Saturday, March 28, 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
After a long day of travel I'm just about home and ready to get there. Being on the road for 10 days is a long time and it's going to be nice to sleep in my bed tonight and get back to my normal routine for at least week before I'm on the road again.
After being on the road for the last 10 days I'm at the airport finally headed home. I'm really looking forward to seeing the family in real life and not over video. Going to be a long day but at least I get to ride in style over the ocean in Delta Business Class and not get stuck on Air France again.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Tonight being my last night in France I thought it was time to actually get out and enjoy some other restaurant besides the hotel restaurant. I met up with a few other people I knew from Rockwell for dinner tonight. Not going to get a whole lot of sleep given my flight takes off at 6:30 am and I have to be up by 4:30am. Since I'll be riding in high style in Delta Business class I'll be able to get some rest on the plane ride home to make up for any lack of sleep tonight.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Turns out that absolutely nothing is open in France on Sunday. I guess they have some kind of law that if a place is open Sunday they have to pay the employees a very high wage which means there is nothing open. The hotels, a couple restaurants and some bars stay open but as far as I can tell that's it. That pretty much left me with one option today, power stream some Netflix.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
This evening I met up with one of the RC-F engineers at a local pub I'm Toulouse France to watch the France vs England rugby match. This match in France is the equivalent of Iowa vs Iowa State football game in Iowa. The pub we are in is absolutely packed and everyone is singing and having a great time. France ended up losing the game but it was a great time. I ended up meeting a bunch of people from Italy, Germany, England and Bosnia who were all here to watch the game. At first it was a bit hard to understand but once I figured out the rules it was alright. Can't wait to see my next match if I make it back here in the future.
Today I decided to head down to the Toulouse City Center to check some things out. Last time I was in France I didn't get an opportunity to go see anything so this time I'm taking that opportunity. So far it is a very neat city and I've seen a lot of cool things. In about an hour I meet up with some friends to go watch the big rugby match between England and France. Never watched a rugby game before from what I've been told this is the game of the year.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Yes, yes, yes! For the first time ever on business travel I have a working smartphone. One doesn't realize how important it is to have a working phone but I can tell you, while most of the time smartphones are a distraction, on travel they are a vital piece of equipment. Being able to find restaurants, get directions and look up numbers for cabs is vital to actually being able to get around. Sure you could get by without it but in France most people speak poor English, if at all, so being able to be self sufficient is vital. Having a translator on your phone is vital when you do have to interact with someone who doesn't speak English. Even better it was only $35 to get my phone up and running which pales in comparison to the $120 it would have cost to get it setup in the US and still have to pay for every call and every use of data.
The pictures above are of the mall I got my phone working in and a weird statue I passed on my 2 mile walk to the mall. I don't have a car, most cab drivers don't speak English here and it just feels wrong to pay $25 to get a cab ride 2 miles to the mall, so I decided to hoof it.
After a whole lot of traveling the past 3 days I'm in Toulouse, France for the next 8 days. I'm going to miss the family but I'm happy to be stationary for awhile and not have to sit in airport and airplane seats for at least the next week. Hopefully the next week working with the RC-F engineers are productive and we get the stuff we need to get done actually done. Plan now is to go check into the hotel and try and find a cell phone store so I can get a pre-paid SIM card for my phone so I actually have phone service the next week.
I'm in Paris, through Passport check and waiting on my final flight to Toulouse. Not trying to sound like a complainer, but Air France Business class is really crappy compared to Delta Business class, it didn't end up being that big of deal since I slept most of the way. Although I do realize I've been spoiled when it comes to International Business Travel because we get to ride up front with layer down seats and plenty of space, if I ever have to pay for it myself I'll be stuck in the back of the plane and I'll really be complaining.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Here less than 24 hours later back at the airport waiting to catch my next set of flights to Toulouse. I make a habit of not actually talking about what I do on my blog so I won't say what I was doing or who I was meeting with but the meetings went really well. There were a few other companies down here to meet with the same customer and pretty sure we had the best showing. I guess we will see as the program progresses. Anyways, I take off here in Dallas at 5:30 get to Atlanta at 8:00pm and take off on the "Red Eye" to Paris at 10:15pm. Fly overnight getting to Paris about 11:00am local time and then catch my final flight to Toulouse at 1:00pm getting in a 2:00pm tomorrow. Not going to really get a good rest until I get to Toulouse and get to bed tomorrow night.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
With it getting warm outside yard work season is officially getting started. The plan was to spend an hour or so to get the front yard cleaned up a bit. I think Jen and I sometimes forget that our yard is really big. So what was going to be an hour long enjoyable project in the front yard to get outside a bit, turned into 4 hours and 15 bags on yard waste. Needless to say Jen and I a tired and I still have an hour long ride to do. Probably going to be a late night for me to get my workout in.
