Spousetivities IS Available at VMWorld EMEA 2018 in Barcelona!

Registration for Spousetivities at VMworld EMEA in Barcelona is now open! If you’re interested in joining us for some great activities sponsored by Veeam, don’t delay in getting registered as space is limited.

Here’s a quick overview of the events planned:

  • On Monday, November 5, we’ll leave the conference center at 8:30 am for the COSTA BRAVA & WINE TOUR. We’ll head to the coastal village of Calella de Palafrugell, where you’ll feel like you just stepped into a postcard. From there, we’ll enjoy a leisurely walk to the next village, Llafranc. A short drive will transport us to Pals, one of the most well-preserved and beautiful medieval villages in all of Catalunya. It’s here that we will enjoy a fantastic Catalan lunch at a local countryside restaurant. After enjoying lunch, it’s on to a great winery in the Empordà region for a tasting of some of their local wines and a tour of their cellars. We’ll then enjoy the beautiful drive back to the city.
  • On Tuesday, November 6, We’ll once again depart the conference center at 8:30 AM for the DALI MUSEUM & MEDIEVAL GIRONA TOUR. We’ll begin by driving to the town of Figueres the birthplace of the late Surrealist painter, Salvador Dalí. Well have an unguided tour of Dalí’s museum so that you’re free to admire works of art that are of the most interest to you. After you’ve explored the museum, we’ll head to the town of Girona, which is an incredibly well-preserved medieval town of about 95,000 people, boasting a stunningly beautiful old quarter and Jewish Call. After a great lunch at another local restaurant, followed by the tour and visit through the old quarter, you may have a bit of time to have a drink in one of the local cafes before heading back to Barcelona.
  • On Wednesday, November 7, you get to sleep in as our BARCELONA LUNCHTIME FOODIE TOUR doesn’t begin until 11:45am. This Foodie Tour is an entertaining, delicious experience that will maximize what an afternoon of eating and tasting in Barcelona should be for all food and wine enthusiasts. On this culinary adventure you will enjoy some of the best Barcelona has to offer. This is a walking food tour so you can experience not only great flavors of Barcelona, but also take in the history of Catalonia and some of the interesting and quirky aspects of Catalan culture. The experience is designed as a gourmet tasting menu, on the go.
  • Wrapping up the week, we’ll start Thursday, November 8 by leaving the conference center at 9:30 am for our BARCELONA SECRET FOREST ADVENTURE. This excursion will take you through Barcelona’s green lung, the Collserola Natural Park, and Mount Tibidabo. From here you can admire the views over the entire city of Barcelona and out to the sea. The light hike through the forested trails is easy and extremely pleasant. It’s hard to imagine that you are so close to a huge city! Along the way you’ll learn about the flora & fauna of the area, as well as about the history and culture of Barcelona, Catalunya and Spain. Once we’ve worked up an appetite, we’ll enjoy lunch at a 16th century stone farmhouse before returning to the conference center and the hustle and bustle of Barcelona.

    All in all, I think we have a great line-up of activities, even for those of you that have been to Barcelona multiple times. If you can’t decide what activities interest you, sign up for the Full-Week Spousetivities Pass! This ticket gets you access to all 4 days of Spousetivities and saves you an additional $35 at the same time thanks to the support of Veeam! Again, don’t wait too long to register—tickets are already on sale.

    Here’s hoping I’ll see you in Barcelona!

Spousetivities is Back to Deliver More Fun!

Spousetivities is back in Las Vegas for year number 11 at VMworld US! That’s right—this year marks eleven years of spouse activities, helping to provide essential work/life balance at VMworld. If you’re considering bringing your spouse, domestic partner, significant other, boyfriend/girlfriend, or even a family member, you owe it to them to get them registered for Spousetivities. (Did I mention registration is already open?)

VMworld US runs from Sunday, August 26 to Thursday, August 30 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Spousetivities will kick off on Monday, August 27, and has a full set of activities planned during the conference.

Here’s a look at what’s in store for Spousetivities participants during VMworld US:

  • On Monday, August 27, the activities will kick off with the perennially-popular “Getting to Know You” breakfast. Here there will be good food, great company, and some awesome prize giveaways! Following the breakfast, participants will have options for relaxing by the pool or heading down to the High Roller.

