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Evening glow of the Haystacks at Cannon Beach, Oregon

A year in review

It’s hard to believe that we’re soon to close the book on 2023 and opening the 2024 one. Coming into this year I was hoping for a calmer political landscape, but we knew the House was barely won by the Republicans and they wanted nothing more than to push the MAGA agenda even with the slightest of majority. So politically it wasn’t calmer, but President Biden and Vice President Harris have certainly shown that they are the leadership this country has needed during these tumultuous times.

Moving on. The first big event was spring break trips with my kids. My kids attend different schools so spring breaks are held at different times. First up was my daughter’s spring break. Ever since my trip to Oregon in 2022 she has been hounding me for a trip to Portland. I did say that once the kids each turned 16, which she had, I would take them on their own personal trip with me of the choice. She chose Portland. Of course I don’t mind going to the PNW and seeing friends when I can. We had a blast from great food, exploring more of Portland to the coast and Goondocks I think she came away from this trip with the same love of the Pacific Northwest as I do.

Next up was the son’s spring break. While not a big dedicated trip like his sister’s I still planned on spending time with him. Then I realized he had never been to the Air Force Museum in Dayton. He loves any and all military related things so it was an easy choice living in Ohio since it’s the home of the Wright Brothers too. The Air Force Museum also contains the Vietnam War plane his grandfather flew as well. He enjoyed the vast museum and then we decided to stop in Columbus at the zoo before heading home. Spring break was a blast and I’m so fortunate to be able to afford to spend time with them each and trying to show them more of this vast and wonderful country we call home.

My son entered the teen years and I celebrated my 51st birthday thereby settling into my fifties, unfortunately.   Some more of my daughters rowing with varsity regattas with me heading to Buffalo. We split up the travel duties because it can be a bit much packing up and hauling all over the midwest for these regattas. I had my first work trip to Chicago since being at the Federal Reserve Bank. Had a great time reconnecting with this wonderful city including dining at Chef Sawyer’s new restaurant, Kindling, at Sears Tower (it will always be that to me).

As we entered summer, kids’ began their respective camps. This year the daughter had a trip to Canada kayaking on Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. No cell phone, no communication. That was agonizing for us! We did place an Apple AirTag in her gear which surprisingly worked well. The camp counselors had satellite phone to keep in contact with main camp which helped with being able to keep track of her.

As she was at her camp I had a trip planned with my buddy of 24 years to celebrate him as he enters the 50 club. He had never been to the Pacific Northwest so it was a great introduction for him. I won’t rehash all of it, but it was such a wonderful trip and the beginning of yearly guys’ trips. His parents live by the Great Smoky Mountains so that’s what we’re planning for next year.

Heading into fall means it’s back to the rowing regatta season that included trips to Toledo and Philadelphia. Toledo was a great time since that is Kate and I’s original home where our daughter was born. The trip to Philadelphia was one my favorite regatta trips. It had been 30 years since I was last in the city when I college so it was great to see the city from my adult perspective. Also, I think I could see ourselves living in Philadelphia down the road.

On Veteran’s Day in November I took advantage of the holiday to drive just over the Ohio state line into western Pennsylvania to visit the cemetery of namesake is buried. Alexander Davis, my great-great-great grandfather born in 1808 lies in rest next to his wife, great-great-great grandmother, in a quiet country setting of Crawford County Pennsylvania. I had traced my roots of my namesake as far as I can take it. Not sure who his parents were or where they came from, but it was quite moving to finally visit the place where my story began. I also stopped in to the nearby town of Meadville which ironically is where the great Voodoo Brewing Co. is based out of. Back in April my buddy and I visited the local Voodoo tap house for my birthday which I never made the connection until my visit to the area.

We end the year with another visit to Hilton Head like we have for the past several years. Looks like it will be cooler this year so not m uh beach time. So it goes.

2023 had many great memories and epic travel. Looking forward to what 2024 brings since even years are always better. Cheers!