June 1, 2009 at 7:49 pm #73018
Got the business and pleasure out of your conference? Loved the sites and restaurants in between? Speak your mind!
June 1, 2009 at 8:26 pm #73158
Great question Adam…my best trip for government travel was to San Diego. Great conference and great spot. I am shooting for a conference in St. John if the National Park Service would only host one there. 😉
June 1, 2009 at 11:37 pm #73156
Probably Philadelphia for an HR conference – I loved the history there and catching a few sites.
Second? I went to a Diversity conference in New York City…been itching to go back ever since.
June 4, 2009 at 7:19 pm #73154
Where did you eat? What local culture did you experience?
June 4, 2009 at 7:20 pm #73152
What did you like about NYC? Where did you eat at both?
June 4, 2009 at 7:55 pm #73150
Philadelphia – I DIDN’T have a cheesesteak…...big regret!
Did make it to City Tavern (unofficial meeting place for 1st Continential Congress in 1774. For dessert was the Martha Washington’s Chocolate cake (her actual recipe).
NYC – I went in the fall, and Central Park was beautiful. Also, the architecture. Did a nightly talk show.
Ate at Carnegie Deli and had to check out ESPN cafe (total tourist in Times Square).
June 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm #73148
Fantastic. I bet that old-time Martha cake was really good, wasn’t it?
June 4, 2009 at 10:30 pm #73146
Not really, it was $20 (that was six years ago) for the piece of cake, and tasted a little “off” . Sad, but I can’t recall what it was that had me stray from clean plate club (no flour, or lack of sweetness?)
I was really disappointed…. I was expecting near perfection!!
June 6, 2009 at 12:16 am #73144
I would expect that as well. Too bad.
June 6, 2009 at 3:11 am #73142
I have had quite a few great trips travelling for the government. It’s difficult to say which one was the best, but several really stand out. The last AMIA Conference in DC was really informative. I travelled with several friends/colleagues. We stayed in hotels not too far from Dupont Circle and ate at several quaint little local restaurants nearly all tucked into one particular block near the hotels each night. The steamed half lobster was especially good and very reasonable. We ate French, Italian, Mexican and Greek.
The other trips that stand out are travel to conferences in Sacramento and Chicago. Each city has its own rhythm! I thoroughly enjoyed the spotlessly clean, environmentally friendly city of Sacramento and a particular good Italian Restaurant with colleagues and people I met there. In Chicago, I enjoyed my first authentic Chicago pizza pie! It was as delicious as everyone had said it would be. It snowed while we were there in April! I loved the sights and sounds of both cities and especially the Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. The conference I attended was educational, motivational and inspiring! The meetings held there were both pleasantly engaging and productive.
June 6, 2009 at 2:03 pm #73140
Denise A. KatulaParticipant
It had to be my first out-of-state conference experience. I was able to take Amtrak up to Boston for the AAGP (American Association of Grant Professionals) conference. I think it was in 2004. Not only was it completely awesome to be with other grant writers (they spoke my language and felt my pain!), but the city was amazing. The conference facility was in Copley Place. One late afternoon I got to basically speed walk a decent part of the Freedom Trail between conference sessions. For a history lover like me, it was a great experience.
June 6, 2009 at 3:55 pm #73138
Susan, you always seem to put me right there in the action! You’ve made me hungry too! 🙂
June 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm #73136
Oh, that’s sounds good to me, as well. I am a huge history buff too! Tell me about some of the historical things you experienced.
June 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm #73134
James A. BellParticipant
My all time favorite conference site was Vancouver, British Columbia. Our national Association of Public Treasurers Conference was held there in August and it was the most beautiful city I have ever seen. There were many gardens throughout the city and you must visit Grouse Mountain via cable car. The views are breathtaking. There was so much life in their downtown area, plenty of great spots for outdoor dining, and you must try a Bellini cocktail when you visit.
June 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm #73132
I loved the last conference I went to in Philly too. The convention center is right next door to the Reading Terminal market full of lunch counters and farm booths. A lot like Eastern Market in DC but 3 times as big. I loved all the Amish vendors and took tons of stuff from there as gifts to family and co-workers. I also ate there 3 days out of 5.
