It’s time for another edition of Justin’s Junket Jamboree, where I disclose all the corporate largess I receive when attending a vendor sponsored event. This one is for Cloud Field Day 1, held on 14-15 September 2016 in Silicon Valley.
Travel and Accommodation
My flights and accommodation were supplied by Tech Field Day. The first couple of nights I stayed at the Hilton in downtown San Jose as I arrived early and the Biltmore was full. The Biltmore sign at night is not at all scary.
I picked up incidentals like tolls to the airport, airport parking at one of the most expensive airport parking lots in the world and travel insurance. Somewhere around this time I just went ahead and bought yearly insurance because I’d crossed the break-even point. I’m travelling overseas so often that it’s no longer cheaper to buy insurance for each trip.
I use Southern Cross Travel Insurance. The one time I’ve had to claim was pretty easy. It was for an overnight layover in Sydney (hotel, meals) because Qantas was delayed landing by 14 minutes due to weather, and United refused to let me check in for my SYD->SFO flight because I was 10 minutes late for check-in an hour before the flight actually took off. Something about it taking too long for bags to move from one flight to the next.
That’s one advantage of airline status (sometimes) and flying business class (always): the airline is less likely to treat you poorly because they know they make a lot of money out of you. However, it doesn’t always work out that way, as #karenstravelstories will show you.
Food and Drink
- On Monday night a couple of us who’d flown in early from overseas (@Cuff_S and myself) joined the Mobility Field Day folks for dinner at a Persian restaurant called Zeytoun. Stephen Foskett knows the owner and arranged for him to open on Monday night when they are usually closed. We ate family style and had a selection of lots of things. It was delicious, and the dolmas/dolmades were particularly excellent.
- On Tuesday I went out to Druva and recorded a couple of podcasts with Yadin Porter de Leon. I turned one into episode 021 of The Eigencast and I don’t currently know what Yadin plans to do with the other one. I had some pizza/foccacia and a Starbucks bottled sweet milk coffee thing that smelled awful but tasted surprisingly good. It was no Farmer’s Union Iced Coffee, but few things are.
- Dinner on Tuesday was the Cloud Field Day kickoff dinner held at Faz restaurant in Sunnyvale, with the full complement of CFD1 people and the Mobility Field Day people as well. We had a fixed menu thing as we were in a separate room, but I chose the Caesar salad (not bad) and Fliet Mignon (also not bad). There was a wine with my name on it, which was also pretty good.
- Breakfast on Wednesday was the standard hotel #buffetbuffethippo and our pre-event briefing before heading out to Cisco for the first vendor presentation of the day.
- Lunch on Wednesday was supplied by Cisco. It was some sort of standard sandwich catering that others had apparently consumed a lot of and had unpleasant mental associates with, but I found it pretty good really. Tasty, pretty healthy sandwiches made from actual bread, rather than than the American ‘sandwich’ that actually means “burger on brioche bread containing 11 million kilojoules per serve”. I can understand if you ate nothing but this stuff at catered meetings for a year that you’d get pretty sick of it, but that person was not me, so yay me.
- Wednesday night was the Cloud Field Day reception held at The Farmer’s Union in San Jose (not the one that makes iced coffee). I had a few of their very tasty margheritas, and the half-rack ribs that I didn’t try last time I was at Farmer’s Union for a previous Tech Field Day event and had food envy. Totally the right choice because they were delicious and I was very happy. The chocolate brownie dessert may have also contributed to my happiness. That or the margheritas.
- Thursday morning was hotel buffet breakfast and I kept it light. I’m developing a liking for yoghurt and fruit for breakfast when travelling. I usually just have coffee and something light like toast when I’m at home, but to stave off jetlag I attempt to eat something for breakfast even though I’m usually not hungry.
- Thursday lunch was supplied by Scality, a lovely Thai buffet selection full of fresh flavours. I could have eaten so much more of this, and had already eaten more than enough. I love Thai food.
- Thursday before dinner was snacks at Docker. They put on a lovely spread of wines and cheeses and sliced meats and I ate probably too much of a delicious smoked gouda.
- Dinner was at a place called Lulu, thanks to Tech Field Day. It was nice to just wind down after the short, but very full, week and to debrief from all the events. We ate family style, and I admit eating mussels just before a long plane ride was possibly a bold choice. It worked out fine, though. The pizza was delicious and just what I felt like after all that cheese. Plus, it was a lot nicer than what I was going to get on the plane home later that evening.
- I grabbed a couple of Scality stickers, and a Scality pen.
- Docker gave us a Docker branded black t-shirt and a nice woven scarf left over from DockerCon Europe 2015. I know this because that’s what’s on the scarf.
- I also grabbed a few Docker stickers.