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3 Things I do Whenever I Visit Chicago

I’ve been to Chicago three times now. So I try to do these three things each time I go:

  1. Eat deep dish pizza
  2. Go to Shake Shack
  3. Go to White Castle

Yes, each one is food-oriented. As I grow older, food matters more to me. Unfortunately I don’t know if I’ll ever grow out of eating fast food or junk food.

Where do you go / what do you do when you’re in Chicago?

Repurposing Your Tech for Travel

Going Places

Traveling lightly is important to frequent travelers, and the easiest way to economize your luggage is to utilize the mobile tech you already own.

standardThink for a second. Your smartphone can replace a calendar, airline ticket, watch, music player, camera, video recorder, notebook, GPS/map, flashlight, book, and even a payment method (in some cases). Oh, and I suppose it works as a phone as well. Add apps and you’ll hold the world in the palm of your hand. Use Uber to get a ride to your hotel or Foursquare to find the greatest restaurants nearby. Top it off with Tripit to keep track of your itinerary.

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Days 17-18: The home stretch

Our final event was in Chicago’s Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower), which is the tallest building in the city. We were on the 99th floor and got passes to the Sky Deck! The view was awesome.

We had a lot of people this time around, and demoing services, presenting devices, and meeting with IT Pros went very well.

After the AM and PM events, I said goodbye to some of my managers/colleagues, and joined some MSFT folks in the Signature Lounge at the Hancock Tower, which is the second tallest building in the city. Apparently Jerry Springer lives in that building…? Some random person told us that, anyway…

This morning, I said goodbye to Ariel (or, rather, he woke me up as he was leaving so we could say goodbye) since he had an earlier flight than I.

I got up soon thereafter, and went to a delicious pizza place called PIzano’s and ate in the bar (getting a lemonade of course). I’m getting used to the whole, “Can I see your ID?” business…just wondering how long it will take before people stop asking. xP

Here are some final shots of the city I took during my walk around today (two of pictures are me doing a handstand on the Sky Deck from last night):

Because today isn’t over yet, I may edit this post and update it!

Days 5-8: San Diego and San Francisco

I spent the weekend (days 5-7) in San Diego and took a bit of a vacation. Here are some pictures!

It was good taking a break. I left San Diego this morning and met Ariel in the San Francisco airport around noon, checked in to our hotel (with an outstanding view from my room), and we immediately set off to find a place to eat.


After we ate at this neato pizza place, we ventured to Lombard St, “The Crookedest Street in the World.” It had a lot of people taking pictures and a lot of traffic going through.

Then we walked around some of the docking areas and saw a bunch of sea lions barking and flopping around. We saw street performers, magicians, and a bunch of other people. Then we walked probably a good three miles or so to Golden Gate Bridge. Got some good pictures including some sunset shots!

Miles the Monkey gets an honorable mention (last photo), as he was a trooper for the entire trip and didn’t complain once.

After all of today’s walking, we decided to grab a cab to get back to the hotel…Time to get some sleep so I can wake up early tomorrow.

Day 3: Arriving in Atlanta

Today’s will be brief…went to Johnny’s Luncheon for breakfast in NY (great little place) and met up with Ariel to embark to our next destination: Atlanta!

We had dinner with a group of Microsofties and it was delicious…but took a while to get there.

And by take a while, I mean now it’s 11pm. OK well it wasn’t that bad.

Gotta be up early for what I’m doing tomorrow. Signing off.

Edit: Pictures!

Day 2: Surface Event Day!

As you all know, today Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 3. This thing is a beast. It essentially is the official “laptop replacement” tablet. You can read all about it here if you’re curious.

I was involved in one of the Surface events today in NY. I had the pleasure of meeting Destiny, the rest of my team of three, as well as many other Microsoft people including the other team of presenters.

I was at one of the events, and it was fun. 🙂

But now my feet hurt because I think the dress shoes I wore were too small. Oh well. The sacrifices you make for quality work.

Planning on sleeping tomorrow – we’ll see.

Day 1: To New York!

This morning I woke up at 3:30am, said my goodbyes to my mother,  and left SeaTac around 7.

Typically, accomplishing something as simple as finding my gate would be a difficulty considering my directional competence (or lack thereof). Luckily, however, my comrade Ariel Zlatkovski met me at the airport and helped lead me to the correct gate.

Ariel is part of the team with whom I will be traveling on this trip. I better be careful what I say about him because he might read this sometime. But he is now sitting behind me in the plane and cannot see what I am writing for the time being.

After the plane landed (and at least one complete listen through to Epica’s newest album, The Phantom Enigma), Ariel and I met up with Steven who’s a Microsoftie in charge of our team (and a whole lot of other things), took a cab, and headed to our first hotel in New York City.

Once we settled in and got our rooms in the Hilton Fashion District hotel, we ventured to the heart of NYC and saw some awesome places. We ended up visiting a farmer’s market and eating pizza in Madison Square Park. See the pictures below!

Although New York is a fun place to visit so far, I must say…it may not be some place I’d want to live necessarily. 🙂 And I thought Seattle’s traffic was bad…

A few days ago I had contacted the competitive Smash Bros. Melee player Lil Chen (or “Milktea,” to which she is referred in the Smash community) and asked her about meeting up in NY and chatting (since that’s where she lives). I had discovered her on the web via Twitter and a part of the renowned Smash Bros. Documentary, and as a long-time player of the Smash series (since ’99) and a recent admirer of the competitive scene myself, I thought it would be fun to meet a real Smash champ. During the evening, she and I met and talked about the Super Smash Bros. Melee community and how we could find new ways to be more welcoming of new members (she also agreed to sign my GameCube controller). Super stoked to have met her!

Now I am ready for the event tomorrow…or at least, I think I am. My blazer and slacks are hung up and ready for tomorrow and everything (that means I’m ready, right?)! Time for some sleep!


PS. Let’s play a game in the picture above called “I Spy Ariel.”