If you're following me on twitter, you know that A and I suffered from some awful food poisoning on Tuesday. It really threw my preparation for the week off, but luckily I was almost back to normal on Wednesday. It's a good thing, because I didn't really get to rest again until I went home on Sunday. I was exhausted!
My co-worker friend Hayley and I do this event together. She works for the department that hosts the event, and I do the events at the school, so it works well. It also helps that we are friends and have stayed friends through two of these now! She kindly gave in when I told her we needed to take a pic every night to document this year.
Welcome event at Lucky Strike went very smoothly. The hotel ran out of rooms, so we were roomies for a night.
smiling after the first event | roomies!
Chaos begins. The hotel was supposed to provide charter transport for all of our competitors to the Courthouse each morning. When I went to the lobby about 30 minutes before the first bus was to depart, there was no record of our reservation. I panicked, but the Concierge said to put everyone in cabs and the hotel would reimburse. There were lots of cabs around the hotel, but not nearly as many as we needed, so we ran a little late. I learned two things from this mess: a) just because something is in a contract will not guarantee that it will happen and b) even if you feel like you are being a pain for double checking something, check it again, insist on confirmation, and then check again if needed. I asked what I thought were the right questions and was told that the hotel would handle everything if we had any issues since we contracted transportation through them, so I didn't worry when I didn't receive a confirmation. My sales rep and event manager at the hotel had record of what I needed, but whenever it came time to communicate the need for our reservation to the person who made the reservation, it didn't get done. Lesson learned.
FaceTime with Kitty (and husband) was a must
That night, we had an event at Pete's Piano Bar. On the way to the event, I passed the Cleveland Cavaliers getting into the elevator. They were really animated when faced with trying to cram into a tiny elevator together, and of course they were all HUGE. I wish I could have gotten a pic of them! I said I wasn't going to drink during MTC but after the crazy day of mix-ups, I thought I deserved one hard cider. All the law students were doing shots so that was nothing.
LOTS of people to feed
The hotel apologized to our group with a free breakfast, and after lunch, Hayley and I came back to school to prepare for the night's event - fajitas on the terrace. I got dizzy at the sight of the ladder, but luckily Hayley was game to hang all of the pinatas I bought.
my apology gift from hotel (not breakfast)
We went to the hotel bar that night and met a man who owns a business school in Kazakhstan. Apparently it was some holiday in his country and he wanted to celebrate by buying us drinks. Unfortunately, we had to get up early the next day and weren't in the mood to play host to him, so we excused ourselves pretty quickly. I spoke with some of the others in our group though, and apparently he was the life of the party at the bar that night and was sending bottles of champagne all around. You really never know what you will encounter at a hotel bar.
Saturday was the home stretch and I was just ready to be done. We had an event that night at the gorgeous Hotel Zaza and it did not disappoint! If you ever get the chance to stay there or have an event there, I highly recommend it. It is beautiful and the service is excellent!
At Zaza | Trophies | Chandelier and piano | Food
View out the window from the Phantom Ballroom | Kitty Chair | Cool mirror
The final round takes place on Sunday, and it is always interesting to watch. For our competition, each team that comes is assigned a witness that is one of our students who is told that they are to do whatever the team asks of them for the duration of the competition. The witness gets very close and truly bonds with the team in such a short time, and the teams always feel that the witnesses really affect the outcome for them. The team that wins the competition gets to split a $10,000 cash prize and each member gets a pair of custom boots. Well, Campbell Law School won the competition and they were so bonded with and so grateful to their witness that they each donated a portion of their winnings so that she could get a pair of custom boots! When they told her, she burst into tears and I even felt emotional for her. These are all law students with debt who could have used the money, but they felt they wouldn't have won without her and did something so nice for someone they had only met a few days prior. To say that I was impressed by their kindness doesn't even describe it. It was a great ending to the competition.
I was so, so happy to get home to my husband and kitty. Andrew cooked a great meal with dessert - pot de creme with cinnamon whipped cream - so it was a great homecoming! The dessert is one of the best he has made in a long time, so I will have to post the recipe.
This week my nieces are in town and I am back at work, and still trying to catch up with my favorite blogs. Hopefully I can get back to it next week. I kind of miss the blogging world!