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A Quick Catch Up

I thought it would be appropriate to catch up on our life and to also fill in on our near future endeavors. So here are the highlights of our happenings and whereabouts!
Winter: We moved back to Ann Arbor right after Christmas. Despite the frigid cold weather, Michigan warmed up to us quite nicely! It's been nice to see friends and coworkers and to familiarize ourselves with this wonderful town. We moved a lot closer to the office so Alastair could take a quick bus ride and Emre and I could use the car. We've been quite happy with the proximity to things. Church is a lot closer but we still find ourselves late; it is beyond me!

One of the highlights of winter was creating a TacoTuesdaycrew. Alastair and I decided to have one night out each week to go out for dinner. So we decided everyTuesday to get tacos. Our friend, Ashish, joined our first A2T2 at Taco Bell. Each week, we go to a different restaurant or taqueria and we never go back to an establishment. We also rate each plac…
Recent posts

Pennsylvania Has Intercourse

On the way home, I wanted to make a stop in Intercourse, PA to hangout with the Amish. I went here as a kid with my family on this big East coast trip, and this was one of my favorite places. Mainly because there was this awesome buffet that we all loved. I remember we were all starving and stopped at this place to eat. We all sat silently, just stuffing our faces. The waiter came up to us and asked if everything was alright, so we told him that we were starving! The food was sooo good!

It was a couple hours away from DC, but the drive there was gorgeous! We took the back roads, and I'm so glad we did! We were able to see the Amish in their horse and buggies. It was just fun to see the countryside and all the Amish riding to and fro.

Once we arrived, we found a cheap place to stay. We didn't research the area or look at Google maps, so we just drove down the main road to find a place to eat. We found one diner that was open. It wasn't the best food. I ordered a chicken po…

Memorials & Memories

Most of our weekends have been a little lackluster, not much creativity on our part. But I wanted to do something for Memorial Day weekend. We were thinking of camping in Tennessee, but there was a high chance of thunderstorms and I didn't want to brave that! Even though the weather didn't seem all that great anywhere and it was too late to book flights, we decided to go to Washington DC. I love DC, so I was happy that we were going!


I actually didn't know we were going until Alastair finally told me on our way to pick our friend up. Alastair had just told me to pack. Our friend, Ben, tagged along. Which was nice because it's always good to have an extra person to keep tabs on Emre. The ride there wasn't too bad. Emre's actually a pretty good traveller. He gets fussy, but that's pretty normal. We just had to deal with a few tantrums. Toddlers. 
On the way, we stopped in Pittsburgh to add another Google office. I think Alastair has visited 21 offices worldw…

Urban Jungle

During our first year, we didn't spend too much time in Detroit. Alastair actually became a citizen there! So we have decided to spend more time there, especially driving around the neighborhoods with the dilapidated houses. I don't have too many interesting stories about our drives or our adventures, but here are some pictures to show what we had seen.




The wonderful thing is that there's a bit of a revival downtown, which makes us happy! We've loved Michigan and are so happy that Michiganders are out there caring for their city!



Take Your Child to Work Day

Emre loves coming to visit the Google office. I'm not sure if it is actually because of the office itself or if it is because he gets to spend time with Daddy, so I'll just say it is a bit of both. 

Well, for a long time he was getting excited for our "Take your child to work day" where he would spend will morning with me at the office, playing games, doing activities, etc. Just about every day for a few weeks leading up to it he would ask if we were going to Google. Finally, Emre woke up on the day, sat up in his bed, and said "are we ready?" It was so cute. 

We took the bus to the office, as Emre loves taking the bus, and when we got there Emre got his own Google Ann Arbor shirt. We wanted around, got a balloon animal, got Emre's arm painted with a cool shark (he didn't want his face painted). I had some stuff to get done so Emre spent some time watching Moana but then we ended up doing more activities and even did a little yoga class, which was g…

Chicago with iBoy

Preparing for an international move is always a little bit of a hassle. As I tried to figure out Spanish visa rules concerning Lain, I got a little confused. It seemed like every source I looked at seemed to say something different about whether Lain needed a Spanish visa or resident permit, and if so how she could get one. So, just to make sure we got it right and that we wouldn't have to be separated and miserable, I went off to Chicago to visit the Spanish consulate.


