation was shorter this year, no additional days to explore, just spending most of our time visiting the 2 parks. Liam was a little bit of a handful, probably because he was so excited. We had a great time eating at the Blue Bayou, which is the restaurant that you can see when you are riding on the Pirates of the Carribean, I’ve always wanted to eat there. It was fun for Angie to ride on some of the roller coasters since it had been such a long time since she had been on any of them (due to being pregnant or trying to get pregnant). The decorations were great, Cars Land had some awesome Halloween lights and decorations and Space Mountain had ghosts. The Haunted Mansion was completely re-done as a Nightmare Before Christmas theme. I had an absolute blast hanging out with my baby Seneca.

Trip to San Francisco for Presidents Club

This was my third year at Presidents Club and this time I was able to bring the kids, and it was Sececas first ride on a plane and a boat. We were able to go to Alcatraz on the first night then there was a cruise around the bay with dinner and dancing.

On Friday we visited the Wharf and then took Liam to the Arcade museum, then went to dinner at Aliotos and then had a sundae at Ghiardelli Square. On Saturday we went on a Bay Cruise with Liam then went to the aquarium. Later that night we went to a party right in the middle of Union Square, after that we went to Ruby Skye for about an hour.

On Sunday I took Liam to the Museum of the Sciences in Golden Gate park, then when we got back we walked to Chinatown for dinner. On Monday I got up early and went walking with Seneca and took her to the point on Broadway that overlooks the city and Bay. Later we went there again and did photos with the kids. We then walked down to Columbus street and had some lunch then went back to Macy’s for a sundae and then went home. Great trip with the family!

 

Birthday in Park City

I had a fun Birthday weekend in Park City. I rode my bike on Saturday over Suncrest, then American Fork Canyon, then into Midway and up over Empire Pass where I was able to watch the Tour of Utah come through, then I dropped down into Park City and met up with Angie and Liam. We chilled out for a bit then went out to dinner and hung out in the hotel and watched a movie. On Sunday morning before breakfast, I rode my bike up Guardsman and hit a nasty storm with hail, lightning and thunder, was extremely scary and dangerous coming down. Later in the afternoon we watched the finish of the Tour of Utah in Park City on Main Street then relaxed and went hot tubbing, then had dinner. In the morning I spent some time with Liam in the hot tub and swimming, then we went to lunch at Blue Lemon.

Presidents Club in Puerto Vallarta

What an amazing trip this was this year for Presidents Club. Our company certainly upped the bar with this trip, everything was so well thought out. The Hard Rock Hotel all inclusive was simply amazing, the food was superb, the events were fun. We were worried that the all inclusive would be tacky or cheap but this was not the case.

We let Liam stay with Alissa and Matt and brought him over to their house the night before. It was so exciting getting ready and having such a great trip ahead of us. We went to bed but I had such a hard time sleeping because I was so excited. I probably only got 2 hours of sleep that night. We had to get up at 3:30 AM to get ready to go to the airport, lucky thing we did because Angie’s ticket got accidentally cancelled. Luckily we had such a nice rep at the kiosk who helped us get another ticket for her. I sent an email and they were able to get her taken care of for the parties.

We got into Puerto Vallarta about 2pm and they had a nice greeting for us as we got there. All of the executives were at the front welcoming people in, then there was a nice reception in the hotel lobby with food, photos and gifts. This was such an exciting time for us as so many friends arrived. They were even giving us out $300 pairs of Maui Jim sunglasses. We ate a bite of food then finally got checked in, then went down and hung out at the pool for a couple of hours before starting to get ready for the reception.

The reception Rock Star theme party was a blast. They had so many buffet tables out with some great food, and passed out drinks to everyone. The party was amazing with a great rock star band. After the main party, Angie was really tired so she went back to the room while I went out for some adventures with my co-workers. We ended up going to a bar that was in the resort, the band was great and everyone was dancing and drinking the night away. It was great to see some of the team leaders cutting loose.

The next day I was a bit hung over and we just chilled at the pool most of the day. I did a horrible job of putting on sun screen and ended up with an ugly looking burn on my neck and chest. That night we went and did group photos as well as an awards rehearsal, but it was more of a pain than anything. That night was fun because they had some excellent Mexican food buffets out in the courtyard along with some street vendors.

Saturday morning we hung out at the beach and I was able to do some boogie boarding with Mark. The evening was fun to get all dressed up and go to the Awards Ceremony, then Dinner outside then a great ball room dance party, and then an after party at the club. There was a lot to do but Angie and I were exhausted and went to bed at a reasonable time.

