Sunday, June 18, 2006

All in a day's work!

Yesterday I set out on my first international trip in what seems like forever, but it hasn’t been much more than six years. I’m not sure how to describe the feelings I had about this trip. The first thoughts of traveling again were thoughts of apprehension, but that moved quickly to excitement about seeing a new place for the first time, and then the reality started to set in and I found my outlook changing. The change was subtle. It was a feeling of disdain for work, this thing that would temporarily remove me from the life that I love so very much. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I actually hate my job or that I don’t want to travel. I don’t hate the job, but I think there are other things I could do that would be more fulfilling. If I have to travel I’d rather travel on my terms with Kate and Tucker instead of business travel. Business travel seems great if you aren't the one leaving, but if you're the one going, it's just working while you're away. If you are lucky, you might get a break to take in the local charm. Since March of this year I’ve had to travel three times for work and none of these trips included my preferred travel companions.

I left Raleigh Saturday at 1 o’clock pm bound for JFK. I don’t know why I had such grandiose expectations of JFK but my expectations were not met, the design was poor, the people were not friendly, the construction was a nuisance, and the smell…not even sure how to describe it, other than saying yuck with a very large “Y”. So, on with the trip! I followed the signs to Terminal 8 and found myself going through the security again to get to my connecting gate. Thankfully the flight from JFK to Zurich was uneventful and I was able to get about 3 hours of sleep. Do you think that would counter the jet lag? If you say yes, you’re so wrong. After reaching my hotel, I checked in and basically passed out on the bed from 10 o’clock am until just after 1 o’clock pm. It was then, just after waking up, that my day got better. The phone was ringing and it was Kate! We chatted for a little bit about nothing in particular. We spoke of the weather, the jet-lag, how much I wished it was Friday, and Tucker (he was being cute laying on his back in our driveway). The call was enough to get me out of bed and into the shower (as Kate suggested). I walked down the street past the round-about to a small pub and had some lunch. The weather was unseasonably hot today, the sun was shining brightly, and the temperature was about 33 degrees Celsius.

Apparently the good people of Zurich had a dismal winter and spring. The hotel bus driver mentioned that up until Friday he had not seen the sun but a few times since September. I was heading out to explore downtown Zurich. The taxi ride into downtown was pretty short, just about 15 minutes. The lake is very scenic, much like the mountain lakes of the United States except this lake was very crowded with young people, and boats today. I assume that part of the reason for the crowds was due to the Inline Skating race that was taking place in the streets of downtown Zurich. After walking a few miles, taking some pictures, and catching a glimpse of the race, (pictures will come later since I forgot to bring the cable) I hailed a taxi to take me back to the Intercontinental. I wish I would have been able to make it to Bern to see the finish of the Tour de Suisse, but it was not in the cards. So a bit of World Cup football on the television, dinner, and that is my trip so far. More to come in a couple of days!

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