HoffmanLandscapes

Meet Fred and Greg (our “dads”)

 

How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport?
Fred: I have twin girls, Dylan and Ally, who are almost 6 and a son, Griffin who is 3. We have lived in Westport for almost 7 years now.
Greg: We have a 6 year-old daughter, Remi, and a 4 year-old son, Chase, and have lived in Westport for 5 years.

What has been the hardest thing about raising kids and working full time with long hours?
Fred:  Seems like an obvious question, but the answer for me is fitting it all in.  How do you get quality time with your kids, your wife, work out, and have opportunities to relax and let loose?  So balance is the biggest challenge, and I think the hardest part is when you do have an hour or two and your kids are being tough.  You just want every moment to count.
Greg: I am lucky in that I live and work in Westport so I’m sure I’m able to see my kids more than the average Westport Dad. But, during the week it’s often on the way to school or right before bed and I’m usually exhausted. I find my mind often thinking about work and other “adult” things so I need to work on being more present when I’m with them.

What is your favorite family activity to do in Westport or the surrounding towns?
Fred: I love hiking Lake Mohegan or Devil’s Den with the kids and our dog, Rusty. I also love summer evenings on the beach – with – or without kids.
Greg: I love going to the golf driving range at Longshore and trying to teach my kids (and wife) how to play. We often follow that with a late afternoon or evening at Compo for an early dinner. Walking to breakfast in town is always really enjoyable as well.

What was your most memorable family vacation and why?
Fred: Probably our family trip to Sonoma, California last June just the 5 of us. We had evenings in the square with music, wine tasting for us, tons of hiking with the kids, swimming, and it was sunny and perfect weather every day. The food is very good there too.  It also didn’t hurt getting Melissa away from Megan for a week. Ha ha.
Greg: We spend a week every August in Nantucket and that is usually my favorite week of the year. We get to enjoy walks/bike rides into town, paddle boarding at the beach, critter cruises and fantastic dinners.  There are so many different things to do in such a beautiful place.

What is your proudest daddy moment?
Fred:  Honestly, this is not an easy question because we aren’t yet at graduations, major milestones, etc.  That said, I think my proudest moments have come from seeing the kids do something they really didn’t think they could.  So right now it has been Ally reading a book cover to cover, Dylan climbing up to the top of the ceiling using gecko tactics in a doorway, and Griffin jumping in and swimming across half the pool.  I also have been incredibly proud watching the way our kids play and interact with other kids. Whether they know them well or not, they are always welcoming and include kids in whatever they’re doing. For the girls, I don’t know if having a twin sister helps with that or not, but it’s been pretty special to watch. But there are so many little moments every day.
Greg: Tough one. I guess seeing my daughter, Remi, drive a golf ball 80+ yards and when she recently wrote a book about our family. Chase, my typically fearless son, was scared to swim without swimmies last summer but after a few lessons this winter he is now fully swimming on his own. Also, I always have a huge smile on my face when my kids are “taking care” of their little cousins (and it makes me feel old at the same time).

What’s your favorite app or gadget right now?
Fred:  Honestly, its probably Netflix / Amazon Prime.  I fly a ton for work, and so being able to download so many great movies and shows makes the time go by.   I’ve also found audible & the podcast app (love Hardcore History) incredible.
Greg: My peloton bike – I think the technology and over-all program is really cool. It somehow manages to motivate me to get off my butt.

What’s your favorite sport to play and/or watch (who do you root for?) And/or what’s your workout of choice?
Fred:  Play:  Soccer.  Watch: Football.  I root for the Raiders (tough decade or so), Lakers, Dodgers, and Kings.  My favorite workouts are to play any game (soccer, basketball, squash) or run to the beach.
Greg: Unquestionably, golf is my favorite sport to play. It is probably also my favorite sport to watch although playoff NFL is up there too. I’m a big Tiger Woods fan because I believe everyone deserves a second chance and he probably has had the single biggest impact on any sport in history. My workout of choice (if I must) is push-ups followed by the Peloton.

What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family dinner? Friends?
Fred:  For family dinner, I’d have to say Bar Taco because the kids love running around outside while the food is coming and they are just set up really well for kids.  For dinners with friends there are now a lot of places I really like but I’d probably put Kawani and Oko at the top of the list because I love all types of Asian food.
Greg: Bar Taco is my favorite restaurant to go to with the family. Kawa Ni is my favorite to go to with friends (sans kids) but there certainly is some stiff competition these days.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Fred:  I’d hate to give away my two truths and a lie questions:)  But if you insist I think most people would be surprised to know in high school I won a creative writing contest for writing Poetry and was a fairly accomplished pianist.
Greg: Most people know me as the extroverted guy that’s always keeping the party going…but that’s just when I’m out with friends. At home during the week, you can usually find me falling asleep to CNN or some history documentary around 930pm.

