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Event Planning Fun

by Meghann on July 9, 2009

Remember that big work event that took me to Long Beach back in April? Well, guess what? It’s time to start planning next year’s event!

This is my favorite part of the job and I have to say I enjoy calling different hotels and collecting proposals for our event. My supervisor and I have it down to a science with what we’re after and as soon as I start stating what I want, the hotels no I’m not fooling around and start to bend over backwards. I love it!

Up until this morning our top pick was a hotel in Philadelphia, but a proposal came through this morning for New Orleans that may be too good to pass up. I’ve never been to either city so both sound fun to me!

Which would you choose if you were putting on a user group for an assortment of 100 clients who enjoy touristy destinations?

I had a couple of meetings this morning so before the first one began at 10:00am I snacked on a mini Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar.

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This little baby has been my ‘emergency’ snack bar for a couple of weeks now and has gotten a bit smooshed while being transferred from bag to bag. Luckily Larabars are still yummy squished or not.:)

My lunch involved the other half of the butterflied grilled chicken I had on Tuesday night.

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I made a lovely chicken sandwich with multigrain bread fresh from the Publix bakery, kale, tomato and a smear of low sugar apricot preserves.

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I LOVE adding preserves to chicken sandwiches. The sweet touch always compliments the chicken in the best possible way.

With the chicken I had some apple slices.

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And a handful of broccoli.

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It was a very tasty lunch!

Speaking of fun travel destinations….

Derek and I are considering a trip to Key West for Labor Day weekend. Does anyone know of any deals on where to stay in the area?

1 melruns July 9, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Hey Meghann!

I recently booked a trip to Miami through Expedia.com and got a sick deal- $500 for round trip flight and 4 nights in a luxury suite on the beach. So I’m SURE they’ll have great offers for Key West. Just check out the hotel deals on the site.

p.s. try putting marmelade on chicken and then baking in the oven. the jam makes a solid warm yummy coating!

-Mel

2 melruns July 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm

btw- forgot to tell you my blog – http://sherunsbrooklyn.wordpress.com/ 🙂

3 Amanda July 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm

PHILLY! I’m live in the burbs outside of Philly and love it here 🙂

4 Quinn July 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm

On the event planning front, my best friend does conferences for scientists, and has had great success with her events in New Orleans (she just had a huge conference there if you need advice), and I know she’s also done some in Portland, Snowmass and Sonoma. The attendees have loved them all!

When I used to be in the trade show biz, my favorite was probably Boston – although I also did Orlando and San Fran a couple times.

Key West! LOVE it! I went on my spring break in college. I can’t remember where we stayed, but there are definitely a couple of musts on the food front (too soon to be thinking about that?) 🙂 We had a fancy dinner at Hot Tin Roof in the Ocean Key Resort. It was a little pricey – but so worth it – and if you eat on the patio at night they give you little keychain flashlights to read the menus with!
http://www.oceankey.com/oceankey_dining_tinroof.aspx.

And a very funky, less expensive and signature Key West spot – Blue Heaven – we had such a great experience there! http://www.blueheavenkw.com/

If I remember the names of the condos we stayed in I’ll let you know, but if I recall they were near where the cruise ships dock. Happy Planning!

5 Becca July 9, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Having been a tourist in Philadelphia and New Orleans, I would say Philadelphia if you’re planning the summer/fall, and New Orleans for winter and spring. Both have a lot of great tourist-y places (my perception was that New Orleans has more… adult places? hahaha), and that Philadelphia is so full of American history you can’t help but be awed by the places and events there. I just generally try to steer clear of PA in the winter – especially if your users are from all over and not used to snow.

6 Andrea July 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Portland! We have plenty of public transportation (light rail from Airport to Downtown) and it’s such a fun city to explore and walk around in!

7 homegirlcaneat July 9, 2009 at 2:02 pm

SAN FRANCISCO!! It is full of amazing restaurants, tons of shopping, different cultures, on the water, and TWO gorgeous bridges..what else could you ask for?! 😉

8 brandi July 9, 2009 at 2:05 pm

event planning does sound like fun 🙂 I’ve never been to Philly or New Orleans either, so both sound great!

9 Hangry Pants July 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Is it going to be in April again? I would say no to Philly in the winter if it’s earlier than that, but in April it might be nice. 😀 Anyway, I would pick New Orleans over Philly period because I went to school in Philly and would want to go somewhere new.

10 Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write July 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I would pick New Orleans, history, great food… what more can you ask for?

ACTUALLY tho, you should pick San Diego. It’s the best city ever!

11 JB July 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm

oh my god, i want a mini lara! i usually break one in half when i want one, anyway. i MUST find those minis. muuuust. 🙂

-JB
http://cardiovegsular.wordpress.com

12 Anne Marie July 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Philly, definitely! I’m a Philly girl, born and raised 🙂

13 Danielle July 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I would definitely pick New Orleans, I’ve been to Philly a few times and don’t really like it there at all.

