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I have a very small family.  Aside from my three siblings, I have five first cousins, two of whom are both awesome and happen to live on the South Island of New Zealand.  When my aunt Emma asked if she and Finn could crash with Taylor and I on the tail end of their month-long ski vacation to Colorado, we jumped at the chance to host them.

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Although my uncle Pete and cousin Hank stayed back in New Zealand to make the most out of surf season, there was no shortage of fun and warm weather in this hemisphere.  After spending a couple of days skiing Lake Tahoe, Emma and I kicked the weekend off with some speed work over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Lucky for me, the sunset and beautiful scenery served as a handicap to Emma – a 3:20 marathoner, and we logged a solid 10K in just over 47 minutes.

Golden Gate Bridge at dusk - the ultimate diversion.

Golden Gate Bridge at dusk – the ultimate diversion.

Hungry for some post run fuel and ready for a beverage to kick off the weekend, Taylor, Finn, Emma and I ventured out to Polk Street.  Finn isn’t quite old enough to partake in the fresh Bavarian beer at Leopold’s, but he made up for it with “heaps” of local fare: Mexican food and frozen yogurt.

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Are we there yet?

We decided that our best use of our Saturday morning would be dropping Finn off at the House of Air (a local trampoline park – Finn is a master of aerial tricks and dodgeball) while we logged some hilly, scenic miles to help Emma prepare for her 100 mile race in March.  If 100 miles isn’t enough, the Northburn 100 gains 26,247 vertical.  Yikes.  It soon became evident that Emma’s been hitting the trails hard during her training, and she handled the steep climbs up the Coastal trail and Miwok with ease.

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As always, it was amazing to catch up with my family and capitalize on a rare opportunity to have them in my hemisphere.  With a little bit of luck, hopefully we can return the favor and crash on their couch next time!

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