Sabbatical Part 1/Departure

I guess I’m actually doing this now. Yesterday, Friday, my last day at work before heading out on six week sabbatical, and today, after hanging out with my wife for one last Saturday morning coffee, I got on the train, headed to the airport, and as I write this, am on a plane to Amsterdam

Yesterday at work was mostly wrapping things up, and project turnover to the people who will be handling my projects while I am out. I also needed to put out a last minute fire with some changes that IT wanted to implement by Thanksgiving, but I was just finding out about, and would impact some of my projects significantly. After logging off for the night, I shut my system down, and my wife and I headed out to a Pet Shop Boys/New Order concert, which we had planned well before I started thinking about sabbatical, and I eventually decided would be the kick off for my sabbatical.

This was my first concert, and for that matter, the first time I have been at a gathering of people this side in the post COVID era. We took the train downtown, than the monorail up to the Climate Pledge Arena, perhaps the silliest name for an arena ever. For most of this concert, I needed to be standing to see anything, which was a bit of an issue since I had sprained my ankle about a week before, and it was still bothering me.

This morning then I kissed my wife goodby for the last time for the next four weeks. I am somewhat coming to realize that in spite of my love for hermit travel, I am certainly going to miss her. Perhaps I am better suited for hermit travel with her. Anyhow, this is the decision I have made, and am going to be essentially on my own for the next four weeks.

Once again, I got on the train, and went down to the airport this time. I had been monitoring my flight for a couple of months now in anticipation via flight aware, and from what I have seen, this flight is usually not on time. However, today, this flight was in fact on time.

Getting to the airport, most of the security lines were looking at a 20 minute wait, however, the lines for TSA pre were pretty much non existent, thank you Transportation Security Administration, I guess. This allowed me to head to spend more time at the Africa Lounge at the airport. Taking a look at the food menu however ,there wasn’t anything on that was really hitting me for lunch. Dining options at SeaTac are some what limited. For whatever whacky reason, they want everything to be “local”, hence, there are no airport Chili’s or TGI Fridays, what the actual…

Finally, it was time for me to board the plane. Not paying attention to the groups that were being called, I was mentally lollygagling, and ended up at the end of the line. Oh well, I had checked the bags so I didn’t need overhead space, and we all get to our destination at the same time anyhow, just have to spend less time potentially in a metal tube.

On the plane, I see they have Bahama Life, one of the HGTV international real estate series that my wife and I have been watching, and decided that that, along with writing this, is what I am going to focus on for this 9 hour flight. That, and perhaps getting a bit of sleep, since I got little of that the night before after the concert.

As it turns out, I got no sleep on this flight, instead I ended up doing a weird combination of trying to get to sleep, and watching Atomic Blond, keeping with the European theme, and a Carlos Gosen documentary.

After the nine hour flight, I arrived in Amsterdam, then, after getting through customs and tracking my bag in baggage claim, I caught the train to Rotterdam. Getting to Rotterdam, I found out my hotel room won’t be ready for another four hours, so I decided to pass some of that time at a Starbucks down the street. One piece of Seattle I can never get away from.

Finally, after wandering around a pedestrian mall, people watching at the river, and heading to a local brew pub for a beer, it was time to check in.

After getting settled into my room, I decided that tonight I should try to call it an early evening, and get some extra sleep to make up my lack of sleep the night before.

Hotel room art

For dinner, I just headed to a McDonald’s downstairs from the hotel, and got a cheeseburger. On ordering, I realized that the Dutch word for two is Twee, which sound a lot like three, or German trece for three. Ok, now I’m even more confused. So, I went back to the hotel to have my meal and head to bed by 8. Another day tomorrow, hopefully I will be fully rested.

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