Saturday, November 12, 2005

Final Days in Scottsdale

tI have a little more than a day left here in Scottsdale. My last conference finishes tomorrow at 4pm. I am looking forward to going home, even though it is probably much colder there. It has been in the 80s and low 90s here all week. I miss Ed and I have barely spoken to him all week.

I feel like I have tons of work to do, so I will probably be staying late at work most of next week. In addition to my regular work, I have to put together a presentation on this trip, another one on printer profiling for department training, and I was asked at the last minute to write a blurb for the newsletter about the conference.

Last Sunday I went to Sedona, which is about 2 hours north of Scottsdale. If I had more than one day off, I would have driven the 5 hours to the Grand Canyon. Sedona's Red Rock region was beautiful (pictures to come). Unfortunately pictures don't do the beauty justice. I went a couple of times to Old Town Scottsdale, but I haven't seen all of it because everything was always closing by the time I got there. Everything other than restaurants and malls close early around here. I did manage to buy some gifts for Christmas though.

It was great to see all my old friends from grad school this week. Everyone is scattered throughout the country: Kansas City, Boise, Rochester... And some new friends from throughout the world: Switzerland, France...

In other news, I finished reading Jarhead, which was really good. I am worried that the movie is not as good as it looks. I am sure it doesn't do the book justice. I just started reading A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, which is an Oprah Bookclub book. So far it is really good. I bought it after a recommendation of a woman sitting near me in a restaurant that started chatting with me last week. I have also gotten addicted to Sudoko puzzles during this trip and have done almost no knitting.

Anyway, pictures soon!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Scottsdale: Day 2

The ICC meeting went from about 8:30 until 4:30pm. It was nice to get finished early (the original finish time was 6pm). It went pretty well. I met a few people that I have wanted to meet. It was especially nice to meet Abhay Sharma, since I just read his book about 6 months ago.

I am glad we decided to stay at the Caleo Resort instead of the one across the street, the Chaparral, where the meeting was held. Our hotel is much nicer. Next week, the CIC conference is in our hotel.

Since there's not much close by here other than malls, I broke down and went to one. It is surprising that people are pretty fashionable around here. It's no NYC, but it's definately up there with Jersey. The mall (Fashion Center, or something like that) has everything from Louis Vitton to Tiffany to Coach. No wonder people dress well here. As a reminder for my NJ friends, we don't even has those stores in upstate NY. I wanted to go to Old Town or the 5th Avenue shops, which look cool but unfortunately they close at about 6pm. I ate at some American-Asian restaurant in the mall and had some Thai peanut noodles with chicken and an overly sweet glass of Japanese plum wine.

I have Sunday off. It is my only full free day for the next 9 days. I don't know yet what I am going to do. The Grand Canyon is about 5 hours away, so that's out. I am thinking maybe of going to the Desert Botanical Gardens. I will probably rent a car, although I don't think the Garden is too far. A Zoo is near there also. Maybe that day I will get back early enough to check out the shops at 5th Ave or Old Town.

Anyway, I will post pictures when I get back to NJ because I didn't bring my card reader with me.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Scottsdale: Day One

I arrived in Scottsdale several hours ago to 90+ degree heat. The hotel/resort is beautiful. My room has a large balcony overlooking the gardens. The Fitness Center is just across from my balcony also, so I don't have much excuse not to go. I only went for about 20 minutes tonight, though, before going to dinner and taking a walk. The courtyard, which I have to walk through to get to my room, has 2 lagoon-shaped pools, one with a slide. There's also a bar and restaurant and lots of small fountains by the pools. Out in front of the hotel there are huge fire torches and white, billowing curtains. Unfortunately, other than hotels and ,alls, there is almost nothing in this area within walking distance. I was looking for a drugstore, like a CVS and there wasn't anything like that at all- and I walked for quite a while. Not even the gas station that I saw had a market attached to it. I did find a cute little shopping area (other than the malls) near 5th Avenue. I plan to go back there. I still need to figure out what else there is to do around here, but I guess I have a while since I will be here for another 10 days, or so. I have early meetings in the morning so I have to get unpacked. Hopefully I will write more during this trip, but I will have limited access to the internet since it is expensive per day, so I won't buy it every day.