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Here we are at the end of a very busy 2011!
Starting with late 2010, I broke tradition (Florida) and joined my Mom/Stepdad in Branson, Missouri for some shows! I have never been to Branson and really really enjoyed being there. It was very cold, but no snow, so that's a good thing. Tiny little airport, which is up a long winding road in the mountains, so when it does snow, I'm sure people are absolutely TRAPPED there in Branson!
I also spent my last Christmas with the SpringHill Suites, here are some photos with my management staff as well as Christmas Party photos.
In the early Spring of 2011, my alma mater, Kent State came here to play their FIRST 3 baseball games of the season, with Georgia Tech. My contacts with Kent State were able to fix me up with tickets and I went to the Kent State/Georgia Tech game on 2/19/11. It was a beautiful, sunny day and Kent State got slaughtered in nice fashion, 8-1. I knew GT was good at baseball, but wow!!! Kent State ended up being 47-15 this year even after losing 2 of 3 to GT.
Next up was my 4th straight nomination for Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association Employee of the Year (Administrative division). We had a big GHLA banquet again this year on 3/3/11. I didn't win in my 4th nomination but I remember winning in 2007 (my first year) and it was pretty awesome. Always nice to be nominated and go to a nice luncheon, awards ceremony and see lots of people I know.
Not long after that, I took a Spring trip to Florida (since I didn't go at Christmas). I spent a few days with my Dad/Stepmom, including a garage sale, a baseball game, and a visit with a long lost friend in Orlando. The Tigers played a game at Joker Marchant Stadium against the Braves on Saturday 3/19/11 and won 2-1. I was able to spend a nice afternoon with my Dad. I then went to Orlando and met up with an old friend from junior high/high school in Michigan, Jill, who I hadn't seen in 33 years. We talked for a couple hours. Great times! Here are some photos from this Florida trip.
After returning from Florida, I was honored to accept my first management job with Marriott. I transferred in mid April from the SpringHill Suites Atlanta Buckhead to the Courtyard Atlanta Perimeter as Operations Manager. My main focus is to manage the Bistro food service operations. I'm very excited to be in this position, again my first management position with Marriott. So far, after 5 months, things are well, guest satisfaction scores are way up and operations are going well. I was able to go to North Carolina for 2 weeks of Bistro Training in early late April and here are some photos from that trip.
My friend Sean from Cleveland came to visit for a few days in August. The main purpose was for us to attend the final 2 days of the PGA Championship being held here in Atlanta (just a couple miles from my apartment). We also were able to attend the Atlanta Braves games on Friday 8/12 and Monday 8/15. The Friday 8/12 game was a joy to attend because this is the game (against the Cubs) where they retired the uniform of Bobby Cox and held a big ceremony with many old-time Braves in attendance. Here are some photos from all those events.
Finally, I just returned recently from a major trip to Cleveland / Michigan / Cleveland. This trip turned out to be the "dream sports vacation" of all time! The purpose of this trip started out as the Michigan/Notre Dame football game on 9/10/11, the first game ever at NIGHT at UM Stadium. This developed into 5 baseball games, a cruise, a tour of Progressive Field in Cleveland, a trip to my old hometown in Michigan. The reason the trip was such a "dream" was the results of all the sporting events I went to. The Tigers went on a winning streak of 12 games while I was there, and I was able to attend games #2, 4, 5, 6, and 8 of that streak. I was able to see the Tigers come back from 8-1 deficit in the very first game I went to (against the Chicago White Sox in Detroit) and they won 9-8. They would end up sweeping the CWS that weekend. I then drove back to Cleveland and watched the Tigers SWEEP the Indians on Labor Day and Tuesday/Wednesday. I then took a tour of Progressive Field on Thursday, drove back up to Detroit on Friday in time to meet my brother Jack, his son Noah and his wife Barb. We all went to the Tigers / Minnesota Twins game on Friday night 9/10 and the Tigers won this game also by coming back from 4-0 to win 8-4. With the Tigers now 5-0 on my trip, the only game I had left to watch was the UM/ND football game on Saturday night. This game was amazing as Michigan played horribly for the first half and then came back with great defense and 28 points in the 4th quarter to win the game 35-31. Here are photos from all the events of this Cleveland/Detroit trip.
Photos from the remainder of 2011 will be posted on next year's letter around Thanksgiving, 2012.
Until we speak soon,
I wish you and yours the most happiness and love this holiday season and please keep in touch. But to everyone, all the best and please write soon!