Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bonding Time

Earlier this month, I had my annual work retreat. The anticipation of the weekend is always mixed - who really wants to spend the weekend with co-workers? Don't get me wrong, I truly like everyone I work with, but I like Nick & the kids better. In the end, the trip is always better than expected and you do get to know your peers. This year, we headed to steamy Las Vegas & stayed in Caesar's Palace (insert a weekend of joke's about The Hangover). My room was fancy - it had a TV in the bathroom mirror.And, a decent view. I was directly above the coliseum where Cher performs (which I believe explains the noise on Friday night).
We had the afternoon free & my friend Katherine & I hit the shops. I don't know why I always forget how big everything is in Vegas, but we walked for about 90 minutes without leaving the casino. My only purchase was at Fresh (love that store)!
Next up - dinner. Our last work Vegas trip was in 2003 - right after Ella was born. I missed it, but heard stories about the dinner at Alize. An impressive wine collection, amazing view and tasty food. Plus, they make a great mojito! My kind of restaurant.We had cocktail hour in the bar area with passed appetizers followed by a trio of plated appetizers. No wonder we were all so full. I can't remember what the choices were, but I think it was a cucumber stuffed with cheese, foie gras & tuna. Not a fan of the foie gras. After dinner, we tried to get into a nightclub as a group. The table rate was $1300. No one was willing to offer their credit card to get us in the door which was fine by me. I think everyone went to the margarita stand outside instead. And yes, the tables sell out every Thursday-Tuesday. Let's hope that's a positive sign about the economy.Day 2 was all about the paintball. If you tell someone you are going to play paintball for the first time, the inevitable response is "it really hurts when you get hit." Add to that the suggestion that we bring clothes we want to throw away & I found it a little difficult to get excited for this activity. But, I was willing to try it out. As we arrived at the facility, everything was fine until this co-worker walked in:He was covered in padding, full camo gear, his own helmet -this was starting to look less fun. I hung back & took some pictures. It was a bit anticlimactic. The games lasted about 2 minutes. Some people did leave with nasty bruises, but most people left unscathed. I did play a few games. I was too short to see anything & my team just had me plant myself behind a barrier & shoot blindly at the opponent. After 3 hot, smelly, oily (from the exploding paint balls) hours, the ladies were done & made a strategic decision to take a cab back to the hotel while the guys kept playing. The four of us enjoyed margaritas together until Belinda ditched us to go to the Kardashians pool party. I forgot my bathing suit, so I lasted all of 10 minutes in the 115 degree heat.
The party continued that evening with dinner theater. No one would admit to selecting Tony & Tina's wedding as our evening entertainment. But, someone thought it would be a good idea to take a bunch of engineer/lawyers to a fake wedding.
Surprisingly, there weren't a lot of single men at the show. So, the men from our group were recruited to participate. This pic is all the married guys from our office fighting over the garter. After the wedding, a small group headed back to the Palms. One of the attorneys in our office has "an in" at the Palms & we bypassed the lines & enjoyed a drink at Moon - the penthouse nightclub with outdoor patios overlooking the city. Not a bad way to end the trip.

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