Friday, August 29, 2014

Mission Complete - MGT 512 at Va Beach - Terrapin

What a class this was! There were some VERY smart people in MGT 512 this week. I was very thankful to be co-teaching with Richard Porter, his knowledge complimented mine and together I think we brought enough expertise to the table to satisfy the class.

Tomorrow we head back to Seattle. It is a brutal set of flights, three different hops to get home. Oh well, one hop at a time I guess.

Tonight we went to Terrapin Restaurant. We went there the last time we were in VA Beach, it is pretty well run and on the high end, a good place to celebrate the end of a strenuous conference. Kathy and I shared the small Charcuterie which we enjoyed. Kathy had the Scallops, I had the Softshell crab. Our server, Michael, was wonderful, Kathy enjoyed her food and my food was OK, not great.

So, we headed back to the hotel and packed up. I will send this post and then shut down my laptop and hopefully fall asleep. Glad to put this one behind me.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nick's for brunch, family and Isle of Capri

The calm before the storm!

I started Saturday morning wrapping up my analyst paper and commenting on future, (possible) papers. Then I graded a couple graduate student papers and got a cup of coffee from the Hilton lounge. By 11 AM I realized just how hungry I was. There is a local dive, Nick's, that Randy Marchany introduced us to a couple years ago. I love how "real" the place is.

Kathy had the crab omelet and I had the crab cake eggs Benedict. Good fun. Soon we hope to see our family, they are coming in by train. Yup they made it. It is an odd train, that includes a bus. They got dropped off about a mile from the hotel and they chose to walk.

Saturday night we had a reservation at the Isle of Capri for the whole tribe. I can't speak for anyone else, but for me it was a good time. Love the tableside salad preparation.

We woke up on Sunday morning and began the classic family text-a-thon before meeting for breakfast. The kids were really good. The ocean is a bit kicked up, so the kids hit the pool, Hunter went body surfing, he has experienced shore breaks before, but still got pile driven once.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Red eye flight to Virginia Beach

We started to fly on Thursday from SEATAC. I was issued TSA Pre, but Kathy was not, so I went through the line with her. Screening was not too bad. We got to the gate early, but the plane, UA1167 was late. I got a chili at Pisa Cafe near gate A9. Our table was located so I could see the jet bridge so I would know when our flight got there and the chili was pretty good.

A lot of people were stressed about their connections, but we had a two hour layover so we stopped for breakfast at ORD; we had gate F4B. Truth is, I prefer the MacDonalds, (love the Egg White Delight), but Kathy wanted a sit down restaurant and that is certainly fair, so we opted for Chili's. I had the classic breakfast, it was OK, but Kathy had their South West Omelet. That is tasty! Kathy could not finish her breakfast, so I was honored to help. That flight, UA4456, was also late, but we were not in a hurry. We both slept. Redeye flights are getting harder and harder on me.

We landed at the Norfolk/VA Beach airport. I have never been there before. It seems really peaceful and there look like some interesting places to eat, but some of them are before security. I am always a bit tense until I clear TSA. We had not arranged a car, so we took a taxi to the hotel. I do not prefer taxis, too many times, I have been some rickety vehicle, being driven too fast and aggressively. However, this driver was a lady from Ethiopia who drove carefully and was pleasant to speak with.

When we got to the Hilton, there was a tiny amount of confusion, we are checking in on Friday, but we have some other rooms reserved for family on Saturday. However, Landon was on the case. We were given a lovely ocean view corner room. The guy that helped us from the bell desk, Ibrahim, shared a bit of local lore.

I wanted to get a late lunch. There is a bit of a hole in the wall on 23rd Street that has great fish tacos, so we went there. It is called Baja Cantina. They give you three types of hot sauce and they are all quite respectable and I believe they are housemade. It was a lovely experience and they were able to accommodate Kathy with gluten free taco shells. A lot of their food is fried, but we were able to order grilled fish. It is a blast pouring a bit of the hot sauce onto the taco and eating it, but I also enjoyed them as is. We were about to sit out with the outdoor tables, it is a very hazy, humid day for Virginia Beach with the occasional drop of rain. I have been here when the sun is so bright you cannot comfortable touch the table.

