After last summer's complete and utter failure of traveling to Europe, I have been given another chance, partially due to said failure.
Every year or so, the folks who produce our survey software hold a conference of their users to meet and hear about what changes are coming down the pike and for their users to give them feedback on what they like, what they don't like, and what they would love to see in the software. One such request has been the ability to record interviews for quality control and to measure question response. A few have come up with some home-grown solutions including my BGA, but it can be complicated to create and code. In response to this, the latest version of the survey software now includes this functionality. Myself and one of my co-workers have been testing this feature for the last few months and given lots of valuable feedback to the folks across the pond on how it can be improved. In response they have come up and fixed many of the bugs we have found and implemented improvements we have suggested, so it has been a good experience so far. It has been so good that the BGA is dropping the home-grown solution and moving to use the latest version of the software.
So one of the topics that will be discussed at this conference is this recording functionality. Since I did do some of the research (and due to the above failure) I was selected to attend the conference and give a short presentation on how the recording is going to work for us. Along with that, I will be taking a wish list of things we would like to see because the company is starting to do a major overhaul of the software and create their "Next Gen" version.
Next month I get to travel to the Netherlands to attend this conference for a few days, and of course I am starting to make plans to take a mini-vacation while I am there. The planned destination is Paris. What I am trying to decide now is when to leave for Paris. I get out on Friday afternoon, do I go straight to Paris, or stay in Amsterdam that evening, and then head out the next morning to Paris? I did pre-book a hostel, but that could be altered if I have to.
I know one thing I want to do for sure, and that is go to the Louvre, and it looks like I can do it for a great price as well. I recently got AAA, and the Gray Line company (the one that operate the open top double decker buses you see in major cities for the tourists) has a deal for members on a 3 hour tour of the Louvre. I am thinking of doing that, along with a ticket to ride their buses and boats to get all over the city and hit the popular destinations. The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame are also on my list. Of course, pictures will be taken.
I can't wait, I think it is going to be so much fun, though I am now crossing my fingers that nothing goes wrong before then, if it does, expect to see me lose my mind.