Monday, October 1, 2007

A Day of Firsts

As I write this, I’m sitting on a plane somewhere out over the Atlantic Ocean at 39,000 enroute to Paris. This trip marks a number of firsts. This is my first trip to Paris and indeed my first trip to France. I find that somewhat amazing since I’ve been to other parts of Europe, including England, Finland, Italy, Germany, Russia, and The Netherlands, some multiple times. But travel happens that way, I guess. I’ve been to most of the 50 states in the U.S. multiple times but have still never stepped foot into North Dakota or Alaska.

This is also the first trip to Europe with my wife Genevieve, and indeed the first time she has traveled with me on a “business” trip in more than a decade. The reason for this trip is an Autodesk Mechanical Systems Division (MSD) press event taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Intercontinental Hotel in Paris. I find it somewhat amusing that Dassault Systèmes is holding its press event next week in Boston while Autodesk—arguably its biggest competitor—is holding its similar press event in Dassault’s own backyard. But again, this entire trip is somewhat ironic.

This is also the first time we have left our two daughters somewhat home alone. They’ll be staying with friends during the week, but it does seem a bit strange to leave them at home while we leave the country.

We left Bellingham this morning at 6am, which of course meant that our day started just after 4. We had a decent connection in Salt Lake City, and actually got to relax a bit in the Delta Crown Room. But our flight to JFK was late getting in and then sat on the ground for what seemed like forever before we finally got to get off the plane. By the time we got to the gate for our Paris-bound flight, we were among the last passengers to board.

We could see our Salt Lake/JFK plane at the adjacent gate. We could also see my suitcase in the hands of a baggage handler when our Paris flight was pushed back from the gate. Now I will clearly state that our plane did come to a stop and there was some additional activity after initially pushing back, so there is a possibility that my bag was actually loaded onto the our plane at the last minute.

But there is no doubt that it was my bag being carried over by the baggage handler as our plane was pushed back, so stay tuned for a potential saga. That at least would not be a first.


  1. My wine glass is raised! Here's to firsts. Keep them coming.

  2. I am SO jealous. You know Mike and I just headed across the pond right after the St. Louis CAD Camp (just a few hours after as a matter of fact)... and we'd been hoping to take a day while we were in London to hop the train over to Paris, as I haven't been there before.

    :-( ~sigh~ but, alas, we didn't make it, and I'm sad at the missed opportunity. Maybe next time.
    We did have a great time overall though... and at one point in Ireland we had 7 AUGI members together under one roof.