  • On Tuesday, August 28, participants have two options from which to choose: a full-day tour at Zion National Park, or a relaxing cabana day by the Mandalay Bay pool. If you’ve never been to Zion National Park before, it’s an amazing place with even more amazing views and scenery, so that might be a good option to consider.

  • Wednesday, August 29, is full of adventure—ATV adventure, that is! Participants can opt to register for another relaxing day by the Mandalay Bay pool, or register for an exciting ATV adventure through the Valley of Fire! )Attention VMworld attendees: While Spousetivities can’t advise you not to attend the conference, we can tell you that this is an event not to be missed!)

  • The activities wrap-up on Thursday, August 30, with a walking food tour (with or without specialty cocktails). If you’re in the mood for some tasty treats, don’t miss out on this event.

All events will depart from the Mandalay Bay Tour Lobby; times are provided in the details for each event on the registration page.

Helping to promote work/life balance this year by supporting Spousetivities is another great set of sponsors: Veeam, ActualTech Media, Datrium, and VMUG. Please take a moment to thank them and let them know how much you appreciate their support of healthy work/life balance and the broader VMware community!

The events at VMworld are always very popular, so sign up on the registration page sooner rather than later to secure your spot. Don’t wait too long, or spots may sell out. We want to see you there!

Spousetivities Celebrates 3 Years at DockerCon!

Spousetivities is set to kick off a great week of activities in conjunction with DockerCon in San Francisco. DockerCon first brought Spousetivities to their event in 2016 and the program continues to grow each year. While many conferences focus on the attendee, Docker set out to make the conference a family experience by offering childcare and Spousetivities. DockerCon is truly just that, an experience rather than just another conference.

If you’re just arriving in San Francisco and brought the family, a friend, a significant other, or even a parent, check out what Spousetivities has to offer them while you’re at DockerCon. There are 3 days of activities scheduled and participants can join just one, two, or all three days. A special discounted ticket is offered for the 3-day pass, but all activities are reduced in price thanks to Docker’s support.

Here’s a quick look at what is being offered:

  • Tuesday, June 12: Join other attendee guests on a great walking food tour of North Beach and Little Italy.
  • Wednesday, June 13: This is the day the group is off to Wine Country for tastings, an incredible lunch, and maybe a little shopping in Sonoma, too.
  • Thursday, June 14: Get a great view at all the “must see” spots in San Francisco on this city tour. You’ll also enjoy lunch and time at Muir Woods.

Ready to register? There are still some seats available so why wait? See you soon as we explore the sights, sounds, and tastes of San Francisco and the surrounding areas.

In Vegas for Dell Tech World or Interop ITX?

Spousetivities is in Vegas for a set of combined activities at Dell Technologies World and Interop ITX! If you’re going to be in Vegas for either of these activities, I’d love to have you join us for some great activities!

What sort of activities, you ask?

  • A trip to Death Valley
  • A guided tour of Zion National Park
  • Hoover Dam, ghost towns, and more!

Interested in joining? Hop on over to the registration page:

For Dell Technologies World, visit here.

For Interop ITX, visit here.

I look forward to seeing you in Vegas!

Spousetivities goes to OpenStack Summit North America

Registration for Spousetivities at OpenStack Summit in Vancouver is now open. If you’re interested in joining us for some great activities while OpenStack Summit is running, get signed up today! This set of activities is sure to satisfy even the most adventurous of personalities. Read on to see what’s in store for you in beautiful Vancouver, BC.

Here’s a quick overview of the events planned:

On Monday, May 21, we’ll depart at 9:00 am. The day begins with a beautiful tour of the city of Vancouver. We’ll see all the city highlights including the popular shopping districts. We will get to experience the English Bay waterfront where pictures are more than encouraged! After a fabulous lunch, we will make our way to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. If you’re adventurous and brave (or just crazy like me), you can cross the Capilano suspension bridge or explore the Cliffwalk. If you’d rather play it a little safer, you may opt for a guided nature tour or push your boundaries just a bit with the treetops adventure. Either way, we’ll have a couple of hours to explore this beautiful park before heading back to our hotels for the evening.

