Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Part 1: Djangocon Europe 2016 -- Budapest

Back in December, I sent a talk proposal to Django Con Europe, which is a technical conference that revolves around Django and Python.  I submitted my talk on GeoDjango, which is an application that I studied as an undergraduate at the University of North Georgia. I did a talk on this at Django Con US this past September in Austin, Texas; however, after my first talk, I realized what I should change to make my talk better.  Therefore, I adjusted the talk information and the title so it would be more appealing to everyone, including new coders.

In January, I received an email saying that my talk was selected!  Out of over 120 talks, mine and 24 others were selected.  I was very excited and started to outline my talk.  I also was rewarded a small scholarship to help pay for my plane ticket to Budapest. I was very excited for this opportunity to share my knowledge on GIS and to travel around Central Europe!!!
Delayed Flight = Brandon sleeps

I asked Brandon if he wanted to join me, and he said yes.  I quickly looked at plane tickets and mapped out other adventures we could go on after the conference.  I arranged Airbnbs and looked at transportation between the cities. I was really looking forward to this trip.

Since I am in school, I had to do homework during my Spring Break.  In fact, I was in my office every day that week working on modules, grading, and writing papers.  Since I was going to be gone for 2 weeks, I didn't want to stress while I was abroad.  So since I didn't have a Spring Break, this trip would be my make-up break.

Airbnb in Budapest
For those curious, I booked our plane tickets from Student Universe, which finds discounted plane tickets.  Brandon and I paid about $1200 each for our round trip tickets.  Going to Budapest, we would fly from Phoenix into London, then London to Budapest.  Our trip to Budapest was suppose to be 13 hours; however, when we arrived to Phoenix, our flight was delayed 1 hour, which made us miss our connecting flight at 2:30pm, so we had an extra 4 hour delay in London to catch the next flight to Budapest.  Nevertheless, when we arrived in London, we discovered our 6:30pm flight was delayed to 8....then it was delayed until 9....until 10...then finally 11:30pm!  We were the last flight of the evening to leave London.  I felt terrible for our Airbnb host.  I kept messaging them  to let them know that we were going to be later than we thought.  We were suppose to check in at 7:15pm that evening, which would have been nice to sleep and catch up on the time difference, but we ended up checking in at 4am, which did not help at all. :(

Delayed until 11pm!
But I shouldn't complain, it was a wind storm, and I'd much rather be safe than sorry.  We checked out of the airbnb around 11am and walked over the hotel that we were going to be staying at for the conference.  We arrived at the Hotel Erzsebet City Center , and they gave us a room on the 7th (out of 8) floors.  We unloaded our gear and got settled in.  We looked on the internet for some food since we were both starving.  We ended up walking to this restaurant called Street Bistro .  They had sandwiches and burgers; I ended up getting a chicken burger, and Brandon got some kind of cheeseburger.  It was good, but then it started to rain.  We went back to the hotel and took a nap before our geocaching event.

Our geocaching event was successful.  When we got there, there were 3 people our age at the coordinates, which surprised us because most people who geocache are a lot older than us (40s-70s).
We chatted for a little bit, then it started to rain harder.  We left after 45 minutes to go back to the hotel to sleep some more.

Around 8pm, I receieved a message from my friend who was also at the conference asking if we wanted to get dinner with her.  We went down to the lobby and met up with some other people who were there for the conference.  We walked to Pad Thai Wokbar, where we got a huge bowl of thai food.  It was delicious and filling! Once we were all done eating, we went back to the hotel and hung out at the bar.  I ended up getting a wheat beer, which was made in Slovakia.  We chatted until almost midnight.

Overall, it was a long 48 hours.  From traveling, to lots of waiting, to sleeping with the sound of the rain, and meeting new people, it was a good first day in Budapest.  The next day will be the first day of the conference.  I will blog more on that in my next post! :)

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