Thursday, February 22, 2007

Safe and Sound

I returned from my business trip to Boston safe and sound, without any major travel problems except a packed plane on the way out. Unlike my boss, who was supposed to fly in the day before me but due to the snow storm ended up taking the err, scenic, Minneapolis->Atlanta->3 hours sleep->Memphis->Boston side tour.

The trip was very successful, although extremely busy. We spent pretty long hours at the office, and those hours tended to be packed with meetings and/or scrambling to get information together in time for those meetings. Still, we accomplished a whole lot, enough that hopefully I won't have to make another trip out there for at least a couple months.

We did find a little bit of time for some fun between work and fancy dinners.

On Thursday I worked a full day and then took a 7pm flight to Boston, arriving at about 10:45pm. By the time we got to the hotel and met up with my boss for a drink and strategy meeting, I didn't get to bed until after midnight.

On Friday night we all went to North End to a little hole in the wall Italian restaurant for a fantastic, if crowded, dinner. Then we went out to some of the bars nearby, ending the night at Dick's Last Resort. We had a ton of fun there, listening to the Dean Martin impersonator, laughing at the paper hats with offensive sayings they put on everyone, and drinking large, large beers (anything in a can was 24 oz, anything in a bottle was 32 oz). By the end of the night, my sysadmin co-worker was taking all comers on in arm wrestling (he's a former North Dakota state-champion), including the gigantic bouncer at the behest of the owner. After taking the bouncer down in about one second, my co-worker let out a scream and head butted the table hard enough to bounce all the bottles on it about a foot into the air. It was hilarious. We closed the place down and each walked out with a 24-oz pilsner glass as a souvenir, while my arm-wrestling co-worker had to promise to come back in two weeks for a rematch.

On Saturday morning, we discovered that we're all much, much too old to be drinking 24-oz beers and doing Jaggermeister shots in between. We still put in close to a full day at the office, and then went out to Flemming's for a fancy steak dinner. No one ordered anything to drink, however. Before bed, I watched Invincible, which was entertaining.

On Sunday night after finishing up work at about 9pm, we decided to order pizza and play some poker. I did pretty well considering I have played poker only twice and I am generally an extremely unconvincing liar. I busted two people and was the M&M leader (we had no chips so were creative) going into the final heads-up play. Unfortunately the ever increasing blinds and my refusal to play bad cards lead me to eventually lose out to my boss. It was still fun, and I did manage to get someone to go all-in against my royal flush.

On Monday night we went out for a late dinner and then to see the 10pm showing of Smokin' Aces. That was a strange, strange movie. It wasn't terrible, but not something I would feel a major urge to see again.

On Tuesday night we worked late and then went out for a really late dinner at a local Afghanistan restaurant. That was an interesting experience. The group of five of us split two appetizers (some sort of pasta dish and an eggplant dish) and four entrees (sea bass, lamb kabobs, beef something-or-other, and a chicken curry dish). There was no lack of spices/flavor in the dishes. Everything was an explosion of new (for me) tastes in your mouth.

On Wednesday we worked basically a full day and then caught a 5:55pm flight back home.

So while it was a good trip, it was really busy and by the end, I was definitely ready to be back home sleeping in my own bed.


Brenden said...

Glad you made it back all right. Sounds like a pretty fun trip, though I'm guessing the work part wasn't quite as fun as the "drinking and arm-wrestling part".

Steve Eck said...

No, the work part definitely lost out in the overall fun department, but it wasn't as bad as I was initially expecting when I heard what we were going to be doing.