Touchdown in Phoenix! (YYZ – PHX)

Hello from Phoenix! Flying in over Arizona was such a surreal experience, I’ve never seen such flat cityscapes and jagged rock formations jutting out of the ground like roller coasters. I’m writing this post from my bed in the Crowne Plaza hotel, looking out the window at desert foliage, palm trees, and those weird sandy-red mountains. I’ve been here just an hour or so and already I wish I had more time to explore this beautiful place. There won’t be much time for exploring this week, with the packed schedule of the Grace Hopper Celebration. But hey, I’m here for the conference, not the scenery! Today is a downtime day, settling in to our hotel and picking up our conference passes. Yes, you read that right – I’m traveling with my good friend Sarah, who will also be blogging our journey on her brand new blog, La Vie en Code! Hooray for girlcoder bloggers, let’s grow this niche.

In the meantime, here’s a look at my trip from Toronto to Phoenix! It was not one without hassle, even though I specifically tried to avoid stress by booking a direct flight, as I mentioned in my last post about traveling for conferences. I booked the flight on Air Canada Rouge which, unbeknownst to me, is a fancy way of saying “Air Canada with no leg room, unkempt flight attendants, and only half the necessary amount of carry-on baggage space.” My knees were touching the seat in front of me without anything in the pockets, and it’s not like I’m extraordinarily tall! And I know this isn’t really a reason not to take an airline, but the flight attendant uniforms were hideous. I’m talking grey pants, burgundy sweater, abstract scarf, and GREY FEDORA. And in some cases, unbrushed hair. Anyways, I’m going to avoid Rouge flights in future, even though my flight home will be with Rouge too.

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The trip started out really well, with an hour spent lazily browsing the seemingly-infinite breakfast options available in Pearson International Airport. They recently renovated their international departure areas to include thousands of iPads that track your flight for you while you order and pay for food and drinks right at your seat. Naturally, everything is quite expensive, but that’s not unusual when it comes to airport food. In the end I went with a blueberry-lemon muffin, a double peppermint tea with honey, and a huge bottle of water…can you tell I’m getting over a cold?

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The views from the aircraft were beautiful, and the ones from the hotel room even more so! I love that the foliage is all such a vivid green even though it’s growing in such sandy soil.

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Now Sarah and I are off to do some exploring with our prep day! Two bloggers unleashed in a new city? No way we could resist.

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PS: My trip to Phoenix for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing has been sponsored by Dalhousie University and Syncfusion, my official corporate partner! A HUGE thanks to both, I am so grateful.

Syncfusion is the enterprise technology partner of choice for Windows development, delivering a broad range of software frameworks and tools. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Syncfusion has more than 10,000 customers, including large financial institutions, Fortune 100 companies, and global IT consultancies. Find out more in my announcement post about our partnership, and find me at Grace Hopper to get your FREE software license!


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