My top highlights from 2018:
1. Driving my truck
This highlight was literally 20 years in the making. You can read the backstory on my truck over in the Garage, but in summer 2018, my dad and I put some serious work into the truck. Over the summer, when I could spare a day off from work and when my dad wasn’t out RV’ing, which amounted to about 3 or 4 days total, we finished the wiring, installed new parts, and improved a few things on the truck. In November, I got to drive the truck about a mile and a half down a public road before we realized the vacuum kick-down tube wasn’t attached. Then in December, I got to drive it six miles.
Driving the truck these short distances might not seem like a big deal, but these two trips were the first time I had driven the truck in 20 years of ownership. There’s still a bit more to do on the truck before I can drive it home from my dad’s shop, but we continue to make progress. Working on the truck has also been great to hang out with my dad, a tried-and-true builder/mechanic/engineer, and learn more about hot rods, how cars work, his approach to solving problems, his way of thinking, etc. The time away from the office has also been a great stress reliever. In 2019, I hope to spend more time working on the truck and hanging out with my dad with a goal is to drive the truck to at least one show, either Wings and Wheels (in July) or the Port Orchard Cruz (in August).
2. Cabo San Lucas
My wife and I took a week-long vacation in 2018. This was our first real vacation since having kids. We flew into Los Cabos International Airport, rented a car, drove to El Pescadero, stayed at the Desert Moon and then spent the next two days exploring Todos Santos and all of the spots in between. On the third day, we drove down to Cabo and stayed at the Playa Grande and spent the next three days exploring Cabo. I had such a great time hanging out and exploring this small part of Mexico with my wife–no kids, no work, no schedule, no chores, no errands…not a worry in the world. Just us.
Being the types where we can’t sit still, there was very little sitting around. We explored everything we could. We walked the main streets, the beaches, the tourist routes, and then came back around to explore the less-traveled side streets and alleys, climbed cliffs and boulders just to see what was on the other side, and headed down dirt roads because there was something that caught our eye. We talked about everything–our boys, our friends and family, our careers, movies, music, books, t.v., us–but mostly, we discussed tacos. It wasn’t intentional, but we ate tacos every. damn. day. of the trip. Even today, nearly eight months after the trip, we still argue about which day, restaurant, meat choice, toppings, salsas, etc. that made the best tacos (we both agree that it’s hard to top the fish tacos at Bahia Tacos in Todos Santos).
In 2019, we are hoping to take another out-of-the-country trip without the boys. I’m hoping that these trips become an annual thing for us.
In August we took a family vacation to Chicago. We had talked about making this trip in 2017 to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, but thought it might be fun to go to Alaska instead. We didn’t make it to Alaska in 2017 so we thought we would try Chicago again. My wife went to school in Chicago and has a lot of fond memories of her time there. We got married in Chicago and that was the last time she had been back (I’ve had a couple of work trips that brought me back there over the years).
I didn’t have an agenda for the trip, other than to eat some deep dish pizza and an authentic Chicago dog. My wife planned most of the trip including where we stayed, an architectural boat tour, and a visit to the Field Museum. While we were there, we visited the Miracle Mile, Navy Pier, the DePaul and Loyola campus’, and a handful of Chicago’s smaller neighborhoods. We even biked the Lakefront Trail and visited the spot where we married eleven years earlier. We were in Chicago five days and each day we walked 10+ miles. The boys were well-behaved the entire time and didn’t whine about the amount of walking at all. I got my deep dish pizza on the first night we were there (braving thunderstorms and rain) and found an authentic Chicago dog and cheese fries a few days later. I had such a great time hanging out with my family and exploring Chicago. It was a great way to end the summer.
Other highlights: finished my shed project, ate a fluffernutter (finally), spent a week in New Orleans, went to two Mariners game, went to four car shows, finished the water wheel project, got to walk on Safeco Field, got my garden to produce a couple of handfuls of strawberries and a few cucumbers, got the Probe running (for a day), went camping (twice), coached Jacob’s flag football team (go Grizzlies!), went to a Seahawks game, built a Rainier Christmas decoration, rebuilt the RC car, completed three video games, and increased my bench press, deadlift, and squat.
Here’s to hoping that my 2019 is full of additional experiences and accomplishments.