strryeyedgrrl: (Default)
I'll just say this.

We're done. Three days of roundtabling and we're done. For now, of course, because there's always more work to do.

We went to the pub.

I haven't eaten dinner.

Unless you count Worcester sauce flavored crisps to be dinner.

I've got three pints in me.

Shortly here, I'm headed across the street to the next pub.

Right now, everyone loves everyone. It was a great trip, there was great work done and it was, as I've said before, exhaustingly exhilirating. guys don't care about this work crap, do you? )
strryeyedgrrl: (Default)
*wipes the sweat from her brow*


Another exhausting, but busy and exhilirating day. I have to say, as absolutely butt-tired as I am, I'm really enjoying this. The group of colleagues I'm surrounded by is animated and likable, which makes it all that much better - as though it didn't rock in the first place. :p

I was up this morning around 6:15am - showered, dressed, put my face on and then talked to my mom on Skype for a little bit. Then, I headed downstairs for breakfast. I avoided the eggs this time, though, as the eggs brought me bad juju last time. Ugh.

At first, I was going to walk to the office with some of my colleagues, but when I went outside, I realized that it was snowing. WTH? My shoes were not equipped for the lethal mixture of snow and the London streets, so I hopped in a taxi with three others. We got off close to the office and then walked the remainder, while I prayed to whatever higher power was watching over me at that moment to PLEASE KEEP MY FEET ON THE GROUND. I did not fall down once (despite a few near-misses) and made into the office unscathed.

We didn't end for the day until around 6pm. Since dinner was at the restaurant right next door to the office and was reserved for 7pm, I didn't see any point in returning to my hotel. Everyone kind of split up, so I decided to go on a walkabout around the office. I knew there was a Starbucks nearby (isn't there always?), so I headed there first. I got a coffee and then had to have the lovely cashier help me figure out the blasted British change. Ultimately, I just held out my hand and asked her to pick out what she needed. Shame!

From there, I headed over to Marks & Spencer to peruse the snacky goodness. I picked up a few things, then attempted to brave the self-checkout. I figured, at the very least, this would possibly save me from the embarrassment of screwing up the whole change thing again. Nope. I thought I had more pound coins than I did, forgetting that these larger coins (which seem to be the same size as an American quarter) are actually only two pence. I kept plugging in coin after coin, not understanding why in the world my total wasn't coming down. Finally, when I realized my faux pas, I just jammed a ten pound note into the thing to get it over with. Which, in turn, presented me with MORE CHANGE. *facepalm*

After all that, there was only about twenty minutes left before dinner, so I made my way back to the restaurant. I met up with Ross and Edwin - from there, we were seated in the DUNGEON OF DOOM. Not really a dungeon, but a vault. For reals. Edwin couldn't even stand up entirely.

Dinner was fantastic and lively as usual - I had some amazing cheese croquettes, wild boar sausages and mash, then a Belgian waffle with dark chocolate syrup for dessert. That was in addition to about three or four beers and a few wickedly good shots of Schnapps from this long wooden serving thing that they brought out.

I had fully intended to share a taxi with someone on the way back to the hotel, as my feet were tired from all of the day's walking, but with all the food and booze sloshing around in me, I decided to walk with another larger group. Finally back at the hotel, I tossed my messenger bag, grabbed a few pounds and headed back across the street to the Tesco for more snacks.

And now, here I am. Exhausted and kind of grimy.

But I have pictures.

...and there's even some in the daylight this time! )
strryeyedgrrl: (Default)
So, the internet was crap last night and I wasn't able to get online to make an update. That's going to be the one thing that irks the piss out of me about this hotel.

Today was Day One of my mega-meetings and it was really very cool. 20 or so of us crammed into one room at the London office, all of us really energized and engaged in our end goal. Lots of good discussion, lots of good ideas banged around. I gave my presentation today, which seemed to go over very well, and talked on another couple of key points that I've been either working on or engaged in. Overall, I walked away from the session thoroughly exhausted, but exhausted in that good way when there's been a lot of good work happening.

Last night, we went out for dinner and bowling and I didn't come in last. Sixth place, actually, even though I didn't break 100. Tonight, we had dinner at a pub and it was nice because everyone had loosened up a bit. About half the group left and a bunch of us stayed on. I stuck around for another pint, then headed back to the hotel on my own. After stopping at a little shop by the pub for some crisps. There's nothing like walking by yourself in a strange city (let along country) with a packet of crisps jammed in your coat pocket.

It's cold as crap here, too. I joked about it at first, that it wasn't much colder than at home, but today I broke out the hat, gloves and scarf around noonish. On top of that, the air is super-dry, which is wreaking havoc on my hair. Everytime I run my hands through it, it crackles from the static and sticks up. Drives me nuts.

