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Where's Andy been for the last month?

It's been another fantastically busy spell. The Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles was quite an adventure. As if things hadn't been hectic enough getting everything ready to launch on day one (when, conveniently, most folks were going to be out of town), the journey down there proved equally challenging. How wonderful that ATC for the entire LA basin had to shut down for several hours while relocating to avoid the rampant wild fires. Pure resourcefulness could be seen everywhere; some decided to fly to San Francisco and drive (5 hours, nice), some decided to just drive (18 hours, nicer), and some decided to give up (0 hours, where's the fun?). But not us. Suffice it to say, we found some sneaky seats on a flight to Palm Springs and the rest is history, as chronicled by CNET.The conference was a blast. The keynotes were really well executed and the sessions were heavily attended. There seemed to be a genuine excitement in the air, and rightly so. This has never been a technical journal, so cut to the really fun bits. A party on the top of the Standard (pool, waterbeds, Band on the Runtime and all), a quite accidental (and cheap!) massive suite at the top of the Westin, lots of talking to people and an information overload made for a great week.A few days back in Seattle to pick up the pieces, and then back on a plane. This time to Philadelphia. Two things are particularly remarkable; it's been over two years since I last saw Bob, and over five since he muttered the immortal words "Hi, I'm Bob Wilson" the first time we met as room mates.Philly is a great place. Arriving on Friday afternoon, we had just enough time to wander the streets of America's birthplace, nearly seeing the Liberty Bell, eating cheese steaks opposite Penn's Landing and generally drinking some beer. Good times.And then it was Saturday. Just ninety minutes after leaving Philadelphia, where else does one find themselves, but New York. We ambled through the madness to Grand Central Station (magnificent!) to meet Catherine. Many attribute New York's buzz to the sheer number of people, but there's something else. LA has lots of people, but it doesn't even come close to the same feeling. The sights had to be seen - Times Square, Chrysler Tower, Empire State Building, Rockerfeller Plaza, Radio City Music Hall, outside the Time and Life building (as in the backdrop you always see behind the windows on CNN), Flat Iron building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Staten Island, Central Park, a road quite close to Wall Street, a massive bull statue that we think was significant and an elevator in the Metropolitan Museum of Art that lead to a great view, but was closed for the winter. I heart NY.A good dinner in Greenwich Village, a second stop at the Empire State building to decide again not to queue, to buy their entire supply of tonic water (advanced planning) and to collect ingredients for making s'mores. Someone mentioned there was a view there, but I didn't see it.Sunday in Philly saw us following in Rocky Balboa's footsteps, running the steps to the top of the Art Museum and walking the banks of the Schuylkill. Redeye back to Seattle and work first thing.What an adventure.Pictures in the gallery.