Monday, May 16, 2011

Guest Post: Transition to Colorado

Well, I used the special Microsoft Word blog tool and the pictures didn't post.  Then I decided to come to Blogger so that I could get the pictures in the right place, but now two of the pictures are turned and I cannot get them to rotate - blasted.  Let's just say I'm becoming less and less enchated by Blogger and am On. The. Verge.  Thankfully my friend, Jeff, sent me a link to another blog tool and I'll try that at home at some point.  If all else fails, I'm off to Wordpress.

Do you hear that, Blogger?  I am considering moving to Wordpress.


Well I thought I'd report back in about my transition to Colorado.

My time in Pella went fast and I had a honey-do list of things to do around the house as well as things to pack for our apartment in CO. I did take two days to do some last minute job-shadowing of some of the brewers in Des Moines, which will be beneficial from a job hunting standpoint. It was also the annual Tulip Time festival in Pella and I got one last chance to eat the famous treats from the food stands and say goodbye to some friends that I bumped into around town.

On Friday night I also had a chance to say goodbye to my CSP home brewing compadres at a good friend's 40th birthday party. Gonna miss that bunch a bunch.

On Saturday morning I got up at 5AM (10PM Munich time...I didn't sleep much that night and am guessing I got between 2-3 hours of sleep due to insomnia/jetlag). So on little sleep I began my 11 hour drive out to Denver, CO. I had pre-arranged to meet one of my Siebel classmates out in Elk Horn, IA, at 8 AM who is opening a brewpub. Elk Horn has another large European windmill and his brewpub will be located directly across the parking lot from this town's tourist attraction (see pic).

He had very little to show since it was just a hollow building at this point, but he walked me through the layout and future plans...I'm really excited for him and his business since he has a lot of great things going forward.

The rest of the trip was quite uneventful except that I needed a 1/2 hour nap after lunch due to drowsiness. I did stop at the welcome center and snapped this pic to prove that I actually did make it to CO.

The last 3 hours of driving was really testing my wakefulness but I was so excited to be back with my family that I just pushed through. I think I got to the apartment around 6:30PM mountain time. The rest of the night was a blur and I don't think I was speaking sensibly, but my head was clear the next morning at least. Erin unfortunately got hit with a 24 hour flu the next morning (Mother's Day) so that sucked for everybody here as well.

Monday was reserved for standing in 4 different lines at 3 different places in order to get my CO license and plates. It only took me 5.5 hours, but dang, that truck looks sexy with the CO plates, don't you think?

The remainder of my week was learning my kids' daycare routine, orientating myself and brushing up on my resume, cover letter and business cards. I acknowledge that most craft brewery types don't follow the white collar traditions of business cards, but I still wanted to get my name and contact info out there, so I created a networking tool that is universal in the the beer biz--a coaster! (see pic of homemade coasters from blank coasters and custom rubberstamps)

Hopefully this baby has enough info and enough playfulness that I will be remembered and contacted. A big thanks to Dan from who helped me layout the custom stamp and to my wife who came up with the catchy slogan "Will brew for work."

On Saturday the fam got in the car and armed with an iPhone, GPS, and printout from started doing drive-by's of houses and neighborhoods. Even though our house in Pella hasn't sold yet, we need to stay proactive in case it is a large time investment for house-hunting, but it is fun for we A-types like Erin and me. The kids held up pretty well considering we covered 180 miles and were in the car nearly all day with just a few stops to get out and eat and break for the bathroom. We found a lot we didn't like, but a few that we really did. On Sunday we attended a church about 3 blocks away and afterwards drove around and looked at houses in 3 different 'burbs. Only spent 3 hours driving around this time (but we were gone from 9 AM – 5 PM).

This week I will venture out and hand out "coasters" and start networking with breweries, hopefully I can land a job, but even if there aren't any openings immediately I'm prepared to do some job-shadowing and interning in the meantime.

Oh and as an added bonus, I found these pictures of some trees in the Hofgarten in downtown Munich. I randomly took the first picture and then 2 weeks later I was back in the same spot with some friends and remembered taking a picture there, so I scrolled back through and tried to recreate the same picture/angle as close as possible. These were taken about 15 days apart....look at how fast the leaves emerged!



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