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 laptop finally.
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 and listened.
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 killing 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 trip.

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 traffic.
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.