Saturday, May 06, 2006

Vegas, baby, Vegas

Well, the trip really wasn't like that, but I spent two and a half days in Las Vegas last week. I was there for a conference on Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID), for which I am managing our pilot at work.

The convention was at the MGM Grand. This was convenient because the hotel has a check in desk at the airport and will include the cost of the shuttle on my hotel bill. I also discovered that they'll have a bellman take my bags to the shuttle for me (expects a tip), who will take me to the hotel (expects a tip) and have baggage handlers bring the bag to my room for me (expects a tip). I'm cheap and not too keen on the expected tips. I can drag my bag around and I don't need someone to carrry it for me. There are times when I want that to happen and I'll ask someone to do it for me. So, for those who are wondering, I tipped the bellman, didn't tip the driver and snatched my own bag before the baggage handlers could bring it up to my room.

My room was in the West Tower which was pretty trendy. The hallway was super long (unfortunately, no picture) and the room was totally bad-ass. All muted grays and reds, lots of glass (the desks, the sink, shower and bathroom door), TV built into bathroom miror and more. The bed's headboard was a cool red leather and you can seee the light on the side of the bed (there is only one, just mirrors on the corner there). It was swank and modern.

The opening speaker was Monday night and I went down early to check in and orient myself to the convention center. The convention center is all the way on the other end of the hotel and it took my about 20 minutes to walk there. It wasn't until the second day that I found a shortcut, avoiding most of the casino floor. Before the speaker started, they were playing music in the convention hall. I thought it was strange and actually use my note pad to write down what songs were playing.

  1. Naked Eye - Luscious Jackson
  2. Song 2 - Blur
  3. Odelay - Beck

I enjoyed the music, but I thought that this was pretty strange music for a convention targeted at mid-level and executive supply chain managers and technology companies. But hey, I guess they wanted to recognize the youthfulness of the RFID industry.

The first evening kicked off with appetizers and cocktails in the exhibtion hall and that is always fun when you don't have to pay for alcohol. I decided that I didn't want any of the beer or wine that they had and asked the bartender to make me the cocktail he likes to make. He offered up a Tequila Sunrise and that was what I drank. I would have imagined that there was something else, more interesting that a bartender would like to make, but who am I. I just like cocktails (and I like to make them too, so I supposed I am qualified to ask for something like that).

On the second night, I went to L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. It's a cool French restaurant with bar seating around an open kitchen. It would take the sous-chefs about 5 minutes just to garnish the plates. It was beautiful watching them prepare the food. And oh my god is the food good. It sucked being there alone, because I had no one to share with. I had a smoked salmon appetizer, several nice pieces of lox with dilled creme fraiche and for dinner, a filet of John Dorry with chorizo and fava beans. It was so good. I chatted some with a journalist who works with John Dvorak (at the RFID conference) and a doctor who was at some other convention with her husband.

The MGM Grand has a large pen with several lions. I guess it makes sense, being that they have that lion roar at the beginning of the MGM movies. On the last day, I decided to run by with my camera. I got there right after feeding, so there was quite a crowd, but the big lion was right up at the front of the pen. So, I did the journalist thing and held my camera over my head and snapped some photos. It looks like he is sizing me up for dessert, doesn't it?

The convention was really informative and I didn't just stop at every vendor (I learned my lesson from last time, I don't want all the "follow up" calls). On top of that, I found it to be re-energizing. I've got some ideas to take back to our steering committee so that we can decided upon some options on how to continue to explore RFID (and spend money). This is what I think I liked best about this conference.

I flew out of McCarran International airport, on my way back to Seattle, but I had a few hours to kill in the airport. That airport offers free wi-fi access! How great is that. So, I posted my pictures to my flickr account, responded to some work email, and exchanged a few emails with my friend Laura. My battery started to die, so I didn't get to start writing this post.

So, hopefully this is a better travel-blog - not so painful for me to write and not so long for you to read.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Thanks for the honorable mention, Bogdan! ;)