WAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY westward bound! Tomorrow morning I'm jumping on a plane to start the 30-hour (yes, I said THIRTY) trip from Jacksonville, FL to Sydney, Australia to see if the SharePoint spinner rotates counter-clockwise down under... no, just kidding... seriously, for the Microsoft SharePoint Conference where I'm presenting/co-presenting four sessions on Web Content Management (three with Sezai Komur). That's 1hr from Jacksonville to Atlanta for a 2hr lay-over, then a 5hr flight to Los Angeles, arriving around 330p. We then get to hang out in the LAX airport until 11:50p that night for our flight to Sydney that is a 14hr trip.
This is the longest travel-time I've ever had for a trip. Then again, it will only be the 2ng longest just over a week from now. Why? Coming home its 37hrs (yes, THIRTY-SEVEN... wow... just realized there's a joke in that one... anyone get it? Seen Clerks?) Yup, that's 19hrs from Sydney to Los Angeles, and then it's fun. If you are going from the west coast of the USA to the east coast, you either leave real early (before 9a) or real late and take the red-eye. Well, we land at 9a in Los Angeles, and the last fight heading to the east coast leaves at... yup, 9a. So we get to hang out for 12+ hours in Los Angeles waiting for a red-eye back to Atlanta and then onto Jacksonville.
Aside from the flights, I'm really looking forward to Australia. I've got some friends I'm meeting up with again (like Angus & Ivan), folks that feel like new friends (like my co-presenter, Sezai, who's been burning the midnight oil with me working on our sessions) some folks I've always wanted to meet in person (like Mick), and some folks I'm looking forward to seeing again (like Joel & Fitz). Also hoping to run into a few other notable Aussie's, like Frank Arrigo (the MSDN blogger with the longest left-pane on his blog).
I see Angus has lined up video interviews at the conference... you always see these guys running around TechEd and other conferences, but, while I know they DO record, I've yet to see a single one stop actually do a recording!
Any of my Aussie readers have suggestions for things to do outside of the conference? We've (Meredith, my wife, is coming with me) already planned to hike the bridge, take a ferry and check out the zoo & gardens. Anyone who's been to Sydney have any advice? We'll be there all week. I'll be your typical tourist... snapping pictures left and right and hopefully dropping a few posts in the evenings/mornings and uploading some pictures to my Flickr space (created a set for this trip).
Oh... if you're trying to reach me next week via email/phone, leaving comments on my blog or sending them via the contact form, please excuse the delayed replies. My cell doesn't work outside of the USA (us damn Americans... :P) nor do I have access to it's voicemail (I am picking up a disposable cell when I arrive on Sunday). My work voicemail is forwarded as email attachments so I will get those, but like any conference, staying on top of your inbox is challenging... turns more into what I like to call "triaging your inbox." If I don't reply, please excuse my delay... I'll get back to you when I return to Florida early the week of May 21st.