Wednesday, March 5, 2008

... and you don't even have to cross the street

I am in Seattle this week for the Microsoft SharePoint conference. I must say that although I have not heard any Pearl Jam, didn't get to see the Space Needle, and amazingly have only had one cup of Starbucks coffee (tastes fresher here) I am enjoying myself.

The plane rides to get here were harrowing. First a flight to DC then a 2-hour layover. THEN, a 9.5 hour flight from DC to Seattle, via Phoenix (it was like a bus, we landed, people got on and off, but I didn't get to leave the plane). Ugh. I watched "Million dollar baby".. THREE TIMES!! Don't show that movie on the plane, people, there aren't enough kleenex around! I thought the movie was sad, until I started talking to a guy who lost both legs in Iraq in 2006. Amazing guy, won't get into it, but he's having a hell of a time. If nothing else, he solidified for me that opposing the war IS supporting the troops, and if one more person tells me I'm disrespecting the troops and minimizing their sacrifice by opposing the war, they can expect a deeply felt reply. You've been warned. =)

The flights were otherwise uneventful.

The conference is a conference: lots of speeches, even more sales pitches, lots of tchotchkes, schwag... call it what you will, I'm bringing home six million pens, three bottle openers, two frisbees and a dozen or so golf tees. I love vendors!! Oh, and since it's a Microsoft conference, I got to meet this guy:

The highlight of the conference, for me, was the keynote speaker: Greg LeMond. Did you know he was shot before winning the Tour de France? I did not. They're raffling off a few LeMond bikes, keep your fingers crossed for me.

Oh, the title. I was also speaking with a native about the whole Starbucks phenomenon and he assured me that in Seattle - you do not have to cross the street to get to a Starbucks. In my limited travels through the city, I have not yet been able to disprove this statement. No kidding.

So, the hotel. I'm staying at "W Seattle". This place is so hip it doesn't even have a name, just a letter. I swear Dracula is staying here. There are no lights in the lobby/registration desk/bar... only candles. Seriously:
The hallways are lit by eerie blue lights:

My room contained a $28 bottle of water, a selection of relaxation CDs and a "Whatever" button on my phone which when I pushed it a voice answered with "good evening Miss Ambrass, what can I do for you". Whoa. This certainly must mean that the dream I had was true and I am, in fact, a rock star. Now if my entourage would just show up....

I'm out on the red eye tonight (coach class, so much for the rock star), bound for a layover in Charlotte tomorrow then home. Only to leave again on Saturday for visits with friends in Boston. (there are not words to describe how excited I am for that... but that's another blog). For now, I will continue to pretend to pay attention to the breakout session on "Governance and Administration" and look forward to one more Starbucks before heading for home. I'm sad to be leaving, we simply do not have views like this in Pittsburgh:

1 comment:

matilda sue said...

ok - I forgive you for the lack of returning my phone call - but I am so jealous of this weekend!!!