258 days: How I spent my holiday vacation

I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. Three and a half months in and so far we are a bit ahead of schedule. Raised so far: $3,365!

Holiday season 2012 kicked off with a twist for us this year. I finally took the plunge that I’ve been pondering for quite a long time: LASIK surgery. It is amazing to now wake up in the morning and see the alarm clock (for the first time in 30 years), and not have to take out the contact lenses or deal with their constant irritation. It turns out the taped-on goggles trend I was hoping to start never really caught on, though… but it was nice to have some time over the holidays to let the eyes heal a bit – you can see clearly immediately after the surgery, but it takes a bit of time for the halos/rainbows, light sensitivity, and eye fatigue to fade away.

A couple of days after the LASIK procedure: Christmas. I usually get the week off between Christmas and New Year, so it allows us some flexibility and freedom with how/where we spend the holidays. Given this flexibility, we try to rotate our location each year in order to spread the wealth of holiday time with each of our families.  The typical rotation (not necessarily in this order): Year 1 with Lauren’s family. Year 2 at our house in Redondo Beach. Year 3 with my family. Year 4 at some exotic destination.

This rotation sometimes, of course, gets scrambled a bit due to events. 2011, for example, we spent Christmas in Hawaii with my family. So… that counts for both Year 3 and Year 4 in the rotation… how do we deal with that? Horrible conundrum!

Over the last several years we’ve spent Christmas in Paris, Napa, 90210, Redondo Beach, Vancouver, Cleveland, and Hawaii. This year we spent the morning at home in Redondo Beach, then made the journey to Beverly Hills to spend the rest of the day with Alex and John (and we crushed that day – it was an epic food/wine/movie marathon that few would have the constitution to handle).

A couple of days later we headed up to Napa to ring in the New Year! We usually have a wonderful time while in Napa… but this time the list of places/events was even more extravagant than normal:

  • dinner at The French Laundry was the ultimate highlight
  • additional dinners at The Thomas, Press, Bistro Jeanty, and Bottega. All wonderful.
  • lunches at Hog Island, Gott’s, Redd Wood, Bouchon
  • a lovely wine tasting and tour of the Kenzo Estate
  • various wine tastings at many establishments including Lava Vine, Hope & Grace, Clos Pegase
  • an afternoon birthday celebration for John around the fire pit at Ma(i)sonry drinking awesome wine after awesome wine, and a pile of Redd Wood pizzas
  • the traditional Slider Fest New Years Day open house thrown by John & Alex (this time with special slow-cooked pork butt sliders!)
  • and had more fun with family and friends than is legal in 39 states, or so I’ve been informed.

Yep, we went nuts, and had a great time celebrating Christmas and the New Year!

I also had to take a break from the training for a while to let the eyes heal. The doctors suggested I give it a week before resuming running (and several weeks before swimming/cycling). Fortunately, I was able to get back to running while we were in Napa. I got in some fantastic runs in the super cold morning air (often dipping down into the 20’s), many of them on parts of the Napa Valley Marathon course – I’ll be tackling that race on March 3!

So… yeah… the holiday break was nice. Recharging. We were well fed, well beveraged, took some time away from work and blogging, and are now back ready to tackle the new year with a vengeance.

2013 is going to be FUN! Yeehaw!

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