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!



Spousetivities and OpenStack in Boston

In just over a month, the OpenStack Foundation and supporters of OpenStack will gather in Boston, MA, for the spring 2017 OpenStack Summit. And, as we have been for the last several summits, Spousetivities will be there to provide activities for people traveling to Boston with Summit attendees!

If you’re planning on attending the Summit in Boston and are thinking of bringing a spouse, partner, significant other, boyfriend/girlfriend, or family member with you, then this post is for YOU! Read on to find out about the great activities that are planned.

If your spouse, partner, significant other, boyfriend/girlfriend, or family member is going to the Summit and you’re being dragged along, this post is also for YOU! Read on to see more information about the activities planned for you while the Summit is on.

  • Monday, May 8: We’ll start the week off with a great trip out to Martha’s Vineyard. This will include a guided tour of the island, including the multi-colored clay cliffs at Aquinnah and a visit to the harbor town of Vineyard Haven. Lunch is included.

  • Tuesday, May 9: Tuesday’s activity is all about Boston. Be sure to wear some comfortable shoes! We’ll do a trolley tour highlighting many of the “Must See” locations, then see the city from the water via a harbor cruise, and wrap things up with a Duck tour. Lunch is included (along with a stop for a cannoli!).

  • Wednesday, May 10: How about a tour of Newport? The tour includes a visit to Mrs. Vanderbilt’s 70-room summer home, the Marble House. We’ll also spend some time in the beautifully restored waterfront before heading to a second famous mansion, the Breakers. This 70-room mansion on 11 acres of waterfront land is not to be missed! Lunch is included.

  • Thursday, May 11: This tour is for folks who are hungry—for adventure! We’ll visit the Harvard and Cambridge campuses while finding some tasty treats along the way. You’ll also get to see where Washington took charge of the Revolution and see the oldest poetry bookstore in the US. How cool is that? And don’t worry, there’s plenty of food on this trip!

Special pricing for all these tours is made possible by VMware NSX.

Registration for these events is open now, so hop on over and sign up before the events sell out. (Yes, there is a limit on how many attendees I can accommodate, so buy early!) Full details for each event, including departure and return times, are found on the registration page. All events will depart from the Sheraton Boston Hotel, which is a conference hotel and is very close to the conference venue.

Here’s hoping I see you in Boston!


Docker and Spousetivities at Your Service!

Tired of leaving the family behind when it’s time for a conference? After all, you know you need to go; it’s good for your career. You learn, you get hands-on training, and you make connections in the industry. Why wouldn’t you go to another conference? Oh, that’s right—the family is having to stay behind again. It’s so hard to leave the other parent to manage everything while you’re gone, even if it’s for a good reason. Right?

Not this time! You don’t have to leave anyone behind. DockerCon is offering childcare for infants through age 12 each day of the conference. That frees you up to stay focused on everything the conference has to offer. Wait, what about my spouse? Or my boyfriend? Or even my parents or siblings that want to go to a great city like Austin? No worries there, Spousetivities has you covered! Thanks to the support of VMware NSX, for less than $250pp your loved one gets 3 days of incredible activities, including transportation, food, wine tastings, and fabulous tours. Don’t forget, they also get daily chances to win awesome prizes.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and register your family for these great opportunities. It’s sure to be a conference like no other! It’s a triple slam with DockerCon for you, DockerCon Childcare for the younger ones, and Spousetivities for the non-attendee grown-ups.

See you in Austin!


2nd Annual Spousetivities at DockerCon

Let’s head to the fun and diverse city of Austin, TX! This year, Spousetivities tags along to DockerCon and offers up some great events for your partner while you network and learn. If you’ve never heard of Spousetivities, check out this info so you know what we’re all about. If you already know about Spousetivities, then head on over to the registration site and get registered so you don’t miss out on the fun.

Still not sure this is right for you? Read on to find out a little more about the activities in beautiful Austin.

Here’s a quick overview of the activities:

  • Tuesday – We will venture out of Austin and into Waco to stroll the aisles and take in all the Magnolia Market has to offer. If you haven’t heard of Magnolia Market, it’s the brainchild of Chip and Joanna from HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”. Whether you’re looking for a one of a kind trinket, or just looking to explore Texas, this is a day not to miss. A trip to Texas is never complete without a food truck lunch so that is another part of this great day.
  • Wednesday – This is a longer day, but so worth it! Not only will we tour LBJ State Park, we will also dine at Hye Market. To make the day even more perfect, we will wrap up the day in the quaint town of Fredericksburg. Again, you don’t want to miss this day trip!
  • Thursday – This is a day that literally has everything! We’ll see all the highlights in Austin then head out to Hill Country. This day we will feast on the famous Salt Lick BBQ before exploring two great wineries, complete with tastings! If you can only join one day, this is it!

