Chris - As a kid, I spent time running around the street of Orange County before it was "The OC". All my little friends and I trounced up and down the blocks in our free time; including one friend with the same name, born three weeks after me, who ended up being my best man at my wedding and had his first child not even two months after us. As the only child, I was fairly spoiled, but raised with a deep sense of wrong and right, a strong work ethic, good sense of humour, laid back personality and loads of love.
Ungracefully, I made the awkward change into a teenager in a new town and school, which really shaped who I'd later become in life. Still, afternoons were spent pretending to be Mario Lemieux in my driveway, going for a surf down the street at one of our private beaches, cruising the mall with my high school pals, working various jobs at a movie theatre for all of three weeks, followed by a collection of five years working in an ice rink and then a sporting goods shop.
Needless to say, sports were big in my life. Hockey and golf were my strong suits, but I swear I've played just about every sport there is. I got to spend several summers touring various bits of Canada with my team and this is where my love for travel started. I wasn't like the other kids on tour, they spent their money on equipment, soda, candy, etc. As my Dad put it, "You were the only one to go buy a dress suit and where it to and from the rink." Odd, sure, but man did I look good!
College/Uni saw me move up the coast to North LA/Ventura, but was in reality mostly spent going to concerts and drinking on the Sunset Strip. People in London find it glamorous that I lived in LA, I typically refer to it as 'I did my time in LA' and got out, flocking back down the California coast to San Diego; stay classy! San Diego was the first place I really felt I belonged and made me the craft beer aficionado I am today. When people ask where I'm from, I always say San Diego, it felt more like home then anywhere else. More concerts, more drinking and a growing career were all on offer in America's Finest City and I drank it up!
There once was a time, not terribly long ago, that I swore that I'd never get married, have kids, etc. At that point, clearly, I had in no means found the right woman that I wanted to spend my life with and to be the mother of my children. Having grown up on the sunny beaches of Southern California, I made the life changing decision to move to the (often) sunless shores of London, England in 2009. What was initially a one month contract to work in London, has found me still here, married to a native and now raising bi-national children in their current motherland of Great Britain. That changed five years ago when I met my wife, Victoria, and especially so in March 2014 she gave birth to our amazing twins, Annabelle and Finley. My how life changes.