Ski Week 2020 in Tahoe with The Moons

Clara and Mike invited us to Tahoe for ski week. Unfortunately, Grace’s aunt passed away the day before our trip, so she went to Florida to be with the Hur side of the family for most of the week. Lucas, Olivia and I headed up to Tahoe on Saturday for the week.

We didn’t have last year’s epic snow, but there was enough. I learned the hard way that sometimes, enough isn’t enough. On Monday, we planned to take the only mogul run on the back for the last run of the day, hoping things had softened up in the warm temperatures. About 3 turns in at the top, I came over the back side of a rock-hard mogul and pulled my calf pretty badly. I thought maybe it was just a cramp, but I had a hard time getting down. I was able to limp back to the lodge but soon realized I could ski better than I could walk.

The kids were hoping for some down time, which they got for the next couple days while I stayed off my leg. I was determined to make sure they got in some runs, so we skied on Thursday and Friday and I was 80%. It was bluebird days every day. They had a lot of fun with Alex and Nico both on and off the slopes.

The Binzers came in from Portland for the second half of the week and we were all able to ski and hang out together. It was a bummer that Grace wasn’t with us, but I know she appreciated the time with her extended family. Thanks, Moons, for another fun week together in Tahoe!

Celebrating Bobby’s 50th in Las Vegas

Even though Bobby is not the biggest fan of Vegas, he happened to be there for work and suggested we meet up for a golf trip. And although he is isn’t turning the big 5-0 for another couple weeks, Ed and I used the milestone to justify squeezing this trip in to an always busy winter. Ed even moved his call and a day of surgeries around.

Fun Bobby only turns 50 once. Because he is so much older than us, it was only fitting that we mark the occasion to honor him. We stayed at the Cosmopolitan instead of our usual Encore/Wynn. The crowd is a little younger and there is more to do/eat there.

The weather, while not pool-perfect, was still awesome. The wind was up at Paiute Wolf, which is already super challenging. We posted some really bad scores. On Saturday, we played at Bear’s Best, which is our home course. Although the weather couldn’t have been more perfect, the scores didn’t improve too much.

We had three great dinners on the trip at STK, Scarpetta and Milos. The latter two were a first for me and both were excellent, especially Milos, which is a fun experience (whole grilled fish is the way to go).

The trip might have been about four hours too long, which is why I left for the airport four hours early with Bobby. Had a great time with these life-long best friends (and best men).

Happy Birthday, Bobby!

Fair warning that I’m going to be playing this milestone birthday card all year long.

Olivia’s 13th Birthday Party

We’re so happy Olivia found her people during her first semester at Nueva. She invited some of them (and her brother) to her 13th birthday party, which included our old-time favorite, bowling, pizza on the Ave., and dessert at our house. We feel fortunate for these friendships and hope they continue to flourish.

Skiing Beaver Creek with Friends

The kids had an extra week of winter break after Christmas so we took advantage and decided to go skiing. Winter break skiing has been hit or miss for us the past couple of years. Last year’s trip to Deer Valley will likely not be topped, though we had our fingers crossed that the opportunity might present itself to Ann and Jeremy (and then to us). We waited for word, but it wasn’t happening so we needed a plan B. Plan A for skiing is usually Beaver Creek, so looked into that.

It turned out that Eddie’s family was also planning to be there, though we would only overlap a couple days. Of course we also wanted Ann and Jeremy to join us, but it’s complicated when everyone is on a different season pass and Colorado is Vail/Epic country. In the end, they decided to give it a try and we all stayed at the same resort.

We traveled again on Olivia’s birthday. Last year’s birthday dinner at the Deer Valley Seafood Buffet was not such a big hit and I wanted to make it up to her. We invited everyone to join us at Grouse Mountain Grill, which is usually always solid. This time, however, we were seated very late, dinner dragged on for more than two hours, and not everyone’s food was great. I don’t think we’ll return.

We got to ski with Eddie’s family on the 31st as the Rogers kids were taking a break as they had already been on the mountain a few days. We tried to keep it simple by celebrating New Year’s Eve in the hotel, but dinner was again a disaster and again dragged on for hours. The kids left to play Nintendo in the room. I think Ethan was looking for redemption from last year, but I don’t think he got it.

Olivia had come down with a cold, so she and Grace stayed in on the 1st and I skied with Jeremy and Elsen and on the 2nd, Lucas and I skied mostly together. Olivia rallied on the 3rd and we skied the same double-blacks we skied last year together. We finally had a really great meal at Vin 48, which we hadn’t tried in all of our previous trips. It will now be in the rotation.

Ann and Jeremy left early on the 4th. I skied by myself for a couple hours in the morning. We made our only stop in Vail for lunch on the way out of the mountains.

We had great snow and weather for most of the week and the only bummer was that Grace and Olivia only got to ski a couple days. We’ll have to make it up this winter.

Rhee Family Christmas in Michigan – 2019

Due to my dad settling into a new health care regimen, he wasn’t able to travel to NY for the holidays as we had planned. Although we were just in Michigan for Thanksgiving, Jen, Grace and I decided to return to Michigan to spend the holidays with my parents. I know my mom wanted us to go ahead and see the cousins, but it was important to spend this family time together.

