A Week at PyCon DC 2004 -- Day 8

Heading Home -- Saturday, March 27

Author: David Goodger
Contact: goodger@python.org

It was raining this morning. Packed up and left the hostel at 9am, took a bus down to a metro station then on to Pentagon City. I'm not sure, but I think the "Fashion Center" mall there may have been the mall in Minority Report, and possibly also in No Way Out. Bought a "PFC" -- portable folding cart -- for my bags because I was getting tired and sore carrying them around. A couple more wee gifties for the kids. Visited the Bang & Olufsen store, and fantasized.

On the opposite side of the street -- reachable via a metro underpass -- was another mall, not so upscale. Browsed around a Borders book/CD/DVD/coffee store, and a Best Buy. Then it was time to get to the airport, 2 stops away.

Got my boarding pass, and two last-minute gifts: a nice bookmark for my wife, and a black & yellow "jungle carpet python" plushie, for my kids. And for me, too, I guess -- I'll name it "Monty" and it'll be a cousin to Eric, the conference mascot brought by Bill Sconce. A Cinnabon later, and it was time to get to the gate. Spent my last 90 US cents on some mints -- no currency to carry home.

On takeoff I had a good view of the Pentagon, and I see the need for so much security. The airport is literally a stone's throw away, and a last-minute course correction would be (and was) deadly. I wonder if security is the reason why, on both arrival in and departure from DC, the plane wasn't brought all the way to the jetway. Passengers had to go down a flight of stairs to the tarmac and back up.

As I write this on the plane, I look back on the last week as an unmitigated success. I met loads of people I'd only ever exchanged email with before, and plenty others new to me. It's amazing the places my software has gotten to -- rumored to be in use at NASA, the NSA, the OSAF, and I'm sure at many other companies and organizations large and small. I guess Docutils and reStructuredText have hit a sweet spot.

Warms my heart.