Salt Lake City, 2010
The yearly all hands meeting for one of my groups at work was held in Salt
Lake City again in 2010. I was able to convince my dad and sister to join
me again for a ski weekend after the work week was over.
Sun Jan 3/10
I finally fixed my error from the last two years and bought 5pm flights both going and
returning. It had been snowing since Friday, and my taxi got stuck turning
around in the driveway, two mattress delivery guys had to give him a push.
The taxi driver ended up being a talkative young guy, taking a break from
school. It felt odd to be awake enough to chat on the way to the airport.
I took advantage of free wireless at the airport (thanks Google!) to catch
up on email. The Boston contingent slowly coalesced at the gate, but we
were dispersed through the plane. My skis took a while to come out of the
special baggage door, I was the last to get everything from our group. I
ended up pulling 5 of them along with me in a van taxi, and I covered the
fare as the instigator and probably the most senior staff member there.
Luckily, no problem claiming it back. I got my stuff up in my room,
overlooking Gallivan Plaza again, and joined my supervisor and boss and a
couple others in the hotel bar for a sandwich. I was asleep on my feet
when I ran into Sonia and Bertrand as I was going up the elevator to my
room to head to sleep, they'd just finished skiing and dinner.
Mon Jan 4/10
I popped over to Lamb's Grill for breakfast, and had a very flat waffle. I
overheard two Japanese guys talking about the Tabernacle, thought I was in
Quebec for an instant. :) I got all my work stuff together and headed to
the conference are and started work at around 11:30am. Afterward, I went
to the gym, read a book on the elliptical machine, then took a nice long
hot shower. I got pulled into the French-speakers dinner at Five Star
Restaurant next to the hotel, and then broke off on my own and popped over
to the Red Door for a cocktail. No Chartreause nor maraschino liqueur, the
bartender made me something very sweet with cherry syrup, and I
ended the evening with a very nice Maker's Mark manhattan. The bartenders
in Utah can't taste the cocktails that they mix. The bar was fairly quiet
while I was in there, so I sat and chatted with the bartender a bit. He
told me about the outdoor retailers trade show that has an open bar there
every year, with guys competing to run up the highest tab. And about a guy
who disparaged the nice Scotch selection.
Tue Jan 5/10
Work work work. Breakfast and lunch at the conference, then I had dinner
at Bucca di Beppo with the Georgia Tech crew, eating family style.
Wed Jan 6/10
I took part in lots of breakout meetings, got Qt compiling on my
Peter called to say the Georgia Tech crew were going ice skating
after we wrapped up for the day, and I decided to join them while killing
time before dinner. I got there first, and it
turned out to be just me and him, as the rest were going to a basketball
game instead. I stayed until the zamboni went around, and caught
Bertand as he was coming back from Snowbird, and we chatted for a bit. I
went back on the ice to take a few laps on the fresh ice, and he took
some pictures with Sonia's camera. I returned the rental skates and
headed back up to my room to clean up for dinner at around 7.
Madelyn and Paul picked me up and we went to the new location of the Red
Iguana for dinner. It was very yummy, I was a bit sad that I didn't get a
cocktail but expense report reimbursement difficulties keep me from
drinking with my meals when I travel for work. After dinner we made a stop
for gelato, Madelyn and I eating our small ones on the bench there, while
Paul nursed his take out container.
Thur Jan 7/10
The main day with presentations taking up the whole day, I worked quietly
I hit the gym afterward, then showed up later at
Murphy's bar for the conference social, after showering and changing (got
a bit dolled up). I got myself a G&T, and my supervisor bought me a shot
of Sapphire since he wanted to do tequila shots. I sipped mine. Then I got
lured out to a Mexican restaurant that doubles as a night club. I danced
for a bit after S. bought me another G&T, but the small dancefloor was
crowded and I didn't stay too long. I left on my own and got back to
my room after midnight.
Fri Jan 8/10
Had a coding breakthrough and finally got the Java stuff working,
finishing up the last half day by presenting the progress on that project.
