Ryan invited me to attend this year’s CEDIA trade show with him in Denver. It’s actually been on on the radar for a year, since last year, he said, “next year’s show is in Denver. You should come to that.” Since I can stay in the company paid hotel room for free, it’s not expensive for me to join him, so I booked a flight.
It took a bit of arranging to be able to leave for 3 days, but thanks to some awesome relatives, the kids were chaperoned and carpooled and fed the whole weekend.
I flew in on Thursday, and thankfully, Ryan picked me up at the airport. I am not a fan of flying by myself, especially when I have no idea where I need to go after I arrive. But he was able to borrow the company’s rental car and pick me up. We dropped my stuff off at the hotel and walked back to the convention center. He worked in the booth while I walked around the show floor, trying to find fun free stuff to take back to the kids.
I ended up getting myself lost in the convention center. My attempt to walk it in grid style defeated because I would get sidetracked by cool things (Ooooh, something shiny) and veer off course. At one point, I stopped and looked around, and some nice gentleman said, “are you lost?” Yes, in fact, I am. No worries, I’ll find it eventually. “What are you looking for?” he said. When I said Control4, he pointed, and it was seriously just two booths away. Like I said, I would have found it eventually.
By 5:00, I was ready to leave. Sadly, the booth doesn’t close until 6:00, so I hung around, talked to the few people I knew, met some more people that Ryan introduced me to, and then we left just before 6:00.
Ryan didn’t have any scheduled group dinners that night, so we went to Chili’s. It was a beautiful night, and we ate outdoors.
Downtown Denver is very walkable, with a free bus that goes along the 16th street mall. So Friday, I was set to explore. The weather, however, was wet and not welcoming. I may have taken a bit longer getting ready for the day than I usually do, lounging on the comfy hotel bed and watching MONK. But I did venture out, and went to the Opera House (gives tours on Saturday, not Friday), the Money Museum (a little sign outside saying they were sorry for the inconvenience, but closed today), a Big old book store, and some shops in the mall. Then I went to the convention center to see how Ryan was doing.
That night we went to the Control 4 party in a museum on a former Air Force base (Wings over the Rockies). There were planes everywhere!
The food was all fancy and airplane themed. They had camo cupcakes, even.
We even could climb into an old fighter plane. The party was huge and VERY well done.
Control 4 invites their dealers and partners and employees and people they want to schmooze to this party. It was fun to meet the people from around the country that Ryan works with. One guy came up to us at a table and said, “Someone just told me who you are. I just have to come and say thanks, man.” I kid you not. I thought it was a plant. I asked if Ryan had any idea who that was, and he said he didn’t.
We talked a bunch to some friends of his that he works with from England and New York. Funny guys. And since many of the people there are taking advantage of the free bar, they get funnier as the night goes on.
Eventually we were getting tired, and took the bus back to the convention center, then walked the 6ish blocks back to the hotel.
Saturday was nice and sunny again, so I set out on more adventures while Ryan went to work. I didn’t even GO to the convention center on Saturday, instead took the bus the other direction. I saw the Capitol Building,
as well as many other beautiful houses and buildings. My destination, however, was the Molly Brown Museum. It was more of a walk than I thought it would be, but I found it.
It was an interesting tour (an hour long, too), but they wouldn’t let us take any pictures inside the house “for insurance reasons”. What the heck? I was kind of disappointed at that, but I took plenty of outside pictures.
In my walking around, I saw a bunch of teams of people running some kind of race. Their tags said the Great Urban Race. I guess it’s some kind of amazing race type event, where teams must find and decipher clues. When I saw team Eeyore, I just had to get a picture.
That night we went to dinner with a bunch of the Control4 guys (and two other gals) at Mellow Mushroom, a pizza place. They all had to carb load before taking down the booth. After dinner, I walked back to the hotel and they went back to work. Yes, I had the good end of the deal there.
I really enjoyed Denver. It’s a beautiful city with so much rich architecture and art. I had never been there before (can you believe it?), but I hope to go there again!