Lisbon recap!

It’s been a week since I got home so I’d better post about my trip before I forget everything!

I left on Tuesday, and flew the long leg with Deborah and Erica, which was nice, since I had a five hour layover at Newark. We spent that time doing our nails and I got my boots shined and okay this part isn’t exciting.

Actually, shiny boots are kind of exciting.

We got to Lisbon Wednesday morning and got a tiny coffee and my first pastel de nata at the airport. Got to the airbnb, but the owner was running late meeting us so we stocked up on groceries in the store below our apartment (very handy, that!) Once we were in and settled, we…well, I don’t remember. Took a nap, I think. I was exhausted. Mahangu arrived and we went to walk around and get some dinner.

We walked down to the Time Out market, where I had another pastel de nata (this one warm from the oven and even tastier than the airport Starbucks one. Go figure.) We noticed flocks of Uber Scooters around, so Beckett, Mahangu, and I hopped on them while Erica decided it was best not to. We found a flat plaza and rode around and around and around.

Then dinner up a hill. It was yummy. There was ham and cheese and various other good food.

The next day was my birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!

We went to the bigger grocery store to get more provisions, and ended up having a very unsatisfying breakfast there. But we did get me a candy birthday cake! And we got followed around the store by security people. Turns out you’re not supposed to take photos in grocery stores. Weird. And then outside the grocery store was a pretty yellow tiled wall, so I made Mahangu take pictures of us all.

Back to the apartment where we got some work done. We were going to have lunch but then we decided to wait for Karen, who was arriving that afternoon. And by the time she got there we just waited for dinner. But that was fine because we had lots of ham and cheese and other delicious snacks to eat.

We had a call early in the evening with some other colleagues around the world, and then it was time to eat again!

Dinner was at a lovely restaurant on top of a hill. We had to climb a lot of stairs to get to it. We dined on delicious Mozambiquan-Portuguese food. Happy birthday was sung to me in Portuguese. We walked around some more after dinner.

Friday was a work day – we left to get lunch at the Time Out market. I had a prego steak sandwich. So yum. Later, Erica and Mahangu and I went to the Benfica game! It was pretty cool, even though I knew the boys weren’t exactly happy with me for going to a professional game without them. I did bring them presents back, at least. Benfica won, thank goodness, but it was close. After the game we got these amazing pork sandwiches (bifana) and Erica and I split the most amazing waffle with Nutella on it.

Saturday we worked. And walked around some more between working. I found my favorite book in Portuguese at a book market and of course bought it. We also found a fabric store (shocking) where I…bought fabric.

After that we went up to this elevator that basically just goes up a hill. The line was too long to wait, but someone told us about a free elevator we could use that didn’t have a line. No brainer! The views were beautiful. Didn’t hurt that it was a gorgeous, sunny day.

We ordered in for dinner that night. And Erica and I finished a puzzle Beckett brought.

Sunday we worked some more, and in the afternoon, Beckett and Mahangu and I went to a different part of the city where he was meeting up with someone. Beckett and I went on this little gondola thing and then over to a mall that was like Black Friday packed. It was nuts. But it had a ginormous grocery store in it as well, and I do love a grocery store. Picked up some souvenirs to bring home (but didn’t take pictures, of course.)

Beckett on the gondola. So pretty!

Monday we decided to bring our work on the road. We took a train to Sintra, which is west of Lisbon. There’s a palace (Pena Palace). We had a driver bring us around, which was a great idea since it was cold and VERY STEEP. After the palace, we had lunch and the driver gave me a birthday present! (I mean, like I didn’t tell him my birthday was a few days prior? Do you even know me?)

After working for a little while at a coworking spot, the driver took us on a very winding and nauseating ride out to the coast, where you can stand on the westernmost spot of Europe. It was cold and windy, but beautiful!

We headed back to our apartment after that and got all packed up. Karen and Beckett and I had 5:20am flights, which was horrible. I slept for about an hour and a half, and then traveled for 24 hours and then made it home. Hooray!

Got a frankfurter in the Frankfurt airport.

It was a great, productive trip. Lisbon is beautiful! But thank goodness I practiced for the hills by power walking at Orangetheory. Those hills are no joke!

Austin in April

I got back the other day from a week-long work trip to Austin with one of the two teams I work on. It was a great week of bonding (we have a lot of new Automatticians on the team that I hadn’t met yet) and eating. I have decided that if it came down to food, I’d much rather live in Austin than New Orleans.

The food:

The work:

The fun:

Go team! (Thank you selfie stick)

Two teams!
The grackle. Our meetup mascot.

More NYC pics

Want to post these before too much time passes.

Lots of pictures from places we worked, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, a visit to the 9/11 memorial, and lots of group pics because because. Also Daryl.

2 years at Automattic!

Okay, I know I posted back in September that I’d been here for two years, but that was counting my trial. Today was the day I started as a full-time Happiness Engineer in 2013. It’s been an amazing time, with so many fantastic memories! Here are a few…

Yeah, that’s a lot of memories for two years. Can’t wait to make so many more! (And yes, we’re hiring.)

Getting into the habit

Well, I can’t very well give a talk on Making Blogging a Habit and then just not blog, can I?

