A bit more than a year ago I was lucky enough to win the best in show of Adobe's AIR derby. It's been a crazy good year since then and I'm really fortunate that things went the way they did. Besides the tangible benefits, being featured on Adobe websites and during conferences has done a ton to boost the visibility of AgileAgenda. Hopefully, that's a project I can continue to grow over the upcoming years.
Tomorrow, I head off to use the bulk of the prize.
In case you're interested, here's a little bit of background of how it worked. They took $100,000 and put it in an account with a Travel agent and I was allowed to use it towards any service the travel agency could provide. The only real restriction was I had to book any travel within one year.
We ended up splitting it into 3 different trips. For the first, my wife and I headed off to Las Vegas for a week. We had a really great time. We saw some shows, did some gambling, and took in the sights. We even took a day trip out to Zion national park and got to see a bit of Utah along the way.
Then, in June, me, my wife, and 7 other family members all went down to Mexico for a week and stayed at a great all inclusive resort. Most of the family members had never been anywhere like that and it went really well. I'm really glad the prize was structured in a way that we could share it with them like this.
Tomorrow, my wife and I head out at 4:30am in the morning to catch a flight to LA, we have most of the day there so we'll be able to see some of the city. After that we're off to New Zealand.
We'll be spending four nights at the Sofitel in Queenstown. During that we've got a 12 hour long tour planned one day, and a helicopter tour of Milford sound the next.
From there we fly down to Christchurch and spend three nights at the George. The first day we have a tour of the town, and the next we have a train/atv/boat excursion planned.
From there we fly over to Sydney, Australia where we have two nights at the Observatory Hotel. While there we'll explore the Blue Mountains and have a day in the city. (We're really not city-folk, so a day is enough for us)
Next, we head over to Ayer's Rock (or Uluru depending on who's describing it). While there, we have a helicopter ride over the rock, an evening BBQ dinner at the Olgas, a sunrise camel ride (my wife booked that before I even knew!) to the rock, and a night time dinner under the stars in the outback. I think this is the leg of the trip I'm looking forward to the most.
Next we head up to Cairns and spend a few nights at the Silky Oaks Lodge & Spa. It's in the Daintree rain forest with hiking trails and nature-ey things to do.
For the last leg of the trip we head out to an Island on the barrier reef and stay at the Paradise Bay Eco Escape. I guess this place only has 16 guests at a time or something so it should be interesting. We spend a few days on the beach, snorkeling, sailing, and then fly back to Brisbane -> LA -> and finally back home to Boston.
It should be an amazing three weeks.
I'd like to send out a big thank-you to Adobe, the judges of that AIR derby, and everyone who has downloaded, emailed about, or purchased AgileAgenda.
Since it's been a year, I promise to stop talking about the derby after this post :) Time to look to the future instead of remembering the past again.