I’m back from TechEd Europe and trying to shake off the jet lag. The conference went superbly, with the facilities among the best I’ve ever seen. Paddy Mirams and his staff pulled out all the stops in making TechEd a memorable experience for speakers, even including a massage booth in the speakers lounge.
My wife and kids joined me for the kids’ first-ever tour of Europe. The highlight of our Amsterdam experience was visiting the Anne Frank house, where Anne Frank penned her famous diaries. It was an especially poignant experience for my son, who studied Anne Frank (and read her diaries) in school this year. Standing in the small bedroom where she did most of her writing–and entering her family’s secret annex through the swinging bookcase–was an ethereal experience.
After Amsterdam, we trained down to Paris for two days. The kids loved climbing the bell towers of Notre Dame, but my personal favorite was going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I’ve been in Paris several times but until this week had never experienced great weather there. Paris can be unbelievably cold in July (and was the first day we were there), but the weather was gorgeous on our second day.
From Paris, we trained through the Chunnel to London on the Eurostar. We arrived in London Sunday morning–three days after the terrorist attack. London was pretty much back to normal by Monday and we rode the buses and subway (the “Tube” or “Underground,” as Londoners call it) extensively. We felt reasonably safe because there were police everywhere. Most of the Tube cars had plainclothes police in them, and we had fun trying to pick the plainclothes officers from amongst the crowds. The weather was fantastic, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s.
We arrived home late last night and are none the worse for the wear. I’m pumped about finally getting the kids to Europe, but we all agree this morning that it’s GREAT to be back in the U.S.A.!