When I travel in the winter, it's usually to ski resorts or client sites, not to conferences. However, when the Mattias Karlsson invited me to speak at Jfokus, I jumped at the opportunity. That same day in Antwerp, Sergi Almar asked me to speak at Spring I/O. Turns out, both conferences were in the same week so we worked out the logistics of traveling to Stockholm and Madrid and got ready for a spectacular trip.
Trish and I started our journey two weeks ago by flying over the top of world, connecting through Seattle and Reykjavik (Iceland) before arriving in Stockholm on Monday afternoon. We took the bullet train from the airport to downtown and walked a couple blocks to the conference venue/hotel. We checked in, relaxed, then met a bunch of folks a few hours later to go to the speaker's dinner at F12.
On Tuesday, I attended quite a few sessions at the conference, took and nap and delivered my Comparing JVM Web Frameworks talk at 17:00. The Atlassian Bar opened after my talk concluded and we enjoyed some tasty beverages while talking tech with new and old friends. James Ward's Cloud BOF started at 8 and we enjoyed the beer and banter before heading out to the local Sports Bar. We scared the bar's proprietors with our hunger and thirst at such a late hour, but they served us anyway.
On Wednesday, I got woken up by the hotel's housekeeping at 9:52 and I had to be on stage at 10:10. I got dressed and downstairs as fast as I could and put the final touches on my presentation as people were filing in the room. I opened my talk with, "You ever had one of those morning where the housekeeping woke you up and you had to be on stage 10 minutes later?"
The conference ended that day, but Trish and I extended it a bit by going to the Scala Stockholm Meetup and walking around the city to capture some night photos. I wrote up a blog post about my presentations and Jfokus the next morning and Trish posted both her Jfokus and Stockholm pictures to Flickr. Below are some of my favorite pictures of Sweden.
On Thursday, we traveled to Madrid for Spring I/O. We arrived at sunset and met up with Josh Long and his Dad for a ride to our hotel. Trish went to high school in Puerto Rico and got to show of her Spanish skills when she helped the driver find the hotel. I spoke on Friday morning and we spent the rest of the weekend taking photos and enjoying Carnival. We had a great hotel in the heart of Madrid and could walk to almost all the historic sites.
It was great seeing Trish in Madrid. Her Spanish was excellent and I felt like I had a personal tour guide the whole time. Her pictures show the weather was beautiful and the sites, amazing.local experiences. Thanks guys, we had a blast.