Homecoming 3.0 – Chi 4ever

And of course the weather (at least on Friday and Saturday) was perfect. Drew me back in like a bad ex. Such an amazingly fast, creative, supportive, and entertaining place. From the art to the food to the friends to the ping pong and Hamm’s at Happy Village.

Landed around 3pm from PHX, took an expensive Uber right to dinner at West Loop’s Monteverde – Wes, Lexi, and their beautiful daughter Lainey and I split everything on the menu. Make sure to get the squid and the spicy pasta. 
Left dinner for SoHo house – had a few on the roof before walking over to Parlor (again on the roof – I can’t stress the nice weather enough). Tough to see a Yankee loss, but at this point they were still on top 3-2 in the series. Met up with the usual suspects – Joel, Cecil, Amar. Stayed a few more at Fox Bar and finally at, of course, The California Clipper.

Saturday – hit the normal walk down Division/Milwaukee, with the entire city out at Big Star. Shopped, danced, walked, ate, etc. Homie Wayne caught up and the plan was to watch a Yankee win to advance to the World Series. Part of that came true.

Everytime I go back I don’t want to leave. I, again, can see myself being there forever. Few more years.

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Top Managers!

I did NOT write this article,  but I would. Great to see my current and past employers on here – Ziprecruiter and Groupon, respectively – and it’s well deserved. Few recent shots of my awesome management team – Zip Zip!

Manager Outing at TopGolf – I am trash

100% Manager Dinner @ Stockyards Halloween at the office – raffled of $4k of electronics after a month long contest, in a banana suit 

 

Up North Camping

“It’ll get cold at night,” they said. Camping on the Mogollon Rim might have been one of the more majestic AZ sights I’ve encountered, but boy was I not prepared for the massive drop in temperature overnight.

Just about 2 hours north(ish) from Phoenix, Nick and I went camping, western style, at a rugged-road-only path on the edge of earth. High of 88, low of 28. Legit couldn’t collect firewood fast enough. I have a new found respect for chainsaws. When safe and smart, great fun shooting. Tested both the AR and the AK, with the AR being my favorite. Drove to the Tonto Natural Bridge, $10 to check out in Pine, AZ. Worth it all. A quick hike into the mouth of the wonder. A tougher than expected scramble, remote lakes and odd water drips from a crystalized ceiling was really neat. 

Give it up for Marcus!

Got introduced to New Pathways For Youth  about two years ago through Groupon, as our staff would volunteer some afternoons. When I moved back to Phoenix, I made a commitment to get more involved in my local community, and I found myself back at NPFY, and found Marcus. He’s 11, he’s going to play in the NBA, he loves to skateboard (but he doesn’t know how..yet) and he challenges me to look at things differently. Marcus and I meet regularly to do homework, eat tacos, play basketball, and just talk. I can already tell we’re going to have some great fun. 

Mother’s Weekend!

IMO, there’s nothing more important in the world than spending time with family. My mom was gracious enough to fly across the country to help me christen my new house. She flew in on Thursday evening and we spent the first night at Chris Bianco’s Tratto – and it’s worth the hype. Took off work on Friday and took mom on a wonderful day trip on the Verde Canyon Railroad. A four hour journey through some of the world’s most majestic red rocks. A solid 2 hours north of Phoenix, this trip is worth every penny. A decent beer selection too. 
Friday night – had dinner for restaurant week at Culinary Dropout, but should have went somewhere better. Got up early on Saturday and went to the Ziprecruiter office to show off the new digs, then rented bikes and rode along the Tempe Town Lake. She hadn’t ridden in over 20 years, but it was “just like riding a bike.” Sat night went to a Snakes game – one of the last of the regular season en route to the playoffs. Mom had to get her popcorn in a plastic helmet, and then she had to wear the helmet. Left Sunday and it felt too soon. Trying to get her to come here permanently!