The Humphrelia Clan Does San Francisco

In my last post, I recap’ed our past couple of years. I missed a fairly big event in that timeline: our family trip to San Francisco and the Atlanta ice/snow storm that ensued upon our return.

I was actually invited there to interview with Facebook in Palo Alto. We flew out Thursday (1/6/2011) and I had the interview on Friday. We extended the trip a bit to check out the bay area and do touristy stuff in San Francisco (like Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and some others). It took a couple of days for Ewan to get used to the fact that we were spending a lot of time in the car and in places where we walk around. He just wanted to sit and play like he would at home, and he was horrendously disagreeable during this adjustment period. But, once he got the picture, we had a very good time. I’m hoping our next family trip will be easier (our trip to Rosemary Beach, FL last summer was pleasant, so that’s a good sign). Our flight home was canceled due to a bad snow and ice storm in Atlanta. So we were able to extend our trip a little and got a chance to visit Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma — which was an awesome place. We didn’t extend the trip too long since we were all ready to be back home. So we ended up getting seats on a red-eye back to the east coast, the only flight still scheduled amidst Atlanta’s anomalous winter weather event. After a crappy flight (trying to get the kids to sleep on the plane kind of sucked), we landed and then had to maneuver through the snow-covered roads and highways to get home. It looked like a post-apocalyptic movie — deserted, everything covered with snow, abandoned cars littering the roads (seriously). Very creepy. We got home early Monday morning (1/10/2011) and then all fell asleep for the remainder of the day. The next day was Will’s birthday.

The ice on the roads was bad enough that I had to work from home the rest of the week. And then that Friday, Will tagged along with me to pick up his Aunt K and Uncle Cass from the airport — they had come out east to visit with friends and family and to attend Will’s 6th birthday party.

Sadly, I don’t have pictures from the trip on this computer from which I’m typing so I’ll have to follow up with some shots from this trip in a future post. It was certainly an adventurous week.

Old School

Last month was Will’s last day at Counterpane. This school was near and dear to us for quite some time, but we’ve had growing disagreements with the administrator and the quality of the environment has declined to the point where we were not willing to enroll Ewan in the school. After Spring Break, both kids enrolled in a new school: Carolyn Barron Montessori School.

This new school, unfortunately, is in Newnan, which means it’s further away and significantly out of the way for my commute. But we’ll make due. The upsides, in addition to a better environment for our kids, is that they can keep Ewan five days a week for whole days (8:30am to 3:00pm). Before this switch, Ewan was enrolled in a preschool program at First Presbyterian Church in Peachtree City, but that was only from 9am to noon and only three days a week.

So this makes Malin’s life at the studio easier since the kids are at school and out of the studio, giving her more time to be productive there. It also eases the logistics since they’re at the same destination for morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.

The Close

Last month, I got to go to San Francisco for work. It was a fun trip, both in the interesting subject matter that gave rise to the trip in the first place and the interesting social aspects of hanging out with my teammates on the west coast. On my return, I made the serendipitous discovery that three of my co-workers played foosball, and we started playing a few games each afternoon. It had been quite some time since the last time I played foosball, so it was a lot fun to get back into it.

Then, about a week and a half ago, a VP at Google showed up — somewhat unexpectedly — at the Atlanta office.  He was bearing news: the main project in our office (involving 20 out of 31 engineers) was being canceled and, as a result, engineering was being pulled out. Suddenly, I no longer had anything to work on, and I was being asked to relocate.

I’m a bit anchored to the Atlanta area. Malin’s mom and step-dad and my parents are all relatively nearby. Malin and I have a lot of friends here and our kids do, too. We’ve just moved the kids to a new school that we’re happy with. And we own a photography studio, and Malin runs a small local business therein. So, instead of trying to relocate to a different city with another Google office, I’m (quite sadly) looking for a new job. Until I find the next gig, at least I can take the kids to school and pick them up without much concern for it being out of the way.

I’ve been heartened to hear of lots of cool opportunities in the Atlanta area, so I think things will work out. Also, Google has been very generous in the amount of time they’ve given us to find a new project or new job (and they’re providing a severance package for those that aren’t relocating and choose the latter — like me). I’ve had several lunch appointments with friends and colleagues over the last week or so, including a couple to discuss job opportunities in detail.

It’s kind of sad that I’ve only been there a year and am now having this awesome thing wrenched from my grasp. But they say that every cloud has a silver lining; this one’s bound to be no exception. (Though I’m going to miss that foosball table…)