This week is brought to us thanks to the support of VMware NSX.

Now you’re convinced right? OK, so here’s one more thing to sweeten the deal. Prizes! Each day you tour with Spousetivities, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a great prize. We’ve given away everything from iPods to VR headsets to iPads. Now, head on over to the registration page and sign up for one or all of these great events. See you in Austin!


First Time Ever Spousetivities at AWS re:Invent!

Are you going to AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas? Well, there is certainly good news for you! This time, instead of leaving just after Thanksgiving and heading to another conference without the family, you can bring them along! That’s right, Spousetivities is coming to re:Invent 2016. What does that mean? Well, check out my about page for a little more information on what this is all about, then check out the activities lined up for anyone joining a conference attendee.

Registration is now open so check out what’s happening! Here’s an overview of the activities being offered:

  • Cooking with Chef Dell (Previous winner of Food Network’s “Chopped”)

  • Hoover Dam/Grand Canyon – because who doesn’t want to see this!?

  • Black Canyon Raft/Hoover Dam Charter

  • Vegas Food Tour hosted by Chef Dell

Wait, did I mention prizes? Oops, I might have forgotten that! Each day you are on a tour, you get a ticket in a drawing for a great prize. Some of the prizes given away at past events—and likely to find their way into this event—include Samsung tablets, Bose headphones, VR Headsets, GoPros, and iPad Minis. These of course, are in addition to the gift bag you receive if you are one of the first 30 to register. The gift bags include great goodies too—battery backups, water bottles, t-shirts, and more!

Sounds like something you’re interested in? You won’t want to delay as these activities often sell out very quickly so register today.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest updates leading up to the event as well as during the event. While you’re following me, go ahead and do the same for the sponsor making all of this possible: VMware NSX (@vmwarensx on Twitter and Facebook). Without their support, these activities would not be so affordable and actually wouldn’t even be possible. See you in Vegas!


OpenStack Summit 2016 Barcelona Wrap Up

Wow! That is really the best way to describe Spousetivities at OpenStack Summit in Barcelona 2016. After getting a start in Tokyo in 2015, Spousetivities also tagged along to the OpenStack Summit in Austin and now in Barcelona as well. Did you join the fun in Spain? If so, you already know the amazing adventures we had. If not, let’s take a look at the week so you can start preparing to join us next time! Of course, none of this would be possible without the media support of the OpenStack Foundation and the financial sponsorship of VMware NSX.

So let’s review:

  • Monday – While I was unfortunately sick, my son Cameron stepped up to the plate to organize people on both of the Monday events. Off to a day of tapas and wine, one group explored the Gothic area and more on a walking tour that was equally pleasing to the palate. Meanwhile, Cameron and the rest of the participants dared to bike Barcelona to explore the rich history of the region. Midway through the tour, the group enjoyed a yummy tapas lunch, then completed the bike tour before returning for the evening.
  • Tuesday – What a great day this was! Back on my feet again, we set out for Montserrat. There is always something new to take in when visiting this breathtaking location. After exploring and listening to the Boys’ Choir, we set out for an organic winery run by a local family. The tasting, conversation, and fun was only surpassed by the incredible lunch we had just prior to this stop. It was a day not soon forgotten.
  • Wednesday – One of my favorite places in Spain was the destination of the day! “Quaint”, “tranquil”, and “breathtaking” are words that come to mind when thinking of Rupit. Guests were able to choose how to spend their time this day—many explored this tiny town while others took a short 7km hike to views that will be remembered for years to come. One can’t leave Rupit without being fed a lunch that was fit for kings and queens, and we certainly felt like royalty when we departed to return to Barcelona.
  • Thursday – So many people were enjoying Spousetivities at OpenStack Summit this week that we launched two tours on Thursday. One group set off for Costa Brava and Girona while the other headed out on another 7km hike along the coastline, ending in Costa Brava. For this day, the best way to describe it is to look through the eyes of those who attended, so check out the photos on Facebook! You’ll be sad you missed it, or you’ll relive the memories if you were one of the lucky ones that attended.
  • Friday – I call this “couples day.” Though some didn’t have a spouse that was able to attend, many had the opportunity to bring a spouse along and let them have some much needed downtime after a crazy yet fulfilling week at the Summit. We explored Tarragona, the Roman Aqueduct, and more. Of course, who can forget the lunch that sent nearly everyone into a food coma!? Not to be forgotten was our visit to the monastery that was yet another reminder of exactly how beautiful this area is and exactly how much history can be remembered.

If you didn’t get to join us, you certainly missed out. Don’t worry, 2017 promises to bring more once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to explore the world! If you want to be the first to know about upcoming Spousetivities tours and events, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and of course, you can subscribe to my website. See you next time!