Once back in the city, why not meet up with you conference attendee for the OpenInfra Mixer? This admission is NOT included with your Spousetivities tickets so you’ll need to purchase a ticket through the Summit. Look for the OpenInfra Mixer ONLY ticket. It’s $25 and can be purchased until May 21.

On Tuesday, May 22, we’ll depart at 8:00 am. Our destination will be the picturesque village of Whistler, BC. Along the way, we will have another adventure as we experience the Sea to Sky Gondola. Once at the top, we can take in nature and explore on foot by following the walking trails, or take in the views on the viewing platforms, or have a flashback to Monday by crossing another suspension bridge! The day will include a little shopping time, lots of exploring, and a nice lunch. This is a 10 hour day and you’ll enjoy every moment of it!

On Wednesday, May 23, we’ll depart at 9:30 am. After the adventures of Monday and Tuesday, today you’ll get to relax some and enjoy the beautiful wine country Canada boasts. Three fabulous properties make up the better portion of the day. Each will include a wine tasting and time for purchasing your favorite wines. We’ll take extra time at one of the beautiful properties to enjoy lunch and a tour of the vineyard. This day is specifically designed to help you unwind and relax before heading home as the Summit comes to a close.

I’m not sure why you didn’t head to the registration page after reading about day one, but since you’re still here and reading, let me encourage you….Go get registered before tickets sell out and you miss these great adventures! Tickets have already started selling and space is limited.

See you in Vancouver!

Join Us for Year 3 at OpenStack Summit!

Registration for Spousetivities at OpenStack Summit in Sydney, Australia is now open. If you’re interested in joining us for some great activities while OpenStack Summit is running, get signed up today! I encourage you to book early so I can put the final touches on the tours and make these the perfect activities for our group.

Here’s a quick overview of the events planned:

  • On Monday, November 6, we’ll depart early at 7:30 am from the Hilton Sydney. On this journey we will make our way to the picturesque Blue Mountains. During this full day outing, we will experience wildlife up close, see spectacular sights like the Three Sisters, and the Olympic Park, and so much more. The days is filled with extraordinary transport including a Mercedes Sprinter, cable cars, and a river cruise. This is a great way to kick off our time in Sydney and you don’t want to miss it!

  • On Tuesday, November 7, we get an up close look at the beautiful city of Sydney! We’ll leave the Hilton Sydney at 8:30 am and begin our in-depth city tour. We will stroll the Royal Botanic Gardens and take advantage of great photo ops of the Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House. We will explore the areas only locals go as well as some beautiful hidden beaches. No visit would be complete without visiting the famous Bondi Beach so that is on the list as well. There is simply too much to list about this incredible day tour of Sydney.

  • On Wednesday, November 8, we’ll depart the Hilton Sydney at 8:00 am. On this day we are heading to Hunter Valley. Need I say more than Wine Country? This fantastic journey takes us on a path that just might allow us to see kangaroos in the wild, but kangaroos or not, we will enjoy some of the region’s best wines from both large wineries and small, boutique ones as well. Because wine is never enough on a Spousetivities tour, you will also get to sample cheeses and, maybe best of all, chocolates!

Why are you still on this page? Go get registered before tickets sell out and you miss these great adventures; tickets are already on sale. Here is your chance at a fabulous week in beautiful, warm, Sydney, Australia!

See you in November!

Spousetivities at DockerCon Europe

Registration for Spousetivities at DockerCon Europe in Copenhagen is now open. If you’re bringing a guest to DockerCon and they are interested in joining some great activities while DockerCon is running, now is the time to register! I encourage you to book early so I know how many are joining us and can plans meals and perfect the tours for our group.

Here’s a quick overview of the events planned:

  • On Monday, October 16, we’ll leave Bella Center Copenhagen at 9:45 AM. As the temperatures will likely be cold in Denmark, we will tour the city by bus. Still, in order to get the full picture, sometimes literally, we’ll step off the bus to take in the beauty that is Denmark. On this tour, you’ll get your bearings of Copenhagen during this introduction tour to the capital of Scandinavia. The history of Copenhagen is, to a great extent, the history of Denmark and on this tour we mix the two with anecdotes and personal stories which gives you a personal and unique experience. You’ll see many of the sites considered to be “must dos” in Denmark including:

