Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pops' visit with Sandy and Jeff

Pops got the royal treatment when she stayed with Sandy and Jeff.

Sandy updated me every so often about their guest's activities:

She can catch a pasta noodle in the air with ease, she knows all the hot spots on the block for her walk, wakes me up gently peeking up by me in bed then just looking at me with that cute face saying "Mornin! Here I am! Ready for my walk and breakfast!"

Pops was mostly polite, relaxing during the Australian Open and only peeing in the house once (not counting the two times before I left). I'm so glad she received such wonderful care. And so did I — dinner together before my trip, and tea and homemade chocolate chip cookies upon my return. Thanks, my friends!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hitting backhands

I got a great tip on my backhand from Mark, the tennis pro here in Newport Beach: "Have a longer relationship with the ball." Makes sense. When I tried it, though, he said, "Don't smother it." Something to work on!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Newport Beach 2014: Tuesdays with Julie

During last year's annual visit, Julie and I vowed to keep in touch more than once a year.

Either one of us could've texted, emailed, or Skyped, but we didn't.

Instead we caught up as we usually do — in person. At Tavern on 2, a gastropub in Long Beach, we talked about work over fries, mac and cheese, and fish fry.

Then it was off to La Creperie for catching up on everything that wasn't about work. It's hard to cram a year's worth of life into crepes and cappuccino, but we managed just fine. And this time, we made no promises to keep in touch. That will just give us more to talk about in 2015.

It's pretty astounding what can happen in a year. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014

A few weeks ago, we said goodbye to Pat, who's retiring in beautiful northern California. We got together to share chili and salad and cornbread, perfect food for frigid temps. And look — we barely fit in the photo, because that's how many Highlander friends Pat has.

I'm a bit jealous that she will no longer have to shovel — or de-ice, or sprinkle salt, or repeat that whole process while sweating in a parka.

But I can't complain too much, because this year started with a great tradition: New Year's Day tennis with the Highlander gang. And it continued with brunch, where we talked about tennis. After a brief rest, I went to Katy and Paul's for steak, potatoes, red wine, and cookies. And board games! I feel lucky to have enjoyed these things, all in one day.

I wish you days like this — minus the shoveling – and a happy 2014!