Thursday, September 28, 2006

Viva Dr Pepper

Lorenzo and I have returned from the Dr Pepper Bottler meeting in Las Vegas. Our company has a meeting annually where we entertain our Dr Pepper bottlers and share with them the marketing plans for the new year. I was invited to talk about "data" with a number of our bottlers. Spouses were invited, because most of the bottlers bring their spouses. So, Sunday Lorenzo and I boarded American Airlines and headed out to Vegas.

The flight out was full but uneventful. We were supposed to meet the first of many bottlers for a drink that evening, but he decided "data" wasn't exciting enough to leave the tables on a Sunday night. I wasn't complaining as it meant Lorenzo and I got to have a nice dinner instead. We had a wonderful meal and the desserts were to die for. Lorenzo had a chocolate banana concoction that was divine while I had a chocolate mousse that was heavenly.

Monday was a relatively quiet day with Lorenzo working in the morning. The Wynn has an excellent internet connection if you're curious. I had a few meetings with a few bottlers and they were quite productive. In the afternoon we walked the Strip and gambled at MGM Grand. The tables have a $5 minimum bet at MGM Grand vs. Mostly $15's at The Wynn. After our LONG walk, we hung out by the pool until dinner.

Dinner was interesting because we got to meet Mike Golic. Mike is the Dr Pepper spokesperson this year and he was at the event signing footballs. We got our picture taken and chatting with him for a minute. Being a fellow ND alum, we felt we had something great in common. After our encounter with Mike, we networked and socialized until late in the evening. Lorenzo was out with my former boss until the wee hours gambling and people watching. It seems they had a good time.

Tuesday morning held many meetings, intertwined with good and bad impersonators. We saw a BAD Prince, and decent Springsteen and an awesome Tina Turner. Tuesday afternoon was a golf day for the bottlers, so Lorenzo and I hit the shops looking for better shoes. My feet were killing me!

Tuesday evening was the big event. Dinner was out by the pool and it was good, but the big event was the private concert with Rod Stewart. There were about 200 people in the room and we were really close. Lorenzo will be sharing our pictures later. It was really cool. When the concert ended there was more socializing and another late night for the two of us.

Wednesday morning brought more meetings, a show with Bill Ingvall and long flight home. It was after 8 when we got home last night. We were tired but Lorenzo is now much more suspicious of all my business trips. I am sure he wonders how much work I really do, after all the fun we had in Vegas. My case is not helped by two additional meetings in Vegas this fall, but hey, that's my job!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My Birthday and Other News

Happy Labor Day! I hope you all enjoyed the day off in honor of my birthday. It rained here and the angels sang hallelujah. Yesterday's weather couldn't have been more wonderful given the hot dry summer we have endured. How many people do you know who would be so happy to see the rain, all day, on their birthday. Further evidence of my quirks, I guess.

We have had a busy end of summer. Alex is back in school. He is a second grader now and is enjoying his new classes. He has decided he likes science best and want to do "liquid science". We think that means chemistry. He has asked us if it would be ok for him to be a scientist when he grows up and how can we say no to that idea?!? Of course, Lorenzo and I want to encourage this curiosity, so any ideas you have for experiments for Alex, send them our way.

Meghan is now officially in pre-school instead of daycare. Her new teacher is Ms. Pearce and she really loves her new class. Her favorite class mates are all boys. (Shocking considering her best friend is her brother, right?) Nathan Colwell, Thomas and Parker are the boys she speaks of most often. It sounds particularly cute, as she speaks of them as hers. For example, "Today I played trucks with my Nathan Colwell." Ms. Pearce seems to love having Meghan in class, she told me that Meghan likes to be her helper and often helps keep the kids in line. When the class gets noisy, she is known to put a hand on a hip and say, "Guyyyyyys". Hard to relate the intonation, but I think you get the point.

Lorenzo and I have had an interesting adventure in home news lately. We have been discussing the idea of buying a bigger home for months, and had previously decided to sell this house in the spring of 2007. Well, on a whim, we looked at some new build options and initiated the process to build our dream house. Ten days later, we stopped and luckily, recouped our initial investment. We have decided to be a bit more methodical in our choice, but are still preparing the house for sale in the spring. As a result, our house looks a little bare as we prepare it for showings, etc. I am glad we "jump started" the process, but I am also glad we've slowed down.

This weekend was a great one and we were able to share it with many of you. Lorenzo threw me a birthday party on Saturday where we watched the Irish win (thank goodness) and had some laughs. It was a great party with good friends and good food. Pam even came in from Houston for the event. It also marked ten years since Lorenzo proposed to me on the steps of the Admin Building at ND. Wow the years have gone by fast, but they have been happy years indeed.

In about two weeks my fall travel schedule ramps up again. Lorenzo will be joining me for my first trip as I have been invited to the Dr Pepper Bottler meeting at the Wynn and spouses were included. We are excited about that trip. When we return, I head to Chicago for three consecutive trips, one of which is the ND Stanford game. We're taking Alex to that and it should be a good time. From there I head back to Vegas for a second conference and then I am home for 12 days straight! Next it's off to Philly for a week and then I return for the weekend and head back to Vegas for another conference. Finally, I have a trip to St Louis and I am done with travel for this year. (I think) At that point, it'll be mid-November so I'll have a turkey to buy and a birthday party for Alex to plan. Our big boy's going to be 8 at Thanksgiving. He's growing so fast.

Well, that's the news from Chez Martinez. I hope this finds you well and take care!