Roger’s 50th in Chicago

Roger’s 50th Birthday T-shirt, designed by Zack
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My great friend, Roger celebrated his 50th birthday in October this year. Our birthday gift to Roger was a weekend surprise party with twenty-five of his friends in Chicago, Illinois.

Most of the group at Roscoes on Friday afternoon.
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Roger thought only five of us were coming. We met with Roger at the hotel, then went to Roscoes (a neighborhood bar). Everyone else formed a long line on the street, then walked into Roscoes for the big surprise.

Roger’s reaction is captured in the video below. He falls to the floor before we reached him with the camera. Yes, he was indeed surprised.

The group at dinner on Saturday night.
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Puerto Vallarta – July 2010

July 28 through August 2, a group of twelve friends traveled from Kansas City to Puerto Vallarta for my friend Mike’s 30th Birthday.

Highlights from the trip

The penthouse

We stayed at Vallarta Shores overlooking the beach, just south of Blue Chairs. The place was beautiful with a huge open-air common living space and deluxe kitchen. Each penthouse also had a private pool and three bedrooms, all with private baths. Amenities included wifi, TV’s in each room, mini-stereos with iPod hook-ups, daily maid service, and our very own private chef, Carlos.

A day on the mighty Pacific Ocean

On Saturday morning, we met up with Captain Ernesto Alfano and his beautiful and very friendly wife of ADA Sailing. We did a private day cruise on the Pacific Ocean, just to the south of Puerto Vallarta along the Mexico coast. We stopped for several hours to snorkel and swim in the sparkling turquoise waters, just south of Le Kliff.

Friends, new and old

While I knew a handful of the twelve Kansas City guys well, it was good to spend time with old friends, and get to know a few others better. I also had the opportunity to meet a long-time social networking pal Dan, who happened to be in Puerto Vallarta on an overlapping vacation. The group also made a new friend, Felipe, a friendly traveler from Toronto, who joined us for many of our activities.

Photos from the trip

Group shot
Group shot prior to departing Puerto Vallarta

The group on the beach at sunset
Group picture at sunset

Small group at La Noche for drinks.
Small group at La Noche for drinks.

Condo, decorated for Mike’s 30th Birthday
Condo, decorated for Mike's 30th Birthday

Mike, Birthday waltz
Birthday waltz

All aboard the ADA, destination Banderas Bay
All aboard the ADA, destination Banderas Bay

Turquoise waters of Pacific Ocean near Puerto Vallarta
Turquoise waters of Pacific Ocean near Puerto Vallarta

Third Annual Ski Trip in Park City

Here are a few photos from our Third Annual Ski Trip in Park City, Utah. Fifteen good friends, a huge house, lots of skiing, home cooking and a modest stash of booze.

Fifteen of us at our house in Park City, Utah
The 15 of us at our house in Park City, Utah

Our larger than life house
Our modest winter home

On the gondola at Canyons
On the Gondola at Canyon Resort

Jason & Zack at Canyons
Jason and Zack at The Canyons Resort

Time-out at Canyons Resort
Timeout at Canyons Resort

Roger & David on gondola at Canyons
Roger and David on gondola at Canyons

Josh & Zack on gondola at Canyons
Josh & Zack on gondola at Canyons

Ready to bobsled at Utah Olympic Park
Ready to bobsled at Utah Olympic Park

Camping with friends at the barn

Mike and Zack graciously hosted a pseudo camping trip on September 19 at the most beautiful barn I’ve ever seen. Some called it camping and others called it a retreat. Photos are below.

Quiet and lonely WDG Barn
Quiet and lonely Willoughby Barn

A “family” portrait
Family portrait

The dogs found a suitable bed (inside the barn)

Weekend of July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3

Derek and Blake (younger brothers) arrived in Kansas City at 9pm. Clayton and Brett joined us for a trip to the Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kansas for the NEON Dance Party.

Friday, July 4

We checked out downtown Kansas City including the Liberty Memorial and the Power and Light District. We had lunch at Tengo Sed Cantina. After that we headed south in search of fireworks. After some driving, we found fireworks at 151st and Holmes. We then headed to Dave’s sister’s house in Raymore, MO to shoot off fireworks with Dave, Clayton and Dave’s family. Thanks to Dave and his family for inviting us.

Saturday, July 5

Mike (my best friend) arrived from Wichita, KS. We shopped in Waldo, then jumped on the MAX at 74th and Broadway. We stopped at Union Station where we toured, walked across the bridge to the crossroads, and walked around downtown a bit. We caught the MAX back from 20th and Main. Saturday night we went to a party at Stephen’s place. It was a great time. On the way home we stopped in at the neighborhood bar, Flo’s Polka Dot Lounge.