Dad Park’s 80th Birthday Celebration in NYC

Because all of the family were together for the holidays, Grace’s Mom wanted to celebrate her Dad’s 80th a little early. On Monday, December 26th, several close friends and family met at Gaonnuri. Dave and Charles emceed the event and several people spoke, including Mom and Dad.

It was a beautiful event to celebrate Dad’s 80th and the food was excellent. Everyone had a great time. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Christmas at Addy and Charles’s House in Rye, NY

This was a Park Christmas, and critical mass is now on the East Coast. Addy and Charles invited us to stay at their home in Rye for Christmas. We got in pretty late on Friday from Denver and didn’t anticipate the fiasco of La Guardia as neither of us have flown in there in a decade or two. We’re just thankful we made it safely with all our things.

On Christmas Eve Day, Ellie and Sandor invited all the Haus + Rhees over to their place for lunch. All the cousins had fun playing together (until they didn’t – Lucas!). Olivia’s main objective was to get in some Baby Lily QT – mission accomplished!

Grace’s parents arrived so we all spent Christmas Eve together at home in Rye. The kids opened their Christmas presents and were able to play outdoors on an unseasonably warm Christmas Day. Cousin Nick and his family came down from Maryland and joined us for Christmas dinner.

We had a chill day at home the day after Christmas. Ellie and Sandor popped over from Greenwich to check out the NY suburbs. That evening, we went into NYC to celebrate Grace’s dad’s 80th. Cousin Jea and Minwha came in from Connecticut and stayed the night.

Thanks, Addy and Charles, for hosting us! We had an awesome family holiday together.

 

Skiing in Beaver Creek Before Christmas

Grace has pushed all in with family skiing, which is great. This year, everyone got a pass again, which finally makes sense as the kids have hustled their way out of ski school. The kids were off the entire week before Christmas so we took advantage of their time off to stop in Colorado on the way to the East Coast for the holidays.

We have things pretty dialed-in now at Beaver Creek, so we headed there again. We usually stay on California time whenever we travel and without the rush of ski school in the morning, there are no first tracks for this family. I’d say we were more than leisurely on this trip, but having passes makes it less of an issue to pack it all in every day.

On day 3, Grace gave the kids an out because she had to work in the morning and they took full advantage of it to sit in the tub for several hours watching their iPads. I took the opportunity to ski by myself and hit some terrain I had never explored before. It was very efficient. Eventually we met up for a late lunch and they rallied with all their gear. We went up the lift at the base and got on the mid-mountain lift 5 minutes before it closed to get in one run from top to bottom together.

Everyone is making great progress, especially Grace. Olivia opted to hit some black diamonds with me and was fearless. More importantly, she’s my best student and very actively does the things I ask her to do to promote good habits. Lucas is still a work in progress, but he’s not afraid of speed, which is awesome. Grace will need to keep up with him.

On day 4, we went over to Vail for a change of scenery. The snow seemed a lot better over there. Arthur was now in town and graciously invited us to park at his place which was a huge help in terms of logistics. He was deep on the other side of the mountain by the time we were heading up, but we eventually met for a late lunch. After skiing, we stopped by to say hi to Heidi, the girls, and his sister’s family.

One other nice coincidence on this trip was that my friends Judy and Danny were staying at the same resort. Grace hadn’t met them yet, but Judy and I had the honor of being maid of honor and best man in Jea and Eddie’s wedding over twenty years ago. The one and only time we had skied together was at Beaver Creek and Vail over a couple decades ago. And, Danny is Eddie’s business partner. The last time we hung out was at Ed’s surprise 40th. It was fun catching up and having the kids spend time together. Hopefully, we’ll all meet again.

Celebrating Jen’s 50th in Las Vegas

This past weekend, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Jen’s 40th in Las Vegas in … Las Vegas! A lot of the same crew was there, including Jen’s childhood friends from WB, NY friends, Chicago friends and her favorite brother. After a decade of going to Wynn/Encore, we decided to change it up and go to the Cosmopolitan.

