Let me begin by saying, I wasn’t my best on Friday. It was a stretch. I managed to get about six hours of sleep, which was actually pretty good for me…except that the sleep was very interrupted, not exactly restful. I couldn’t relax without HIM near me. I know, sounds silly, but we are constantly touching in bed, we are ridiculously attuned to one another. And I like that. A lot.
So, I did my best to be alert and perky, but I was running on fumes…until all that caffeine. Yummmmm. Caffeine.
We gathered in the lobby of the Four Seasons and were then herded onto two shuttle buses. Oh, but these weren’t ordinary shuttle buses. These were really macked out shuttle buses, complete with televisions, tinted windows, and tables and drink holders and leather seats and EVERYTHING. Very nice.
Then we drove and arrived on campus. That’s what Yahoo! calls it. And I have to admit, it does have a feel of college life. There are so many cool things, I’ll never be able to remember them all. Oh, but the pictures help. And the first picture I took on campus was of the purple carpet they rolled out for us. Seriously. That and the welcome stickers everywhere we would see them. It made us feel so special and so welcome.
There were more gifts. We checked in and grabbed our name tags, complete with our URL and Twitter. That’s when we were handed another bunch of gifts. Each of us received a Yahoo! laptop bag. And the bag was filled with goodies. We have Yahoo! stickers, and a Yahoo! leather notebook, complete with a Yahoo! ballpoint pen. One of the many great gifts that I treasure is the new Yahoo! Style Guide. It is a huge resource. And later in the day we met the author. He even asked for our feedback after we read and work with the book. Too cool!
Oh, but first (and the first of many many meals that day) BREAKFAST. Yeah. I’m a huge foodie. And Yahoo! constantly delighted my eyes, tickled my taste buds, and fulfilled my dining desires. The attention to detail is what truly impressed me. There were flowers with meals and snacks. At breakfast we had a huge buffet with pound cakes, bagels, fruit, three different times of croissant sandwiches, yogurt, granola, and an array of juices, coffees and teas that would make Starbucks green with envy. Wow. And I tried to be good, really I did.
But I talked to Christina on the bus and we agreed that we have a problem when we go to these things.
Christina: I’m always hungry!
me: I think it’s because our bodies worry about where the next meal is coming from and we feel the need to stock up.
She laughed after admitting the truth to that statement.
And we ate. Then there were opening remarks and breakout sessions. Oh how I loved loved loved our morning breakout sessions. We worked with Flickr and Shine. How many people can say that? And everyone wants to help us be even bigger and better. How often do you have a corporation like Yahoo! urging you on to success, backing you and supporting you every step of the way. We were given one year complimentary Flickr Pro memberships. Yay! (I still have to set mine up. If only they have given me a way to control time or create more usable hours in the day…) And the Shine people want to get us on the Yahoo! front page. Long story. Very exciting.
There was a break in there. And we had snacks. Yeah. It had been a good hour and a half since we’d eaten. We were practically starved. So, I had a mini Milky Way from one of the Yahoo! buckets that lined the counters. They have everything imaginable. There were granola bars and protein bars and candy and breakfast bars and chocolate and well, EVERYTHING! And I grabbed a Coke. (My first of many.)
Then after the morning sessions it was time for lunch. I mean, almost an hour had passed since our snack. Duh. It was back to the buffet. This time there were two different kinds of salad, fancy ones, with champagne vinaigrette dressing. And there was a huge selection of rolls and butter or margarine. And there was an angel hair pasta dish and orzo and apricot chicken. For dessert, rice krispie treats with purple m&ms. These people know how to brand. Seriously.
Lunch was a bit hurried. And during it we had a discussion on online safety for our kids. We watched a movie about a family who lost their daughter to suicide after she became the victim of one silly decision: sexting. It was so sad. We all felt acutely that it could happen to anyone.
Luckily, it was soon time for more breakout sessions. And that’s where it becomes a little tricky. Yeah. There are a lot of new things coming out, new products, new programs. And we have a gag order. Yes, we were Tweeting like fiends during the presentations, a Tweet Deck showing in the main room. Only, we can’t talk about so much stuff. Don’t worry. I’m keeping all my secrets from those sessions. Dammit. Or am I supposed to say…’wine?’ (Inside joke for the Mother Board. Sorry. Guess you had to be there…)
Well, then it was time for afternoon snacks. Again, we hadn’t eaten for a good hour. This time…cupcakes. Yahoo! Mother Board cupcakes. And they were soooo good. Heck. I was soooo good. I limited myself to one, had to have a little chocolate on chocolate action. Yum.
This snack time caused one mother to remark…
Mom: It’s like being on a cruise. All we do is sit and eat.
Too true. Oh, and thank you, Yahoo! My belly, butt, and thighs thank you. (Not HIM so much, but he’s just a guy. What does he know?)
We shopped in the company store. We checked out the campus. We saw people playing basketball during a normal work day. We saw people working out in the gym. We saw them using the foosball tables, the pool table, the air hockey, the free espresso bar, relaxing in the cafeteria and lounging outside. I want to work there. Shoot, I could move in!
Some of the moms thought that people could get a little caught up there and that it might be a tad damaging to their personal lives. I could see where that would happen. I know I didn’t want to leave. Guess that’s why they also sold flowers and had a gift shop. Nothing greases the way to a pleasant evening like some flowers and chocolate. Trust me.
We loaded the buses to head to the restaurant at 5pm. Our heads were spinning. We were on sensory overload. And we were dying to get to work and implement all we had learned.
Come back tomorrow to read about Dinner at Nola’s and the final hours in California…