For the first time in two years, we were taking a real vacation. Amazing how it becomes more difficult to take time off and travel when you have a 10-month-old "third wheel". We're lucky though, because Jacob travels well; and with this being his third plane trip across the country, he's now a very experienced traveller for being so young. Come to think of it, I ought to see how many frequent flier miles he has...
We flew out of Nashville on Christmas Eve to my hometown (and home of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl Champion Boise State Broncos) of Boise, Idaho. We touched down to 2" of snow - a welcome sight to a native-Northwesterner on December 24th. We would indeed have a white Christmas. Too bad we wouldn't have time for any skiing. We did find time for a required trip to a real Mongolian Grill restaurant though. My apologies to Ghengis Grill in Cool Springs - but the folks out west do it better. If you want to enjoy genuinely delicious mongolian grill, go to one of the little, independent places in the Northwest.
After catching up with friends from school and spending time with family, we got up early on the 29th and flew to my favorite city and my second hometown, Portland, Oregon. My wife's family lives in the area as do most of my cousins, aunts, uncles, and my grandma. We have a hard time sitting still for long in Portland. Between visiting all of our college friends and enjoying holiday time with our family, there are restaurants to eat at and shopping to do (no sales tax in Oregon makes shopping a must-do; even if, like me, you don't usually enjoy it).
Additionally, I stopped in to visit my friends at the Bike Gallery's Hollywood store (www.bikegallery.com) and to meet with Dave Guettler of River City Bicycles (www.rivercitybicycles.com); both of which are world-class bike shops. Bike Gallery is one of the largest Trek dealers in the world, and River City is one of the few stores in existence that sells more Waterford and Seven bicycles than we do. They're both great stores to visit, Bike Gallery's staff is the best and the hand-made display fixtures and indoor test-track at River City makes it especially fun.
Topping off my vacation though was arguably one of the best college football games ever! If you're a fan of NCAA football, you know what I'm talking about. On January 1st, I cleared my calendar to watch my Boise State Broncos battle the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. No one outside of Boise thought that the game would turn out the way it did; but after blowing an 18-point lead, Boise State won the game in overtime with a two-point-conversion, run in by NCAA leading scorer, Sophomore Ian Johnson on a signature trick-play. Critics will say that Boise State "cheapened" the win by using trick plays. But those who truely understand team sports will know that execution is the secret to making trick plays work, and no one executes better than Boise State. Go Broncos! So much for the BCS system!
The next morning it was back to Nashville and back to the bike business - the best job in the world. Thanks to my valued and loyal clients for letting me get some time away! And, thanks to the best bike shop in Nashville for covering for me while I was gone. I'll be much nicer now that I've had some time off!
Best wishes for the new year and thanks for reading...
(The photo above shows stately 11,922 ft. Mt. Hood - snow capped year round; and a view of downtown Portland from the beautiful Washington Park in the hills above town. And, no - it doesn't look that beautiful in person. It's better!)