Life as seen through my lens…
They let me out!
March 19, 2007Posted by on
Last week I had my first business trip away from the office in over 2 years! For the last few days of last week I had the pleasure of travelling on business to North Carolina to go meet a bunch of folks at our support and engineering centre in the Research Triangle Park near Raleigh, NC. I won’t go into details of the business side of the trip, but it was the first time in the nearly 8 years I’ve been with my current employer that I’d travelled to this site, and I can see now how we managed to get tagged as RTP’s number 1 place to work in 2006. The site is amazing – very ’employee-friendly’.
We flew out on the Wednesday – spent most of the day travelling. As there is no direct flight from the Bay Area to North Carolina, we ended up flying via Phoenix. We had a 45 minute stop-over – barely enough time to visit the rest rooms and go from one gate to another, so fortunately the flight wasn’t massively off-schedule.
I’d never been to Phoenix before, so was glad I’d managed to get into a window seat for the first part of the flight, and all I can say is the scenery was stunning. I tried to get a few photos of it as we flew in, but the window I was sat next to wasn’t particularly clean and only a few came out well.
North Carolina itself reminded me a lot of Belgium. The number and types of trees were very reminiscent of a number of family vacations we had been on in the forests of Belgium. The climate was pretty close too. The only real difference was the architecture, which is very ‘colonial’. It was rather odd seeing lots of bricks being used in the architecture after seeing predominantly wood-constructed properties in California.
Wednesday night we ate in an Indian restaurant relatively close to the hotel we were in. Nothing amazing, but it wasn’t bad either. Thursday night we ventured into the Chapel Hill area and ate at a small Italian restaurant called 411 (named after the street number of the building). The meal was lovely, and I’ll be sure to eat there the next time I go visiting our offices in North Carolina.
The weather was a stark reminder of why we chose to live in the part of California we are in. For the first 2 days it was sunny and warm, but also very humid and sticky, and then for the last day the heavens opened and we were faced with the sort of rain that makes it difficult to see more than about 10 feet in front of your windshield when driving.
The oddest thing about this trip for me (keeping in mind that I’ve flown rather a lot in my working life) was that this was the first trip I’ve taken by air where I have not had to produce my passport to be allowed to travel. Something about that just did not feel right….
Anyway – a few pics are up in amongst my photo albums….