Jumpin’ January!

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We kicked off January with a trip to Descanso Gardens for their Enchanted Forest of Light (yes, more lights!) with the same friends who rang in the New Year with us. It was super dark, with both gorgeous light displays (like the tulips below) and interactive light installments that kids could touch and jump on to engage.

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The kids had a blast, and afterwards we went to a local hibachi restaurant to celebrate our friend’s birthday. What a terrific way to start off January!

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The following weekend, I got to go on a Girls’ Weekend to the Palm Springs Film Festival! We watched 4 movies in just over 24 hours, and while all had something interesting about them, I can highly recommend Changing the Game, a documentary about transgender high school athletes.

A very timely topic, this movie follows three students in three different states, providing a thought-provoking view. After the movie one of the athletes, Mack Beggs, was there in person to talk about his experience. That’s one of the best parts of the festival, a chance to see behind the scenes and be part of real Q&As.

Another film that was interesting (mostly because I’ve been in the creative industry for over 20 years), was The New Bauhaus. This documentary (no, they’re not all documentaries) was about an artist, László Moholy-Nagy, who is widely regarded as a fundamental leader of a movement to integrate technology and industry into the arts – paving the way for modern graphic design. Oh, and the “girls” part of the weekend was pretty fabulous, too:

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January was in fact month of travel for me, given my new job which involves building and facilitating roundtables for senior design leaders in NY, SF, LA – and now Seattle & Chicago. So I headed to NY in mid-January, getting a chance to wear a warm coat and get to spend some time with colleagues I admire. Not a bad job!

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At the end of January, I headed to San Francisco to host 2 more roundtables. No warm coat but come on, it’s San Francisco, so that’s pretty awesome.

I have another post I’ll put together with some visuals about my travels, but for now, let’s keep moving.

Back at home with the family, we’ve taken up a new hobby (thank you, Santa) of going on bike rides together. Zoe loves it – and while Ella enjoys the shorter trips on her bike, she prefers to sit in a chariot (Bumblebee) behind my bike for longer ones.

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We also enjoyed a lively PIRATE DINNER ADVENTURE, thanks to Zoe! During Fall Festival at her school, one of the fundraising opportunities was for attendees to put their tickets into various boxes to win a basket full of goodies. These ranged from spa packages to entertainment packages to the one Zoe wanted: An Arts & Crafts package filled with kits, materials and who knows what else for budding artists.

Unfortunately, she put her tickets in the wrong box. Fortunately, she WON! When Bart picked up the “prize basket” it contained a sturdy wooden treasure chest filled with fake plastic gold coins, light-up pirate swords and other not-so-exciting (unless you’re a pirate) items. But hidden in that chest was a REAL prize: 4 tickets to a Pirate Adventure Dinner, which included dinner and a pirate show (Groupon price = $160!). All for the low, low price of three $1 tickets. Way to provide for the family, Zoe!

At the dinner families were grouped into colored sections, each with a “pirate” for whom we would cheer during the show as they fought to save the princess and mermaid who ended up aboard their ship. Our purple pirate ended up being somewhat of a joker, averse to actual fighting, but the whole production was worth it. At the end, Zoe and Ella got to go “on stage” to help, along with select other kids from the audience. As you’ll see we, like many families, arrived in costume, which is highly encouraged.

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I wrapped up January with that trip to San Francisco for work, from which I returned on Friday, January 31. And so, we’re on to February and all caught up! Let’s see if I can keep up with these posts in a more timely fashion this year (vs. cramming them in after 3 months of falling behind…) Who knows?

Wish me luck!

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