Sunday was nice for Angie and she went to the spa for a facial, then we went to breakfast. After breakfast we were able to catch a bus to Puerto Vallarta, but we really didn’t do too much except walk up and down the board walk. It was so hot and humid and we were pretty exhausted from the previous days, that we really didn’t spend too much time in the City, other than to just look around. Later that night we went to dinner with the rest of the team at an Asian Fusion restaurant, then Angie and I walked around outside and enjoyed a 2nd desert.

On the last day, we got everything packed up and then just hung out at the pool for a couple of hours until our bus was ready to pick us up. I had a few drinks and played Pool Pictionary with a friend from work. The flight home took a long time and we almost missed our connecting flight to Utah because we were delayed on the runway for so long. We weren’t able to get home until after midnight, and Liam was so happy to see us and didn’t get the separation anxiety that he had the year before.

It was a great trip but I was happy to be home. I was just so impressed with the quality of food and service at the Hard Rock in Puerto Vallarta.

Chicago

I was so lucky to have the chance to represent CompHealth at the American College of Surgeon’s during the first week of October in Chicago. Mark and I flew out on Saturday the third and went out for some deep dish pizza when we arrived. The next day I went to my first ever NFL game and saw the Chicago Bears play against the Oakland Raiders. It was a cold and chilly game but a very exciting one that went down to the wire.
Monday through Wednesday we worked the conference and then at night were able to go out to dinner with some of the surgeons, we had some fantastic food. I came home on Wednesday night, so happy to see Liam and Angie.

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When I picked up Liam, he said “I want to ride on the alligator”, meaning the elevator, so cute!

Torrey 2014

On the last weekend of July; Angie, Liam and I went down and stayed for the weekend in Torrey, one of our favorite places to vacation inside of the state of Utah. We went down on a Friday afternoon and stayed until Sunday. Usually when we go down there we go to Capitol Reef National Park but this time we decided to go over Boulder mountain and down to Escalante. I rode my bike from Torrey to Escalante and then met up with Angie for lunch, it was about a 70 mile ride. After lunch, we decided to ride our car back over the old road to Boulder which was a dirt road with some very scenic views of the Hell’s Backbone canyon. The ride to Escalante was also beautiful going over the Hog’s Back road (Scenic Byway 12). Just over a week later the Tour of Utah went over the same roads.

Labor Day Trip to California

Had a great trip out here in California over labor day weekend visiting with friends and my family. On Thursday we flew into Burbank and my old elementary school friend Rachel dalby picked us up from the airport and we went to dinner at the Rustic Spoon in Studio City, had some delicious thai food and then went back to her place to hang out.

The next day Rachel took us to her work place at Universal studios where she got us some passes to tour the park and were able to get to the front of the line rather easily. I am not the biggest fan of amusement parks but it was great to not have to wait for rides. It was extremely hot out there so about 3pm we were done and ready to get back.

That evening we just hung out at Rachels house and cooked up some dinner, grilled up some salmon and steak. We stayed up til about 3:40 in the morning, I woke up early and just hung out by the pool and read until Angie and Rachel got up a few hours later. We had an awesome lunch at Aroma in Studio City, then got our rental car and drove down to Irvine where we booked a hotel room at the Mariott.

The Mariott is an excellent value in Irvine, good prices and service with clean rooms. We took a quick rest then got ready and went to Alex Wong’s wedding. It was nice to see the family, we ate dinner there and then went over to see my Grandma and then my Uncle Richard and Mabel. Richard started remodeling his place and it looked great!

On Sunday Angie and I got up, ate breakfast and headed out to Huntington Beach. There we saw some good waves, but though the weather was hot it was a lot cooler by the beach and the water was very cold. I waded around in it for a bit but it was chilling. After that Angie and I walked several miles to the Pier, had lunch at Sanchos Tacos and then walked back. About 5:30 we got back to the hotel, took a short rest and then went to dinner and then to see my Grandma again.

Monday (Labor day) was kind of a waste, we had a few hours to kill so decided to ride up the Pacific Coast Highway. This took an extremely long time and pretty much wasted the 3 hours we had. Eventually we wound our way to the airport and found out that we were going to be stranded there because of yet another broken plane. We waited around the airport until around 8:30pm then got shuttled to Holiday Inn to stay the night. We had to wake up at 4:30 AM to make the plane which got us back home at about 11. So glad to be home!