We decided to return to the hotel along the VA Beach path. They are having an African American festival centered around 23rd street. Great music, a bit loud, but awesome. What I liked the best were these posters in frames with stories about important people and events in the history of our African American brothers and sisters. We stopped at every one and read it. I hope their festival goes well, they may be dealing with some rain and possibly even a thunderstorm.

There are three keys to getting back into performance shape after a red-eye flight that I have learned in my two millions miles of flying. First, it is OK to take a nap, but don't take a long one since you have to get into your new time zone and that means falling asleep at the proper time for that time zone. That rule does not apply to Kathy, she can nap, jump up and shoot some photos, come back to bed and crash and get up in the new time zone. Second, open every blind and curtain possible; thank you Hilton, (and SANS), for the corner room; this way the natural light will hit us in the morning. Third set at least one, and perhaps two or three alarms for the time you will need to be up when you are working. For me, that is 6:30 AM the first day, but after that it can be 7:30 AM.

For supper, I wandered up to North End Pizza and got a Greek salad for Kathy and I to share. I love that place, but it is best to call ahead. Their Greek salad dressing is among the best I have ever tasted. Kathy is out shooting the evening talk and then we are off duty.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Alan Yorke Parke and Urban Timber Coffee

We ended up with some flavor of the flu, thankfully very mild, on Monday. Tuesday, I had an evening meeting scheduled with the author of a Cyberwarfare book and his father. I wrote him and said don't do it, you do not not want what I have. However, we both recovered pretty quickly, enough that we decided to get a bit of sun at Alan York Park.

We filled a water bottle and grabbed our folding chairs and found a spot in the sun. If you have never visited the park, it is unique. It is a public boat landing and the park is a grassy area with a beach volleyball area. We set our chairs down. Mostly, it was a younger set and it was funny watching the young men "oggle" Kathy in her bikini. I grew up in Hawaii and spend a lot of time there, I guess they are bikini deprived in Washington state, but it was nice to see they appreciate Kathy.

I wanted something to eat and even though I had an awesome piece of ahi in the fridge, just did not want to cook. We decided to visit Urban Timber, they have a pub type menu, which is not my favorite. When we were first coming in I saw a group of eight men going in and started thinking about a plan B, once a large group starts drinking alcohol they can get pretty loud. However, we both noticed they were carrying bibles; how cool is that, they were meeting for a bible study.

 Kathy found a salad, "The Pike" and she enjoyed that. I tried the "Pulled Pork" appetizer as a main. Both were fine. I asked for a recommendation for wine from the bar tender/barrista who didn't know about their wine list. So, one of the servers came over and recommended the Kestrel Lady in Red, a Washington state red wine blend. Maybe we got a bad batch, but it just was not drinkable.

Not sure if Urban Timber is going to survive. This is my second time there and there were not many people in the place either time. The demographic is interesting though. Besides the group of men at the bible study, there was also a group of eight ladies, can't be certain, but they pattern matched for local politics.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Friends, weather, VA Beach

Church today was amazing. Normally when I hear the pastor is not there, I am tempted to leave, escape, run away, but Pete was super prepared. As someone that presents for a living, I know the type of preparation that had to go into that. Wow.

Another gorgeous day in the Pacific Northwest. We head up to Enumclaw in a couple hours to spend some time with friends who are in our small group.

A couple of the nights have been cool, but we were given a princely gift by Roy and his wife, a Brookstone "Nap" bathrobe. I would have never purchased such a thing, I have a cotton bathrobe from Wal-Mart, but this is incredible. Sure helps me enjoy the cool nights.

Feeling that crushing pressure before travel. I am excited about teaching MGT 512 in VA Beach with David Hoelzer, honestly expect we will rock the house. Even cooler, we should be able to spend some time with family. But not excited about travel, seems like a challenging flight.