September 26, 2013: Off to Los Gatos

Up at four this morning, a very early morning for me.  I was pretty tired, but not too bad, when the alert went off.  I showered, finished packing and got out the door at a quarter after five.  My flight is scheduled to depart DFW Airport at seven thirty so that is plenty of time to casually get there, check in, get breakfast and relax waiting for my flight.

I got the airport and parked at Terminal A.  Of course, once I was in the airport I discovered that I was flying out of D21.  Argh.  That is a long way from A.  I went through security at A and was stopped and needed to be patted down.  I went through the machine with nothing on me but it flagged me on my right side.  Where they patted me down was exactly where my scar is so I am wondering if my scar (from my appendectomy) is so bad that it shows up on the body scanners.

I got to my terminal to wait.  There was some concern that it was not the correct gate because the DFW flight boards were changing every few seconds claiming that I was flying out of either A10 or D21.  It went back and forth with another flight to the same city on a different airlines about once every ten seconds.  Very concerning.  The airlines said that DFW is aware that the signs don’t work and give wrong information but any reports to them of such are ignored and the airport doesn’t care if they work or not.  Typical.

Terminal D has a great food court and shopping area.  I went there and got myself an Einstein Bros. bagel with smoked salmon cream cheese for breakfast and ate it at the gate.

We boarded the plane on time, no issues there.  I got a row to myself, very nice.  But we had mechanical issues.  So the flight that was supposed to leave at seven thirty did not end up leaving until more like nine thirty.  That was a really long time to be sitting on the tarmac and the air conditioning was one of the things that was broken so it was pretty warm in the cabin.

Once the flight got underway I paid for ninety minutes of Internet access on the flight so that I could log in and work for the office while I was flying.  That worked out perfectly as it kept me connected and able to work right up until noon when it would have been lunch time anyway.  I got a ton done in that stretch including keeping up completely on Spiceworks which is pretty amazing to have done considering that I was on the go continuously from five in the morning!

The flight today was a direct one on American.  DFW to San Jose.  The route took us over the Texas Panhandle and over southern Utah which is gorgeous if you get to watch it out of the window.  I cannot wait until I get to do a cross-country drive with the girls when they are older to go see all of the American west.  So much that I have never really gotten to see.

On the flight they showed Gatsby which I knew was out and had won some awards but knew very little about other than that it had Leonardo Dicaprio starring in it.  I didn’t watch it and didn’t have ear plugs but I did see that there were some actors that we like and especially one of the main stars of Jhoom Barbar Jhoom which we love and the girl who played Sally Sparrow from our favourite Dr. Who episode, Blink, had the female lead!  So we are going to have to watch that movie if only for them.

The flight wasn’t too bad although getting in so late was not fun.  I had been planning on getting to San Jose really early in the morning so that I would have two entire days there.  But it was more the middle of the day when I finally arrived.

I got a rental car at the airport, a Mazda 2.  I have never driven a Mazda 2 before and it proved to be a really good little car.  Very easy to drive, plenty of space and quite comfortable.

I drove from the airport to Los Gatos without needing a map or GPS.  I was really proud of myself since this was my first time driving in California.  The last time that we were in Los Gatos we just took cabs everywhere or Rich drove us around so we didn’t have to worry about knowing where anything was.  I had a little difficulty finding my way around Los Gatos but that didn’t last long.

I found my way to my hotel, the Garden Inn of Los Gatos, which was right on Main Street making it pretty easy to find.  I was lucky that they had cleaned my room early and they allowed me to check in right away.  So I got in, settled in, in packed, got online and made sure that things were okay at work and then freshened up.

The hotel was a quirky California bungalow style hotel that I am guessing was not built with the intention of having been used as a hotel.  It felt a lot more like it was meant to be small apartments.  The hotel had a full kitchen in every room and a little work nook.  It was odd, felt a little bit like the cottages in Bar Harbor that I used to stay in with my parents when I was young, but it was nice and comfortable and easily accessible.

I was pretty hungry so I stopped by Main Street Burger, which is supposed to be pretty famous, for a veggie burger.  It was good but not as good as Mooyah and definitely not as good as LA Burger.

Once I was all settled in I headed out to go to the Pertino offices which I was able to find without map or directions.

I was into Pertino before a lot of the other people were even to their hotels.  I had a good jump on the day.

I set up at Pertino and worked for the office for a bit but with the time difference there was a lot of time to work in California even after work back home was done.

Once the office work was finished I sat down with the Pertino product team and we put in several hours of working on use cases, feature requests, interface and management ideas, etc.  It was really productive time.  That was about two in the afternoon until six.  While I was there all of the other Spiceheads, including AJ, were out at the Computer History Museum, which I went to the last time that I was in Los Gatos.

At six the plan was for everyone to go back to the hotel and regroup for dinner at Palacio, the same restaurant where we kicked things off the last time that I was out with Pertino.  I was the only one coming from the office instead of from the hotel.  I drove down and parked at the restaurant and was one of the first ones there.

We are twice as many Spiceheads as the last time that we did this and this time nearly everyone has a “plus one” with them so it was a ton of people at dinner.  This was my first time meeting most of the Spiceheads attending.  There was Nic (and Jenn) from Las Vegas, Mike (and Adrian) from Lexington, AJ (and Jeff) from Syracuse, Chris from Birmingham and Jeremy (and Jenn) from South Dakota.  Hopefully I got the list right, very hard to remember everyone correctly, especially when I am bad with names in general, and I’ve never seen the “plus ones” names written, so if they are misspelled, oops.

Dinner was excellent.  Palacio is really nice.  From there the group split a bit.  Many people went back to the hotel.  Jeff Pierce came out and joined us.  I drove my car back to the hotel so that I would not have to drive later.  Then I walked back down to meet everyone at the Black Watch.

We were not out very late.  Everyone has a little bit of jet lag and we are starting at eight tomorrow morning so we need some sleep.  Eventually just Jeff and I were left.  We hung out for probably another hour at the Black Watch then we drove around looking for food.  Nothing was open.  We ended up settling for snacks at 7 Eleven being the best thing that we could find.

Jeff drove me back to the hotel and we hung out there for a while talking in the courtyard.  It was probably one thirty, if I was to guess, when I went into the hotel and got to bed.

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