Jonathan Sumner Evans
Sumner Evans
Software Engineer at Beeper

Denver to Lisbon, Portugal

Posted on in Trip to Portugal and France, Work Retreats • 632 words • 3 minute read
Tags: Travel, Denver, Lisbon, Portugal

Today I ventured across the Atlantic for the first time since 2019. The reason: a work retreat in Ericeira, Portugal, a small town about 40 minutes from Lisbon. My flight path was from DEN -> IAD (Washington Dulles) -> LIS.

Both flights were uneventful, though slightly turbulent at times. The service from Denver to Dulles left at 15:30, and I had a red-eye flight leaving around 22:20 out of Dulles. The gate process at Dulles was highly inefficient, and it took way too long to board and get everyone’s carry-on bags onboard. They had this facial recognition system that had about a 50% success rate, and the gate agents still took and verified everyone’s passport and boarding pass, so I don’t really get why they had it. The only nice thing about the process was that it was so slow at the gate that it made the trickle of people on the jet-bridge and getting onto the plane so low that it was chill getting on the plane. We ended up leaving about 20 minutes late, but luckily the jet stream helped us out and we arrived in Lisbon about 20 minutes earlier than expected.

The food service on the second leg was quite nice. The dinner was a vegetable stir fry with a salad, bread and butter, and a snickerdoodle cookie. For breakfast a few hours later, we were served some Chobani yoghurt.

The meal exceeded my expectations, and even included a complimentary beverage.

The dinner service on my flight from IAD to LIS

The meal exceeded my expectations, and even included a complimentary beverage.

The approach into Lisbon was very nice as well. We came in from the West into the Iberian Peninsula. Due to wind conditions, we had to land in Humberto Delgado Airport from the south, so we circled south and approached the runway. On the way in, we passed right over Lisbon and I got a very nice view of the city out the window.

This is the West coast of Iberia.

The view from my seat on the approach into Lisbon

This is the West coast of Iberia.


Bradley had arrived a couple minutes before me, and Finn and Josh arrived a few minutes later. We took an Uber to Almo do Paco and met up with a few other people who were already at the retreat venue. We ate some lunch and settled in for a few hours and then some of us went to the beach. Supposedly it is a 20 minute walk away (it was more like 30 minutes, but still a nice walk). Bradley and I were the only ones who went into the ocean (though we only stayed in for a few minutes). After we finished at the beach, we went to the beach bar for a drink and then walked back up to the venue.

It was a bit cold getting into the Atlantic, but once we got in, it was refreshing.

The beach near the retreat venue

It was a bit cold getting into the Atlantic, but once we got in, it was refreshing.

While we were at the beach, more team members had arrived, including Brandon, one of the new team members that I haven’t met. He works on the iOS team. Dinner was served shortly thereafter. After a while, we started a fire and enjoyed some time chatting around the fire, trying to fight off jet lag.

Adam did a good job starting the fire, and didn’t even have to use gasoline! This fire is Chief Safety Officer approved.

The Beeper team enjoying some quality time around the fire

Adam did a good job starting the fire, and didn’t even have to use gasoline! This fire is Chief Safety Officer approved.

The Finns (Tulir and Toni) as well as Samer and Ivan are arriving in a few minutes (it’s late evening now). I’m looking forward to getting to meet more of the team in person: there are four people who I haven’t met before.

Tomorrow we have a fairly late start with a team retrospective at 10:00, so hopefully everyone can get off to a good start tomorrow.