Home From Vermont and Montreal

Date Published: 11 February 2004

Home From Vermont and Montreal

Today was my first day back home from my trip to Vermont and Montreal to speak at user groups. I’ve posted a few pictures in my gallery. I flew in and out of Burlington, VT, which is a tiny little international airport. I got in Saturday, saw some of downtown Burlington with Julia Lerman, my host, and her husband Richard. They live up in the mountains about 45 minutes south of Burlington. On Sunday, they took me snowshoe-ing up in the green mountains. Our hike took almost four hours, and I was moderately impressed with myself since I’m not a hiker and this was my first time in snowshoes, but I managed to keep up with them. Most of the rest of my time at Julia’s was spent working on my laptop in her office by the fireplace (as the one picture shows), with Julia working, too. We both work way too much, we’ve decided.

Monday night’s presentation for the Vermont .NET User Groupwent quite well. This one wasn’t directly sponsored by INETA since Julia’s already used up her quota of INETA speakers for the year. There were about 20 people there, and they asked a lot of good questions and seemed to get a lot out of it. As usual, the Whidbey features really generated a lot of interest, and I was forced to wrap up despite many more features that I could have shown.

Tuesday I rented a car and drove up to Montreal, my first time visiting Quebec. The drive up was uneventful and took a couple of hours. I was somewhat surprised at how little traffic there was — it’s really rural on both sides of the border there. I had a little time to walk around the area near the Sheraton where I was staying, but not really enough time to see a lot of the city. Unlike Toronto or Niagara Falls, Canada, which don’t seem particularly foreign, Quebec and Montreal are very different, since everything is in French. Almost all of the radio stations are in French. All the signs are in French. Everyone speaks to one another in French. Thankfully everyone also speaks English (at least, everyone I spoke to, which admittedly is only a small percentage of the total population), which made my life easier since my second language is German and my French is nonexistent.

Tuesday’s presentation to the Groupe d’usagers Visual Studio Montreal went about as well as Monday’s, in my opinion, and since this one was an INETA event, there were user evaluations to look at and they seemed to corroborate that I’d done ok. Guy Barrette took some pictures which I put in my gallery, and Guy did a great job organizing the event and making sure I had everything I needed.

Wednesday, I drove back to Burlington (without getting lost, surprisingly) and spent the day flying back home to Ohio. The trip back through Quebec was interesting because the land there is very flat, with no trees, and it was cold enough that there was very little humidity. So the powdery snow was just blowing across the road like a constant thick fog for much of the drive. A few trees along the road would definitely have helped visibility conditions, I think, but again, I don’t think too many folks pass that way.

Steve Smith

About Ardalis

Software Architect

Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.