Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Wynn, Chocolate Volcanoes and Tales from the Road

I’ve been on the road more than home lately. Without email, text messaging and voicemail, I am sure this would be a lot harder than it is. Luckily, with all the technology, I am not as out of the loop as I would have once been. Now, that I have properly bowed to the technology gods, I can continue my entry.

Last week, I was at a conference in Vegas. My boss was supposed to attend, but was moving, so I got to go. The location was The Wynn. Wow It is a beautiful hotel/casino. I put the words in that order because it really seems appropriate.

For those of you who don’t know, The Wynn opened this spring. It is one the newest Vegas Casinos, but it was created with a business traveler in mind. For example, the desk had a printer fax with the cable internet access. All wires were provided by the hotel. The phone service was VOIP. Customizable voice mail was available and the business office was well equipped.

For the non business visitor, there were many amenities that made the customer feel special. For example, two robes and set’s of slippers available per room. Two flat screen TV’s, one in the main room and one in the bathroom. Also, cable music stations were available. HUGE BATHTUB! When I say huge, I could lay down in it. I know b/c I did. Stand alone shower and his/her sinks. And for the perpetual dieter, which I am not, there is a scale. Of course this is on top of the other standard hotel amenities you would expect. PS. For women, the hair dryer is a good quality, not the wall unit.

What about the rest of the hotel, beyond the room? There were about 5 restaurants I saw. I didn’t experience any of them. I was on a business trip. However, the Spa is very nice. The massage is well worth the cost. The pool area is large. It’s not particularly family friendly, (Mandalay Bay is better), but it is pleasant and a great place for adults to relax. And, for those interested in sunburns in weird places, there is a topless sunbathing area. For the high dollar sunbather, there are cabanas to rent including food/drinks, shaded cooled sofa, and bed/lounger. It looked decadent.

Finally, since I was on business, I must comment on the meeting facilities. They are a long walk from the room, but they are good. You would think, in a casino, you’d hear slots and smell smoke. Not so at all. The only downer was there was no wireless access in the meeting rooms. Seemed like a missed opportunity to me.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend the Wynn if you’re staying in Vegas soon. It was really a nice place to be.

On to Milwaukee, and no I am not kidding!
I am at Miller today. This is an industry meeting for DSD and it’s not as exciting as I might have hoped. Hotel wise, I am staying at the Milwaukee Hilton. No need to elaborate, it’s a Hilton, and very non-mentionable.

However, dinner last night had a great story. We were at the BBQ Brew house. It’s a steak, ribs and microbrew place. What a great concept for a restaurant! The dinner was good and the beverages flowed freely. Finally, it was time to order dessert. A colleague from PepsiCo, Gina, ordered the Chocolate Volcano. For the women reading this would seem to be a great dessert choice, right? Well, in a very high school like moment, when the dessert was delivered, I was definitely glad I opted for the cheesecake instead.

Gina was presented with a dessert that can only be described as extremely phallic in nature. It was chocolate, it was standing up, it had a hard coating (like a dipped cone at Dairy Queen) and a drizzle of cream from the peak. Poor Gina. The laughter, jokes and comments were reminiscent of a high school lunch room and it only got worse as she tapped it with a fork and announced, “It’s really hard”. My cheeks hurt from laughing.

If you’re ever in Milwaukee and head to the BBQ Brew house, I recommend passing on the Chocolate Volcano. Gina said it was good, but the harassment may not be worth the taste.

Tonight, we are heading to a Brewer’s/Cubs game. Go Cubs!

I head home to Dallas on Thursday and head to Houston from there. Alex and I are visiting Pam for wedding planning and beach visit. It should be a good but busy weekend.

Monday, I am heading to Arkansas. I now know that business travel isn’t near as glamorous as I used to believe. With such exciting locales, it’s kind of hard to be ok with missing my family.

Luckily, after this round of travel, I am on a brief hiatus. I don’t expect it to last, but I will enjoy the time home. I am so blessed that I have Lorenzo, two grandmas, and a grandpa to take care of my family when I am gone. I couldn’t be on the road without the peace of mind they offer.

If there are two take aways from this entry, remember Wynn – yes; Chocolate Volcano - no.

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