"Well, I'm back" --Sam Gamgee
The trip to Charlotte was a success on any measurable level: we accomplished our goals, at least as well as can reasonably be expected.
I got to work with a new acquaintance who'd probably have been promoted to "friend" if I hadn't met him as I was leaving. He's a Solaris guru and a shell scripting genius, so I learned a lot. In return, I was able to share some Perl-fu. I was flattered when he told someone, "I thought I knew Perl until I worked with Ox."
But the high point was certainly seeing Ames and the kids again.
So I'm home, the new job starts Monday, and I'm very happy to be home.