EPM+Collaboration Photo Tour

As mentioned before I really feel that “photo blogging” offers a tonne to the readers experience, especially when you are describing things like being on the road for presentations.

A couple of weeks back we were on the road with Microsoft delivering EPM + SharePoint Deep Dives during an Information Worker Tour. It was a lot of fun and I snapped a bunch of photos at the events as well as around town which I will post a few of now.

The tour spread across 4 days, 2 in Halifax and 2 in Ottawa. Being from NL we unfortunately used to “very” early morning flights. We woke up at 4:30am to prepare and get to the airport so forgive me for not having the pre-boarding photos for this one.

We started to gather and prepare mateirals for our presentation a couple of weeks before the tour. As the date approached there was a lot of tweaking presentations, removing un-wanted slides and excess content and of course rehearsing the presentations as a team and locked away along with our note sheets.

Once we landed in Halifax we were whisked off to the Westin Hotel where we were presenting (and staying). There was a double booked conference the same day so we had some extra time to prepare. Here you can see Lloyd, a coleague preparing.

Not to be outdone, Steve digs in and begins preparing as well. On the table you will see a true Canadian tradition, Tim Hortons coffee. There is a funny story behind this actual coffee. I woke up at 5am and rather than wake anyone decided to stroll around downtown in search of coffee. Fast forward 1/2 an hour I am on my way back to the hotel with now cold coffee for everyone. By the time I got back I realised it was still only 6am and people were probably not yet awake. Fast forward another 2+ hours it’s 8:30am and we are in the hotel lobby – I pass Steve this now ‘very old’ coffee which he happily drinks. What a trooper.

Hmm, and you thought Amanda Murphy was so professional? Little did you know she hides behind the curtains prior to her presentations.

Amanda and Lloyd going over some last minute details. Sorry for the dark photo.

Steve is ready to roll but I think Lloyd is trying to smuggle snacks under the table! Ok he was really hiding some of our luggage away.

The presentations in Halifax were a lot of fun we met some great new people but just a few short hours later we were in the sky again on-route to Ottawa.

We landed in Ottawa and were greeted by our sales guy Victor who took us on a quick tour of the city at night which was great. A few short hours later and we were again in the Westin Hotel, this time in downtown Ottawa.

This photo is very fitting, it’s the only one I took during the Ottawa presentations and sums it up perfectly in a “blur”. This is actually Amanda making her way to her EPM presentation which was a huge hit.

Day 1 in Ottawa was great – after our presentations we went to supper at the Baton Rouge restaraunt. What a great place – I highly recommend it – AWESOME service.

Day 2 in Ottawa was also a lot of fun – after our presentations we had a major BBQ (it was 15 celcius in Ottawa). It was great but we were all pretty beat and went to sleep early.

Steve and Lloyd returned to St. John’s the next day but it was Friday and Amanda and I decided to stay for the weekend and take in the city for a few days.

So off we went to discover Canada’s Capital. First up was the Museum of Civilization where we seen lots of cool things like:

Canadians and their crazy politicians eh?

A view of Parliment Hill from a window in the Museum of Civilization

Then we were off to 24 Sussex to say hello to the Prime Minister (Steven Harper)

Turns out though he wasn’t home – Funny story: During this same time Amandas little brother Aaron was due to return home from military training in Virginia but his flight was changed because Steven Harper needed his plane. No wonder the guards wouldn’t let us in to complain!

Another view of the Parliment Building as we drove by

They were filming some movie downtown when we walked by, hey do we get “extras” pay?

Then the strangest thing I seen in Ottawa. You thought what we do to seals is bad? (ok bad joke)

While roaming around downtown by the “Market” we found this great old church “The Notre Dame Basilica” – we decided to go inside to take a look and all I can say is WOW. I have never seen so much attention to detail in anything, ever.

No really, WOW

Ok so I had to save this one for last. This story “actually is funny”. For those that have been to Ottawa you are probably aware of the massive bilingual (French+English) population. That’s because it’s bordering Quebec – not to mention a couple of hours outside Montreal.

The funny thing is you can be in Ottawa one minute and basically without knowing in Quebec the next.

As we were driving down the road Amanda asked “Why are the signs here in French “First”?. I laughed and of course sarcastically said, “Probably because we’re in Quebec?.

We drove by this big sign a few seconds later and I had to take a snap to remind her.

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