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The 4th in Philly

In what’s becoming an annual tradition, we spent the 4th of July in Philadelphia. This was little Adam’s second visit to Philadelphia, but the first time traveling there with our au pair, and of course his first 4th of July!

The trip out was a bit exhausting. We decided to take an overnight flight, thinking Adam would sleep through it like he has in the past. Alas, our almost 6 month old was no newborn, and the excitement of the airport and flight meant that he was awake during a good chunk of the flight. We’ll be adjusting future trips accordingly, only daytime flights from now on!

We spent nearly two weeks there visiting with family and friends, enjoying thunderstorms, and eating far too many desserts. I blame breastfeeding on my new insatiable sweet tooth, but Philadelphia rose to the challenge, between diners with full dessert cases and traditional bakeries our home was full of desserts the whole visit.

The trip began with the realization that little Adam’s bedroom is the sunniest room of the house. We didn’t notice during our visit in March, but with the sun coming up around 5:30AM in July, we were the proud parents of a baby who decided that he’d wake up at 5:30AM. Not only was that far too early, but it was the opposite direction of jet lag, and made for a particularly fussy first day. Cue emergency curtain shopping. I hit Amazon to grab the same blackout curtains I use in my home office in California, and MJ ran out to the hardware store to buy some tension rods until we could get around to properly install the curtains at a later date. Thankfully, that solved the problem!

The first week we were there I also got settled in to my work routine, which I discovered is easier on the east coast. I live on the western edge of where our team sits timezone-wise, so being on the east coast allowed me to have earlier meetings with my European team mates and no trouble joining calls that would otherwise land at 6AM California time. On July 3rd I went down to University City in Philadelphia to give my first presentation representing my new role as a Developer Advocate at IBM. I was joined by a colleague who made the trek down from New York and could answer questions I couldn’t about my topic of “Linux on Mainframes: Past, Present and Future”. Being an east coast audience, there were actually people there who had worked on mainframes and who had great questions about the state of Linux on them today. It was also a fun talk to prepare for and deliver. The intersection of history and computing is my sweet spot, and the open-source-before-it-had-a-name details I was able to dig up is fascinating stuff. Slides here: Linux_on_Mainframes-PLUG-July_2019.pdf (2.1M). I also made a visit up to the Poughkeepsie office for work during this trip, but I’ll be writing about that later.

Thanks to @LRW3bb for taking a photo during my presentation! (source)

We spent the 4th of July out to dinner with the family. The next day I had off from work and had the delightful chore of taking the car into the shop for it’s annual tune-up. That afternoon I took Adam to Build-A-Bear to get him a couple bears to celebrate turning 6 months old (as if I needed an excuse).

Over the weekend we took a drive over the river to New Jersey to meet up with our friends Mike, Jess and their kiddos. We had a great lunch together and then stroll around the mall as we waited for the thunderstorms to relax some so we wouldn’t get soaked on the walk to the car. Dinners are trickier now though, we traditionally would have dinner out with our friends Tim and Colleen while in town, but Adam’s 7:30PM bed time precludes us from doing that now unless we have his grandparents over to baby sit. So we just changed our plans some, Tim and Colleen came over to our house and joined us for a pizza night one night just as Adam was getting ready to go to sleep. The following week my friend Crissi came over for a few hours in the evening, during which we enjoyed some delivered food and then she helped me with my measurements and on dress suggestions so I could custom order some new clothes. I can’t begin to say how grateful I was for this visit from her, I hadn’t been feeling great about myself since the pregnancy, but being able to order some dresses that actually fit me and are flattering to my new shape is a huge help.

Our trip concluded by re-packing up to head to Florida to attend the wedding of one of MJ’s cousins. It was a bit of a stressful transition, I had packed for the Florida trip 2 weeks earlier when we left California, but I missed a few things and we had to scramble a bit to get everything we needed. Still, I think going to Florida directly from Philadelphia instead of coming back to California was the right move.

Our next family trip back east will likely be at the end of September, and attached to another wedding! This time for one of my cousins in upstate New York. But for now I’m enjoying not having to pack up the kiddo into an airplane for the next couple months.