Back to Vegas for another IBM show. Fortunately, this time around, Julie was able to join me for the weekend and we had a rocking good time. Stayed at the Aria for the first time which was great. They have an awesome pool (75 degrees in February - god bless global warming). They also have a great workout facility and the rooms are fully automated with an iPad that controls the lights, blinds, TV. It doesn't flush the toilet but maybe that will be a future upgrade.
We went out to dinner every night with the highlight being the steakhouse at the top of the Rio. It was even better since we won $200 on blackjack after dinner which covered most of our meal. Thank you Rio! We saw a Matt Franco show and spent almost the entire weekend at the pool which was phenomenally relaxing.
The workweek was not quite as fun but I did get to take customers golfing so it wasn't all work. We played TPC Summerlin and South Shore which is an incredible private course on Lake Las Vegas. Sadly, I shot about 120 but the scenery made it worthwhile. Six days in Vegas feels like 6 months and I was more than ready to go home come Thursday. All in all a good trip.
It's been a good 8 years since the family went to South Florida to visit family and friends. While grandma was kind enough to offer up her residence in her senior living facility, we decided to step it up a notch and rent a house near the beach about 30 minutes away. I'm chalking that down to "best decision ever", as the house we stayed at was fantastic, with a pool and great layout, with room for the whole family. The kids spent 60 of our 72 hours in FLA in the pool while my childhood buddies came to hang out at the house.
Took grandma out to lunch on Sunday which is always an adventure. She can't hear so ordering food and drinks is an exhausting affair. Still, great to see her, no matter how badly her hearing and memory are fading.
Things almost turned ugly on the first night when Dave (high school friend who I've known for 30 years!) and I decided that splitting a bottle of Jack Daniels was a great idea. When the threat of shaving my head became a real possibility, it was the end of the bottle and thankfully time to go to sleep.
Great to see everyone from the old neighborhood. It's amazing how when you get back together with the people you grew up with, it's like you never spent time apart. No friendship is stronger than the ones you develop at an early age. Those guys are family for life.