Philip (bluesmoon) wrote,

Long overdue update

So it's been a long time since I've updated this journal. A lot has been keeping me busy, but I have a break today, so to the sound of wind chimes outside, I'll write something.

bluesmuse was here for Valentine's day in February. We headed to Azurra in San Jose for dinner. We were hoping to to sample their Mole Poblano, but they had a special V-day menu. They also had their regular live band playing Cuban music and a whole load of people doing Salsa.

The following day, we decided to have a little picnic up on Mt. Diablo. They weren't allowing cars through though, so we went through a bit on foot. Had our picnic on one of the sandstone formations before it started to get pretty cold, so we headed back. We also watched Slumdog Millionaire at Cupertino.

The rest of February was spent racing to complete Q1 work since I'd expected to be out of town for a while in March.

I got to Boston on Feb 27th, and worked out of there for a day. bluesmuse and I then headed to Florida for a short vacation. We landed at West Palm Beach, and spent the night there. Checked out the downtown area for a bit, but we were both pretty tired. The next day we drove down to Fort Lauderdale, and jumped onto the Jungle Queen riverboat which took us through the canals to check out a whole bunch of multi million dollar houses and yachts.

Fort Lauderdale has a lovely beach. Blue waters, and probably the warmest part of the ocean that we've touched since we moved to the US. Day two of our trip started early. We drove down to Key Largo and got lost a few times, but made it on time for the afternoon snorkeling trip.

Neither of us had been snorkeling before, so we were really looking forward to it. bluesmuse had also never been swimming in the sea before, but she adapted to it much better than I did. She seems to be quite at ease with all the sports we've tried out here, while I have quite a bit of trouble. I had a hard time remembering to breathe through my mouth instead of my nose. We did get a few pictures on an underwater camera, but the roll isn't done yet, so I haven't had them developed.

Day three was bluesmuse's birthday, and we'd planned on spending it just sitting around on the beach, but we saw a tour bus for the Everglades, so decided to take that. The driver got us to the everglades and onto an airboat. The airboat took us around the canals and we saw a lot of water birds and alligators. Then, the boat broke down and we started drifting. The driver called for a maintenance crew, but the call went through to voice mail. The passengers on the boat remained fairly cheerful though, cracking jokes about everything.

Eventually the repair crew got to us and had us ready in about five minutes. We then headed out to find some more gators before returning to the city. That night we had dinner at the Oasis Café with a great view of the ocean, and tables mounted on swings.

We then rushed off to the airport to catch our flight back to Boston.

Incidentally, even though we've been travelling so much in the last year, this was the first trip when we actually took the same flight.

We got back to Boston post midnight and it was frozen. There had been a snowstorm in the days that we were in Florida, and we were glad to have missed it. There was no time to relax though. I had to unpack and repack as soon as we got in for my flight to Montreal in the morning.

I got to the airport at what I thought was the right time, but apparently I was looking at the wrong airline. My American Airlines flight was leaving just as I reached the airport. The flight was heading to New York where I'd have to change to another flight for Montreal. Instead, I managed to get onto an Air Canada flight heading directly to Montreal. Interestingly, Air Canada has their own terminal at Boston Logan airport, from where flights to all destinations in Canada depart. It has three gates.

Montreal was also frozen when I got there, but not terribly cold. The airport is quite confusing, and there's a lot of walking to be done before you get to immigration. Immigration is fairly straightforward though, but it's where I realised that I can no longer understand spoken French.

I made my way out, and got a bus heading downtown to the Hilton Bonaventure. The PHP Quebec conference was at this hotel, and they'd gotten me a room there as well.

The conference went well. There was absolutely no time to stop and look around though. Once the day time talks were done, we'd all just follow the organisers to some place in the evenings for dinner, and get back to the hotel dead tired and just crash. The hotel also had an outdoor heated pool surrounded by snow, but I wasn't brave enough to try it.

On the morning of the 7th, I headed back to San Francisco, and got here to find the sun once again.

Was back at work on Monday, and the race to finish Q1 tasks was on again. I'm happy to say that I only had to do one all-nighter this quarter and that was mainly so that I'd be free to have some fun at hack day.

Hack day was this last Thursday and Friday, and I wrote a little game that uses various Y! properties. Will see if this is something that can be put up on my personal web server.

Well, it's been raining here this weekend, so not much to be done. I need to go get groceries, but other than that, will stay home. I was sick last weekend, but that lasted just one night, though I've been sneezing more than usual for a while - a little nose irritation due to the huge swings in temperature that I've been experiencing.

That's all for now. Not sure when my next update will be. Stay tuned to my twitter feed, which I update a little more frequently.
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