In December something exciting happened. I was offered a job. There was a little moment on one day where I was close to three offers, but in the end two companies pulled out and made my decision really easy.
Right now I'm a contractor, but the plan all along was to interview someone, bring them on board right away and hire them permanently. I'm in a strange limbo where we're essentially trying out the position. The company is checking me out and I'm seeing how I like it there. Unlike most contractors at the company my boss has set up weekly one-on-one meetings with me and I have my own office.
I'm kind of on pins and needles about it. I don't want a "try on" period, I already know I love it there. I still am a little dazed at having this job appear "out of nowhere" (I was contacted by a recruiter). There's a little part of me that is worried about letting on just how thrilled I am for fear it will somehow "jinx it". (yes, pure irrationality).
The downside is a rather substantial commute; 35 minutes in the best traffic and nearly 90 minutes at the worst so far (for me, by Portland standards, that's bad). In order to beat some of the worst of the traffic I've been getting there between 7 and 7:30 which means waking at 5:30. It is also a bit of a shock to my body to get back into the routine of sitting at a desk for many hours a day, several days a week. I've been pretty dead tired since starting in mid-December.
Really though, I am just thrilled beyond words. It is the one area of IT that I'd still enjoy working in, which is to say the thing I'm a geek about. The team is great and they work as a team; there are people to support me! I'm being paid very well, in fact so well that it kind of weirds me out (yeah, seriously... more therapy fodder that one).
Did I mention there's a gym on site with free towel service? Free yoga classes (which aren't too bad). The Commons (where the gym is) also has a cafeteria with a decent salad bar (featuring three kinds of legumes and seasoned tofu) and I had a pretty good, made-to-order Thai-style curry last week.
There's also several ponds, walking trails, and an active wetlands habitat for birds (multiple kinds of herons, ducks, geese, etc.). Really, the job thing is pretty awesome and I'll feel so enormously relieved when this "try out" period of being a contractor is over.
And here's a view of the stroll back to my office (yes, really, my OWN office with a door and everything) one morning after getting a latte at the Commons. The coffee... well, it isn't bad but I do miss being close to really awesome coffee.
A dear friend of ours is getting married next September and we really want to be at his wedding in Kansas City, Missouri. Since we never were able to take a honeymoon after our own wedding we've been considering a big trip in 2011. However, since we really don't feel like facing the choice between naked x-rays or groping it means that right now a return trip to the Big Island is not possible.
Today we hit upon an idea to take a fairly epic road trip this September. We'll leave the day before our first anniversary and make our way to Kansas City and then back to Portland via a different route. We're looking at hitting several National Parks along the way and splitting up time between hotels and camping. We'll have a lot of logistics to sort out, especially friends to house sit for us while we're gone (perhaps several friends splitting up all that time), but we've got a while to plan.
Our idea so far:
- Portland, Oregon to Boise, Idaho (hotel night)
- Boise, Idaho to Yellowstone National Park via Grand Teton (camping night)
- Full day at Yellowstone (camping night)
- Yellowstone to the Hill City, South Dakota (Mt. Rushmore/Crazy Horse Memorial) (camping night)
- Hill City, South Dakota to Interior, South Dakota (Badlands National Park) (camping night)
- Interior, South Dakota to Omaha, Nebraska (hotel night)
- Omaha, Nebraska to Kansas City, Missouri - Time in Missouri to help the happy couple get ready for the wedding (hotel night)
- Wedding in Missouri! (hotel night)
- Kansas City, Missouri to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (hotel night)
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Albuquerque, New Mexico (hotel night, most likely)
- Day to explore Albuquerque (hotel night, most likely)
- Albuquerque, New Mexico to Grand Canyon National Park (camping night)
- Day to explore Grand Canyon (camping night)
- Grand Canyon National Park to Death Valley National Park (camping night)
- Death Valley National Park to Sacramento, California via Inyo National Forest (staying w/family)
- Day in Sacramento (if both of us can take a couple of extra days from work) (staying w/family)
- Sacramento, California back to Portland, Oregon
All told that's four National Parks, a wedding, a few new cities, and a visit with CK's family!
We need advice!!! If you have thoughts about places to see, vegan restaurants to hit up, short hikes to take (especially in Death Valley), and other suggestions either leave them in the comments or email them to one of us. We're checking out some travel guides, so if you have favorites let us know those too.
Check out the map!
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