Exciting times ahead

<insert lame excuses, wishes, promises about not/writing here>

I was reflecting on my travel calendar for the next few months today and realized it had an interesting theme than my normal.  Over the next 60 days I’m going to 3 different cities to see friends I’ve not seen in 2+ years!  Finally I think I can accept the idea that my frequent flyer miles are paying off!

First I’ll go to Seattle for the weekend in between working in our offices in Tokyo and San Mateo, CA.  Here I’ll see a group of people that I’ve worked with in the past.  As an added bonus, consuming my flyer miles, Christine will be coming up too!  I haven’t had a chance to plan out the weekend yet, but I’m sure it’s going to be a blast and I absolutely cannot wait.

After a week in San Mateo, I’ll be back in Nashville for a few weeks and should be around for Ben & Dru’s newest addition to the family.  Plus it’s always nice to be there and in a somewhat normal rhythm of life.  On the 1st of October I’ll finally fulfill a dream I’ve had for a couple of decades when I get to see J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr) play a show.  I’ve always managed to psych myself out of any concert opportunities I’ve had in the past so now I’m getting it done.  Of course thanks to Christine for going along with me just to make sure I don’t back out! 😉

On the following week Olivia will be out for her fall break and I’m back on the road again!  She and I are going to have a daddy / daughter trip to California.  We’ll start with visiting Tiffany, a friend (literally) since birth.  We’ll celebrate her daughter’s birthday and just generally hang around San Diego for a couple of days before headed to Disney.  Two days in Disney and then we start the natural’ part of the week – Sequoia National Forest and Yosemite National Park.  We’ll close our the whirlwind view of California with a night in San Francisco before heading home again.

Hardly a week passes before Christine and I head out of town.  This time we’ll do a weekend in Boston so I can attend the J Mascis show there with another former co-worker.  We’ve got plenty of time and, thanks to Brian, a great list of things to see and do up there.  I’ve never been in New England so I’m looking forward to adding to my experiences!

Then, if things continue as planned, immediately upon return from Boston I’m headed back over the ocean to Tokyo.  This will be, most likely, my last trip overseas for the year as I plan on being there until just before Thanksgiving.  Unless there is some very compelling reason, I’ll sit still (relatively speaking) for the remainder of the year.  

In less travel-related news, I’ve got my motorcycle back up and running thanks to my “car uncle” Steve.  We revived it after 3 years of sitting in storage and I had the opportunity to use it as my only form of transportation for a week in early August.  I had a great time despite the hot weather.  I even got Christine to go for a short ride and once she had gotten over her fear of death she sort of admitted it was a nice ride.  We’ll continue to (carefully) experiment with her riding along.  Olivia also expressed her interest in riding, but I let her know she’s got a decade or so before that happens!

Mixed in with all the visiting and travelling I plan to do this fall, I’m also going to try and dig into some training courses.  I’ve spent a number of hours digging around the various online courses – there are so many good ones these days – and I have a growing list of things I’d like to attend.  I’m hoping to get a few new work skills plus advance some old ones in an effort to continue my growth.  I’ve got a lot of visibility at the moment – I helped in the delivery of a significant project in Tokyo and I’ve been asked to work on one 3 times bigger.  No resting allowed!

I’m in Tokyo at the moment and I can’t say I’ve been the best tourist – my weekends have been super quiet – but the heat is pretty significant, making it all a little less fun.  I did think I was going to be a little better about getting into an exercise routine, but that’s been a total bust.  Oh well, can’t beat myself up about it!

Oh – in a bit of Olivia news, she has been asked to join a small-group class for gymnastics.  As she started back for the fall session, the teacher was impressed with her, commenting that she had obviously kept up her practice over the summer.  This smaller class should get her a lot more one-on-one time with the teacher.  Who knows, maybe Olivia will turn out to be a gymnastics teacher like she keeps telling us.

She’s started into first grade and has been enjoying it quite thoroughly.  She and Susan are working through the 4 nights of homework each week and she’s doing well.  Her reading and writing is improving and she’s dealing with the majority of the math work on target.  She doesn’t have many (2?) kids from her kindergarten class, but that hasn’t slowed her down at all – she’s already got a few new friends.  Quite the social butterfly, something that seems like an interesting result of Susan and me!

This summer she spent a couple of weeks with me, attending summer camp and hanging out with the Nashville gang.  On her second week she got to do swim lessons at Vanderbilt.  She did extremely well and is very interested in any opportunity to be in the water.  She isn’t quite ready for ‘unattended’ swimming, but she’s advancing well.  My favorite part was when she marched with her class to the 10 foot (3m) end of the pool and just jumped right in.  I can still remember my personal terror with deep water (Tiffany does too?) and was quite proud of her!

I suppose that’s all for now.  I’ll write again in a few months! 🙂

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