June 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm #73130
Oh, this sounds wonderful. Perfect even.
June 8, 2009 at 4:05 pm #73128
You can’t beat the purity of the Amish food. It’s all natural!
June 8, 2009 at 7:35 pm #73126
Best trip for me was Dresden, Germany. I was working a DoD program called Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) at the time, and one of our planning meetings was hosted by the Germans. It was amazing being in such an historic location, both the city and the host site.
The meetings took place at a small German military base; they told us our conference room used to be Goering’s office. That, in and of itself was pretty darn interesting. We had dinner with our international partners at a restaurant that was in the cellar of an old powder tower (in German, Pulver Turm) that was in use since at least the 1500’s. We were also treated to a walking tour of Dresden, which has been lovingly restored, having been almost leveled by the Allies during World War II.
And the timing of our visit was almost perfect. The Frauenkirche, which had remained a pile of rubble throughout the years under East German rule, had been under renovation since shortly after fall of the wall and had just been completed. We were able to see the sandstone it was made from in all its recently quarried glory. It was brilliant. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go inside, since it wasn’t open to the public for another month or so. Being able to go inside *would* have made this the perfect trip.
Note: I was able to go back later and visit the Fraunkirche after it was open to the public. It’s beautiful inside — all pastels and light. Very surprising and refreshing since most other European cathedrals are dark and dank and gothic.
June 9, 2009 at 12:12 am #73124
I’ve always loved state capitals. Albany, Springfield, Richmond, Austin, Sacramento….Got to visit a few for work…Always fun.
And Vegas was great. Meeting ended Friday at 3pm. Last flight left at 2:45pm to get back home. Shucks…I have to stay overnight.
June 10, 2009 at 1:01 pm #73122
Very cool trip! That sounds like something me AND my wife would enjoy as a vacation! Wow, that’s cool that you were able to take such a trip with DoD. Amazing.
June 10, 2009 at 8:14 pm #73120
The best trips by far are the ones that don’t cost the taxpayer anything.
FREE Webinars are the best trips. You can get as much information (sometimes more) from FREE Webinars than you can get from some conferences. You get invaluable information, can access from your office, home, on the road, etc…all at no cost.
If it’s free, it’s for me.
June 11, 2009 at 12:21 am #73118
Yea, shucks. Vegas is sooo boring! 🙂
Steve if you haven’t seen West Virginia’s capital in Charleston, you are missing out. That campus has won a ton of beauty awards in the inner cometition that is held between the capitals. If you ever decide to go, let me know- I can help you navigate your way to a really nice experience. Without some help, it’s kind of hard to find the good spots- Charleston is kind of small.
June 11, 2009 at 12:22 am #73116
Free IS cool. But I like to get out of the office sometimes!
June 11, 2009 at 1:45 pm #73114
Yes, I do as well. Unfortunately however, with budgets so tight and with the tsunami of ARRA & Omnibus related opportunities to pursue and work to do, I have to work smarter within the confines of a very compressed schedule.
June 11, 2009 at 2:13 pm #73112
Travelling to and from Bolivia and Ecuador for an Office of Inspector General review of counter narcotics programs implemented in the region has been without compare . I had the opportunity to see parts of the countries that included tropical rainforest ( I have seen a tapir on a bamboo pole for some’s dinner near Las Esmareldas, Ecuador), the beautiful beaches of Manta, Ecuador, the coca markets of La Paz ( the leaf: the true funk can not be described) and the confiscated bricks at the police museum. We observed the photos of all the original and not so orignal ways folks tried to smuggle illegal narcotics over. Travelling was exciting and dramatic, the ride in a cargo plane through the Yungas in the air ( Bolivia), sitting as a passenger traversing the most dangerous roads to inspect the coca fields terraced along side the mountains and in helicopter (with open windows and not so secure seatbelts). The fields were to be subject to eradication. We spent our off day on the equator at the middle of the world( the natives were more accurate than the European experts in picking out the lines so years later accounting for their computational error the Mayans were closer on point). One can see their ancient markers from the restaurant dotting the terrain. I will never forget riding in a small plane and landing in a field- looking down on the descent asking where is the strip and the pilot telling me ( I was wearing an oxygen mask for the unpressurized plane) we will land near the red bulls eye on a green field. When we departed we needed to leave the back open to get enuf lift to depart from the wild wild west of Ecuador. I can not forget the helicopter rides to survey the detected fields and the back of the Amazon Basin in Bolivia which looked like something from land of the lost. Any moment one could imagine a long necked dinosaur rising slowly out of the water. Lake Titicaca was intriguing. The altitude was not easy to adjust to. The fish ribs were great in Cochebamba, Bolivia but the landscape was tremendous. I also ran into Bolivian President Banzer at the Bolivian arts and craft conference on site on the day before I departed. This was 16 days in the field.
