Where has the time gone? Can you believe that in just a few weeks, 2017 will be over, and it will be 2018? This past weekend, our SoCreate team got together for our annual End of the Year Party to celebrate all of the successes of the past year.

After weeks full of hard-work and planning by our CEO, Justin Couto, and our CFO, Rosa Couto, the day was finally here. At 6:30pm, the party officially had started and the SoCreate team, accompanied by their guests, started arriving at Holland Ranch in San Luis Obispo, the beautiful barn venue for our party. Once they arrived, guests were greeted by a table full of hor d'oeuvres and a drink of their choice.

Once everyone arrived and we had all had a chance to grab some snacks and chat, it was time for dinner! The meal was catered by Chef Anthony Allesmith, also known as The Prancing Chef.

Our team enjoyed one of three delicious entrees: a thyme-crusted chateaubriand, a brown butter salmon croquette, or vineyard chicken confit with balsamic mushrooms. All of the entrees were served with a side of mashed cauliflower and cooked veggies, OH, and a few tunes played by our designer, Anthony, on the venue's old piano.

(Now, before diving in to the next part of the evening, I should explain one of the SoCreate end-of-year party traditions. One of the perks of being a small team is that Justin is able to get us some of the most cutting-edge technologies available on the market as a gift and a thank you for all of our hard work over the last year. While this was my first time at the End of The Year Party, I had heard about some of the gifts from past years including Amazon Alexa, Bose Speakers, an Xbox One, and Windows phones. Okay, back to this weekend…)

After everyone had finished their dinners, Justin and Rosa stood up and handed out a small, watch-box sized package to all of the SoCreate team. Before everyone tore into their blue-wrapped packages, Justin gave a short speech thanking everyone for coming and sharing about the history of the company, some of this year's great successes, and all that there is to look forward to in 2018--including the launch of our SoCreate platform! On Justin's mark, we all excitably opened our gifts to find two WyzeCams (1080p HD smart home cameras).

Once everyone had a chance to open their cameras, Justin chimed in again, sharing that the cameras were actually just a decoy part of the gift, because the real gifts were too heavy to wrap up and hand out to everyone. Justin then ran outside to get the "real" gifts!

Next thing we saw was Justin walking in with what looked to be a skateboard with one giant tire. The OneWheel! An electric, self-balancing skateboard. Justin, being a skateboarder and always up for a challenge, hopped on and started riding the board around the tables of the party. Everyone was so excited to try theirs out!

While the OneWheels were unloaded from our CTO, Billy's truck, dessert was served! 3 types of pie from the Madonna Inn--cherry, banana cream, and caramel apple.

With full stomachs and happy hearts, we all gathered for a big team picture with our new OneWheels before the party started wrapping up and everyone headed home after a great night.

The SoCreate End of the Year Party is really a special event! It gives our team a chance to bond outside of the office and really reflect on all of the great work that we have done in the last year. A huge thank you to Justin and Rosa for throwing a fantastic event! I am already looking forward to the 2018 extravaganza.

Cheers to the new year!
-Alli
@alli_unger6