The Sand Fire gave us Angelenos a glimpse at what the apocalypse is going to look a bit like.

Celebrated my 30th in Palm Springs, poolside with some cold drinks and the best people. They came a long ways and spent a good bit of money and time to make sure I knew damn well that 30 ain’t so bad.

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My Uncle Tony, technically my Great Uncle, passed in April. I’d bet anything he’d want to be celebrated, not morned. So I’m gonna try my best here.

No matter what room he was in, his laugh was the loudest thing in it, and he was always laughing. He slept with a few thousand refrigerator magnets under his mattress because he said it helped his back. He was a character to say the least.

When we’d show up to visit, between my brother and I, he’d give one a BB gun, and the other a spear tied to one of our ankles. He’d tell us to go have some fun and catch something. He had a dock out back where the waters eventual led to the Gulf of Mexico. There was always a lot of fishing.

I learned for the first time I could swim without sinking in his pool. The same pool he told my brother and I had the “red dot” technology, so he’d know if we ever peed in it. We were mortified.

He and my dad would take us to watch the greyhounds race at the track. We always had ice cream and Uncle Tony always had a cigar.

He gave me my first magnifying glass and my first pocket knife. Still have the magnifying glass. He gave us a lot of great memories, the kind you never lose.

He died on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Honestly, I can’t imagine a more fitting way for him to go. He was a man full of life, till the very end.

Godspeed Uncle Tony.

My brother and I on Uncle Tony’s dock.

Alexis got me a telescope for Christmas and I thought this warning tag was kinda funny.

Our good friends Drew and Kelsie spontaneously invited Alexis and I to Hawaii with them. Good company and paradise? Who would say no?

We spent a day and night in the touristy and beautiful Waikiki, enjoying the calm waters and local eats. Seeking the local experience, we drove in our tiny convertible across the island to the North Shore. We stayed the rest of our nights at a small beach house, in a Mai Tai fueled state of rest and relaxation. Day after day, we explored, watched sunsets, and emptied our cups. It was nice to just slow down for a change.

Thanks for having us along.

I do miss those big Florida skies.

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