Post SQL Saturday Costa Rica, Almost The Truth

I was fortunate enough to spend 36 hours of the past weekend participating in SQL Saturday #189 in San Jose Costa Rica.  This was the first SQL Saturday that I have ever been able to attend from beginning to end completely uninterrupted and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

My adventure began Friday at the airport in San Jose Costa Rica where Andy Leonard, Frank Quintana and I were met and driven to the hotel, or maybe Andy and Frank were met at the airport and I yelled, “WAIT!!!  I’m with them!!”  Let’s not be technical in these events!  After all this is my story!

After checking into the hotel Andy and I walked through the Central Market, El Mercado Central, to kill time and find some local delicacies.  After some time roaming the market we located a very quaint native eatery called Pizza Hut.  As we went to order Andy asked me if I spoke Spanish to which I answered, “Por supuesto”.  I ordered for the both of us and after completing the order in flawless native Spanish the cashier, after overhearing our conversation stated, “¿Ud habla Espnaol?  ¡Creo que no!”  WHATEVER!!  Again my story, and not important since we got our food and had a great time discussing SQL, SSIS, and Costa Rica.

Andy and I got back to the hotel just in time to get ready to go to the speaker’s dinner.  I had just enough time to take a shower and change into fresh clothes, translation…  I retied my shoes, before heading down to go to dinner.  We all met in the lobby and I met with my team, Chalk 1, who would be riding together to go to the restaurant.

Chalk1

I was pretty relaxed and tired figuring that this should be a tranquil evening of fellowship and food.  After climbing into our SUV Russ Fustino looks back and says, “I bet we roll this b3&$#!!”  REALLY!!  C’MON MAN!!  I half laughed and then got a good look at how Russ was dressed and about freaked!

Russ

HOLY CRAP!!!  I had a man in a crash helmet talking about rolling an SUV while driving up a freaking mountain with pot holes which are properly defined in the US as craters!!  I regained my self-control and realized that I was in an SUV with a gentleman name Alex Funkhouser and knew I was SAFE, with a name like that you know it’s good.

Funk

We finally arrived at the restaurant and it was well worth the drive.  The restaurant overlooked the city of San Jose and the only thing that was better than the view was the food and the company.  It was great to meet new people that shared my ineterests…  Great Food!!  I mean SQL Server…

RestaurantView

During dinner I sat next to Kenneth Ureña who filled in every gap that I was missing in the plans and schedule for my next day and a half.  I can honestly say that I have never been so lucky to meet nicer gentleman in my life.  If my weekend would have ended after dinner the highlight would STILL have been meeting and getting to know Kenneth.  I also think that at one point he said that my Spanish made his ears bleed.  ALRIGHT!!  Maybe that’s not true, but it is MY STORY!!

MeandKenneth

After dinner the drive home seemed like it took half the time compared to the drive to the restaurant…  Did you not read about the drive there?!?!?  Up mountains?!?!?  Pot holes like craters?!?!  C’MON!!  Once back at the hotel I begged Chalk 1 to go out, but they all insisted that it was late.

I woke up bright and early and SQL Saturday #189 began!  I spoke at the first two sessions after the opening, which makes it easy because there is no time to get nervous.  I again met up with Andy, Kenneth, Carlos, and others that I met from the night before and had a great morning.  Eduardo Castro did an extraordinary job during the opening of SQL Saturday #189!  The place was packed, but everything went VERY smooth.  I had the first session in salon A and almost immediately after beginning a live band began to play outside the hotel in the court.  I was kinda fired up about this and thought of it as my “theme” music, until I realized that they were playing Back Sabbath.  WOW!!  I was going for more upbeat theme music than that.

OldandFat

The only reason I am sharing this picture is to share what mom said to me after seeing it.  “Well you’ve obviously aged, but at least you’ve gained allot of weight.”  Now don’t EVER question me again about where my brutal honesty comes from!!

I had one more session after the opening and my theme band continued on, although I tried to block them out as I was getting a bit freaked.  I was immediately followed by Andy Leonard, who upon starting his session the theme music stopped, REALLY!!

We broke for lunch and I was able to visit again with Kenny and Andy:

ThreeAmigos

Kenneth and I began to walk around the hotel and while looking down the center of the uper floor saw this sight below:

Waiting for a water balloon

Kenneth looked at me and said, “I have a water balloon!!  Let’s get them!!”  As Kenneth blurted this out Frank Qunitana walked behind us and asked, “Is that really necessary?  Think about this and how it will affect the feelings of others.”

ThinkAboutIt

Frank then broke out into a grin and shrieked, “Just kidding!!!  Let’s Get’em!”, and began laughing and lurched for Kenneth’s water balloons.  THIS IS MY STORY AND I WILL MAKE IT UP AS I PLEASE!!  Thank goodness the pictures support me.

FrankOK

After lunch I atteneded Jeff Prom’s presentation on MDS and DQS.  Jeff did a great job, but I was a bit angry that he also had his own theme music playing outside in the court yard.  I try not to be a jealous person, but was dismayed at the fact that Jeff’s theme music was noticeably better than mine and that the tone, timbre, and pace would change based on his session.  As Jeff began to discuss the limitations of DQS the band changed to a melancholy R&B tune that mirrored the mood of all in the room.  JUST KIDDING!!  Jeff did an outstading job and even though his theme music was better than mine I thoroughly enjoyed it.

So the truth of this entire post…  I attended SQL Saturday #189 in Costa Rica and it was one of the best events I have ever participated in.  I cannot thank Eduardo Castro and the organizers enough for all of their efforts and work for putting on such an event.

Eduardo

Also true is the fact that I got to spend time with Andy Leonard and Kenneth Ureña, as well as the members of Chalk 1.  Andy and I had a great time and Kenneth was awesome, and thanks for the coffee Kenneth!!  LOVING IT!!.  Russ Fustino was AWESOME and even gave me a .NET Gurus Can Cook book.  I want to thank Eduardo, the sponsors, and ALL the volunteers who made this a premiere event!!  I wish I had more pictures and names to share, but you will have to attend next year to truly understand.

So to answer everyone’s questions:

1. Was there really a SQL Saturday Chalk 1?

2. Did Kenneth really have water baloons?

3. Is Alex’s last name really Funkhouser?

I cannot respond to these questions.  Show up next year and find out yourself.

Thank you again organizers and sponsors of SQL Saturday #189!

Comments ( 3 )

  1. ReplyWayler S. Mora Salas

    Hey David. Thank you very much for your participation in the SQL Saturday # 189 Costa Rica 2013. I participated in your conference and was really awesome. I hope you also enjoyed your stay in Costa Rica, and hope to see you again in next SQL Saturday. Cheers!

  2. ReplyCarlos Chacon

    David Good meeting you in Costa Rica--I hope our paths cross again.

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