Yes, I know, I am incredibly behind in updating my blog. It's been a very hectic and busy trip. Even now I am typing this entry on my Blackberry as that seems to be the only time I have. They have wisely restricted my internet access in a training environment, although I would never be so rude as to play solitaire the whole day. It's just cramping my style when I need to check in with work.
I did make it downtown on Sunday with surprisingly little trouble. I only had directions from a couple of people and a small map. Having the Space Needle as a landmark and reference point really does help a lot, I must say. I got to the SciFi Museum, but they wouldn't allow pictures inside. So I saw Capt Kirk's chair, you'll just have to take my word for it. I never noticed the arms of his chair had wood on them. As to the rest of my downtown excursion, I will try to post some pics soon. I hate posting pics in Blogger... takes forever.
After I got back on Sunday night, I drove down to the offices where I'm having training so I knew where I'd be going in Monday morning traffic. Good thing I did as it wasn't the easiest to find. Managed to stay up until 11pm that night. The time change adjustment has been easier this time, I guess it comes with practice.
When I got up Sunday morning, I discovered my Blackberry wasn't working, and continued to not work during the rest of the day. Still wasn't working Monday morning when I got up, so I put a call in to my account manager at Aliant. She hooked me up with support, and late Monday night it started working again. Talk about feeling like you've lost your right arm, though. 2 days without it while also being away from home, and only having internet access at the hotel was a giant pain.
The biggest thing about Monday was finding out that the other class participants had decided class will end early tomorrow... Like 10am early. My flight out of here to SoCal was 7pm. I was pretty mad when I found this out, as I had specifically asked when class would end so that I could book the appropriate flight. Because I booked the flight with a travel agent, I had to go through her for any changes, which was a pain and no doubt added to my cost. The time difference of trying to get a hold of her just componded the problem. After a lot of thought and not wanting to hang around here all day when I could be with John, I decided to change my ticket. The bad news is that it ended up costing $360 *just to changeit* on top of the $185 originally for the ticket. OUCH. Love is expensive! But with how little I get to see him, any extra time is worth it. So I am now leaving tomorrow at 1:05pm, arriving at the airport 2 miles from John's office at 4pm, then we can have the whole evening together instead of arriving at 9:30pm. Feels a bit like buying time - I get 5.5h more if I pay $360. Luckily I also got an email this week that said my bonus cheque is waiting for me when I get home, so that most definitely helps.
Tuesday things became a little more normal. My Blackberry was back in action, but I was really feeling the suckiness of having to eat every meal alone in a restaurant. My classmates weren't very social and didn't invite me along with them (not to mention I was a little angry with them about the class change). Eating home alone is different than eating in a restaurant by yourself.
I have to say, the service out here is excellent. I've been to Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, even KFC, Subway and especially Wendy's, and all have had great or outstanding service. The guy working at Wendy's the other night could be in a commercial for them, I swear. Such a refreshing change from the crap we take at home. It's made me start thinking about not taking crap from wait staff anymore... I'm going to start thinking about speaking to the manager and complaining. It's so nice to go to a restaurant and have the server smile at you for a change. I've been leaving good tips because they've deserved it. I've never had the experience of waiting tables, so no, I don't know what it's like. What I do know is that, in general, you shouldn't be rude to others if you're having a bad day or hate your job. In my job I do deal with a lot of people, some I like and some I don't, but I still have to help them. There seem to be an awful lot of wait staff out there who like to take their problems out on their customers.
Wednesday after class we were all invited out to the head programmer's house for dinner. She lives with one of the account managers (for a brief time he was my acct mgr) at the same company. I have known them for a couple of years of going to the conferences but I had no idea they were a couple until now. They had two people staying with them for the weekend, clients but also friends. I had actually met them before at conferences as well.
The hostess has owned the house for approx 30 years and it is out in the country, so to speak. Not that far, really, just seems more country in comparison. The house was amazing. Not huge, but design-wise it was very different. Basically two round buildings put together. Patios and decks everywhere. The tallest trees I have ever seen, just amazing. Beautiful gardens too - they've done a lot of work to their land/yard.
Everything is so incredibly green here, so many trees and vegetation. Very environmentally conscious as well, lots of compost bins and I don't think I have seen a single piece of litter.
Back to the house. The outside walls on one side, including the master bedroom, were glass. There is so much greenery around, plus more land between houses so there is still privacy. A neat idea. Sort of sleeping under the stars.
We had a Southern cuisine menu, as the host was originally a Southerner. The hostess was originally from Oregon. We had pork tenderloin with bbq sauce, "corn stuff" (grits, corn and cheese), cornbread, steamed veggies, and salad. Yummy. We ate pretty late as they didn't have much time to begin preparing before we arrived. We left around 9pm after an enjoyable evening.
Now it is Thursday and I'm finishing this entry during class. They're covering a module that is not applocable to Canadian companies.
It's been a spectacular week for weather, abnormally hot. Today is slightly cooler at 24-25C. The past few days have been close to 30C. It's supposed to rain on the weekend but I will be gone by then.
Tonight I'll have to get packed up and ready to leave. We'll prob end class tomorrow around 10am so the others can catch their flight. Should leave me with lots of time to get to SeaTac, return the rental car, and go catch my flight. One more sleep, I can't wait!!
I'll try to get my pics from downtown up later tonight. I also want to get some pics of the trees. Maybe on my walk tonight after class. There is a cemetery I drove by the other day that looked more like a nice park, so I may go explore that tonight.