Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bryan’s Last Day

Today, my time at Logic 20/20 has come to an end.  This was my second professional programming position, and the first away from the friendly confines of North Ridge Software.  The code I wrote with North Ridge was arguably more difficult and technically challenging than most of the stuff I accomplished with Logic 20/20, but there is always a certain amount of uncertainty in yourself when you’re working for your father. 

Logic 20/20 gave me the opportunity to prove that I had chops outside of North Ridge.  Sometimes, I had to deliver code on my own.  Other times, I had the opportunity to work in teams, where I had the opportunity to learn from a plethora of talented individuals.  Whether it be Clarisonic, Expedia Local Expert, internal Microsoft tools or the Windermere project and it’s ~3000 dynamically created sites, Logic put it’s faith in me. 
I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.   It’s been an honor.
That said . . .  it’s done.
I am on sabbatical. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Booked, boxed and shot.

Just a quick update as to where we are. 

In order to make the Moms feel better, we have gotten our shots.  Okay, maybe there’s a “we don’t want to get crazy diseases” element to that as well.   We’re now vaccinated against yellow fever and have started a typhoid vaccination regimen.  Thankfully, the Bartells in the U District deals with outgoing and incoming foreign exchange students, so had a very good travel clinic. 
We also decided to book the first night in a private room.  We’re likely to have plenty of dorm accomodation throughout the UK and Europe, but we wanted private space to recover from the jet lag, so we booked two nights at the My Place Inn in London.
Time to start boxing stuff up . . . .

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

To book or not to book. . . . always the question!

This is getting real. A month from now, we will be somewhere in the UK. While we’re confident, there’s always questions. Did we actually budget enough money for this beast of a trip? Are we missing any vital vaccinations? Did we remember to cancel all the bills?

There’s also just some flat out unknowns. We’re going to get some travel insurance, but what happens if we actually need to make a claim off the coast of Malta?
Then again, if there’s no risk, there’s no adventure.
In general, we don’t book in advance, instead getting advice from travelers once we arrive or just walking up to a guesthouse and hoping. This is always a bit more problematic when first arriving halfway around the world.
My first trip I flew to London and had pre-booked. I immediately took the train in the wrong direction and eight hours later found the rain dumping down on me in front of Buckingham palace at 1am. I eventually found the place, but it was not a good location and a rough experience.
Landing in Bangkok, we took a taxi from the airport directly to our hostel. It was was out in the middle of nowhere under a freeway overpass. They had lost our reservation and were booked up. Thankfully, they found a mattress and we slept in an auxiliary room. The next day, we woke up, walked out the front door and found ourselves in a place that we would not recommend other travelers to visit. We proceeded to get ourselves lost going back to the hostel following evening. I used my horrible, horrible Thai to get a taxi to take us to a very close street and we did find the hostel, but not until we got chased by a possibly rabid wild dog.
Point being, the first step can be a doozy.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It’s Official! We’re off . . . and finally selling Betsy

The final pieces are falling into place! We’ve told our places of work, purchased plane ticket and are flying out of Seattle on April 17th to travel the globe.

We’ve talked to a bunch of people about it now, so I’m going to try and answer the questions that we get asked most often.
First, we are flying London after a quick layover in Reykjavik, Iceland. We’ll be spending a few weeks in the UK, then going to Morocco. We’re going to spend three months traveling through Europe and are planning on taking the trans-Siberian railroad from Moscow across Russia, likely landing in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Then, we’re going to spend 3-4 months in Asia, hop the equator and head to South America. We’re then taking the train home. Sounds easy, right? ;)
Bryan’s last day at Logic 20/20 will be May 27th and Leslie will be ending her time at Columbia Lutheran home on the 30th. That weekend, we will be moving into a storage bin and we will officially be living out of our backpacks. We’re going to spend a bit of time in Bellingham and Tri-Cities to say goodbye to family and friens. We want to have some sort of goodbye event in Seattle and another in Tri-Cities, but we’re not really sure how we’re going to pull that off yet.
So there’s still a bit of stuff left to do. We have to cancel bills, move out and make the final decisions as to what is going into the pack and what’s going into the storage locker.
There’s really one big piece of the puzzle left to deal with . . . . Betsy.
For those who don’t know, Betsy is the white Nissan pickup truck that Bryan’s been driving for eleven years now. We recently passed the 150,000 mile mark heading over the 520 bridge. Yes, I’ve anthropomorphised the truck, but it’s time for her to go.
She’s got a bit of body damage, but is very reliable. My buddy Rand is a mechanic and he was saying we could expect to get to 200K miles.
Anyway, today is going to be spent getting bumper stickers off the car, cleaning it out and giving a good wash.
Bryan and Leslie