    • The Church of Our Lady
    • Christiansborg Castle
    • The Stock Exchange
    • Amalienborg Palace
    • The Opera House
    • The Marble Church
    • The Little Mermaid
    • The Gefion Fountain
    • Rosenborg
    • The Little Mermaid
    • Tivoli
    • The Medieval City
    • Christianshavn
  • On Tuesday, October 17, We have a day of castles, coastlines, and more! We’ll leave the conference center at 9:45 am and travel the beautiful countryside to Kronborg Castle. Kronborg is a 600 year old Renaissance castle located in picturesque Elsinore just one hour North of Copenhagen and across Öresund and Sweden. Kronborg is home to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Today the castle is a UNESCO world heritage sight and holds a precious place in the hearts of many Danes. After our tour of this fantastic site, we’re off to Frederiksborg. This is another impressive renaissance palace from the hay-days of the Danish past. Coronations took place here for 200 years! Frederiksborg palace also served as a Royal getaway. After a devastating fire in 1859 the palace was reconstructed with help from Carlsberg to host the National Historic Museum, which still resides at the palace. Lunch will be provided on this whirlwind day of experiencing Denmark’s history!

  • On Wednesday, October 18, our day again starts with an 9:45 am departure from the conference center. We’ll head out on foot (dress warmly) to experience some world-renowned Nordic foods. While learning more Danish culture and history, we’ll sample a eight fabulous tastings of the best food in Copenhagen.Discover why Copenhagen is the home to the world’s best restaurant Noma and arguably, the world’s best chef. If that’s not enough, after the food experience, the tour proceeds to Tivoli Gardens. Tivoli opened in 1843 where guests, including Hans Christian Andersen, were struck by the exotic gardens as guests have been ever since. You’ll have time to explore Tivoli and enjoy this beautiful part of the city of Copenhagen before wrapping up an unforgettable day!

I think you’ll agree that we have a great line-up of activities to experience Denmark in a unique and personal way. Don’t wait too long to register—tickets are already on sale. Don’t miss your chance at a fabulous week in beautiful, Copenhagen, Denmark!

See you in Copenhagen!

Spousetivities Returns to Barcelona for VMworld 2017!

Registration for Spousetivities at VMworld EMEA in Barcelona has been open for a few weeks now, and events are really starting to fill up. If you’re interested in joining us for some great activities while VMworld EMEA is running, time is running out! I encourage you to book early—it’s quite likely the events will sell out.

Here’s a quick overview of the events planned:

  • On Monday, September 11, we’ll leave the conference center at 8:30 am. Our first stop is the famous La Sagrada Familia, after which we’ll meet up with a local chef and do some shopping at the marketplace. Once we’ve gotten what we need, the chef lead a short cooking class, and then we’ll enjoy the delicious food we’ve prepared. Important note: Monday 9/11 is Catalunya Day, a holiday. The metro will be closed, so plan accordingly!

  • On Tuesday, September 12, We have a day of hiking beautiful coastlines, cliffs, and coves! We’ll leave the conference center at 8:30 am and travel north to Costa Brava. Costa Brava boasts some amazing panoramic views of the Mediterranean via winding cliff-top trails and hidden coves. Lunch will be provided in a charming coastal village.

  • On Wednesday, September 13, our day again starts with an 8:30 am departure from the conference center (just look for the Spousetivities sign outside the conference center). We’ll head south of Barcelona to the world-renowned El Penedès wine country. There, we’ll sample a variety of high-quality organic wines, including cavas, reds, and whites. Lunch is included (food is always included when joining Spousetivities in Barcelona!).

  • Wrapping up the week, we’ll start Thursday, September 14 by leaving the conference center at 8:30 am to head for some medieval villages in the Empordà region. Inland from Costa Brava (where we’ll hike on Tuesday), this region has a number of wonderfully preserved medieval villages that are not to be missed. You’ll get the opportunity to explore Peratallada (meaning “carved/cut stone”), with its labyrinthine streets surrounding a fairy tale-like castle. Lunch is provided, and we’ll also have a small wine tasting before heading back to the conference center.

All in all, I think we have a great line-up of activities, even for those of you that have been to Barcelona multiple times. However, don’t wait too long to register—tickets are already on sale and many events are already at 50% capacity (or higher, in some cases).

Here’s hoping I’ll see you in Barcelona!

