So far 2014 has been busy. January 2nd saw me flying to Ottawa to meet with customers and take in an Ottawa Senators game. The Sens were taking on the Winnipeg Jets. It was a good game - fast paced and the seats were great.
We were in the third row so the view was awesome and with Club Red access we had some good food and beverages - I'll focus on my New Year's diet tomorrow!
Next up was Sara's birthday! I use to call January the "The Month of Sara's Birthday Celebration". Over the past couple of years we have condensed it to about a week - so far Sara is adapting. A few birthday cakes will do that! First it was dinner and cake at my parents place - Jesse looks ready to par-tay! From there we had dinner at our place and Sara's brother Neil brought cake, I bought Sara's favourite Caramilk cake and we were off to the dessert races.
With all the cake in the system we figured we should try to burn some calories. Sara and I headed up to Hardwood Hills near Barrie to get in some cross-country skiing. We love cross-country skiing but we don't get out much. Hardwood Hills has 40km of classic and skate skiing and, as the name suggests, it's hilly.
The next week saw me off on a flight to Los Angeles and eventually Santa Monica for a work meeting. It was a welcomed change from the windchilled -30C that I left in Toronto. Santa Monica was 19-21C for the week. Above is the marker for the end of famous Route 66.
Santa Monica is also home to Venice Beach and famous Muscle Beach where Arnold Schwarzenegger pumped iron. It was pretty eye-opening - guys who clearly have taken "supplements" sauntering around in nothing but tight shorts (no shirts) with phantom invisible grapefruits under their armpits. It's a wonder they can get through a door. Santa Monica is also home to Dogtown, a historical area for the skateboarding world. There was also a skatepark on the beach near Muscle Beach and it was packed with kids doing all sorts of gnarly, rad, and sick stuff (that's what the kids are saying).
The beach here is massive. It also has a bike/running path along it's entire length. I ran every day on it where there. There was a lot of active people. During my early morning runs I also saw a lot of homeless people sleeping on the beach. I suppose that if I found myself homeless for any unfortunate reason this would be an area I would make my way too. The beach made for a comfortable sleeping area and it doesn't get cold. Still it's a sad sight to see given that a lot of the people I saw looked like regular people, without substance abuse issues or signs of mental illness.
The water was cold but the scenery was beautiful. Unfortunately it had to come to an end and I fly back to a windy, cold Toronto. This winter is kickin ass!!