Every now and again one ambitiously plans something they soon realize — in my case with laughter — “Dude, there’s no way you’re gonna have time for that.” That was me the last nearly two months. I thought I would have time to do some serious blogging. But family life has a way of re-introducing you to your true priorities. Especially when you have serious studying to complete, followed up by some travel with a toddler.
It was if I went on a sort of whirlwind tour. I flew to the U.S. to complete a Security+ course and certification, flew back to Sweden to help my lovely wife with our little one on the flight back to Washington, D.C. for a wedding of which I had privilege and honor to be a groomsman in, followed up with a train ride to my fabulous old hometown of New York, NY (Harlem, to be precise, of course!) to visit family and friends. Thinking back on it all brings a very satisfied smile on my face.
The Security+ course and cert were definitely worth the trip, even with all of the studying involved. For those of you who know a bit about computer security, one of the participants in the course who has many years of experience and his CISSP certification said the Security+ exam was sort of like a CISSP lite exam, but tough nonetheless. If you’re someone who wants a respectable certification in the IT Security field, who may not have the time for studying for the CISSP exam, this might be for you. For those of you not interested in computer security, suffice it to say I think it would be to your advantage to befriend someone with either certification. 😉
Flying back to Sweden for just a few days was interesting. I literally came back, celebrated Easter (a HUGE deal to all of Christianity, but especially for us Orthodox types (Christ is risen!)), and worked two days before grabbing the family and flying off to D.C. for a wedding. Having my internal clock on east coast USA time was a huge advantage for me during the Easter celebration (from 23.30 to 03.00). I almost felt like I was cheated just a little. My poor wife was exhausted, and our little Esme was out until it was time for us to receive the Eucharist. In the end though, it was beautiful. 🙂
Lucky for us, the flight to the U.S. wasn’t the first time my wife and I flew with our little girl. That would be the four hours or so flight to Cyprus, which was pretty much cake as flights with children go. Nevertheless seeing as Esme’s now definitely a toddler there was more of a challenge this time. Thanks be to God, she turned out to be a pretty good toddler to travel with. No puking, very little crying (really!), and even some sleeping during the flight. To our wonderful surprise, she started walking in the airports in the U.S. I mean for real walking! 😀 Granted, this wasn’t without its price. As every parent knows, when your child starts walking you start walking more, and try to guide. The guiding continues for many years to come, of course.
The wedding was absolutely beautiful! It was a full-blown Roman Catholic wedding, with Mass, and even some Latin. The bride, Tiffany, was beautiful, glowing, and shining. My eyeballs might’ve done just a tad bit of sweating when I first spotted her, but I quickly got it together. I’m admittedly a mushball at weddings, but I didn’t want to become the one blubbering groomsman. The groom, my good friend Francis, was dashing in his tux, and smiled wonderfully seeing his bride come his way. Their wedding was beautiful, and I pray their marriage may be just as beautiful for many years.
The train ride to New York was nice. All of us enjoyed seeing the countryside whip past us, and Esme even got in a decent nap. I’m one who, without question, prefers taking the train from D.C. to New York. It takes longer, but the view of the countryside alone makes it worth it. New York itself is still a wonderful town. If there are any of you out there reading this who haven’t visited New York yet, you are definitely missing out on something. It’s an even more amazing town. There’s so much to see and do, and it’s a much safer town to do it in (hat-tip again to Mayor Giuliani for this!). And don’t get me started on the food! I still have some of my mom’s fried chicken and some Chinese food to work off! 😀
Well, I’d better get my coffee going. I think my ladies will be up soon, so time is at a premium. My Esme will likely be raring to go once her feet hit the ground. As expected, being away was fantastic, but the comforting routines of home are like a favorite old blanket on a cozy couch.