Hello from Atlanta, GA, USA, the home of this year's Microsoft Dynamics Convergence conference.
This is my customary "Getting There" post. The truth is that the trip was really uneventful and from a blogging perspective boring.
I left my home in Perth at 10:00pm to catch the "Midnight Horror" flight (AKA Red Eye Special) to Sydney. I then swapped from the Domestic to International terminals, and cleared the formalities. I have to almost empty my backpack (AKA Office in a bag) as there are too many gadgets in it and if I don't, the security guys make my bag go back through the machine multiple times. Once in the international transit area, I was very good and avoided spending any money at the duty free shops... even the gadget / electronics one.
The flight from Sydney to Los Angeles was long (same as always) and I alternated between sleep, eating and watching movies. I watched the following movies and enjoyed them all:
The only notable thing on this flight was that we had a little turbulence and so the seat belt light went on, but it stayed on almost the entire flight even when it was smooth again. I think the pilot forgot to turn it off. In the end, people were ignoring it as they needed to use the bathrooms.
This time getting through passport control and making my connection at Los Angeles went smoothly and was not rushed like the Technical Conference trip. The Customs guy did not blink an eye when I said I was smuggling Tim Tams into the USA.
The last leg from Los Angeles to Atlanta was more boring than usual. This is because US Domestic flights want you to pay US$6 for movies and that just goes against my principles. Domestic flights in Australia have free movies (at least the long trip between Perth and Sydney does). Anyhow, I used the time to get some more sleep.
Finally, I arrive in Atlanta to be met by the smiling face of Mariano Gomez, my partner in crime and the other half of the Dynamics Duo. I don't have a photo like Mariano got of me, so here is an artist's impression.
Well, the last thing I wanted was a photo of me after spending some 30 hours in transit.
For the lead up to the conference, I am staying with Mariano as it allows us to work together better. So once we got back to his place, I was able to unpack my smuggled stash of goodies.
Tim Tams (Double Coat, Classic Dark and Originals), Chicos, Vegemite & Cheesybite and a Tantrix Game.
It has become a tradition to bring the yummy Tim Tam biscuits into the USA (so we can do the Tim Tam Slam) as well as the politically incorrect Chicos (chocolate flavoured black jelly babies). I also brought Vegemite and Cheesybite (Vegemite premixed with cream cheese) as believe it or not, it is edible when spread thinly.
Finally, I brought a Tantrix Game set for Mariano and family. Tantrix is a game played with hexagonal pieces with coloured lines on them and its a bit like a fancy version of dominoes. It was created by a guy called Mike McManaway from New Zealand. For more information or to play it online, visit www.Tantrix.com.
To see Mariano's take on the day, see his post: Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Atlanta 2011: Day -4.
Believe it or not, Tim Tams were sold in the US for a while - I bought quite a few. Then they have disappeared again, and I cannot find them anymore.
Here is a copy from wikipedia:
Tim Tams were introduced to the U.S.A. through Pepperidge Farm as a promotional item from November 2008 to March 2009. They were sold through Target stores only; varieties offered were Original (sold as Chocolate Crème) and Caramel. Pepperidge Farm re-released these two varieties with Classic Dark in October 2009. That time the Original and Caramel varieties were available in supermarkets other than Target and they were available in the U.S.A. until March 2010. In late 2009 Pepperidge Farm announced that they would be available in the future at the same time every year, from October to March.
However, like I said, I haven't seen them this winter :( Now that I know they may be back I'll look harder.
You can always order online from aussieproducts.com/timtam.asp
PS: Come see me at Convergence to satisfy your cravings.
I'm happy that you made it again safe over the pond from Perth to Atlanta and met Mariano for a few nice days prior to Convergence. I'm sorry to not be there this year and hope you'll all enjoy your time there again until next wednesday. Give a great handshake to all my friends there (Mariano, Leslie, Mark (both), Frank, and many others... ).
Be careful with the spicy food !
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