The original plan was for me to get on a plane today at 3:00pm and head to France until next Saturday, and right up until 4pm yesterday that was the plan. At 4pm yesterday I got a text message from my boss that he needed to chat with me. He told me that was a very important customer meeting in Dallas on Tuesday that I needed to support so I needed to change my travel to fly to France from Dallas Tuesday night. So what was going to be a fairly leisurely trip to France today is going to turn into fairly crazy travel few days. The plan now is I catch a plane Monday afternoon from Cedar Rapids to Detroit and then catch a flight into Dallas landing around 9:00pm. Tuesday, I get up head to the customer site to present a slide deck and answer questions, leave there at 2:00pm head to the airport to catch a 5:30pm flight to Altlanta. From there I catch the "red eye" to Paris France and finally get my plane to Toulouse getting in around 2:00pm Wednesday. I'll go right from the airport to work for a couple hours with the French engineering team before I finally get to head to my hotel and get some well needed sleep. Not entirely sure when I come back yet. Right now my plan is to leave the Thursday the following week, which takes me to Amsterdam and Minneapolis on my way home. If we get done early I may be able to head back home next weekend but I'm not counting on it.
Either way over the next week and a half I'm going to be visiting 8 airports in 3 countries, and stop in 5 different States. Then when I do get back I'll be home for one week before I head back to Dallas for a week to chair my consortium sub-committee meetings. After that, assuming no more crazy last minute trips come up I should be home for at least a month before I'm back out on the road.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Yesterday Marshall came home and told us that he had been selected to be part of the Coe Honor Band April 18th! Marshall was pretty excited to be selected and needless to say Jen and I were really proud of the kid. I'm looking forward to seeing his performance in April.
Sunday, March 08, 2015
With the day light saving time kicking in last night we were all pretty much dragging ass today. When we got home I pretty much headed right to my chair for a nap, Jen went and did a 7 mile run, and the boys headed up to the video game room. I guess technically I was the one dragging ass while everyone else actually did something. After I woke up from my nap around 2:00 I spent the rest of the afternoon watching movies on Netflix, felt good to relax. Last week was busy and yesterday was a 3 hour workout so I really needed a day to recharge my batteries before a crazy week ahead. Anyways for supper we had "Pig In A Blanket" which were freaking awesome!
Much to Marshall's displeasure they had to sing in church again today. Marshall is kind of getting to that transition age where he starting to feel too old and self conscious about singing but the rest of the adults still see him as a little kid. I assured Marshall when he got done that he only had a few more months until his signing days were over. In sixth grade they no longer have to do the "kid" things in church. Crazy to think that Marshall is already this old, time sure does fly.
Saturday, March 07, 2015
I saw this tonight and had to take a picture against the protest of Jen, I'm a culprit too. In the modern living room it is not uncommon these days to see the TV on, a tablet in a lap, and possibly a phone being messed with too. Funny how things evolve over the years, I remember a time before smartphones and now I can imagine not having my smartphone and tablet.
Friday, March 06, 2015
Thursday, March 05, 2015
I've noticed lately that my blog entries are getting somewhat sparse in their frequency because I'm not really capturing the everyday stuff as much any more. My plan is to try and fix that so that years from not we can look back and see not only the big things but just some of the day to day things we did over the years.
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Sunday, March 01, 2015
After church is was voted that everyone wanted pizza for "Sunday Dinner". In Clarence there is pretty much one place to go when it come to pizza and that is the Onion Grove. I wandered on up there to order pizza and wait for it to get done. It worked out well because the Mayor walked in while I was there and we got to spend some time discussing some things ahead of the next council meeting.
Today in church Marshall was the acolyte for the second time and Jen had council duties, which left Clancey and I in a pew by ourselves. Between bells, church council and kid stuff the church has successfully managed to get us to come pretty much every weekend at this point.