|Brad and his new baby Ryleigh|
my amazing family
* I got to see my new niece Ryleigh Kay Hertzke for the first time. The first time I saw her I held her for a few minutes while she was sleeping and promptly handed her right back to her mom when she started crying. Sorry Brad and Jessie but Jeff and Jackie should have warned you that I don‘t do any of the bad uncle jobs. ;)
* Went to a Rockies game with my parents and a couple of their friends. The temperature was well over 90 degrees for the Wednesday afternoon ball game but I didn't think it was hot at all. Definitely made me miss the great Colorado climate especially the NO HUMIDITY!! Our seats weren’t too bad either (front row behind the Giants dugout) which gave us a tremendous viewpoint of the great Ubaldo Jimenez whose effortless 98 MPH fastball is a thing of beauty. We even finished the day with dinner at the Wynkoop Brewery (one of my favorites). It made me miss living in the heart of Lodo.
* I was able to enjoy a lot of time with my brothers, their families and my parents. This will always be my favorite part of any Colorado trip..
* Brad and I got a little fishing in with my niece, nephew and cousin (Gabbie, Nolan and Evan). Nolan even caught his first fish! I told him that he needed to delete the pics that his Mom took so he can tell the true fishing story later; that it was a monster 10 lb rainbow trout (whoops, bad uncle again teaching my nephew how to tell small little white lies, sorry Jeff and Jackie!).
* Spent time with all of my Grandparents, my two aunts and many of my cousins. Definitely a huge highlight of the trip.
* I got to see the farm (the only place I called home until I headed off to College) and its continued remarkable recovery from the devastating tornado that demolished everything in May of 2008. Brad and Jessie built their first house on the foundation of the home that we grew up in and it looks amazing. I will have a separate post later in the week which shows the startling before and after pics.
* I played 18 holes of golf for the first time this year (9 holes with my Dad and his neighbor on Sunday and 9 holes with my Dad, my Brother and my Dad’s neighbor on Monday). I tried out a new swing that my buddy from New York helped me with which felt great but my short game still sucked. My terrible chipping caused me to completely forget what I shot that the first day (I don’t think my Dad has forgotten yet but proudly remember his round). I started to figure things and pared 4 of my last 6 holes on the second day. I really have a bad memory though and I can’t remember what my brother Brad shot despite him telling me his score over and over again all night. :)
* I also had some great conversations with friends about my ALTdriver business idea and have some new plans on how to attack it. Many of my friends are very serious about finding alternatives to driving before they drink but there is still an obvious culture of acceptance of getting behind the wheel after a few beers among my social network (despite wake up call after wake up call, including a very scary one while I was home). It is a very tough mindset to change, but I won't give up trying to change it.
First, I think I am able to do things that I am doing because of the amazing friends and family that I have. Their support and confidence is what drives me on a daily basis. If I didn't have this network I surely wouldn't have the confidence to go after my dreams.
Second, I didn't leave Colorado because I was running from something as there was truly nothing to run from. However, I am running towards something and right now I am chasing that path in one of the greatest cities in the world. I truly love living in the Big Apple and believe it is the right place for me right now.