As luck would have it, my buddy Ian Estabrook, Chicago-native, was going home for the weekend, so I tagged along with him. This turned out to be awesome for a few reasons - I stayed at his families place, his parents and brother (Undies) were really great, the weather was incredible for February, and I wasn't wandering around the Google Chicago office alone. The only negative was that food will now never be the same, because we ate at a place that was so good (Del Friscos), everything else will always be bland…

Training Trip

After getting back to Ann Arbor, I started a new job working with newer clients who had committed to a larger amount of spend with Google. These clients had typically not spent on AdWords before, and had a variety of goals they wanted to accomplish with Google. I'd be working with them for 90 days before passing them on to other teams to continue working with them. As I was staying this new role, I ended up going back out to Mountain View for a few days of training. 

It was a fun time, I stayed with Kip and got to catch up with a few people. I was able to go to the earnings call TGIF and hear from the company leadership, which is always really insightful and interesting. 


On the way home, I stopped by in Utah for a couple of days. My mum didn't know I was coming, so I waited for her to walk by me in the mall as she was going for lunch with my dad, and tried to grab her bag. She held on pretty tight! It was nice to spend some time with them. We went tubing, and my mum hit a ju…

The Long Drive Home

3 days and 2 nights, that's how long it took us to drive cross country. Alastair, Emre, and I with our stuff fit into our little Jetta. We re-packed the car and left most of our stuff with my in-laws, and swapped out California gear for Michigan gear. Man, I forgot how cold it gets! Actually, we never experienced a true Michigan winter because last year was so mild. But this year...Jack Frost is nipping!


There's nothing much to say about the drive. The road conditions were great, Emre was awesome, and there was a moment when Alastair and I randomly started belting out Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." We also stopped by a few Cabela's along the way, to entertain Emre. Not my kind of store, but Emre loved all the taxidermy! We showed him all the animals and the fish tank, it was like he was at the real zoo. To this day, he talks about going to see the elk, turkey, and all the other woodland creatures.



Also, New Year's Eve was celebrated by staying in the …

Christmas in Utah... Again!

Since we were on our way back from the Bay Area to Michigan, we stopped off in Utah for about a week and a half for Christmas. We didn't tell Grandad that we were going to be there, so it was a surprise for him when he got home from church to find us in the basement! We had a nice Christmas together, opening presents, building the McKee brothers traditional Igloo, and skiing/snowboarding with Logan and Veronica.



Emre enjoyed visiting Santa (same one) just as much as he did last year! It was funny because he was so excited to see him, but then wasn't happy at all during the quick photo op, but then didn't mind Santa again after we left!



We also visited Lain's parents in Idaho, which was nice. It was good to be back in Southeast Idaho, but we didn't make it back up to Rexburg on this visit. Hopefully next time!


We left a few days after Christmas and headed east for a few days, before making it to our new place in our old town: Ann Arbor!

Shanghai

I love Shanghai. If I had a list of the places I wanted to live, Shanghai would be top on that list! Our last night was spent in Shanghai. Our flight was delayed for a couple of hours, so I was so sad that we weren't going to have much time to shop around. We got to our hotel around 10 at night, maybe a little later. We made it just in time to see the lights shut down for the night. We rushed to our room, opened the shades to see our view of the Bund, put our robes on, and danced to The Weeknd. One of the best moments ever! It was such a lovely suite, I even took pictures for future reference! One day, we'll have a home. One day. 


We had a wonderful breakfast, then headed out to enjoy our last few hours. We went to the financial district to see the Pearl Tower and one of the tallest buildings, Shanghai Tower. The Shanghai Google office was in one of these tall buildings, so of course, we went to it. It was lunch time, so I snagged a pork bun from the cafeteria. Sooo good! We …