After all the build-up over the last few weeks (putting finishing touches to decks and demos), we’re finally off to the last set of conferences for the year. First up is SQL Connections in Las Vegas, with over 5000 attendees!!. We flew down yesterday from Seattle to hang out for an extra few days before the conference, as unbelievably after 9 years in the US it’s my first time ever in Las Vegas.


It’s a kind of a weird place – you’re flying along over desert and mountains and suddenly there’s a city in the middle of nowhere. The first landmark I could see that positively ID’d it as Vegas was the distinctive black pyramid of the Luxor hotel – we’re actually looking down on it from our room in THE hotel (totally pretentious name :-) but nice rooms). Looking out at the Strip, it seems like every second or third car is a limo of some description.


Now that we’re here, we’re making full use of the extra time to take in some of the sights and sounds. We had dinner last night at Mix with our good friends Gert Drapers and his wife Karen, plus Michele Leroux Bustamante and her husband Andres. The food was great – I had calamari risotto plus beef tenderloin with foie gras and truffles - and Andres chose some really nice wine for us all. Unfortunately, Kimberly didn’t enjoy her entree at all – but she did digress from her usual shrimps and scallops choices (her appetizer was a stunning scallop dish) so I wasn’t totally surprised. Actually I tried some of her dish too – cod with sweet crumbly pastry over capers, eggplant, olives, and lemon – not how it was described on the menu and totally not something I’d recommend – and I *love* seafood. Tonight we’re heading out again with Michele and Andres to see Elton John playing at Ceasar’s Palace. Tomorrow the work begins…



So given that we’re doing a pre-pre con tomorrow (see my previous post here for all the details), we needed to head over to the conference centre in the Mandalay Bay to pick up our speaker-shirts and badges. After walking for what seemed like miles through casinos and corridors – Vegas is *busy* – we arrived. Here’s the sight that greeted us – a small army of conference crew stuffing bags and finalizing registration details.


This is a pretty exciting conference for us – it’s our first as a married couple! Almost all of our sessions are together and for the few that it’s only Kimberly speaking I’ll either sit at the back and heckle or maybe try my hand at blackjack or some other cunning way of giving all our money away very quickly. I suspect Kimberly would rather I heckle :-)


Seriously though, we *love* presenting together, which is why I left Microsoft in the first place and other the next few weeks we’ll certainly be doing a lot of it – with TechEd IT Forum in Barcelona straight after SQL Connections and then a TechNet Deep-Dive on Database Maintenance in Zurich the week after that. When we’re done we can finally crash for the year as the next work trip isn’t until mid-January when we head to China to teach some more classes (Kimberly’s turn to experience somewhere new).


One thing we’re definitely going to do while we’re on the road is blog lots – at least one of us will post every day with some tidbit of info or answer to an interesting question that came up during a session or workshop.


Hopefully we’ll see you at one of these events – stop by and say hi!