This is a set of mostly spur-of-the-moment jottings that I started writing so that I would remember my trip, a true diary. However, I vaguely confused this with some promises I made to put up some pictures from my trip on my web page, and somehow I ended up writing a diary for everyone to read. I wrote vaguely about people other than my wife Kim and me because I do not want to violate their privacy in any way. I didn't make an exact discipline of this (it was subconscious at first) so you will find a few names, but I hope that no one will be offended either at being included or being left out.
The primary purpose of this trip was for Kim to attend a 6-week-long "Spring School" in Symbolic Dynamics, her area of Mathematics, held at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. My employer, Red Hat, graciously allowed me to attempt to work remotely in order to accompany her on this trip. In retrospect, I think it was a good idea. I didn't get as much work done as I hoped, but this was due in part to external constraints that we did not expect, and I ended up getting practice working around frustrating barriers and finding useful stuff to do anyway. I also enjoyed the shorter true vacations we took during this time, and returned refreshed.
The last week of the trip was a visit to very close friends of ours in Britain. I have, to preserve their privacy, left them somewhat in the background in this account; this leaves larger holes in the narrative than occur for the rest of our trip because we enjoyed spending lots of time talking with them and playing with their children.