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People & Places

As I walked along the San Francisco wharf tonight, I thought of all the people interactions I've had this month in several places.  Some have been direct conversations, while others I've just been in the vicinity of humanity and done my best to treat the experience as entertainment.  There have been some great moments the past three weeks, but I am looking forward to a week without airports and hotels.  A week of home and routine.  

The interactions began with a quick trip to Southern California.  My coworker has Delta status, so we spent time in the Sky Club with the privileged.  The airports were packed with college students wrapping up their holidays, business travel, and delayed passengers due to the 1st polar vortex that had swept across the midwest.  I sat with a group heading to New Zealand for a family reunion.  The two grade-school kids were flying for their 1st time and so excited. It was fun to experience the flight listening to their chatter. 

Dinner was at an Indian restaurant which lived up to its Yelp ratings for food and the storytelling manager Robby.  After a day of customer meetings, we were back to the airport.  Since Sundance was only a week out, we kept our eyes peeled for celebrities but didn't recognize anyone.  I did talk to a Mormon missionary returning from Siberia as we boarded and sat next to a couple returning from their 2nd home in Fiji.  We were all headed from 70F to a Utah snowstorm and only the missionary was prepared.
Mormon Missionary bringing some of Siberia home with him

A weekend at home with fresh snow meant long ski days.  People interactions are in abundance in the parking lots, lift lines and on the slopes.  We did our best to look at the entertainment factor and stay patient as both tourists and locals were testing our limits.  It paid off on Sunday, when the wind calmed enough for the lifts to run.  We were rewarded with face shots and our best afternoon of skiing this season!
Grabbed a couple runs during lunch on Friday with co-workers!
Moose Interaction on the way to ski area on Saturday
Human interaction at ski area
Corrie taking the face shots home as souvenirs!

Monday morning it was back to the airport with a direct flight to Cincinnati.  I worked on the plane so missed out on some prime interactions, but had my fill over the next week.  I ran a workshop at a customer site for 2 days, which also included team meals, logistics, and overall cat herding.  There were 12 of us and 6 of them, so multiple levels of interactions and relationships to manage not to mention the technical project details.

By Thursday morning, I was drained but excited for the next customer meeting in Nashville.  We chose to drive from Cincinnati, which would have been great if any of us were paying attention and didn't catch the detour to Knoxville.  After 6 hours in the car, we did a quick clothes change and were off to the meeting.  By the time we finished dinner, we could only focus on getting some sleep before our 7am flights.
Cincinnati Hotel View - Sunrise over the Ohio River
Nashville Dinner - beet risotto vegan plate - thanks to a creative kitchen!

I worked again on the plane but took some time to interact with my seat mate about his recent move from San Diego to Utah, skiing, and our careers in software.  Although my parents had arrived Monday while I was in Ohio and been living in our basement, I had forgotten about Sundance.  That is, until I landed in the SLC airport and was surrounded by drivers, visitors, volunteers, and industry people.  This time, there wasn't a snowstorm, but instead the inversion.  I was happy to see blue skies once I got into the mountains.

I grabbed my yoga gear and headed into town for a workout and work meetings.  The Sundance scene was crazier than ever and after circling a few times, found a place to park at the gym.  The crowds were definitely entertaining from our office windows, but walking thru the cigarette smoke and idling SUVs was not.  The PIB (People in Black) had taken over and I wasn't ready for the battle, so headed home to see Terry and my parents.

Saturday, we were back at the ski area to meet up with friends and watch the Slopestyle competition.    The traffic into town was insane and thankfully we knew a few local shortcuts.  The perfect storm had hit, and it wasn't the polar vertex we hoped for.  We had blue skies, warm temps, pre-Olympic competitions, OR Show, Sundance, and MLK holiday all in one.  We knew that we either had to stay parked all day or go home and likely not come back for the Halfpipe competition and concert.
Halfpipe ready for action
Slopestyle finish

We chose to leave early as the crowds kept getting larger and larger.  We had a negative interaction in the parking lot and were convinced not to come back.  We stopped at my parent's theater to see how their 1st day of volunteer work was going then headed home.  We were back Sunday but the traffic was better and the slopes were empty so we had an enjoyable morning.  Sunday evening, we were all at the house, watching football and getting ready for another week of my absence.

I worked at home Monday before flying to San Francisco.  The airport was full of skiers finished with their 3 day weekend and lots of Sundancers.  The flight was buzzing like a standby line with talk of film ratings, celebrity sightings, and outfits.  We landed at midnight and endured a talkative driver who supposedly is from Peru, has a gambling problem, performed in Las Vegas, and just turned 72.

I still have 2 1/2 days of travel, work, and people interactions.  It should be relatively low key, but you never know what will happen with a company party and several meetings on the agenda.  Then back home Friday afternoon in time for another weekend of skiing and Sundance.  By Sunday evening, the crowds will be gone, I won't be checking in for a Monday flight, and we'll have a relatively quiet week at home.

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