Summer 2012 Vacation Highlights and Links

Joey has finished posting all of the photos from our vacation this summer.  We drove about 5000 miles, through eight states, and visited four National Parks.

Check out the map below for details of our drive:

View National Parks Trip – Summer 2012 in a larger map

Pictures are worth a thousand words, so here are some of my favorite photos from the trip.  Below you can find the links to all of the photos, which, if you know Joey, you know there are lots of pictures!

Joey and friend in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Laura and me at Grand Teton National Park

Joey, me, Laura, and Jason in front of Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

“Dancers” at Beauty Pool in Yellowstone National Park

Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park

Zion National Park

McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis, Texas

Visit with Monica and Sean Foley in Golden, CO

Jackson, Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park

Yellowstone National Park: Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin

Yellowstone National Park: Yellowstone Lake and Hayden Valley

Yellowstone National Park: Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Fall

Yellowstone National Park: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Glacier National Park

Zion National Park

Davis Mountains State Park and McDonald Observatory

Lazy Saturday Morning

Downtown Wilmington Farmer's Market
Today I am off to Munich, Germany for work with two of my colleagues. Next week we will be showing off the new database for the first time to end-users who have not been involved in the design of the system. I really hope they like it!

Since I had to be in Wilmington for SME Week, it was cheaper and less crazy to simply stay over in Wilmington on Friday night and travel with Aaron and Albert from Wilmington to Munich, rather than try to go back to Austin for 24 hours.

The World According to Girls
I am very pleased with my decision to schedule my travel this way. It meant I got to have a lazy Saturday morning before my flight. I slept late, I arranged for a late check-out, and then walked around downtown Wilmington. I stopped by the Farmer’s Market, and then had brunch at Press 102, a newer restaurant that I had been wanting to try. I had Eggs San Franciscan, like Eggs Benedict, but with salmon instead of ham. The food was great, I will definitely go back. The bathroom had a funny poster labeled, “The world according to girls”, I took a picture so you can enjoy it too.

I chatted with my mom, and the got myself packed up and checked out of the hotel. I am now in the airport waiting for the first leg of my flight to board. See you on the flip side!

SME Week

LisaDiane at Britts Donut Shop at Carolina Beach
My project at work has really picked up. We are working on figuring out what topics people will need to be trained on related to the new database that is being built. My team spent the week in Wilmington, NC, meeting with Subject Matter Experts. We had back to back meetings all week (organized beautifully by my team member, Jessica). We began calling it “SME Week”.

PPD building from the Wilmington Convention Center
We made a lot of progress, but all the work this week highlighted how much more there is to do between now and our go-live date, which will be toward the end of the year.

New board walk near Wilmington Convention Center
I did manage to have some fun while I was in Wilmington, though. Dinner with my team, and time with friends. We even made it down to Carolina Beach one evening. Amy insisted that we go to Britt’s Donuts, and as she promised, the donuts were delicious!

St. Patrick’s Day in Wilmington

Harp on St. Patrick's Day
Julie invited me to join her and her husband at their favorite Irish Pub, Harp, for St. Patrick’s Day. It did not take much convincing, and shortly after work, we were standing outside the pub watching people play the bagpipes.

LisaDiane with the TARDIS

As we approached the pub, I noticed that Dr. Who had also traveled to Wilmington for St. Patrick’s Day, as the TARDIS was parked outside the pub. I got a kick out of hearing people walking by asking, “What is a Police Public Call Box?” I never spotted The Doctor, but I am sure he was there somewhere.

We drank green beer, and ate bangers and mash. We hung out with some other friends from work, and generally had a great time.

The McClures

Wilmington Walk

Wilmington Walk - Cape Fear RiverWhenever I am in Wilmington, NC, and the weather is nice, I like to walk down the boardwalk that runs along the Cape Fear River.  It was quite warm, and the first spring flowers have started to bloom.  The night blooming jasmine in one garden I passed was just opening up, and it smelled fantastic. As you can see, I was inspired to take out my camera and snap a few pictures of things I saw on my walk.
Wilmington Walk - Moon over Water Street
Wilmington Walk - Rose

Arriving in North Carolina

I traveled to North Carolina from Baltimore today. I landed in Research Triangle Park, or RTP to those of us who frequent the area, which is between Raleigh and Durham, NC, at around noon. I met up with some colleagues from the RTP office and we went to Neomonde Baking Company Cafe for lunch. Neomonde’s is a favorite stop of mine. I really love middle eastern food, and these folks know how to do it right. After a yummy lunch, I spent a few hours working in the RTP office, and then drove down to Wilmington.