It’s Time to Register for Spousetivities at VMworld

You’ve been waiting for it, and now it’s here! Registration is open for Spousetivities at VMworld US 2017 in Las Vegas, and this year marks ten years of Spousetivities!

Since this is a big milestone for Spousetivites, I’ve taken extra care to organize some really great events this year. I also have a great set of sponsors partnering with Spousetivities to help keep the costs affordable for participants: VMware NSX, Veeam, TVP Strategy, ActualTech Media, Datrium, and rhipe. I can’t thank the sponsors enough for helping me bring these events to participants at affordable rates.

So what’s in store this year in Vegas? Here’s a quick overview:

Monday, August 28

We’ll kick off the week with our Welcome Breakfast. (Brought to you by VMware NSX) As usual, this will be a great time to get to know some other Spousetivities participants (it’s amazing to me how many friendships are forged at this event!) and have a chance to win some great prizes. I’m not going to tell you what we’re giving away, but I can point to what I’ve given away in the past: iPads, iPods, Apple Watches, VR headsets, fitness trackers…any of those might show up as a prize this year!

Following the breakfast we’ll have a fun scavenger hunt along the Las Vegas Strip. Don’t worry about the heat—a lot of it is inside and we’ll make use of the train! One thing I’m particularly excited about is the stop at the Minus 5 Ice Bar, including a specialty drink!

Tuesday, August 29

Tuesday I have two amazing events planned. First—and space is quite limited for this event—I’ve arranged for a great helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. This includes a landing on the floor of the Canyon! I can’t talk enough about this event, it should be quite amazing.

If that’s not your thing, no worries—how about a relaxing day in a cabana by the Mandalay Bay pool? (Brought to you by ActualTech Media!)

Wednesday, August 30

On Wednesday you have a couple different options:

  • You can zip line on Fremont Street or enjoy a visit to Madame Tussaud’s. Both events are followed by a food tour.
  • Alternately, enjoy a leisurely river cruise starting at the base of the Hoover Dam (including a tour of the legendary American icon). (Brought to you by Veeam)

All these events get back in plenty of time for the VMworld party!

Thursday, August 31

We’ll wrap up with the week with another cabana day at the Mandalay Bay pool (brought to you by Datrium) or a trip to Bonnie Springs for some horseback riding and a great lunch.

In addition to what I’ve outlined above, discounted spa services from the spa at the Four Seasons Hotel are available all week. Oh, and did I mention…this year there’ll be opportunities for prizes on every tour!

What a great lineup! Be sure to head over to the registration page to get more details on each event and to sign up. Keep in mind that space is limited on all these events (some more so than others!), so don’t wait too long to register or you might miss out.

Here’s hoping I see you in Vegas!

Celebrate 10 Years of Spousetivities at VMworld!

Spousetivities was born at VMworld 2008 in Las Vegas when one conference attendee spouse (OK, it was me!) said to herself, “Surely I’m not the only one that comes to these things and spends the week in the hotel room or roams the city alone!” Indeed I wasn’t the only one!

Spousetivities at VMworld US 2017 marks 10 years of my initial vision—now known as Spousetivities—providing organized activities for non-attendees. Since 2011, I’ve also offered Spousetivities at VMworld EMEA, providing safe and organized activities for folks traveling to or within Europe.

The activities offered by Spousetivities provide a safe yet enjoyable way for non-attendees to enjoy the conference location. Conference attendees can enjoy the conference, knowing their spouse or family member is not alone, is safe, and is having an enjoyable time. Further, all of the organized activities are planned during the day, so your partner is free to join you for some of VMworld’s lively evening activities!

Registration for this year’s activities isn’t quite ready yet, but it will be soon! I’ll be opening registration just after the July 4th holiday, so check back here then for more information on the activities (and the great sponsors that make them possible) as well as a link to registration.

Also, if you haven’t considered bringing a family member or partner with you in the past, perhaps this year would be a great year to try it! Check out the Spousetivities Facebook page or follow @Spousetivities on Twitter to get a feel for what these events look like and what past participants have to say about them.

Spousetivities is a great example of the energetic community that surrounds VMworld and makes these events so great for attendees (and non-attendees!). Here’s hoping I get to see you in Las Vegas or Barcelona!