All right, on to to the good stuff - the pictures!

...i'm totally going to bed here soon... )
strryeyedgrrl: (Default)
I wish the hotel had better internet service. It was out all last night, so I didn't get any time to put up my photos from bowling and toodling about the city. I'm about to head downstairs to meet my colleagues before traveling to the office, so now it'll have to wait even longer.

In the meantime, I have good news.


That is all.
strryeyedgrrl: (Default)
Hello, friends! This entry begins another entry into my travel bloggings and I apologize in advance for the absolute lack of any pictures taken outside of my hotel room. I haven't gone ANYWHERE today, save for the hotel restaurant for breakfast and then outside for some fresh air. I was mainly holed up in my room today, shaking off the jetlag and doing some work.

I left the States at 10:40pm Saturday night. Ari was very emotional at the airport, but Mommy was all but forgotten when I convinced Ron to give her back her DS for the ride home. Security was quick, being the time of day it was when I arrived, and soon enough I found myself sitting outside the N terminal Burger King with my laptop and a Red Bull. I finished up some work for a presentation I'm giving on Tuesday, then boarded my red-eye flight for Washington, DC.

I arrived into Dulles around 6:45am Eastern time. I didn't sleep much on the flight, just dozed off here and there. I was pretty exhausted once I deboarded, but stayed awake for my entire three hour layover. I met up with one of my colleagues that was on the same flight. Finally boarded the flight to London at 9am Eastern and strapped in for the ride.

The chick in front of me reclined her seat almost all the way as soon as we were in the air. I had to ask her to move it up when breakfast was served - and then she dumped it back in my face before they'd even come back to collect our trays. Ugh. I started and finished the new Sophie Kinsella book, "Remember Me," on the flight and watched some movie, "Love Happens," which made me think my sleep-addled brain that Aaron Eckhart is kind of good-looking when half his face isn't burnt to shreds.

The flight arrived into Heathrow around 10:30pm London time - 2:30pm on Sunday for you folks back home. I met up with both colleagues that were on the same plane while we were in the customs line. Customs was a breeze, baggage claim was not. One of Ross's checked bags didn't make it here from DC, so we waited around while he made a claim with United. After awhile, Duane and I decided it was a good idea if I went out to meet our driver so that he didn't leave without us. I did that and also converted some dollars to pounds - $200USD became $115GBP. Sadness. As Ross quipped, it was like going to Vegas and leaving with less than you came in with.

At the car, I made my first faux pas of the trip - I tried to get in the driver's side door. Oops. Force of habit, I suppose. It's even funnier when you consider that I don't drive at all.

We were to the hotel by around midnight or 12:30am. Thus began the snafus. First, my card decided to stop working. I think I may have forgotten to call my bank to let them know I was traveling - I used the card once at the airport to get out some cash in case the currency exchange booth was closed by the time Ross got his luggage issue sorted out. I need to remember to call them tonight. Thankfully, my hotel was already paid in full, so the card was only being used for any incidentals. I actually prefer to pay for those things in cash, thank you very much.

I got to my room on the seventh floor and started to unpack. I figured I'd plug in my laptop to charge and was in the process of doing this when I noticed two things. One, the desk chair was broken. Two, my laptop was NOT charging. I took off down to the front desk and explained these things. The gentleman there offered to either move my room or have someone come up in the morning. I chose to move rooms. I headed back up to my old room, packed up what I'd brought out and then headed over to my new room. I immediately plugged in my laptop. No dice.

This time, I headed down to the front desk with my laptop power cord to see if they thought there were any problems with it. There shouldn't be, since there's a US outlet on the wall and the AC adapter works for 100-240 volts. The gentleman said that he would send someone up to take a look at the outlet. Turns out, the switch for the power supply was turned off at the breaker box. One flip and I was back in business.

After some phone calls home via Skype, including a video chat with my mother on the new webcam that she bought me for the trip, I collapsed into bed around 3am. I barely woke up in time for breakfast this morning - unshowered and a bit unkempt, I made my way downstairs around 10am. Breakfast was filling and the coffee was super strong, so I woke up pretty fast. Then it was back upstairs for work - which was not without complications. My internet connection had become wonky overnight, logging me off every five to ten minutes. Finally, it just stopped altogether and told me that my access code was invalid. That was the second time in one day, so I had to call the front desk again for a new one.

So, there's your boring recap of my day. I'm sitting here, showered and ready to go, in my hotel room. I'm meeting some of my colleagues in the hotel lobby at 6:30 to head out for dinner and bowling. Then, back here for sleep - tomorrow starts at 7am!

Onto the pictures already?

...i know this is all you came here for... )
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