Amy with her new dining table

My friend and colleague, Amy, had told me that, of the nights I will be in town, tonight is the one that she is available.  Amy just got a new place overlooking the Cape Fear River, and we agreed to meet there.  We spent some time catching up, and I helped her put together her new dining table.  Following crazy, unclear directions in order to assemble furniture really worked up our appetite for some dinner!  We drove down to Kure Beach and had all we could eat shrimp.  It was a well deserved feast.

Shopping with Mom and Laura

My dad had surgery on his back yesterday. My sister, Laura, and I came up to Maryland to be with my mom and dad for a few days. The surgery went very well, and Dad is resting and recovering. After visiting with Dad today, Mom, Laura and I went over to the mall and went shopping.

Laura trying on a gown

Laura tried on some fancy gowns. She found a beautiful gown that looked amazing on her. Hopefully some wonderful patron will read this post and donate the money necessary to make the purchase. We left the gown on the rack, but I did get a picture.

We shopped for a purse for mom, and pants for me. Both of those goals were a bust. Mom is still searching for the perfect bag: not too big, not to small, a strap long enough to put over her shoulder, classic but fun design. She found two she liked, one was Burberry, and the other was Jimmy Choo. So she has great taste, but the amount of money they were asking was crazy talk, and just not something any of us could get behind!

Mom after a long afternoon of shopping

I am looking for taupe, tan, or camel dress pants that are not stretch, and are lined. I think I must be looking for the unicorn of pants. It seems that no one makes lined pants any more. I just don’t know what this world is coming to if I can’t find lined pants at Nordstrom’s! The sales lady said that the lining was originally part of pant construction to “hide the flaws”. I am thinking, “don’t we still have flaws to hide?”. But she clarified that it was to hide the flaws in manufacturing, and now that the computer controlled machines are so much more accurate, there is no need for the lining any more. I beg to differ! I will be looking at Macy’s when I get to North Carolina, where the Southpoint Macy’s has never failed me on the business clothing front.


View from 31st floor of Sheraton Dallas
I dashed off to Dallas on Friday for the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) Annual Conference, where I gave a presentation on Audit Readiness. The conference was really great, with many good speakers and interesting topics. I got to stay at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, and had a room on the thirty-first floor!

An added benefit of the trip to Dallas was getting to hang out with Laura and Jason the day after their return from Amsterdam. I drove up to Denton to see them. Naturally I asked to go to Sweetwater for ceviche, and Beth Marie’s for ice cream. Reading that sentence, it dawns on me that beer, seafood, and ice cream sound like a terrible combination, but it is what I have whenever I go to Denton!  Beth Marie’s actually had Courthouse Pecan, which is my favorite of their ice creams.  They had been out of it my last couple of trips to Denton, so I was extremely pleased to get some!

I made it back to Austin in time for the All Saints’ Twenties and Thirties BBQ at Father Mike’s house. I am happy to say that Joey and I both plan to be in Austin through the end of 2010!

Home again

Joey and I made it back to Austin late on 22 September.  We had a fabulous trip to The Netherlands and Germany. You can check out some of the early pictures in Joey’s Flickr photostream. He has not yet posted the second half of the trip.  Once everything is up, I will post my favorites here on Etherlimits.

Thank you to everyone who helped us out while we were out of the country!  Katy and Elanor appreciate all the people who looked after them, and send wags and kisses.

More pictures from NY Trip – July 2010

5th and BroadwayJoey got all of his pictures from our trip to New York and Tanglewood uploaded to Flickr.

Lisa has also added more pictures to her NYC Staycation 2010 photo set on Flickr. Lisa’s pictures include some great photos of Laura singing at Tanglewood.