And a good evening to you from across the Pond. Wow – what a GREAT final day for the Integration Sessions! Again, I’ll spare you the details of work, but suffice it to say it was a GREAT day and an even better week – We really knocked some stuff out. After 4 days of very hard work, I am all smiles…
So key point: Congrats to Dinger’s idol, Ray Tavares, as tomorrow he’ll hit 15 years (and 14 Transitions, for the record) with Bank of America. So today, as a tribute, we recognized him during our Leadership Report Out. First off, Mike Ferone said a few congratulatory words, including referencing big ticket news events from the year Ray started work at B of A (they were CLASSIC). Also, I wrote a poem to commemorate the occasion. Now some of you have asked if I’ll post it on the blog. The answer, unfortunately, is no. That being said, I am happy to give you a rendition the next time I see you (since I will be in Charlotte at SOME point).
After the sessions, we hit our usual (aka the Cat and Canary) before rolling to Leicester Square for a pint of Timmy Taylor (still the reigning champ as my fave beer in the UK). After that, we rolled to our favorite Chinese restaurant (Fung Sheng), where Andrew Riegel held court and was truly in the zone.
As a bit of back story, Andrew (also known as the Brewmaster - he's the one on the right) is better traveled than ANYONE ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME. Marco Polo WISHES he had this cat’s resume. He’s lived 5 years in Germany, 3 in Amsterdam, 3 in Shanghai, went to college in Ireland, and is now working on our project, where he’s got regular stops in London, Singapore, Toronto, Madrid, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
Tonight he went from Brewmaster to Shogun, ordering in Chinese and serving up the FINEST CHINESE EXPERIENCE WE’VE EVER HAD. Dude – both the crispy and aromatic duck were off the chain, as were the other 789 dishes he ordered.
Incidentally, the other cat in the photo is Matt "The King Donkapotamus" Miller, a great guy and good buddy of mine. Matt adopted two Guatemalan girls about 2 years ago - how cool is that? But Matt - Penn State sucks. That being said, I hope they absolutely SMASH GREG PAULUS IN THE FACE 800 TIMES THIS SEASON.
We then tried to say goodbye to folks, but I caved to the peer pressure and ended up at the Empire Casino. The good news? I made 31 pounds (about 53 USD) playing electronic roulette! The big winners were a) Andrew Riegel (yep, he was the MAN tonight), who played 4 hands of Blackjack, doubling his bet every time. He walked away 6 minutes later and 500 USD richer. The other was b) the Cyborg, who let all his money ride for his last two hands of Blackjack and made 500 USD as well (it was AWESOME to watch).
And in case anyone is curious, Muffin Puffin rolled home at 2 AM last night. Apparently, she was the LIFE OF THE PARTY back at the hotel bar, and now she is fully 100% of the Transition family. Tonight I didn’t let her out of my sight, but hopefully she had just as much fun as last time. (P.S. for Team Maple Leaf – she LOVES you guys. Megs – we are ALL ABOUT skiing during Go Live.)
Okay, that’s about all the news that’s fit to print. I am exhausted, but there’s nothing like a good Integration Session to get you back on the right track. American peeps – safe travels back to the colonies. See you in a month!
Sam and Jenny