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.
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.
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
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
The group on the beach at sunset
Small group at La Noche for drinks.
Condo, decorated for Mike’s 30th Birthday
Mike, Birthday waltz
All aboard the ADA, destination Banderas Bay
Turquoise waters of Pacific Ocean near Puerto Vallarta
Lightweight, solid bike with a comfortable, smooth ride. I am 6’3″ 200lbs and the Northrock SC7 fits me nicely.
Seat height adjusts with ease using quick-release lever on seat post. The brakes work like a dream. Shimano Crank, Drivetrain and Tektro Brakes are some of the best components around. I wasn’t familiar with the Northrock brand, but the frame has a lifetime warranty. The Northrock SC7 was $259.99 at our local Costco, so the price is definitely a pro. A hybrid bike with similar components is several hundred more at local shops. Costco’s generous return policy is also a pro.
The seat moves slightly from side to side when biking. The SRAM MRX twist shifters are listed as a feature, but I worry they won’t last as long as a convention shifting mechanism. Many experts say any bike purchased from a retail outlet should have a tune-up from a bike shop right away. This could could easily add $50-$75 to the cost of the bike. I’m no expert, but the Northrock SC7 rides and shifts smoothly, so I think I’ll skip the tune-up. Be sure to physically inspect the bike for damage from customer mishandling prior to purchase.
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