I should talk about my trip to Dayton. It was nice. The flight there was uneventful, as was the flight back, which nowadays is a pleasant surprise instead of, you know, just the way things should be.

The hotel I was staying in was attached to the convention center, so I didn’t see too much of Dayton, but dinner Saturday night was at an Irish pub in an interesting district not far from downtown.

I have to be honest, didn’t expect there to be a red light district (really red light 1/8 of a block) in Dayton, Ohio, but there you go.

I’m kind of skipping around here. Friday night was a speaker’s dinner, which was nice. I met some great people in the WordPress community, had a delicious meal, and got to see some of my coworkers.

A lot of people seemed puzzled by why I went all the way to Dayton for a WordCamp, when they happen all over the place. Well, there’s not one in Louisiana. In fact, guess who will probably be helping to organize one, one day? You’re looking at her. Dayton was a perfect first WordCamp for me. It wasn’t too big, so I didn’t feel too nervous about speaking.

(That’s a total lie, of course. I was petrified. I had assumed maybe 10 people would come to my talk, but it was more like 25, which filled up the small room.)

In the end, my talk went well, I got lots of great feedback from people, and someone even QUOTED ME in a TWEET during my talk! That was pretty amazing, I have to say.

Love that! I’m going to frame it.

Now I’m excited about the next one. Speaking, attending, organizing, whatever!

Barcelona, the last day

All too soon it was Saturday, our last full day in Barcelona. But as I mentioned before, we stayed up very late the night before (BECAUSE IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY) playing Cards Against Humanity and turning our teeth purple with wine.

There was so much I still wanted to see, but I also knew I needed sleep, so when Beckett woke me up at almost noon, I can’t say I was too upset. And being the take-charge gal she is, she ordered me out of bed so we could go see the city!

Before too long, we’d made our way to Han, the apartment everyone congregated at, and picked up Sandy, and the three of us spent the day exploring the city.

First up, Park Guell. We grabbed a cappuccino from a cafe and hopped on the Metro to the station that looked closest to the park. Once we got there, we were a bit ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ so we grabbed a taxi, which took us up….and up….and up. Really glad we decided not to walk at this point.

Once at the park, we just wandered around and took in the views. Stunning.

SOMEONE (okay, it was me) got us lost in our park wanderings and we ended up outside of it, but we were all hungry (not having eaten anything yet) so we went with it and ended up in a very hilly neighborhood.

We tried to find somewhere to eat, but ended up getting a taxi to the Gothic Quarter instead. We were starving by then, so we went into the first restaurant we saw and basically ordered everything on the menu. So yum.

So. much. food.
So. much. food.

We spied a very cultural museum across the way, so decided to check it out.

After that, we wandered the narrow streets and passageways of the Barri Gòtic and did a bit of shopping. I was so glad we got to explore this area.

And then Sandy mentioned he hadn’t seen the Mediterranean yet, so we hopped on the Metro and went to the sea!

The rest of the evening was spent losing Beckett’s phone in a taxi, finding my traditional city Starbucks mug souvenir, and having a last dinner with our team. And packing.

And that is the end of the fun part of my trip to Barcelona. Getting home will be another (not terribly exciting but must be recorded for posterity) post…


Birthday run

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!!!! (Did I not tell everyone on Earth yet?!? Just making sure.)

I may have mentioned that I’m in Barcelona, so my coworker Deborah and I went on a run early this morning. I like to run on my birthday, it makes me feel virtuous. Like, a good way to start the next year of my life.

We left the apartment at 7:45, and we made it to the Mediterranean right as the sun was rising. (It rises really late here!) It was just stunning.

Barcelona! (so far)

I’m in Zurich, y’all!

Well, I’ve made it to Europe!

Traveling a long way is kind of surreal, isn’t it? Seems weird that just this morning, I saw the boys off to school, and now I’m in Zurich. Granted, it’s been the longest day of my life (well, close to it) but I haven’t slept since then, so it counts.

So, I won’t bore you with a play by play of my travel thusfar, but just wanted to remember some things.

Once I got to Newark, I had a bunch of time to kill, so I mostly wandered around, trying to get 10,000 steps in while also looking for a charging station. I tell ya, if Newark had fewer payphones and more charging stations, we’d all be better off.

Fortunately, my plane took off without incident and the flight was mostly good. (Well, the landing was the scariest in ever because it was super foggy, the runway was white, and we were in the mountains, so I thought we were still way up in the air when BOOM we landed. It was kind of terrifying.)

I was seated in Economy Plus again (so much legroom!) and despite the fact that I had all of the possible accoutrements to make sleeping possible (fancy pillow, eye mask, headphones, white noise on phone, cozy socks, non-restrictive, comfy clothing, blanket, melatonin) I just couldn’t fall asleep.

So that’s the last time I’m going to try it. Every time I have ever flown to Europe I’ve tried to fall asleep on the flight over (or back) and I have never, ever been able to. Nothing works. So I’m going to stop trying.

Consequently, my eyeballs are very heavy and I am somewhat punchy from exhaustion (I also tried going to bed late Sunday night and waking up early Monday to wear myself out, and those laps of Newark’s terminals were also with that in mind) but at least it’ll be 2 in the afternoon when I get to Barcelona and I’ll be excited to see everyone so hopefully that will help keep me awake until bedtime.

Okay, just a few more pictures…