christopher575 (christopher575) wrote,
christopher575
christopher575

Vaca-tchemups

For those who aren't familiar with the term, a "sprint" in software development is a period of time in which new features are added and bugs are fixed, and at the end, everything's deployed together. When it used to just be me and one developer, it was easy; he'd send me a list of things he'd accomplished, I tested to make sure it was all good, we scheduled a deployment, and I wrote release notes. But our work was well-received and more groups wanted to have tools built for them, so the whole project has grown. I support three developers and we use a Visual Studio board to keep track of everything, which is essential because the sprints keep getting bigger and lasting longer. And I guess I prefer that because we were on a two-week schedule, which was too quick.

But I'm only mentioning it because the last sprint got pushed back as far as it possibly could. I feel like I sent out release notes, published documentation for the new tool, then shut off my computer and got on the plane for our vacation.

(full vacation photo album here)



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All of the bathrooms at our new local boutique airport are single-occupant!

Our first stop was a nice little upstairs condo in San Diego's Ocean Beach neighborhood. Even though the stairs were a pain for loading in and out, I'm glad we were up there. Otherwise the view would have been the walls of the places next door and behind us.

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Traveling on Halloween is weird and fun. We had dinner by the beach and then went to a doggy costume contest at a brewery. The next day we had mani-pedis, a sushi lunch, then cocktails before visiting the pier.

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Now that we're both growing our hair out and both use a CPAP, we consistently get amazing bedhead

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One of the reasons we prefer vacation rentals to hotels is being able to make breakfast where we're staying so we're not always rushing to get out, but we overdid it that day and decided to go out for breakfast on our way out of town. The Waffle Spot was a great choice and thankfully we were seated in the overflow area, which is the adjoining Mexican restaurant. Much less sunny and noisy. And we got to grab this excellent photo.

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Our next stop was the Salton Sea, which is California's largest lake, and was created by accident! I wanted to see the area ever since we saw the episode about it on Vice's show Abandoned. As is often the case with abandoned and derelict areas, there's now lots of art there, like the world famous East Jesus in Slab City.

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Garrett found us a cool place to stay, the Bombay Beach Institute for Particle Physics, Metaphysics, & International Relations. Thankfully it was only for one night, as the place was a dump. I'm glad we went, don't get me wrong. It was a cool experience, but a filthy one, too. I'm glad I took the time to explore the property, there's a lot to see.

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The next morning I explored the actual beach at sunrise, which was really neat.

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Our final two nights were in Palm Springs, so we took the long way there via Joshua Tree.

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And of course if there's an air museum, we have to go. Aviation is Garrett's main interest.

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I got to rest my feet for a few minutes with the incomparable Karen Black in Airport 1975.

After our night in Bombay Beach we were ready for some luxury, and we definitely got that with our Palm Springs place.

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We liked it so much that we stayed in the entire time until checkout time two days later.

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Ironic jingoism goes a long way when putting together an outfit. Click for animation.

I'm from a desert mountain city, but Palm Springs was interesting because it's smaller and right up by the mountains, you always feel them looming over you.

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Thankfully our flight was a little bit later, and we managed to go out for a nice lunch after checkout and see a couple of neat places.

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The Palm Springs Art Museum was the second place I ever stumbled upon realistic statues thinking they were alive. Thankfully these two weren't naked like the first one.

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Our flight home was really cool as it was the inaugural flight of Alaska Air's new Palm Springs/Everett route. I've already mentioned how great it is that we can take a 10-minute Uber ride to an airport now, and Palm Springs is such a great destination to be able to get to. We're definitely looking forward to going back sometime.

Travel is great, but coming home from an awesome vacation is wonderful, too. And thankfully I now have some local friends who can help with pet care. It used to be easy to schedule a visit for the cats every two days while we were gone, but now that Sam needs daily medication and wet food only, they have to be seen twice a day.

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The "welcome home, we're hungry" committee.
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