Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The other Marriott

Did you know that there are two Marriotts in Toronto? Somehow I ended up at the one that is a 25 minute walk from the office while my colleagues are at the one with a 7 minute commute. Oh well. It was a very pleasant walk this morning but a little humid. MY Marriott has the distinction of being attached to the Rogers Centre, right near the CN Tower. The lobby connects to the stadium. Pretty cool.

We met this morning at THEIR Marriott and then went to the office, on the 25th floor of a tower in the Financial District. (It was a lot more like the Melbourne office than my own). After we got settled and were issued badges to operate the elevator, we began a day of meetings. The Canada marketing and sales teams were very willing to share best practices, what’s working and what isn’t, and gave us valuable insight from when they were at our stage of development. We also had a quick meet and greet with the head of the office, which was nice.

For lunch, didn’t even need to leave the building! Sort of. The PATH is a network of underground shopping and dining that is below the city streets. It’s very easy to get lost because the routes do not follow the street plan above. (Not that it would have helped me get around at all since I made Chris do all the driving during our vacations to Toronto). Anyway, we found lunch and even got a table in a crowded dining area. Afterwards, we almost made a critical wrong turn to get to the surface, but it worked out.

More meetings in the afternoon, and then dinner with the Canada marketing team. They were such great hosts - selecting a seafood place right across the street. It was really nice to get to know them better outside of work. We ended the meal with two of these huge “sundaes for two” and lots of spoons. Even with 6 of us, there was still ice cream left at the end.

Wind, but no rain, on my walk back to the hotel. Then, I did a little shopping and enjoyed the long daylight hours outside.

One more day in the office tomorrow and an early flight back to Philly on Friday. Quick trip this time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Oh, Canada!

Most of you know that I no longer support my company’s Australia website and will not be headed Down Under again for work anytime soon. However, I remain in our International division, and in January took on a new role in Marketing for our Latin America and Caribbean clients. Same office, same building, but a new team to work with and new skills to learn. I have mixed feelings about the change, in general, but that’s the subject of another blog post.

Today I am once again in the International terminal of the Philadelphia airport, this time prepared to board an American Eagle flight to Toronto, Canada. Look at this cute little plane!

Good to see blue skies out there. A rainy flight in this thing could mean a lot of turbulence. . .

Almost as small as this plane is my new marketing team. Along with our colleague in Mexico City, who I hope to meet for dinner tonight, LatAm Marketing consists of my boss and me. Our little team of three is headed to Canada to learn from members of our group up north. All of the Canadian team members (about 50) report up through the same principal that I do, head of the Americas. Our Canada office has been up and running for about 7 years now, and their marketing team has grown a lot over that time. We have meetings set up tomorrow and Thursday to talk about events, digital advertising, product, PR, marketing measurement, and social media, along with a meet and greet with the head of the office and some time with Sales. It should be a productive trip! A lot for me to learn - though I’ve worked in our international division for 5+ years and am very familiar with our international websites, I have mostly worked on digital projects. My job was technically in a marketing organization, but I was a project manager focusing on the web. And I’ve never taken a marketing course!

So, not sure if this little trip will yield much blog-worthy material, but I guess it’s worth it to check in and report on what I am up to while out of the country for a few days.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Today started with another delicious breakfast, fortifying us for a day of culture and walking. We were sad to find that Dublin Castle was not open, but glad to discover that the Archaeology museum was a short walk away. After breezing through the prehistoric section, we focused on medieval and Viking history, especially the Battle of Clontarf. No photos in the museum, but I bought a nice sword for Sam in the gift shop.

Then we headed for the train station for a trip to Howth.

Good thing I had the sword to scare away the pigeons.
Howth is a fishing village with beautiful views and sometimes cold winds.
King George IV visited once. We stood in the same spot.

Now, time for a hike. On the way, we saw Yeats' house.

It was a long hike. It felt good to get out of the city.