I had checked out and stored stuff with the hotel during a coffee break,
and left my laptop backpack with them when we were all done. It was kind
of nice to not have to lug it around any more. I took a group over to Sage's Cafe for lunch, delicious as
always, I got the curry finally and have since managed to reproduce it at
home. Katie and I stopped at Gourmandise aka The Bakery,
got a rum ball and a pear tart. I ate the tart sitting in the lobby
time until my taxi to the airport, hanging out with S. as he waited
for his friend to pick him up. I had a quick ride to the airport, though
my stuff was taking over the van again. I got my
small SUV from Thrifty, despite them trying to talk me up to the next
size for more money. My skis fit fine, I didn't need to go back and get a
larger SUV. I pulled around into the park
and wait lot and then picked up Sue and Dad when their flight arrived.
I drove us to the Hyatt Summerfield Suites in Sandy, a nice new hotel that
had only been open a year. We got a two bedroom suite for a reasonable
price as they're trying to drum up business. We changed into our ski gear
and then took the local roads to the Ski N See to get lift tickets and
then to Brighton. It wasn't cold
at all, I was almost over heating at the bottom - there was a temperature
inversion going on, so it was colder downtown than in the mountains. We
stayed until just before they closed down, and drove back toward the hotel
looking for food. We got dinner at around 10pm at Ruby River Steakhouse,
the fish was quite good. I was pretty beat, so I skipped on the club night
Madelyn had told me about (Tech Noir at Club Sound) and opted to just
catch up on sleep.
Sat Jan 9/10
We nabbed discounted passes from the hotel front desk in the morning, and
went to Alta. It got cloudy and snowy
in the afternoon, visibility went downhill a few times. We had lunch at
Alf's midmountain, and I was a bit worried that my appetite was barely
there, it took me ages to finish my veggie chili.
Drove back to the hotel, got cleaned up, and met Paul and Madelyn downtown
at Red Rock Brewery. We had a bit of a wait for a table, but then Paul
went and checked and Squatters
could seat us right away, so we moved over there. Sonia and Bertand met us
there, it was hard to pull away from the fun conversations, but I had to
drive back to the hotel and was getting tired.
Sun Jan 10/10
We got discount passes again at the hotel, and this time picked Solitude for skiing. There were too
many rocks, and not enough snow. :/ I'd love to go back when they had
better snow coverage, there were some fun runs. Wished we'd gone to Alta
instead, but ah well, I do like trying at least one new mountain each
We went to Ruby River for dinner again, but I was still not hungry. I ate
two small things (the roasted acorn squash stuffed with apples and
cinnamon was yummy, I took the congealed cheese off my bruschetta though).
Sue wasn't happy with her steak, they comped it and her dessert though.
Mon Jan 11/10
Got up early for once, checked out of the hotel, everything in the SUV,
and got Sue and Dad to the airport for 9am without hitting any bad
I drove downtown and hung out in Nobrow with chai and pumpkin bread and
then made the decision to go to Snowbird
after all. I drove up into the mountains, did a quick change in the back
seat to exercise clothes, and rented snowshoes. I was a bit put out that
there wasn't an official map nor signposts, the woman just said to follow
the obvious tracks. Um, okay. I went from the base by the Gondola over to
the Baby Thunder lift and back. I had to cross quite a few ski runs, and
some of the blacks were scary. I also lost the tracks a lot, and just sort
of aimed across the mountain as best I could. Almost got eaten by a snow
bank. Felt very silly snow shoeing while people were skiing. Decided that
ski resorts are for skiing, not mountain biking nor snow shoeing. I was
soaked in sweat and out of breath by the time I returned to the base to
return my rented snow shoes. I made another change of clothes in the back
seat and headed down the mountain.
I remembered to stop for gas, and returned the car without going over the
estimated time limit. I checked in (another $50 baggage fee :/ ), and
ended up choosing the wrong security line and went through the mm scanner
instead of the regular x-ray, and didn't feel up to asking for a physical
path down. :/ I ate lunch and hung out by the gate reading. I bought food
on board and finished my book and then napped. Got home at around 1am,
showered off the snow shoeing sweat and was in bed around 2am.
Back to my diary page.