A Quick Recap of Vancouver | Caffeine and Star Stuff

This weekend was one of firsts — first flight, first time leaving the US, first time eating Thai and Indian food, and my first event as a Mozilla Rep. I’m exhausted, and my calves are very sore, but the Vancouver Hive Pop Up was entirely worth it.

I flew in from Seattle, where my aunt drove me up to Vancouver. All things considered, everything went well — and I’m now comfortable enough with airports to fly internationally. (MozFest 2015, here I come!) Admittedly, I got a little turned around, but Helen Lee picked me up at Yaletown Station and we headed over to the Mozilla office for Webmaker training. I’ve wanted to visit a Mozilla space since I was a kid, so it was a very cool experience. The fact that I was there for a Mozilla function, as a Rep, made it all very surreal and awesome.

Luke rocks at explaining stuff.

I met some very cool Mozillians there — specifically Dethe Elza, Luke Pacholski, and Simona Ramkisson. Luke ran us through the Appmaker training, and I was surprised by how extensive Appmaker really is. Previous to this, I’d played with it a few times, but it never really progressed past basic one-or-two-button stuff — and Luke had an entire music demo going.

After the demo, we went back to the apartment, which I was sharing with Robby Sayles and Regnard Raquedan, as well as Regnard’s wife Liza and their daughter Lizzie, who’s a little less than a year old. We ended up with all of the extra pizza from the training in our fridge (but all of it was gone by the time we left!). It was very cozy, with a breakfast nook perfect for curling up with a book in the morning.

vancouver2On Saturday morning, we had breakfast with Helen, Dethe, and their families, then set to exploring Vancouver. It’s a beautiful city. I like a more overcast, cool climate, and I love urban background noise — which is weird because I’m from a small town — so I fell in love with the city pretty quickly. We took a photo by the Olympic torch, then took a bus tour around town — and in the process, found out that Lizzie finds my face extremely amusing.

We spent a lot of Saturday discussing Reps stuff — the different events we’re working on, MozFest, and why we love being Mozillians. At one point, I referred to ReMo as “a bunch of ninja superheroes”, and I think that’s the essence of why I love being a Rep so much. We’re really this team of scrappers, unexpectedly kicking butt, with our open-source and collaborative superpowers.

Sunday was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. In the early afternoon, Robby and I went to brunch while Regnard and family poked around the city a bit more. We went to this awesome Thai bistro, which looked fairly traditional — but they were playing Paramore and indie rock the whole time. I’d never had Thai food before, but I really enjoyed it.

Working with the kiddos

The event itself was a blast. We set up at the Vancouver Public Library around 2 pm, and the event ran from 3 to 6. We had about 120 people there, quite a few of them being kids. There were four or five Appmaker stations set up, but it wasn’t enough, so I started pulling kids to an ad-hoc station I set up with my MacBook. I had four kids I worked with, in groups of two — Charlie and Hendrix, and Eric and Viktor. I saved the makes they did to my VancouverPopUp collection in Appmaker, and emailed them links to the apps, encouraging them to continue development on them. (And, of course, I made sure that they went home with a Mozilla lanyard, stickers, and a Firefox button!)

I got home yesterday, absolutely exhausted but oddly re-energized and ready to run my first MozCoffee in a few weeks. High fives to all of the participants for a job well done, and big hugs to Robby and Regnard & family for keeping me out of trouble over the weekend. :)

One thing’s official — I have the coolest non-job on the planet.

This is a repost from Michaela’s (Mozilla Rep, Michigan) Caffeine and Star Stuff blog.