If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted – what would you do?
Fred:  I’m going to assume I had a great night’s sleep and am in Westport:).  I would wake up early to make the most out of the 24 hours.  I would then play an early morning round of golf with a friend or two.  Then meet Melissa and the kids for a nice breakfast / lunch.  Then we’d drive with Rusty to a hiking spot like Lake Mohegan and take a nice hike.  Along the way I’d try to find something really high to climb up since my kids and I love doing that.  From there I’d want to head home and spend an afternoon swimming in the backyard and playing some sports with the kids if anyone has any energy left.  Then have a baby sitter show up around 6 so Melissa and I can have a little time to ourselves to get ready, then go out for a cocktail and dinner with friends.  Then knowing me, we’d stop at some bar on the way home.  Lately I’ve been really into the Horseshoe in Southport to get some darts in.  Then we’d head home to enjoy some alone time with Melissa (watching a show, etc), and I’d fall asleep close to immediately while doing an arm tickling contest where she goes first.
Greg: Well the day would have to start with an early round of golf with good competition and a healthy wager. After golf I would spend the afternoon/early evening at the beach with my family and our friends (music and drinks at Compo). Then Megan and I would go into NYC for a nice dinner, then meet up with some friends and head to a night club (until 2am) then we would head back to a nice hotel and sleep in late. Yes, I’m still a 25 year old at heart.

What is your greatest regret?
Fred:  Not doing a semester abroad in college.  Wish I had.
Greg: A lot of my friends travel for work, both around the country and around the world. I suppose I regret not pursuing a job that has some travel so that I could see more places and cultures. But I get to see my kids every morning and every night and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

What’s your drink of choice?
Fred:  Hendrick’s Martini straight up with cucumber.
Greg: Wow, this is a tough one. If I’m going to have a few (or more) it would be Tito’s and soda with a lime (helps avoid the hangover), but if I’m only going to have one or two it would be a nice glass of Japanese whisky (Hibiki is great stuff).

What is the one thing your spouse does that you are eternally grateful for? =)
Fred:  Hard to narrow to one thing so I’ll stay broad.  I would say organizing EVERYTHING.  From vacations to weekend plans to kids activities to my closet. I think without Melissa I would be a lost cause on all of that:) I also probably wouldn’t have a single friend in Westport if It wasn’t for Melissa.
Greg: Well, Meg basically keeps our lives in order but in particular, I can always count on her to make sure our kids are well taken care of before heading out of the house (clothing/snacks packed with a day full of activities ahead). I really don’t know how she does it all but I guess it explains why she doesn’t ever go to bed before 1am.

What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other dads OR what do you wish you could tell your younger self about being a father?
Fred:  Make individual time with each kid you have.  Nothing is more rewarding and nothing builds your bonds and relationships like it.
Greg: While I think it’s great to push your kids to be the best in school, sports, dance, gymnastics, etc., what is most important is that they end up being well-rounded, thoughtful, considerate and a person that others enjoy being around – because when they get into the real world as an adult, that’s what is more likely to make them successful than anything else.

How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing?
Fred:  My story is so boring its almost embarrassing.  I did an internship at Bridgewater now almost 16 years ago, and I loved it.  Since then I’ve worked here my whole life, evolving from working as a general researcher to leading our Emerging Market research to now being a strategist going around the world meeting with our clients. Though the travel can be tiring at times, in the last year I’ve been to Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Middle East, Singapore, most of Europe, and Ireland. It’s been a fantastic ride and I’ve also fallen in love with Westport along the way.
Greg: Megan and I lived in NYC for 12 years before moving to Westport. Once we had our daughter, Remi, we knew we wanted to eventually move out of the city to Connecticut and we always thought Westport would be a perfect place to live. But it was a pretty heavy commute to NYC, which is where I was working at that time. In a stroke of luck, I received a call from a recruiter about a position at Bridgewater Associates (in Westport) and went in for a few rounds of interviews, got an offer, and have been working as a lawyer for Bridgewater ever since (7 years). It’s a tough place to work but it keeps me on my game everyday, which I am grateful for. Plus I can usually play golf at Longshore before work once a week (which I couldn’t even dream of doing if I still worked in NYC).

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