Friday, September 16, 2011

That time I went to California for a work vacation

As promised a few pictures from my one free day in California.

The hotel where the conference was being held/where I stayed was the Fairmont San Jose. When I travel, I almost never stay in hotels. I usually stay with people I know, or in the case of Europe, hostels.
So staying at a nice hotel is quite a little treat for me.

This is my room service breakfast: oatmeal with fresh berries and a glass of grapefruit juice. Cost with tip: $30. These are the things I do when I do not have to use my own money.

Before the conference hooplah started on Sunday, I visited the Winchester Mystery House.
Upon presenting my ticket to the tour guide, she looked at me and said, "Aww are you by yourself??"
I am an independent woman, thank you very much.

Aside from the tour guide who probably thought I was a lonely, desperate woman, the house was incredible.
Apparently throughout the tour, we walked over a mile!
You betcha I counted that as my exercise for the day.

Notice the "door to nowhere" on the right.

If I were to become a crazy [insanely rich] spinster cat woman, I'd build myself a house like this. Just for funsies.

The one picture that proves I was on this trip.

 Upon finding out that Stanford was a mere 20 minutes away, I decided I had to see it.
So a $60 cab ride later...

I was drooling over how gorgeous the campus was.

Seriously? My alma mater wishes it could look like this.

I followed up my Stanford wandering with a nice lunch at the Stanford shopping center, in which I ordered not only an entree, but a glass of sangria and a giant dessert as well. Like I said, the things I do when I don't have to spend my own money.
The idea of dining at a restaurant alone used to scare the crap out of me. What if people thought I was a loser with no friends?
Now I realize how obsurd that is.
Actually, I rather enjoyed the solo eting experience.

My conference schedule looked something like this:
Sunday night: network, eat, drink
Monday: Full day of sessions [several of which I rather enjoyed], make a friend, network with someone awesome at lunch, eat Italian food and drink wine at dinner while talking about the movie industry [reference to the awesome person I also networked with at lunch]
Tuesday: Full day of sessions [less of which I enjoyed, but still got to hang out with intelligent and interesting people], get called out in a session, win a big prize, win another prize for being a top winner at casino night [craps is a lucky game], stay out until 1 am with new friends, eat a late night taco
Wednesday: Only attend two sessions because it is time to leave, spend too much time at airports, come home to kitties

As I said before, it was a great experience, and simultaneously made me feel very confident and unaccomplished at the same time.
Confident because I could hold my own around all these impressive people, and unaccomplished because I realize how far I have to go.
But it opened by eyes to all the possibilities, so I hope to start working toward some dreams of mine soon.

And needless to say, I'll miss looking out my window to this:

Sooo when can I go to my next out of state conference??


Jenni Austria Germany said...

1. this is maybe my fav post yet of yours.

2. you look so cute in that photo!

3. that oatmeal looks AMAZING. omg.

4. i really wanna see that house. and that tour guide can suck it.

5. alma mater is equally envious.

Caroline Sweatt said...

love this so much. and i am SOOOO jealous that you got to see the winchester mystery house!

JennAventures said...

I feel jealous that work travel hasn't been ruined for you yet.

The Nerdy Katie said...

So glad you had a good trip! I remember you were pretty nervous. And how can you say you won something big and then not tell us! That's just mean :)

Amanda said...

Yea for a conference in a cool place...why are mine always in detroit?!?!?

Sienna said...

ive stayed at that hotel before, its great! and i love the winchester mystery house, you look adorable

Rod and Alex - aka: "Rolex" said...

I LOVE the Winchester Mystery House! Isn't the story absolutely fascinating...yet crazy! Lots of fun! Thanks for sharing!

Leslie Coxon said...

I was supposed to be in Southern California for work this week but had to cancel my trip...I can't wait to go though!! Love your pictures!

I love your blog...I just found you thru the Houston Bloggers email/blog list. I am your newest follower! =)

Celeste said...

Ahhh I so wish I could have met up with you! I've been to Winchester.. and I was EXHAUSTED after. The tour guides were weird...

I'm glad that the trip went well for you! I would be living it up too if I wasn't spending my own money :)

ChinkyGirLMeL said...

Awwww I almost had tears reading this post. I miss California a lot! Oh and yes, Stanford is so gorgeous isn't it?! The campus church is amazing. Oh and last time I went there, my friend got a ticket, the meter expired, we were 5 minutes late to the car. Boohoo. Did you get to go to Santana Row? Oh I swear, my heart has a soft spot for San Jose and definitely San Francisco.


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