On July 15, 2015, at 7:44pm US Central time, Maeve was born.
A little late, but this is my 2014 Year in Review. It’s so hard to summarize an entire year into a few paragraphs and a handful of selected photos. I’ve spent hours over the last few weeks going through photos and videos that I took the year, some of which I’m looking through for the first time. I’m reminded of all the trips taken and places seen, some which seem so long ago but most just seem a few months ago, even if they were from the beginning of 2014. Time flies by as it always does, and the process of writing my Year in Review posts helps cement in my memory the things that I think ought to be remembered. So here goes…
- Vietnam 1⁄19-1⁄25
- NYC-Austin 2⁄2
- AUS->CHS 5⁄24
- CHS->LAS 5⁄28
- AUS->PDX - 6⁄20
- Big Bend 10⁄24
- AUS->CHS 12⁄25
View from our living room of the NYC New Year's Eve fireworks show
Last night Rebecca and I watched the NYC New Year’s Eve fireworks show from our Brooklyn apartment. We are fortunate enough to have a direct view of the Statue of Liberty from our living room, around which the fireworks were clustered. It was a nice, relaxing end to an eventful year.
We moved to New York City in August when an opportunity came up for me to work out of Bazaarvoice’s NYC office for a short period. I have always wanted to live in NYC, and as parents of a 1-something year old, this was perfect timing. Finn, our toddler, wasn’t old enough to have to worry about leaving any friends behind or having to deal with schools in NYC. It wasn’t difficult to tidy up the rest of our lives in Austin by renting out our house, loaning out our cars to friends, and putting everything we didn’t take with us to NYC in storage. I found a 1-month, furnished sublet on Craigslist for the month of August and we used the time to find our “permanent” apartment. Apartment hunting in NYC can be a bit of an ordeal, but in the end we found ourselves deciding between living in the Upper West Side or Park Slope, Brooklyn. Park Slope felt a little more family friendly with its nice parks, walkable streets, and abundance of restaurants and small shops. And so at the beginning of September, we found ourselves residents of a very hip part of Brooklyn.
Memory is really strange. On the one hand, I’m amazed at how fast the last three years of my life has gone by. I remember walking into my hotel room on the day I landed in Stuttgart, a full month before Rebecca would come, and putting down my bags and really wondering what I had gotten myself into. I had decided to take a job in a city I had visited only during my interviews, in a country I had only spent a few days in as a tourist, and here I am sitting down in my hotel room, in need of a shower, exhausted from jet-lag, only then grasping that I had committed myself and Rebecca to living in Stuttgart for at least three years.
Stuttgart has these wonderful little hidden little charms that make it a really great place to live. One of our favorites are the Besenwirtschaften, which are traditional Swabian wine houses. They’re operated by the families that own the numerous vineyards around the Stuttgart area, and by law they are allowed to open 4 months out of the year. They are scattered throughout the city and its surrounding towns, and if you find one you can enjoy very simple (and cheap) Swabian food and fresh wine from that year.
A few months ago I was asked if I could create a small website for my high school graduating class’ 10 year reunion. My immediate thought was “Wha? It’s been 10 years already?!,” but it turns out no, I graduated high school only 8 years ago. I’ve got another two years to go (Yes, the reunion is a long ways off, but look how quickly the last 8 years passed!).
I recently got married, and one of the results of marriage is that you gain some new family members. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of my cousin-in-laws, Jackson West, is writing for NewTeeVee, a newly found GigaOm-network website devoted to web video. It was only a few months ago that I found out Jackson was as much a pyromaniac as I am, as we tried to rig together as many bottle rockets as possible in one go.
We’ve finally recieved our pictures from the photographer, over a month after our wedding (that’s another blog entry). About a third of the pictures are on Flickr.com, so head on over there to see our gallery. Be sure to add comments and contribute your own photos taking during our celebration in our Wedding Images Group. Thanks again to everyone for helping us celebrate.
Rebecca and I had a great time today in Esslingen at the annual Esslingen Weinwandertag, an annual wine hike through the vineyards surrounding the town of Esslingen. We started off in Esslingen and wandered up a path leading to the vineyards and a few hours (and many wine glasses) later we arrived in Mettingen. At the start in Esslingen, we purchased a wineglass with a leather strap that brilliantly holds the glass upright around your neck, and every few hundred meters along the path we filled up with some delicious local wine and German snacks.
Rebecca and I joined another couple and went to the Stuttgarter Lange Nacht der Museen event earlier tonight, and I'm happy to report that we had quite a lot of fun. The basic idea is that for €12, you have a free pass to all of Stuttgart's museums, including other sites like the famed TV Tower and the Wilhema zoo & botanical gardens, complete with special shuttles running between all the sites.