14 Whit July 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I would pick New Orleans, although I’ve never been to either. New Orleans just seems to have a more ‘fun’ reputation than Philly.

15 Ally July 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Ohh Philly or NOLA…? How to pick!! I personally love both cities for different reasons, but, New Orleans sure is fun.

I’ve never been to Key West, but always wanted to go, so, I’m of no help there, but, have fun!!

16 Laura (On the Threshold of Greatness) July 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm

I’d probably go with Philly for a work event. NOLA has a lot of nice things to do and see, but overall I think it’s more of a fun place to go with friends. My best friend lived there for a few years and said that even the touristy areas can be pretty unsafe. All cities have crime though.

17 Traci July 9, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Between Philly and New Orleans I would go with NO. But if I can add in another option I would of course add our great city of Boston! So much to do here! Good luck with your planning.

18 Sara July 9, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Either location sounds fun to me! I bet planning a huge event like that is so fun. Your sandwich looks great. I love the idea of adding apriot preserves! Genius.

19 gina (fitnessista) July 9, 2009 at 3:00 pm

the sandwich looks delicious!
not sure where to stay in key west (my uncle lives there so i’d just stay w him) but you HAVE to eat at blue heaven for breakfast 😉

20 Laura July 9, 2009 at 3:05 pm

If it’s going to be in the Spring again, then I’d pick Philly. I used to live there and there’s something for everyone in Philadelphia! Museums, art, shopping, good food, etc. Who gave you the good rate in Philly- the Four Seasons?

21 Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now July 9, 2009 at 3:10 pm

That’s a hard choice between the cities that you’ve gotta make. I’ve never been to either, so both would be fun to me.

22 JohannaB July 9, 2009 at 3:17 pm

I’d pick NO but then I grew up there and am missing the food right now. I’d love to walk the quarter again and take the streetcar up St Charles Ave, drive by the lake and walk along the Mississippi.April is beautiful in NO – the azaleas are in bloom and the city is full of flowers. Glad I don’t have to make the decision.

23 Emily (Healthy Fit Mama) July 9, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Where do you get the mini Larabars?? I always try to break them in half and just eat half…but I always end up eating the whole thing, whether I need it or not! The minis would be perfect!

24 Maureen July 9, 2009 at 3:31 pm

PHILLY!

History and culture, tons of things to do and an AWESOME food scene including fantastic BYOB restaurants galore.

PHILLY!

25 Erin July 9, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I went to college in New Orleans, my boyfriends famiy lives there , we currenty live in Austin, I can’t wait to go to NOLA for Christmas, it is an amazing city with such great food you would love it!

26 Laura July 9, 2009 at 3:38 pm

I have lived in Philadelphia my whole life and would have to say go to new Orleans! I just went there for the first time this mardi Gras and the atmosphere is amazing, it almost feels like you’re in Europe and people are so friendly. Philadelphia is great but I feel like the touristy stuff is pretty boring and the city is pretty ugly compared to new Orleans!

27 Holly July 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Philly has my heart <3

28 Derek July 9, 2009 at 3:51 pm

nawlins!

29 Dotsie July 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I am loooooovin’ the NOLA (New Orleans) love!!!

Glad to see there are other New Orleanians here, too!

Philly is OK—nothing like here though! Being from here, I would go to Philly–even though I’ve been and it’s OK—always fun to get away from home!

30 Shannon (The Daily Balance) July 9, 2009 at 4:02 pm

love nawlins!!! great food, too 😉

31 Susan July 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I just got married in Key West in January! I loooove that place. If you are really on a budget I would recommend the Angelina Guest House…the location is great so you won’t need a car to get around, the rooms are small but very clean and well maintained, and the prices are the cheapest I’ve seen there. A bunch of my family members stayed there for the wedding. Also try inntouchinkeywest.com for bed and breakfasts and small inns.

32 RunToFinish July 9, 2009 at 4:54 pm

ahh to be in florida so i could whisk off to key west,sounds lovely!!

your lunch looks superb!

33 Melissa S. July 9, 2009 at 4:58 pm

CAMP CAMP CAMP!!! Because we couldn’t find any deals…it was def still fun!

34 Raya July 9, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Hey Meghann! Looks like you guys had a blast on your cruise! Where do you find those mini lara bars I’m always seeing?!?! I can only ever find the big ones!!

Thanks!

-Raya

35 crossbordercravings July 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm

I went to New Orleans last April and it was soooo fun!! It’s so pretty and so full of bars and great places to eat, so it really has something for everyone. Post-Katrina I also found the prices were very good.

36 Katrina (gluten free gidget) July 9, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Your sandwich looks awesome! I love cranberry chutney on sandwiches. Personally, I would prefer Philadelphia. There is so much culture there. New Orleans is more of a party place.

