2010 Winter Vacations

I spent a long weekend with my good friend, Jeff Pieta, and my long time friend from Hong Kong, Renee Chow, skiing in Park City, UT, site of the 2002 Olympics.  Jeff and I flew in and rented “Big Red”.  Plenty of snow according to the weather forecast so we needed a 4 wheeler.  The truck cabin was surprisingly roomy and we had plenty of trunk space for skis, boots, etc.  The 40 mile commute to Park City lasted nearly 2 hours as it dumped snow on us.  Jeff and I drove straight into Park City and went for drinks at a local band bar on a Thursday night.  The bar was packed with snowboarders, average height was 5’6″, most of them drank Busch Light.  We hung out for about 30 minutes and proceeded to my work partner’s mini-chalet for the evening.

Woke up early and rented ski gear at Deer Valley, a high end ski-only resort.  Little did I know that Jeff snowboarded and has never skiied.  He was definitely a trooper and went on Green and Blue runs with no ski instruction.   Gorgous ski conditions after 12 inches of fresh powder the night before. By the afternoon, we split up so that I could hit some blacks.  Little did I know that Jeff took a wrong turn, went off course and fell about 5 feet.  Confidence shaken, he spent the rest of the afternoon drinking hot cocoa at the lodge.

My friend, Renee, flew in that afternoon.  The three of us had plenty of good conversations about the people we were dating.  We ended up going out for a fancy dinner at Park City and then out for drinks.  We spent the next two days skiing, enjoying the beautiful scenery, and having good conversation.  Next year, we are hoping to return during Sundance.

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A few weeks after skiing, I had a sun-filled vacation to Big Island, Hawaii, otherwise known as Kona, where the Hawaii Ironman takes place.  I was there for four days for my friend Lillian Kuo’s wedding.

Scuba-diving with dolphins…saw a ton of colorful fish around the reef.  Heard a giant whale was nearby but didn’t see it.  Saw three turtles around the reef.  and a baby octupus that was very shy.

The wedding was held on the west side of the island with gorgeous sunsets at the Fairmont Orchid.  Right before the wedding, a humpback whale decided to float its tail to the surface a couple times.  The wedding was fun and it was good to connect with some HK friends from ten years ago. 

After the wedding, I spent a day venturing the east side and hiked in a crater of the largest active volcano in the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.  It was eerie to hike in a dormant crater knowing that lava was 200 feet below and that steam from the lava was escaping the cracks.  It also amazes me that nearly the entire national park was created by lava for several centuries.  The last photo, where I’m promoting Jeff’s company AIS, shows the steam coming from the active volcano.

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