Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Autodesk University 2011 Conference in Las Vegas

A couple weeks ago I traveled to Las Vegas to speak at the Autodesk University ADN Media & Entertainment conference! It was a lot of fun and I had a great time hanging out with some Autodesk buddies and also presenting some recent work.

I wasn't sure what to expect in Las Vegas (I have been there once before, but it was also for an unusual reason - a rock climbing trip!) but it was really fun. The hotel was fantastic and the room and bed was really epic - probably one of the most comfortable hotel rooms I've ever stayed in. Very fancy!

I got there a couple days early and wandered around Vegas for a few days, dodging the dodgy folks who were handing out flyers on the street and doing some general exploring and wandering. I got tickets to see Beatles LOVE, the Beatles-themed Cirque de Soleil show, and it was a lot of fun. The acrobats were really cool! I wandered to a mall and got a back massage from massage therapists at the mall which was funny.

One of my favourite spots was the mall called "Fashion Show". I found a Pull-In Underwear there, my favourite fancy boxer store from France. They had some crazy designs as usual. I also found a Teavana tea store which I was keen to try. It was great.

The Coca Cola store was really interesting and had cool T-Shirts from Coca-Cola Brazil! It also had a "round the world platter" of different and unusual flavours of soda from around the world. Fun. I eventually found myself at the Bellagio and decided to waste $5 on a slot machine, fully expecting to lose it. Of course, given my luck, I won $50, cashed it out instantly and left. :) And decided to spend it on (most) of my Beatles LOVE ticket. Wahoo!

The Venetian has a restaurant called Bouchon which is run by Thomas Keller, the same guy who owns the French Laundry, that ultra-fancy place in Napa. It was a great spot and I had a nice brunch there.

Oh yes, and the conference itself! The conference had some interesting talks and it was great to catch up with some familiar Autodesk faces and also meet some new people too. My talk went very smoothly and people enjoyed it. It was fun to give the talk and much less pressure than TEDx the week before! Great times. That evening we went out for Tacos, appetizers and drinks with everyone.

The last evening in Vegas I went to see the Muppet Movie as I couldn't hold out any longer - it had already been out for 5 days! Then I decided to waste another few dollars "for entertainment's sake" in a slot machine... and won $100. Of course. Some lady said "Oh, you should really cash out now". haha and of course that was the plan! I got a nice crisp $100 note and put it right in the bank - wondering if I was the only person ever to actually win anything and keep it ;)

A fun time, a great conference and networking opportunity, and lots of tasty food and shopping. A great little trip!

Sweet TV at a TV History Exhibit at SFO
Cool Space Helmet TVs
Amazing pillow top beds at the hotel!! Fancy!!
The hotel room was almost as big as my apartment, haha. Actually it had a few steps and this lounge area, super nice
TV in the bathroom?!!
Venetian from the pool deck
The pool
After wandering for a while I found a Banana Republic in the Venetian Shops with stuff on HUGE sales. These khakis were $11!!!!!! Pretty epic. That's my kind of splurge. :)
Got another pair of sweet pants at Banana Republic
Dressed up to wander around, just for the fun of it
Winter Wonderland at Venetian
Nice tree outside our hotel
Funny Dr. Seuss Pompom flower things at the Wynn Casino
Encore and Wynn
After some further wandering I found a Pull-in Underwear store?!?!!! These are those epic boxers from France that have crazy designs and I love them, and turns out one of their only US stores is in Vegas. Amazing.
Wow, this is my kinda Vegas. Awesome boxers store and Teavana, a fancy tea shop :)
Bellagio Fountains
Cool Mojito Boxers I bought
At Thomas Keller's Bouchon restaurant for Sunday Brunch. Tool Angelique's recommendation and tried the (glorious) chicken and waffles (French style!) The chicken was perfectly roasted (not fried) and the waffles were fluffy and fantastic. Really excellent food. Vanilla Bean butter and Maple Syrup were an excellent addition.
Elvis Suit at Hard Rock Cafe
Round the world menu at the Coca Cola store
I got the Round the World platter to try (no I didn't drink them all!)
This was crazy. Kiwi Mango and Pine Nut from South Africa were the best
The Mint one was super gross!!
Beatles guitar
Ticket people at the Beatles LOVE Cirque de Soleil show
After the Beatles LOVE show finished
Cheesecake from the Carnegie Deli in the Mirage!
Time to give my lecture! All suited up in a cool work shirt. :)
Room where I gave my talk
On stage for my talk
Explaining my job history with a photo from Pixar
Cool sculptures
Dean taking a size of his epic "Woody Allen" sandwich at the Carnegie Deli in the Mirage
I love this photo
Kermit Adidas shoes
Animal shoes
Wine and cheese for dinner. After all the eating, just a light dinner was great.

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