December 14, 2005
I'm back, I think.

Made it back to the US last night, flying from Frankfurt to Chicago at a pretty good click. I was originally scheduled to leave a day later, but because I'd finished mot of my meeting work and I needed to get back to the states for Janine's Grandmother's funeral (mother's mother), I figured I should try to get back as quickly as possible - even though I didn't have any nws on funeral date or time.

Good thing I flew back early. Just after making it throughsecurity and immigration in Frankfurt, I got a call from Janine. The funeral time was set. 10am the next morning.

So we're leaving in 1 hour to be on the road to Michigan.

Posted by Austin at 01:59 AM
December 11, 2005

I loaded some of the pictures I've taken on to Flickr. I didn't get to take many shots while in Sweden, but yesterday and today have been full of Cologne pictures.


Posted by Austin at 11:15 AM
Spreken ze Einglish?

Saturday in Cologne was nice... except for the whores of people. I don't think I've ever seen so many people packed in to one area, and these weren't that small of spaces. Someone did warn me on Friday that the downtown area was a madhouse on Saturdays, but I had no idea until I experienced it for myself. I'll see if I have any good pictures to load up to Flickr.

Amongst all of the people, I did manage to do a little shopping for the holidays. I didn't hit too many people on the list, but it's enough to make a dent. Not too much longer until presents have to be in the mail. Are you done with your holiday shopping yet?

Since today is a mostly shopping-free day (most stores are closed on Sunday), today is my sight-seeing day. I'm going to go visit the Dom (huge gothic cathedral) and a chocolate museum, and beyond that I'll most likely just wander around the city. I'll definitely load up some pics of the Dom, and then you'll know why I want to go see it.

Posted by Austin at 03:22 AM
December 10, 2005

Sorry for the lack of delays in Blogging. I really have been working a 6am - 12am shift for the past 2 days, so it's nice to be able to have a weekend to relax, sleep in, and tour. Here are the major highlights:

- Sweden customer visit went very well. I don't think they cared what clothes I was wearing. My luggage was waiting for me in my room when I returned from the hotel, everything intact.

- Got to Cologne, Germany on Wednesday just fine (by way of plane and train), and am now staying at a very nice hotel. Been doing a lot of work on Thursday & Friday to cover some asses (not mine), but things look pretty good leading up to a meeting next week where 9 Motorolans will be attending.

- Last night I went to bed at 10am. I woke up this morning at 11am. I have never slept that much, nor as well.

- Haven't done much shopping yet, but today and tomorrow are set for big plans.

- I'm glad I'm not having to deal with 6+ inches of snow, like some Chicagoans I know.

I'll try to get a story or two up here before I leave Cologne on Tuesday. I fly back to the US on Wednesday.

Posted by Austin at 06:41 AM
December 05, 2005
Crap in a hat

So even though there were actually 3 other flights from Brussels to Gothenburg after mine, my luggage still didn't make it here today and is scheduled to be here tomorrow on the first flight of the day... which gets in at 11am. So I'm basically stuck in the same clothes for another 24 hours.

... and let me tell you, they are starting to smell a little ripe. Not the best impression I want to make for a customer visit.

Posted by Austin at 04:45 PM
It's really 12:50pm!

Welcome to Gothenburg, Sweden. Local time is about 12:50pm. Chicago time is 5:50pm. My internal clock is nowhere near either and will probably be out of whack for the next few days. Good thing Europeans drink coffee the same way they chain-smoke!

Overall the travel wasn't that bad. The worst part was the connection in Brussels was a little over 30 minutes; enough for me to make it through immigration and get to the plane, but not enough for my luggage to follow me. The good news is that there are two other flights from Brussels to Gothenburg today, so I'll probably have my luggage by tonight.

The hotel is pretty nice. They have WiFi, they upgraded me to the "Club Level" where I'm on the top (5th) floor, I get a free breakfast, and a slightly larger room. I also get access to a workout room, which I think I'll take advantage of to try and combat jet lag... as soon as my luggage follows me here, anyway.

Definitely more blogging to come. I'm trying to find some neat pictures, but so far there's not too much that's exciting except the soccer stadium. I'll keep my eyes peeled for cool stuff.

Posted by Austin at 05:47 AM
December 04, 2005
Cologne Smells Nice This Time of Year

Here's my basic itinerary for the next week and a half:

Sunday: Fly to Gothenburg, Sweden (via Brissels). Arrive Monday. Battle Jet Lag.
Tuesday: Customer Visit #1. This one may get painful.
Wednesday: Fly back to Brussels, then train it to Cologne, Germany.
Thursday & Friday: Not 100% sure. I may work from the hotel, work at Customer #2, or relax.
Saturday & Sunday: This will definitely be some relaxing time. Was hoping to watch some local hockey, but there's no home game this week.
Monday & Tuesday: Customer Visit #2. Different customer than #1, and this meeting is guaranteed to be painful. Tuesday night is a train back to Brussels.
Wednesday: Plane it from Brussels back to Chi-Town. Collapse.

I entertained the idea of flying back to the US after Visit #1, staying at home for 2 days, then flying back to Germany for Visit #2, but even I think that flying over the same ocean 4 times in 10 days is overkill

If any of you jokers out there have any interesting to-do's in Gothenburg or Cologne, please feel free to comment and let me know.

Posted by Austin at 05:10 AM