Saturday, December 17, 2016

Happy Holidays 2016!

This year's photo credit goes to Steve and Michael - thanks guys!

The Outtakes (Elftakes?):

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Art of Saying Goodbye: A Spring Trip to Michigan

May 16 - 22, 2016
Royal Oak, Beverly Hills, Clarkston, and surrounding areas, MI

Scott's grandparents, Buzz & Sylvia, taken at the Palmer House hotel on their honeymoon in Chicago

The first half of 2016 has been a challenging time, to put it mildly, for the Brooks Family.  In early February, we said a tearful goodbye to Scott's dad, Jerry.  He was taken from us quite unexpectedly and far too soon.  It is hard to reconcile his vibrancy and youthful enthusiasm with the fact that he is no longer among us.  The loss of his outgoing and joyful personality was felt and mourned by many.  

Just two-and-a-half short months later, Scott's grandfather, Buzz, at the ripe age of 89, left this world as well.  With barely a chance to catch her breath, Scott's mom, Denise, mourned the loss, not only of her husband of 45 years, but also of her beloved father.  His larger-than-life personalty and hallmark sense of humor will definitely be missed!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

28 Hours in Our Nation's Capital

March 5 - 6, 2016
Washington, DC

"Hey look, it's the White House!"

We'd been meaning to make the relatively short trip down to Washington, DC ever since we arrived in New York, just over a year ago.  The timing just never seemed to be quite right.  And then finally, a couple of weeks ago, the stars aligned.  As I flipped the calendar page, we had no plans for the upcoming weekend and some dear friends from our old San Francisco days who had moved to DC almost a decade ago confirmed that they too would be home and available that same weekend.  It was time to go!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Winter Storm Jonas: Anatomy of a NYC Blizzard

January 23, 2016
New York City, NY

Following the ban on vehicular traffic in NYC, Scott pauses for a selfie in the middle of 5th Avenue
Over the weekend, we survived our first honest-to-goodness NYC blizzard.  With any luck, it will also be the last, but let's be real here; it's still only January, after all.  The winter storm warnings began by late Thursday afternoon.  All the jokes about making sure to stock up on bread and milk followed shortly thereafter on Facebook, and probably on other social media sites that I know nothing about, as well.  I find this whole concept especially ridiculous since I can't remember the last time I bought bread or milk for any reason.  So why on earth would I do it now?  But I digress...

Friday, January 08, 2016

Good Morning, NYC! A Winter Sunrise Over the East River

January 8, 2016
New York City, NY

Sunrise over the East River: the view from my window
I don't like to admit it, but it's not very often that I am out of bed in time to see a sunrise, no matter the season. But this morning something unknown, unseen propelled me out of bed just after 7 AM.  I wandered into the living room and, as I peered out our large west-facing wall of windows, I noticed that the solid brick wall of the low-rise building located a block up from us, along with the high-rise construction site just to the west of it appeared to be positively glowing, the glass windows beyond glittering prettily in the new morning light; just past our apartment, these typically un-noticeable Midtown buildings were bathed in a golden-orange light of a type that I had never before witnessed.  

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Blissful Week of Doing Nothing in the Tropics: Christmas in DR

December 19 - 26, 2015
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Celebrating Christmas Day at Bavaro Beach Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
A few years ago, we started an unofficial tradition of traveling somewhere interesting or at least warm over Christmas week, typically returning home on or near Christmas Day and hence avoiding the worst of the holiday crowds.  In 2012, we jetted off to (frigid) South Korea Merry Christmas from Seoul!.  2013 found us road tripping to Crater Lake National Park and around the south central part of Oregon A Wintry Exploration of Central Oregon before driving off in the opposite direction to celebrate New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in LA, cheering the Michigan State Spartans to a Rose Bowl victory with friends The MSU Spartans Go to the Rose Bowl...and So Do We!.  And finally, last year we made our second trip to Hawaii, this time to the stunningly beautiful island of Kauai, before leaving the west coast to make our home in New York City.

While it's been a truly enjoyable and rewarding experience in many ways, moving to Manhattan from Oakland last February has been a challenging transition and Scott's job as US market controller for Nespresso is highly demanding, to say the least.  Add to that our utter fear of the cold winter weather staring us down and the decision to go to an all-inclusive resort in the (relatively) nearby Dominican Republic was an easy one.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

A Family Portrait Kind of Holiday!

November 22 & 26, 2015
Beverly Hills, MI & Clarkston, MI

Scott's family selfie while waiting for Debbie to prepare her shot
This year, we decided to travel to Michigan for our Thanksgiving celebration upon realizing that we had not  celebrated this particular holiday in our home state with our families since we before we were married 17 years ago.  And while we have visited many times since, apparently everyone was feeling nostalgic and decided this year was to be the unofficial "Year of the Family Portrait" on both sides of our family.  There were no professional photographers engaged (unless you count Scott's Aunt Debbie, who also appeared in many of the shots) and therefore was copious tripod and timer use, combined with fidgety young children, but I think we managed to get a keeper or two!

I wanted to gather and present these portraits all in one place, so here they are. :-)