Most people got in on Friday. We met for drinks and a snack and a short gambling sesh before dinner at Jaleo, which was a delicious Spanish tapas/paella restaurant at the Cosmo. Although she shouldn’t have, Jen treated everyone to dinner that night.

On Saturday, Grace and I met Jen for an early breakfast. A lot of the crew went on an excursion downtown to a Detroit-themed hotel and casino, called “The D.” Grace and I met up with Jea and Eddie and headed over to the Encore because we’re creatures of habit. The ladies did a little shopping while Eddie and I made the rounds to greet our casino friends.

Saturday evening, we had a super fun dinner at STK, where they were spinning some awesome 80s music. The food was awesome, Sherri finished her ribeye on the bone, and Kim sang convincingly into her wine glass. Friday was an early night for most, which could be blamed on the time change, but really it was because we got the beat down. Saturday, we got our revenge. Jen and I were up late with Grace, who hasn’t gambled in years.

On Sunday, Ray made a super effort and came in for a day trip. There was a lot of football betting and watching, which isn’t really my forté, so I stuck with what I know. Grace and I had one last nice lunch together before heading out. Some of the Chicago crew got snowed in and others were staying until Monday, so we wished them luck and went on our way.

Jen’s birthday celebration is continuing in Cabo this week. We wished we could have joined that trip, too, but Olivia and Lucas were already pissed about being left behind and our party pass expired.

Happy Birthday, Jen! We all love you so much and had a great time celebrating your big Five-O.

Annual U of M Holiday Dinner in SF

Posse got the ball rolling on our annual holiday party with the Michigan crew. Morgan and Greg graciously invited everyone over to their house in the city. Posse, being the planner, arranged high-class transportation for all the Peninsula couples.

We met at Tam and Ben’s for a little pre-party while the Menlo Park crew we’re on their way north. Our little party bus was beyond expectations, replete with diamond-quilted seating, which is a far-off dream of mine. Now I want one.

We arrived at Morgan and Greg gorgeous home in San Francisco and rolled right into cocktail hour(s). Our holiday parties have alternated between homes and restaurants over the years. One really nice thing about this year was the chance to meaningfully connect with old friends. All of dinner was delicious, but the standout effort was Morgan having the caterer recreate their take on the Pizza House Chipati. It was a stroke of genius.

The highlight of every party is our gift exchange. This year was a little less contentious only because the early pickers had some unfortunate choices that did not warrant a steal. As always, hilarity ensued. Unexpectedly, the gift exchange paused when Guns ‘n Roses came on. Grace and I always get shit for going home with our own presents, but when you buy awesome presents, that’s what happens. Our hostess was only getting started just as the Ubers were summoned to take us back to the suburbs.

Thanks, Posse, for making all the arrangements. Thanks, Thornes, for hosting us all. Thanks, crew, for decades of friendships and laughter. Happy Holidays to all!

Thanksgiving with Michigan Grandparents

My mom and dad came out for their first visit this year. They arrived in time to attend their first Carey Generations Day. For Thanksgiving, our oven was busted, so Clara and Mike invited our whole family over to spend it with their whole family. My camera was also busted so you’ll have to trust me that it was awesome.

On Sunday, we all drove out to Half Moon Bay for lunch at the hotel, followed by a short stop at the beach. We picked up our Christmas Tree on the way home and Grace had it decorated by dinner time. She’s a machine.

The kids had a great time spending their week off with their grandparents. Looking forward to seeing them again in a few weeks on the East Coast.

My First Prime Rib

Grace went down to San Diego for a girls weekend with Ann. My parents and Jen were in town and both of our ovens were out of order. I decided to try a prime rib on the Big Green Egg. I had no idea what I was doing, but figured it out along the way. The nice folks at Pape’s helped me choose the right size and seasoned it for me as I was in a hurry. Jen and my mom helped with the sides and all came together beautifully. Dave ended up joining us for dinner and Grace made it home in time to enjoy some, too.

I learned a few things that I’ll remember for next time. That said, it turned out great and I’m happy I tried it.