California. So, so beautiful. I was there last week for another work related event. There wasn't much time for dilly dallying or site seeing on this trip, and what I did see was enough to keep me wanting more. Another trip there, one day, for sure.
One of my favorite parts of being in California was walking through courtyards. Sometimes I felt like I was back in San Juan. More than once, I caught myself closing my eyes...imagining walking her streets again. Flowers and other beautiful plants, everywhere. Gorgeous tile and other architectural details...Spanish Colonial homes.
The photo below was taken at The Fairmont in Sonoma, a super swanky spa/resort where a majority of the event we were working was held. Lots of fountains, trees, flowers.
One thing that surprised me was the amount of green in that part of California. I guess I expected less with the drought that's been going on there. So this is what Napa Valley looks like. Huge rolling hills lined with rows of grape vines and green, green grass. I feel like I've been to a lot of different cities/places and I can honestly never seen anything like it before. We drove Sonoma for a second part of the event - the gala/awards session. It was held at the Artesa Winery, which was a super modern take on the typical, classic winery. There were sculptures and infinity pools.
These photos were taken inside Artesa. When we first got there, the space allotted for the remainder of the event was nothing more than an empty room in the basement with a bunch of barrels all around. Everyone was running around...tech people setting up their gear, winery and hotel staff setting tables and hanging lights. I couldn't help but think of an ant farm as everyone was scurrying around. After the whole crew finished, it looked like this! It amazes me how everything comes together to create something like this.
On our last night in Sonoma, I hit up a local dive bar where I shared a few drinks, laughs and (weird?) experiences with my coworkers. A fight broke out between 2 random drunk guys. One of us was offered recreational drugs in the bathroom. Another was thought to be/look like Anthony Bourdain. All of this stuff felt like something out of a movie. Insane.
But to conclude, being a part of these events/shows really feels like something special. There's something cool about being down in the trenches with your team and then coming out on top...pulling through and delivering a unique experience for the client and for their guests. All in all, it was a great show for a great client, and I decided to celebrate with a Pear Cider. :) An awesome end to an awesome show in an awesome part of the country. Cheers, California. I'll be seeing you again here soon.