Following a three-hour river crossing by ferry on what began as a gray, cloudy morning, the STP gang arrived at Montevideo late morning yesterday to what quickly became a beautiful blue-sky sunny day. Also of note is that the crossing entailed traversing the widest river in the world, the Río de la Plata. After a short cab ride to our hotel, we were beyond thrilled to discover that a) it was a waterfront hotel (the view from my and Mark's room is shown below), and b) it was literally next door to the Microsoft office where our STP event was to take place.
With the greatest of thanks to STP Montevideo sponsor SouthLabs’ Gabriel Lopez (and, perhaps more importantly, to his wife, for permitting Gabriel to spend the majority of his Sunday afternoon, evening, and a fair portion of the night with a bunch of loco gringos — and, of course, Ricardo Munoz, a local loco enough to join the STP gang), who, along with his equally generous countryman, SharePoint MVP and STPSA local speaker Fabian Imaz, was our tour guide for the day.
And what a day it was. Following a delicious lunch near the port, Gabriel and Fabian, having arranged for a van and driver to take us all over Montevideo, took us on a tour which included such sites as: the centuries old fort on Montevideo’s highest hill (with stunning views of the city, as seen the group shot of Michael's which opens this post); a stunning gothic church that took me right back to the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona); Playa Ramirez beach (where most of the STP gang shed their shoes and socks and went for a wade in the bay); the houses of parliament; Montevideo’s LDS Temple; and a refreshing stop for some dulce de leche gelato, the gang quickly took to this beautiful, evocative city.
Of note: With the final games of the American football playoffs taking place back home yesterday, a friendly wager was made over dinner last night, the results of which will be seen by the SharePoint community today. All I’ll say for now is that the bet was between Paul Swider and Michael Noel, and that during his STP Montevideo session today, the loser would have to wear one of two iconic and/or signature shirts known around the world by the SharePoint Community.
P.S. Go Giants!