My first trip was to see my family for Thanksgiving. My family now lives in Burke, VA and it is quite trippy to see endless signs for shopping outlets and roads with your surname on them. Hopefully when I go back for Christmas, we can select a good sign with which to take a family picture. Anyway, it's a bizarre experience for me to visit them because for the past three years, every time I see them they are in a new house! Alabama to Greece to Virginia... same people, same stuff, new location and new arrangement. I play a little game with myself to find the locations of my favorite furniture & pictures in each new residence.
Anyway, it was great seeing them all, including my aunt and uncle and their kids who came to visit as well. Thanksgiving dinner was delicious as always! As an added bonus, I was treated to homemade Mom donuts a month early!
My favorite moment was making a mountain of leaves in the back yard and having fun taking turns diving into it. Check out the Picasa album and YouTube video:
|2007.11.25 Mt Burke|
Moving along to the following week, I and a few of my friends took a trip out to Colorado to see our friend Lisa and to go snowboarding at the Keystone ski resort. Before we got to snowboarding, Lisa showed us this amazing brewery in her town of Ft. Collins, called the New Belgium Brewery. You may have tried or heard of Fat Tire beer... that's this brewery. I had recently discovered that Belgian beers were the first beers that I've actually enjoyed and was thrilled to visit a brewery dedicated to that style. We did a round of taste testing a couple of their brews - they were all delicious! After that we got a free tour of the brewery by a very pleasant employee. Below are pictures and a video of me going down the slide at the brewery:
|2007.11.29 New Belgium Brewery|
Next up, snowboarding! This was only my second time snowboarding, so I had a lot of learning to do. It took me a long time to even get vertical and going down the mountain. Once I did, my entire first run down the mountain was me falling, flailing, and failing. The second run was much better. I was able to stay on my feet for segments, fall down, get up and do it again. It only took me an hour to get down the second time. The third and fourth times could more appropriately be called "snowboarding" and not "rolling". I can't help but mention my inspiration for skiing and snowboarding comes from the movie Better Off Dead: "Go that way, really fast. If anything gets in your way, turn." That kind of describes the way I was snowboarding that weekend.
Snowboarding is quite a rush. It's the closest I've ever felt to actually flying. I was really banged up after my first run and that severely influenced how much total snowboarding I could do that weekend. I am determined to keep going when I can and get better at it. I find it superior to skiing in that mobility and agility is better on a board than on skis. The toughest thing for me to get over was aligning my body sideways to go forward. It's a stark contrast to walking and every other typical orientation for forward momentum.
I don't have any pictures of me snowboarding (like hell I'm taking my camera or phone with me to fall down a mountain), but here a couple shots of the terrain:
|2007.12 Colorado Snowboardi|
Let's see... after Colorado I was back in Atlanta for mostly a normal work week... then right out the door again, this time off to San Francisco on business. I flew out with a couple co-workers to get some training on Digital Rights Management (DRM), InstallShield's InstallScript, and how to package games for digital release. Interesting stuff, I feel like it is important to know these kinds of things as the industry makes moves towards significant sales coming from digital releases.
I liked the city of San Francisco. Definitely better than Los Angeles and New York City in my mind, however not quite as good as Seattle. (The relevance of those cities being different cities GameTap has sent me to on business.) Not too terribly much to report from a week in San Fran... good food and seeing my buddy Will were the highlights for me. I did find a totally sweet museum of arcade machines, but that is for another post!
I recommend the Edinburgh Castle Pub and Colibri, both found on Geary Street. Edinburgh was a dive bar in a sketchy part of town, but hosted a fun night of team trivia where people from Google and Berkeley are rumored to participate frequently. Colibri was an excellent upscale Mexican bistro. Yummy margaritas, fresh guacamole, and lamb shank!
I discovered the works of Alphonse Mucha via local art galleries near the hotel... and I'm in love. Highly recommend checking out his work; I know I will be adding some prints of his stuff to my house. I have trouble putting into words what I love about his work. I simply don't possess the art vocabulary to comment on the way he used colors and shapes, but I do know I love the borders he created and the vertical canvas he often used.
Alright, that should catch me up on where I've been and what I've been doing! Right now I'm chilling out in Greenville, SC with Josh and Casey for a few days. I absolutely love spending time with them here. It's so peaceful and we get along so well. I truly miss living with them. And I feel sad because once they're married in May, I don't feel like the opportunity will ever arise again to co-habitate with them.
I'm on a plane again as soon as Thursday... back to Virginia again to see the family for Christmas! =) I sense rocking in our future...