The bulk of the year was spent in California: specifically Silicon Valley. From here we explored a little more of San Jose, discovered new wonderful hiking and running trails, learned about California’s gold history, and became a part of the community.

The summer was full of adventure and road trips that took us to Santa Rosa, Sacramento and along Route 49, into San Francisco, to Fresno, Fort Ross, Monterey, and Big Sur.

In all these destinations, our favourite was Santa Rosa because of the ziplining, the foodie culture, how easy it was to arrange plans, and the great people. It was sad for us when the Sonoma earthquake hit the area. Speaking of which, we are in Sacramento for the quake… and for the entire event I couldn’t figure out why the garbage trucks were out so early in the morning rattling the bins in the back alley. It never occurred to me that there was only bin banging and no truck noises.

March break included a trip to Boston, Salem, and Plymouth to take a peek at the colonial origins of the United States and how they tied back to religious persecution in Europe. It was the very beginnings of tourist season in Massachusetts and a quiet time to visit. As an added bonus, we discovered some of America’s great literary minds.

June found me in the middle of Atlanta’s heat for our annual corporate getaway. When not catching up with co-workers, I took the time to explore Sweet Auburn and soak in Atlanta’s and MLK’s history. It was a lot to absorb and even months after the visit I was still reading and learning about this complex part of American history.

In September I took motorcycle lessons in Calgary in preparation for a future trip on motorbikes. I’m not sure when or where I will be able to actually take my test… Snowtember killed my window of opportunity for 2014.

November included a last minute get-away adventure to Bogotá, Colombia. This is one of my new favourite places in the world. It is completely untainted by tourism and has no false façade presented to foreigners. I haven’t finished writing about Bogotá so there’s more posts on the way.

If there’s some truth to the saying, in like a lion, and out like a lamb or v.v., this year ends like a lion. In an unfortunate coffee-dog accident, I toasted my computer so it is unusable (thanks for the loaner, dP). I’m currently waiting for a replacement. In the last month I have had bronchitis three times with the most recent version rendering me immovable since Christmas Eve. I’m not sure what is happening in the world of pathology or epidemiology, but this flu season is the nastiest I’ve ever seen.

On a sad note, I’ve recently ended my project at the Big G (a.k.a. Google) and thus my time in Silicon Valley. In the first paragraph I said I became a part of the Californian community… what I meant was the Google community. This is the part of consulting that affects me very deeply… and unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), I became close to and grew to respect a lot of people at Google. It was extremely difficult for me to leave. I’m excited for the change and blessed for the experience and all that I learned, but it still doesn’t lessen the pain. For the two years I spent in the Bay Area, I felt like I had two homes… and now I have left one behind…

So, what’s next you ask?

2015 starts with antithesis to the mellow and laid back friendliness of San Francisco… I’ll be working on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. The Chinese Theatre and I are about to become the bestest friends ever. My escape will be the dark and seedy Sunset Boulevard because that’s were the good restaurants are.