Looking at the world of media: from music to RIA.

Adobe MAX Europe 2008 Recap

December 7th, 2008 Posted in General Media / Stuff, MAX 2008, Self Reference, pics

Well, I made it back from Milan without a hitch… except I caught a nasty cold on the way back, but that seems to be par for the course now-a-days. Getting to Milan was a different story entirely, though. It started off with an 18 hour delay leaving SFO for Heathrow. Yes, 18 hours. Apparently the plane had technical issues in London and didn’t get in the air for almost 8 hours after it was supposed to. Because of this delay, our plane could not leave till noon the next day due to airport hours in London. If we took off once the plane landed at SFO, as intended, we would have arrived when the airport was closed so we had to wait. Luckily we found out about the delay while at home and this meant I could at least sleep in my own bed while we waited for our new flight time.

We finally got loaded and on the runway at 12:30pm the next day but we then got an announcement that a passenger on the plane didn’t have enough medicine to make the flight and the doctors felt it was a life threatening risk, so we had to roll back to the stand and have the passenger exit. This caused another hour delay while the passenger was deplaned. Due to this new delay we missed our 7:50am flight from Heathrow to Milan, and we had to take the 9:50am. Luckily we made that one and finally got into Milan around 1pm Monday afternoon. We were supposed to get in at 9pm Sunday evening. Joy.

Just to add salt to the wound, British Airways managed to lose Aaron’s luggage. Of course we had to wait for all the luggage to come out before we figured this out and then Aaron had to go report it missing. It ended up that it never made it out of Heathrow. Of course both Ashley (Aaron’s wife) and my luggage made it so how they only lost his is mind boggling. The “wait for the luggage” delay made us miss our train from Malpensa (airport) to Codorna (train station in Milan) and we had to wait another 40 minutes for the next train. At this point we just started laughing and sat back and got our first espresso from the airport bar.

We got to our hotel around 4pm and by that point we had no interest in exploring the city. We were hungry but all the restaurants are closed from about 3pm till 7:30pm or so. The typical meal structure for a Milanese is to go to a bar after work, grab a light snack and coffee and then eat dinner around 9pm. We were so exhausted by that time we just decided head over to the conference, register, get our passes, head back to the hotel to call it a night and get room service for dinner. There was no way I could make it past 7pm after a trip like that.

The next day, Aaron and I got up early, ate breakfast at the amazing breakfast buffet the hotel put on (seriously one of the best I have had) and then headed over for our first 9am session. The session went very well, it was standing room only (150+ people) and the audience was very receptive to what we had to say. Aaron was told by multiple people it was the best session they had had so far. By this point, we were totally tech/conference burnt out (North America MAX was intense) so we decided to bail on the conference till our next session at 2:45pm and meet up with Aaron’s wife Ashley. We caught the Metro down to the Duomo, scoped it our and then wandered the central part of town for a few hours. We got a nice lunch and found a fantastic street market that sold all kinds of goods and foods.

We then headed back for our 2:45 session which went over well, but as usual we had a bit of push back from a few designers (I still owe you all a full post on our session, more on this to come I promise!). Outside of some heated discussions with a few designers, the session went very well and we headed back out for more exploring and dinner. That night we met up with Ryan Stewart, Mark Anders, Jim Corbett, Doug Winnie, Ted Patrick and many many other Adobe employees (and fellow hangers-on) for the classic after sessions hotel bar drink-a-thon. We had some killer conversations and Enrique Duvos introduced us to the local drink, the Negroni. Its like a martini but they add Campari to give it some kick and flavor. Doug said it tasted like a combination of shag carpet and wheatgrass, but Aaron and I loved them. Thank you Enrique for showing us the way… next time you are in town we will take you to the Redwood room for Negronis on us.

The next morning we hit the Naviglio Grande Canals and then headed back to MAX to join Doug Winnie for his “Flex Project Workflows” session. Doug built his session around a project that we all worked on together. Aaron and I chimed in on points that we learned over the lifespan of the project and talked about how Flex Gumbo and Catalyst would change the way we operate in the future. After the session Doug was all done with his responsibilities for MAX and we all headed to the Brea district for dinner.

Doug headed back to the States the next morning and Aaron, Ashley and I headed off to a city tour that we had booked. We got to tour the Castello Sforzesco, we had a chance to see “The Last Supper” by Leonardo Da Vinci, we got a peek inside the Teatro alla Scala and we toured inside the Duomo. It was a great guided tour and I snapped a ton of pics of the city. We then grabbed some amazing pizza for lunch, walked the shopping district and drank Pina Coladas at Cova (I ordered Panna Cotta, the waiter heard Pina Colada, sigh). We headed back to the hotel for a nap and then went back to the Brea district for Indian food at the Curry House. We were kind of burnt out on Pizza and Pasta by that time.

Aaron and Ashley headed out the next morning to meet some friends in Switzerland (damn I am jealous) and Heidi Williams (of the Flex Builder team, and my old boss) and I happened to have the same flight so we headed off to the airport to go home. The flight home was uneventful (minus the cold) and I am back home trying to recover from jetlag. Nothing like getting up at 4am wide awake. I have posted a few choice pics from the trip that covers our time in Milan and MAX Europe and I can’t wait for our next adventure!

  1. One Response to “Adobe MAX Europe 2008 Recap”

  2. By Aaron on Dec 11, 2008

    I will have to say the highlight of the trip was watching James down a Pina Colada (more like pineapple juice and coconut with very little ice) and an Irish Coffee inside of a posh cafe in the heart of Milan.

You must be logged in to post a comment.