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??

10 comments:

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. stanford...yeah....my 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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