I work for a large National (actually, International) accounting firm and our head office is in Toronto, Ontario. I am in the IT group with people in various offices all over the country. There are two of us in the Calgary office and another 4 IT staff located in other cities in Alberta.
We don’t get together for meetings, etc., time and distance make that pretty well impossible. We do have conference calls and video conferences and have “chat” tools at our disposal which make communications much easier. Most of the offices are also on an internal phone system allowing us to contact one another via a 4 digit extension. A great system all in all.
Anyway, once a year, we have an IT Conference where all of the IT staff from across the country get together for 3-4 days, somewhere in Ontario and we attend seminars, etc. The conferences have always been, and I would think, always will be in Ontario. To fly everyone to say, Banff, would cost the company a LOT of money in comparison to flying a relative few to Ontario. We all stay in hotel rooms and there is the cost of the transportation for the people driving in, so I would guess that the conference is not cheap to put on. The planners of the conference do a great job. Last years conference was a good time, it was in Mississauga. This year we are heading to the Blue Mountain resort in Collingwood. I am sure that the local IT guy in the Collingwood office could care less, but, what can ya do – can’t please everyone.
Well, since BDO is paying for my flight to Ontario, it is a perfect opportunity for me to visit friends and family for a few days after the conference ends. As long as the costs for the return flight aren’t much higher than they would be normally (if I returned right after the conference), it doesn’t cost me anyway.
I have saved a week of vacation time and am using that combined with Thanksgiving to spend an extra 5 days in Niagara.
It will be a whirlwind 5 days I am sure. I have activities planned with family and friends and likely won’t have a lot of down time. I will see some extended family (aunt, cousin) on my first night – we are all heading out for dinner. Friday, we are planning on hitting the Mandarin for lunch – one of the things that I do miss about being in Ontario. Weather permitting, I hope to catch some or all of the Brock Badgers baseball game on Friday evening. I used to attend a fair number of games. I always know people in the stands and some of my former ball players play for the Badgers. I am hoping for clear skies and nice temps – should be possible even in early October.
Saturday, I will be hitting the Balls Falls craft show with a former co-worker that I keep in touch with. We will likely start the day with breakfast at The Lancer in St. Catharines. Great food, but, for one reason or another, my sister doesn’t care for it. Oh well, she’s always had bad taste… 🙂
Saturday evening will be a poker night apparently, with a few friends. I will almost feel bad to take their money, presuming that we are playing for money that is. I think we will either head out for pizza and wings at Duff’s or order in. I’d prefer to go there, otherwise the wings get sort of soggy in the container. Picky, I know.
We will either have Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday or Monday. I have missed not having turkey since moving to Calgary, I mean, I could cook a turkey myself, but really. I also want to go out to another of my favourite breakfast spots, we call it the “Greasy Spoon”, it is actually called the Golden Griddle, corner of Geneva/Welland.
It would appear that a lot of my plans resolve around food. Hmmm… Well, I guess they do. We all develop our favourite restaurants over time so I want to visit them again. Hopefully, I won’t be disappointed.
No firm plans for the other days but I am sure something will come up. I head back to Calgary after dinner on Tuesday so Sunday and Monday still need to be filled in. I might have made tentative plans, but who knows. I would like to go for lunch with some former co-workers from the Region, hopefully Tuesday will work for that. Guess I will play the rest by ear – otherwise, relaxing isn’t a bad idea either.
At any rate, the trip should be a good one. The dogs are staying at a new Pet Resort south-east of Calgary and I am hoping that they will like it there. I will have 5 days to myself when I get back from Ontario so that will be nice. I will likely need some downtime.