Because we made last minute changes to our flights, we ended up on a redeye from SF to Detroit, leaving shortly after saying our farewell to Elin. In addition to seeing the grandparents and aunt Jen, the kids were also excited to see Blue. They took some turns taking him for walks and to the park. It was the warmest Christmas I can ever recall in Michigan and no one was really complaining about missing a white Christmas.

We didn’t want my mom to feel like she was hosting and feeding us, so we planned a lot of meals out. Christmas Eve dinner was at Eddie V’s. Jen, Grace and mom did spend most of Christmas cooking for dinner at home, which was beautiful. My mom’s bestie, Mia, joined our family for dinner.

Once again, the kids got too much stuff from all the relatives. For this reason, we don’t often get them anything, but what we did get them was purchased pre-owned from Mercari. They were thrilled.

On the 26th, we went downtown for lunch and ate at San Morello, where Melanie and Nick took us in August. We ran into some old friends who were also visiting from the Bay Area. On the way home, I wanted to show the kids where Jen and I lived before moving to West Bloomfield in 1973. We lived on two streets, Margaret and Savannah, between Woodward Ave. and John R. My parents couldn’t remember the exact number or house, which likely didn’t exist anymore as only about 20% of the original houses are still standing in this significantly blighted area. I wanted to give Olivia and Lucas some perspective, not only for where they live, but also for our family’s humble beginnings.

Friday evening, we met up with the Feleses for an evening at Top Golf. It was our first time and a lot of fun. Uncle Nick’s swing is as beautiful as Fred Couples’. Olivia was invited to an impromptu sleepover with Eve and had a lot of fun. Although they rarely see each other, the kids always pick up where they left off.

Saturday, we celebrated my dad’s 84th birthday at Benihana. I’m glad to say he’s doing a lot better than he was when I saw him at Thanksgiving. We’re thankful for all the time the kids were able to spend with them this year and hope they can come visit us in California again, soon.

Elin’s Departure 2.0

After spending the Fall with us, Elin was now heading back to Sweden to continue on with her life, which is going to be amazing. We had dinner with the Lees and watched Star Wars together on Friday. On Saturday, we exchanged gifts and went to Ramen Parlor before dropping Elin off at the airport.

This time, Lucas was much more composed. When Ala left, I observed that he’s learning that these departures aren’t necessarily goodbyes. I think the kids are confident they will see Elin again (we are, too).

We’ll miss you, Elin. Best wishes in everything.

Last Tahoe Trip with Elin

Elin was hoping to go on one last ski trip with. us before returning to Sweden. Thanks to some early snow, we went for a short weekend up to Northstar at Tahoe. We rare (if ever) leave early on Saturday morning, but somehow we made it out the door and onto the mountain by 11am, which is about when we would be skiing even if we had stayed overnight.

We had a late night in the arcade after dinner. Sunday morning, we had a full breakfast and Elin helped us with our holiday card. There was some more snow on Saturday night, which made Sunday skiing one of the best days ever on the mountain that I can recall. Grace opted out of skiing on Sunday, which meant that Lucas, Olivia, Elin and I went to explore the mountain. We found a lot of fresh powder out there.

Hopefully we’ll ski again with Elin, maybe next time in Europe!

10th Annual U of M Holiday Party

Up until a few weeks ago, there was radio silence on our annual U of M holiday dinner. Thankfully, we were able to lock in a date and the Hoffmans graciously offered to host at their beautiful house. One thing that makes it hard to find a time are those pesky kids and their schedules. We lost the Thornes at the last minute due to an out-of-town soccer tournament. We also lost our lone Aussie, Michael, due to work.

The rest of us had to press on with delightful food and company. Look at all of these beautiful smiles and festive people! Jenn preparing her salad in the laundry room / sous-chef area is something out of an In Style spread. The white elephant gift exchange was rather tame, with only a few real stinkers, which Jenn had a knack for selecting. The squatty potty was a nice touch and thanks to Matt for demonstrating. Cutest couple goes to Jason and Ben.

The older we get, the earlier this party breaks up. That said, I’ll never tire of this group of amazing friends. Happy Holidays and GO BLUE!

Thanksgiving 2019

This was a Park Thanksgiving. We decided to all meet in Michigan, as Delaney was already there for college, and the Hur family is in the area. We stayed with my parents, with Jen and Blue. Elin has been staying with us for a couple of months. After some days exploring Austin and New Orleans, she flew up to Detroit to spend the holiday with us.

To avoid the madness of traveling during Thanksgiving, we flew out on Wednesday and returned on Saturday. It was a rainy week, but we spent some time outdoors walking Blue and showing Elin around my home and around U of M.

Grace’s parents don’t keep too much in Ann Arbor, so instead of trying to cook, we ordered in a complete Thanksgiving dinner from Zingerman’s. As you can imaging, it was delicious. On Friday, everyone came over to my parents’ house for dinner and to give Olivia and Lucas more time to spend with Delaney and Cameron.

Dave took Jen’s tickets for the Ohio St. vs. Michigan game, while the rest of us watched the brutality from the comforts of home. The kids love Buddy’s pizza, so we had that for lunch. I spent some time senior- proofing my parents’ house.

We have much for which to be thankful, especially precious time with our parents and family.