June 11, 2009 at 2:39 pm #73110
I’ve only been on one work trip so far to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. We were able to take the “Director’s Tour” of the Mission Control and Space Shuttle Mock-Up facilities….got to climb into the mockup which was quite the experience!
June 11, 2009 at 9:40 pm #73108
I hear that.
June 11, 2009 at 9:43 pm #73106
WOW! You have got to be kidding me! You have lived far more than most of us ever will. I would love to see some pictures. I know you took pictures, right?
June 11, 2009 at 9:44 pm #73104
I’ve done that one, as well. Very cool place. I lived in Houston for about 5 years. Nice place, but very hot.
June 11, 2009 at 10:56 pm #73102
Traveling on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. I ate a can of tomato soup that I bought at the hardware store.
June 11, 2009 at 11:01 pm #73100
I will get back to this after my trip next week to Pohnpei.. am sure I will have TONS of stories to tell. 🙂
June 13, 2009 at 12:11 am #73098
What was your impression of Alaska?
June 13, 2009 at 12:12 am #73096
I can’t wait to hear about it!
June 13, 2009 at 9:16 am #73094
Cindy Lou BakerParticipant
When I first started with the Forest Service, I became a Union Steward (If I only knew then…). I went on trips to Seattle and Reno, but the best one was to Kansas City. When our work was done, we walked around and listened to the street singers and read old historical plaques. Meals were incredible. I found a little cigar bar that had awesome portobello mushroom pizza. I went there nightly and listened to some great jazz and blues! I’ll go back there for fun someday.
June 13, 2009 at 7:53 pm #73092
The last DISA Customer Conference was awesome! Huge amounts of Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing info, a lot of energy and some very motivated people.
The first trip to Canberra was pretty awesome as our hosts were just great. They had their software up and working so we didn’t have to spend evenings and weekends retesting. We were able to see the “Antiquities of the World” at the National Library and were treated to four wheel driving in the Blue Mountains.
I travel a LOT and have found that the best part of any trip is the people I get to meet followed closely by the new software I get to play with, ummmm, test…yeah, I mean test.
I have such a great job!
June 14, 2009 at 12:24 pm #73090
Awesome. Do you remember directions and the name of that cigar bar? 🙂
June 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm #73088
It sounds like a dream job. Though, a lot of people think I have one as well! 🙂
June 15, 2009 at 9:49 pm #73086
Have to agree with Cary Casey – my best trip was also to San Diego. This is the city I grew up in and was doing Advance for the 1996 presidential campaign. It was great to return to see so many friends, conduct press advance to some of the media outlets that I had actually worked for, and nothing beat working out of the Coronado Hotel and the great event we put on at the Balboa Park Organ Pavillion.
Even the part where we had to crash a Dole / Kemp rally to hand out Clinton / Gore talking points was even fun — I ran in to a close friend’s older brother who was working on the other side and he promptly tried to kick us out just like he used to kick me and pals out of his game room when we were in 7th grade – fun experience!
