Dylan accomplished his 2014 New Year’s resolution to surf at least once a month. The session a couple days before NYE proved to be one of the best: great waves, nobody else there and relatively warm water. He ran for track again this year. Senioritis has set in and we are bombarded daily with college information. Dylan works in an electric company warehouse. He plans on serving a mission shortly after graduation.
Gavin had an eventful year: driver’s license, became a priest, patriarchal blessing and a heavy school load. His marching bad (plays trumpet) advanced to the CIF finals and came in 7th place. Surgery wrecked his Christmas again this year. Last year it was a tonsillectomy and this year it was surgery to repair his collarbone that he broke snowboarding.
Grace is a big-time shutterbug. A highlight for her was being THE grand sweepstakes winner at the LA County Fair for her age group in photography! All four of her submissions won awards. She loves posting her photos on Instagram where she is a rockstar with hundreds of followers checking in to see her work. Grace made the JV tennis team at CHS.
All three attend HS together after getting up before 6 AM to attend early morning seminary.
This was the “Year of the Bike” for me. My brother-in-law hooked me up with a beautiful carbon fiber Bianchi at cost. It’s probably 10 pounds lighter than my steel frame Bianchi, but still very comfortable and responsive…makes a HUGE difference climbing hills. I finished 3 centurys: Stagecoach Century (starts on border with MX and goes thru Anza Borrego state park), Tour of Big Bear (6500 ft of climbing, dozens treated for hypothermia this year!!) and Tour de Foothills (route goes right by our house, so at mile ~70 I jumped in the pool, changed clothes and caught up on the college FB scores) and a double century: LOTOJA which starts in Logan, UT and ends in Jackson Hole, WY, 206 miles crossing 3 mountain ranges gaining nearly 8,000 ft in elevation. I tried it last year with my nephews JT and Jake, but ran out of daylight. I bailed at mile 150 when it was clear I couldn’t make the sundown cutoff in time. This year I trained much more aggressively, riding GMR almost weekly, riding to and from work a few times and riding the Santa Ana river trail on Saturdays when I was on call. Probably got in close to 2000 miles all together.
Fox Pomona is a smallish music venue in the next town over from us that has been getting some great bands playing there lately. In past years we’ve seen: Death Cab for Cutie, Snow Patrol, Ed Sheeran, and others. In 2014 Gavin and I saw Jack White there. It was a last minute show added on the week his new album was released. Tickets were will call only, so I went a few hours early, planning to go back home, then get Gavin (he had to play with the marching band at Bobby’s graduation). I was there early enough that I got a pit pass, but couldn’t pick up Gavin’s ticket. I was able to secure a spot ~10 ft from the stage. They give you a wrist band that gives you access to the pit. I ended up buying someone’s wrist band for $20 and sneaked it out to Gavin so he could get into the pit. It was an AMAZING show!! Jack White ended up hopping off the stage playing “Icky Thump” <6 ft away from us!! Coldwar Kids opened. Gavin and I saw Alt J there in October, Grace and I saw Bastille there in November and Dave and I saw Ryan Adams and Jenny Lewis there in December. Ryan Adams was incredible! I had read that he could be volatile and had substance abuse problems, so I didn’t have big expectations. He is someone I’ve wanted to see for years, so I rolled the dice and went to it. So talented!! He played a lot of slow songs: Lucky Now, Come Pick Me Up, Do I Wait, Dirty Rain, etc. Gavin and I also saw Broken Bells and Beck in LA. Weezer did an autograph signing at Rhino Records in Claremont, so the boys partook. That was there first concert, in San Diego soon after we moved to SoCal.
The year started out well with the Seahawks winning the Superbowl. Living in Portland we became casual Seahawks fans. That was the market team, so even thru the lean years they showed all the Seahawks games. That is one advantage of living in a market without a team: they usually broadcast the BEST games of the weekend.
The Kings won ANOTHER Stanley Cup this year in dramatic fashion. The reverse sweep of SJ Sharks was phenomenal!! Dylan and I went to game 6 of that series at the Staples Center. Hockey is amazing live and play off hockey is simply NUTS!! The energy in the place is off the charts. Shannon went to game 6 of the final with Jalyn and enjoyed the double OT victory to win the Cup. Nothing matches the Stanley Cup in terms of degree of difficulty.
The UTES exceeded all expectations in football this year. I found $25 seats for the UCLA-UTAH game at the Rose Bowl, so I organized a group to check it out: Dylan, David, Patrick and Chris. UCLA was heavily favored, but UTAH’s defense manhandled the Bruins. On one series with UCLA backed up near their own end zone the Utes sacked Hundley 3 times in a row!! The next week the Bruins played the Ducks, so I had to go to that game, too. Also went to the first D1 college FB playoff game when the Ducks played the defending national champions and undefeated Seminoles. Another electric, exciting atmosphere. Technically that was 2015. We ended up in the ‘Noles section with a strong contingent of Duck fans in our immediate area. I’m undefeated at the Rose Bowl: Provo State in 2007, Ducks in 2012, Beavers in 2013, Utes and Ducks x 2 in 2014.
It was fun following BYU women’s volleyball in 2014. Tia from our Portland ward is a starter on the team. Her parents saw ALL of her games over the 4 years she played. They stayed with us a couple times, including last year. We went to the Loyola Marymount game. Good times. They made it all the way to the championship where they lost to Penn State.
I help Tom W do the chains for CHS football. It’s fun being a fly on the wall on the visitor’s sideline: such a wide range of coaching styles.
2014 was a pretty chill travel year by our standards. We started the year in northern CA with Boatmans and went to SF new year’s day. The highlight of the year was houseboating at Lake Powell in July. Another fun adventure. We went on our almost annual camping trip to Leo Carrillo state park in August just before school started. The boys went to Hawaii for a week and a half to hang out with their friends who used to live here.
Our favorite restaurant is Din Tai Fung.