SQLCruise – Day 1

Day 1 of SQLCruise is in the books! We’re docked in the Florida Keys this morning for our first stop and I have internet connectivity, so I wanted to share my perspective of the trip thus far.

Note: There are technical posts in the works. It’s just hard for me to not write about SQLCruise this week!

I arrived in Miami around noon on Sunday, and in the afternoon most of us headed over to Gareth Swanepoel’s ( Twitter ) house for a SQL BBQ. Gareth is one of the most warm-hearted, welcoming people I have ever met, and he and his wife Jen were gracious enough to welcome 30 strangers into their home, and feed them. The BBQ gave everyone a chance to meet and start to get acquainted. It was an ideal beginning to the cruise because we could put faces to Twitter names and pictures, and we could have real conversations consisting of more than 140 characters. A huge thank you to Gareth and Jen, as well as their amazing neighbors, Steve and Darlene.

Monday started slowly, a perfect start to traincation (a word coined by Karen Lopez…I like it.). Everyone left the hotel around 10, and after some adventures in driving, Crys Manson ( Twitter ) and I arrived at the Carnival dock around 11:30. We were on board within an hour, as were most other cruisers, and we went right to lunch with Jorge and Jessica Segarra. I will be lucky to not gain at least five pounds on this trip. I have never been on a cruise so the amount of food, and its availability, shocks me.

After lunch we did a tour of the boat followed by some sun time and umbrella drinks. At 5 PM all the cruisers met on the back deck and Brent and Tim did their “Why We’re Here” session. My favorite point of Brent’s was when he told us that he is at a point in his career where he is very happy and really wants to help other people develop their careers.

I love this.

It is one of the best examples of what the SQL community is all about. Between blogs, forums, #sqlhelp on Twitter and the free webinars and training sessions, there is no shortage of shared knowledge. All anyone has to do is take the initiative and run with it. Brent and Tim reminded us that they are resources for us throughout the entire cruise. We all ate dinner together, and I sat at a table with Tim. We had a great time discussing pumpkin cinnamons [sic] pie and dreadlocks, fashioning a new hat for Jorge and trying all the desserts. While I didn’t ask Tim one SQL-related question (then), I know I could have. Don’t worry; I plan to hit him up today when we’re wandering around Key West.

Our last organized event of the day was the scavenger hunt. Our team had a blast. Jessica, Amy Ford, Crystal, Yanni Smith and I raced around the ship for an hour to find the 15 things on our list. We finished the list first (due in part to the aforementioned boat tour and our willingness to ask for help) but lost by two points. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. One cruiser from the winning team received a netbook, provided by SQLSentry. I won’t give away who won, but it’s worth noting, again, the generosity of all the SQLCruise sponsors. I warned you in my last post, I will thank them repeatedly!

My evening ended with some time on the back deck sitting around the hot tub. It was a great first day. Today we are in Key West until 1:30, and then we have our Women in Technology session followed by Quest’s Through Your Laptop Bag contest. From what we’ve been told, we have to bring our laptop bags and then we will see who has the correct items in their bag. The winner gets a netbook. I’m up for suggestions for what to include…remember that Tim and Brent made up this list. I’m guessing Lady Gaga will be incorporated somehow. Anyone else?

One Response to SQLCruise – Day 1
  1. Brent Ozar
    August 3, 2010 | 11:15 am

    Wow, look at you go! Now I feel even guiltier for not blogging yet. I’m on the back deck watching the sun rise. Even brought my iPad in an attempt to write, but it’s just too beautiful out! See you later.

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