One sobering thing about that trip though, I learned how removed from every-day life we could be back in the beltway… I offered tickets to a few friends to meet the president and they did not understand why I thought that was the greatest thing ever (hey – you can meet THE PRESIDENT!) along with me tracking every word on C-SPAN while they were busy catching a local band at the beach (much more fun), raising their kids (far more important), getting to work on time, turning in a thesis… it was good for me to see my political fascination through the eyes of non-political friends 🙂
But it was also fun taking a work break to walk along Coronado shores and celebrating a great event at the Gaslamp in dtown San Diego!
June 15, 2009 at 10:24 pm #73084
Sounds like a great city! 🙂
June 16, 2009 at 9:10 pm #73082
San Diego no doubt. The first time I went I called back to my boss and said “If I were ten years younger you would never see me again.” Haivng lived there he understood. I took my mom the second time. That time when I called back, I said “If we had brought the dog you would never see us again.” We stayed in a cheap motel with a bayside view, but had expensive but decadent brunch at the Del Coronado! Beautiful summer breezes all year round. Water desert. Sigh! Too expensive to live there though.
June 17, 2009 at 11:15 pm #73080
Sounds like I need to visit San Diego. Many of you have said how wonderful it is!
June 19, 2009 at 2:25 am #73078
Loved the “W” in San Diego… all sass and sea… alll for the standard government rate
June 19, 2009 at 7:05 pm #73076
That’s it. I’m going to San Diego! The W hotels are cool in general.
June 22, 2009 at 4:53 pm #73074
R J ParryParticipant
Great question but can I also suggest not all government trips are the best.
10 days in Hawaii working 12-15 hours per day
Arrive in Puerto Rico in the dark, spend to days in training and leave the next morning at oh-dark-thirty.
San Diego (Coronado Island) was grand especially having coffee at the Hotel Del Coronado
The annual Learning Conference (http://www.learning2009.com) in Orlando is always a treat. (Hosted at Disney, Presented by Elliott Masie)
June 29, 2009 at 6:07 pm #73072
I live in Alaska. My impression is that the Tongass National Forest is one of the grandest places to be!
July 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm #73070
That would have to be Costa Rica! The city I work for established a Sister City relationship with a city about two hours east of San Jose, in the Central Valley. It was amazing – visited the Rawlings plant where they hand-sew all of the ML baseballs, ate fabulous food, visited coffee plantations, toured an archaelogical site, visited a local school, went 4-wheeling up a volcano, and to top it off, held a several hours-long meeting with our Costa Rican counterparts discussing the future of our “diplomatic relations” – at a cheese farm in the hills overlooking a misty green valley. It was unreal.
July 17, 2009 at 12:59 am #73068
Thanks for sharing.
July 17, 2009 at 1:00 am #73066
Ok, I envy you.
July 31, 2009 at 3:12 pm #73064
Keith T. PrestonParticipant
My wife and I went to Salt Lake City Utah about 10 years ago in the winter and it was pretty cool. Great city, good snow and skiing. Although probably not known to be a hugh party town it was beautiful.
Tulsa OK was the quietest town (city) I have ever visited (roll up the sidewalks by 7PM)
August 3, 2009 at 2:56 pm #73062
Yes, I love Salt Lake. Tulsa would have to contend with Charleston, WV!
August 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm #73060
James A. BellParticipant
I just attended a national conference in Spokane, Washington. The Davenport Hotel was our host and it is by far the best hotel I have ever stayed in on so many levels. The hotel is very ornate and the owners have gone to great detail to restore it to its original magnificence in the early 1900s. There is a long history to this hotel and you can watch a video about it on one of the hotel TV channels. Beyond that, the staff was unselfish and accomodating of our every need. They provided us complimentary town car service anywhere in the downtown Spokane area. The banquet food was delicious and they took pride in the presentation of the food at every meal. Fantastic desserts included Margarita Cheesecake and an exquisite Apple Tart.
September 17, 2009 at 2:11 pm #73058
Paula M LorfanoParticipant
I’ve been organizing conferences for several years and have lots of “experiences” but by far my favorite place is Vienna, Austria. We stayed at a hotel that is two converted palaces with winding corridors and very interesting quest rooms. One of mine was two story and another was tucked away in an attic but very nice…Passageways thru walls and staircases that were beautiful. The people I worked with at the Embassy were fabulous. The city is walkable with tons of things to see if you have time….The hotel recommended some very interesting restaurants. I think the name was “1912”, the servings were large and the atmosphere is friendly. Of course, my team members made all the difference as they were great spirits and didn’t mind the late nights and long days of work at the conference. And I highly recommend a
“Heuriger” to get the group together.
