Traveling To Dallas, TX For Spring 2010 CMMA Conference

View from my hotel room in Frisco, TX (outside of Dallas)

I’m staying at the Dallas-Frisco Embassy Suites for the CMMA Spring Conference and am very thankful for a room that has a balcony view of the Dr. Pepper ballpark.  I love having a hotel room balcony because it lets me sit outside and get away from the stale air of a hotel room and relax which for me means blogging and watching the sun go down.  Every CMMA event they have something called “Bijou Theater” where each company is asked to show a video they are most proud of producing.  Keep in mind the videos are “corporate videos” so you see a wide range of creativity.  I like seeing the videos because it gives you a pretty good feel of each company’s corporate culture.  On Monday night we are actually going to be use the ballpark’s big screen to show the videos which should be very fun.

As you can see it is 2:09am Pacific, 4:09am Mountain and my circadian rhythm is already off a little bit.  The trip down to Dallas was fairly uneventful.  From Oakland our flight stopped in Phoenix and for whatever reason I seem to do most of my layovers at that airport.  The great news is on the flight to Phoenix I didn’t have anyone in the seat beside me and on the leg from Phoenix to Dallas a nice lady in Oakland “hooked me up” with an exit row seat which also didn’t have anyone beside me.  The thing I love about not having anyone beside me on a flight is I can actually break out my laptop and work without keeping my giant arms, hands, and laptop close to my chest.  Seriously if you have ever seen me try to type on a flight with someone sitting beside me, it looks like a velociraptor trying to type.

Driving in the Dallas area is nice because the roads are actually well laid out and just like everything else in Texas, the highways are big and you can tell they put some thought behind their infrastructure.  I know I say this every time I go to Texas but everything is BIG in Texas.  I don’t know why everything is BIG but the stores are BIG, the restaurants are BIG, the houses are BIG, the hotels are BIG, everything is BIG.  I went to Chipotle to get a steak burrito for dinner and if you haven’t tried Chipotle or their steak burrito, definitely do so.  Chipotle is my style because it is cheap, healthy, and quick.

The other thing I’ll mention about Texas, and something I say every time I am in Texas, is the people here are some of the nicest you’ll ever meet.  I’ve lived on the East Coast, West Coast, have relatives in the Mid West, and can honestly say Texas in my opinion has the nicest people of all places I visit or have lived.  You can also tell religion and Christianity is very BIG down here and it shows.  It just seems like a nice place to raise a family.  Things are a lot slower and maybe I am reading too much into it but people seem to have good values here.

Any way, after Chipotle I went to Best Buy to look around, what else would expect a geek like me to do?  Then I went to a half price book store which would be awesome to have back in the Bay Area but I didn’t buy anything.  Next door to that they had this BIG kids entertainment store with a train that picks up the kids in the parking lot…kind of like a Texas sized Chuck E. Cheese.  Then I went to a “Super Target” because I had never been in one and I’m a grocery/retail geek, so I had to see it.  The Super Target surprised me, not because they had groceries, I knew that would be the case, but because going there made me stop and think that the company I work for and Target are actually viable competitors for the first time.  Long story short, the Super Target was very nice, very clean as all Targets tend to be, but I like a more market feel to my grocery store.

I think that is all for now.  I have a Board Meeting in the morning here in a little bit (going back to bed) and then this afternoon we are heading to Dallas Cowboys Stadium for a tour which should be interesting so more on that shortly.

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