An early supper of fish and chips was well deserved! Tom and I split Andrew's mushy peas and we finished with Guiness and Irish coffee.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Not Australia

Well, I met this guy in Dublin airport.
We had a meaty breakfast with this guy.
Then we took a tour of Trinity College together.
Book of Kells was cool, but our favorite was the Long Hall. Everything in this building predates our home nation.
Then we got some drinks and snacks at a pub, also called The Long Haul.

Then we made this guy sit through a historic movie and old house. (This was my idea).

Then we found another pub and they ate some more meat. (I had a salad).

The night was young! What else is there to do here? Oh, here's a pub called Devitts.

"My beer looks fantastic."

Why? That's a good question. The best way to answer that is with after dinner drinks at Devitt's.
Tom wanted to hear some jigs. Thankfully, we found a good place for this. Though perhaps that is not really so hard.

The last stop at The Bleeding Horse can only be explained by the dilution rate of my new favorite drink of the trip through the night, Jameson and Ginger. With lime.

No ginger needed at this establishment.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Sorry, I know I haven't done a good job posting updates this week. "Busy" is a lame excuse, but it is a valid one. Work days this week have seen me up early, quick chat with the family, and in to the office between 7:30 and 8am. I have been fortunate enough to continue my lunch streak - different locations and different people most of the time. (Okay, a few repeats with my favorites). 

Monday I went to straight from the office to meet a friend for dinner. She took me to her house first and I met her adorable kitties :-) then relaxed for a bit and met her dad for dinner at his favorite place, Tann. It was like being in his dining room! He personally knew the staff and the menu. It was just delightful.

Tuesday included a drink after work at a very cool rooftop bar and a wonderful, wonderful conversation with someone in the office that I don't have an excuse to work with much any more. The great thing about this trip is that I have been able to spend time with my "new" work colleagues from current projects, "old" work colleagues from past projects, and my BFFs that I talk to daily when I am in the US.

Last night I also desparately had to do laundry, too. Lots of up and down on the elevator. Every night I also have my touchpoint with my IT PM in the states, and often another call home to my favorite people there. I like the morning calls better, though, because they have more to report.

So that's pretty much this week! Two days and two nights left. I have just about finished up the things I set out to accomplish and am starting to make progress on another big project which is just kicking off. . . it's been very productive. And I've benefited a great deal.

More on my weekend later.  

Saturday in Ballarat

My close colleague and friend Marie invited me to spend some time with her family this weekend in Ballarat. It was about an hour and a half on the train out of Melbourne.

First up was the botanical garden and row of busts of past prime ministers. Here I am with Holt.

Then we had lunch and visited the Wildlife Park. I loved it! Kangaroos roamed free and you could purchase kibble to feed them out of your hand. 

Some of them were very lazy. 

We were able to get quite close the the kangaroos and even pet them.

Another highlight was feeding the Tasmanian Devils. We watched them scurry about after pieces of mice thrown to them by the keepers and listened to their screaming.

I also saw koalas, quokkas (mini kangaroos) and quolls. Here's a quokka - so cute!

Thursday, June 25, 2015


It makes sense that on the day after my husband created a blog post called "Quiet" I find myself feeling solitary.

I didn't work too late today and decided to hit the gym after dinner. The gym was fine for a hotel gym, but there was no music, no tvs, and no shelf on the treadmill to prop up my iPad. So. I.  just. ran.

Which is fine, right? I felt that it made the aloneness of running even more alone. Maybe tomorrow I will take a walk instead. I picked up some walking tours of the city that look interesting and not too time consuming. But that shouldn't matter either. . . I have an odd pocket of time between 5ish and 8ish during which I really don't need to work anymore and no one is really awake in the US. 2-3 hours alone is a gift in my "normal life," but in Australia I feel like I need to fill it up!

At least my lunches this week have been very nice. I've secured invitations every day this week, with a different person or group each time, at a different restaurant. It helps offset solitary brekkies :-) and dinners. Next week I have some dinner engagements lined up, too.

Something else to look forward tomorrow is some time at a sales conference, where a new tool will be launched (I worked hard last year on the log on process to access this tool). So that will be interesting, and very different. Something I haven't done before!