September 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm #73056
Wow, this sounds nice. I wrote that one down!
September 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm #73054
Sounds cool. I don’t think I’ll be visiting Austria soon, but I have added it to the bucket list 🙂
September 22, 2009 at 5:45 pm #73052
David K. ShepherdParticipant
I was on a task for NSF a couple years ago. We visited various NSF supported observatories. The highlights of the trips were the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Observatories in La Serena, Chile. In both locations we were taken on in depth facility tours, including inspection of the Arecibo platform. It gave me a new appreciation of the work done on behalf of the US and the efforts made to understand the universe. I consider myself very lucky to be able to work on that task.
September 28, 2009 at 1:12 am #73050
Fantastic! Tell me, did you get to look around each country?
September 28, 2009 at 12:10 pm #73048
David K. ShepherdParticipant
We did a little. Most of our time was consumed with interviews and facility/system inspection, but our hosts made sure we got some of the local flavor. In PR we were treated to traditional meals, including mofongo and rabbit. In Chile we sampled the local market and ate at an amazing Steak House. The local flavors, combined with the simply amazing work done at the observatories made this the best travel I have ever had for work. I just hope they call us again in a few years, after they have taken some of our suggestions!
September 28, 2009 at 2:16 pm #73046
Sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing!
October 31, 2009 at 3:07 pm #73044
Sounds amazing. I did a Google search for more. WOW.
October 31, 2009 at 3:08 pm #73042
Play with software? I envy you.
November 17, 2009 at 4:10 am #73040
Jay S. Daughtry, ChatterBachsParticipant
While I have not been a government employee, the best business trip I’ve ever been able to take was when I was with Wells Fargo. I got to go to the 2003 ASAE Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. I took my family along, and we added 9 days onto the 5 day business trip for a full two-week stay, with the first week on Oahu and the second on Kauai. A memorable and once-in-a-lifetime trip for business and pleasure!
November 17, 2009 at 2:20 pm #73038
No doubt! I would have done the same thing, (added more days to my stay). Thanks for sharing. 🙂
December 28, 2009 at 12:38 am #73036
December 28, 2009 at 4:54 am #73034
Cool. Armed Forces, huh?
December 28, 2009 at 5:00 am #73032
December 28, 2009 at 5:02 am #73030
Very cool. What did you like best about Okinawa?
December 28, 2009 at 5:08 am #73028
The Okinawa people make it a wonderful experience. I also liked the food.
December 28, 2009 at 3:55 pm #73026
Two best trips actually – one for a government grant to Austin, TX, to meet up for several days with tons of Youth Services providers in Texas! Just awesome to be surrounded by other people working tirelessly to better the lives of our nation’s youth!
The second, a government conference regarding Asian/Pacific Islander health issues – as a third generation Japanese American it was truly awesome and eye opening experience! I have always been completely immersed in “American” culture, so to suddenly be surrounded by a zillion Asian folk for several days was definitely a different “feeling”! AND, to get classes on specific cultural ideaologies and so much information on health issues – AMAZING! The bounus for this trip was enjoying San Francisco – and getting to visit with my family nearby!
I do SO wish that the government had more resources to provide these types of venues. I know people moan and groan about having to go to “boring” conferences or only going to see the sights, but they really can be SO SO SO worthwhile!!!
December 29, 2009 at 1:19 am #73024
Thanks for sharing:)
December 29, 2009 at 1:21 am #73022
Love Austin. I agree- I wish the government would provide more cultural experiences in our travel. I think everyone needs a little of this and that. 🙂
February 9, 2011 at 1:59 am #73020
Was in Providence, RI a couple weeks back and thought it was great.
And my best ever will be Paris in 4 weeks..for OECD talk
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