37 Meredith July 9, 2009 at 5:33 pm

I’ve lived in Miami my whole life and have never been to Key West! Shocking, right?
As for New Orleans and Philadelphia, both are super cool cities. They both have a ton of history and tons of independent shops and restaurants (very different from SoFla!).

38 Matt July 9, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Gotta go with New Orleans!

39 Lindsey (Mrs. LC) July 9, 2009 at 6:25 pm

I love event planning! I just sent my resume for a job today to be the coordinator of fundraising and event planning for a county’s school system up by Gainesville. I REALLLLLLY want the job!

I’d vote New Orleans over Philly – back when I was professionally fluting I went to a national conference in Philly and honestly thought the city was just ok. (Everything seemed to close crazy early! I feel like we’d go to dinner at 7 and places would have closed at 6!). So my vote is for New Orleans, since that’s somewhere I’d like to go anyway. And you can’t beat a good proposal!

Check out tripadvisor.com for Key West places – I’ve found some great, cheap hotels that way! Or just camp like Melissa. 🙂

Sorry for such a long comment – can’t wait to see you Sunday!!

40 Jenna July 9, 2009 at 6:27 pm

I would definitely say NEW ORLEANS, it just seems soo much fun w/ the atmosphere and stuff 🙂

41 Andrea [bella eats] July 9, 2009 at 6:47 pm

NEW ORLEANS!!!

But you know I’m a little biased… )

42 Casey @ Double Scooped July 9, 2009 at 6:49 pm

If you’re planning on stopping at any keys on the way down – stop at The Islander Hotel in Islamorada (right after Key Largo) it has two really cool pools and it’s right on the ocean. I also know a million restaurants and places to go all throughout the keys – my dad lived there for 7 years – so e-mail me if you need more suggestions!

43 Lauren July 9, 2009 at 7:33 pm

I love Key West, and highly recommend the Francis Bottle Street Inn. My boyfriend and I spent four nights there last year; it’s very pretty, relaxed, and romantic. Have fun! I cannot wait to go back to Key West…my boyfriend is originally from FL and lived in the Keys for several summers, so is a great tour guide! 🙂

44 MarathonVal July 9, 2009 at 7:42 pm

What month will the conference be taking place? New Orleans would be ideal for fall/winter, but Philadelphia would be good for summer or spring. I personally would lean toward New Orleans – I think most people feel like it is more of a “getaway” vacation than Philly – but either sounds great!

45 roseyrebecca July 9, 2009 at 11:24 pm

I love Philadelphia. I’ve gone with my boyfriend’s family a couple times for New Year’s Eve!!

New Orleans seems like it would be fun too though!

http://roseyrebecca.wordpress.com/

46 Bridget July 10, 2009 at 11:49 am

I’ve never been to New Orleans, but friends who have (for work) said that it’s a place that you don’t really want to be for a serious conference because half of the people will be hungover/not present in the morning.

Having been to Philadelphia numerous times, I LOVE it there and there is so much history there–that never gets old! It is much more “work friendly” I feel.

I’ve been to the Keys several times, but never during Labor Day/the fall. It’s the off season after the middle of August, if I’m not mistaken. Check out Expedia and Travelocity–I’m sure that you can find some great deals! It would be nice to not have all of the tourists that are there every June and July.

Good luck!

47 April July 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm

NEW ORLEANS!!! I know, I’m biased, but it is a blast! And there’s a lot of touristy stuff, the culture is AWESOME! I can’t believe you’ve never been!

48 Britt July 10, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Two of my favorite places…. New Olreans & Key West!

Hands down New Orleans. I’m a wee bit biased as I went to college & grad school there, but its such a great city. It is of course a food lovers mecca, but also has so much fabulous culture and history. Its not just about drinking on Bourbon St., although that is fun too.

Key West. My go to place there is the Avalon B&B, they usually have great rates. Its right on Duval St. but the quieter end. They have a nice spread at breakfast, lots of fresh fruit!! They don’t have the largest pool in the world, but you can just go down the street to the Southern Most House and use their pool for $5 I think and that includes a free drink from the bar. 🙂 You absolutely have to rent bikes, its the easiest way to get around the island and is fun! Lots of great architecture, fabulous sunsets, lots of yummy food too! My favorite restaurants…. B.O.’s Fishwagon (freshest fish sandwiches and yummy conch fritters) and Blue Heaven (great for any meal but they have the yummiest dessert, Banana Heaven). Finally my favorite place for a drink, the Afterdeck at Louie’s Backyard… quiet spot right on the ocean, its paradise.

49 buffmuffy July 10, 2009 at 4:55 pm

MINI LARABARS????
okay, share the goods. LOL!
-muffy

50 Bethany July 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm

hey meghann! love your blog, have been reading it for a while but this is my first comment. woohoo! anyways, key west is great. i went with my guy last summer and we stayed at the island city house – it’s a nice location very close to duval street and we had a room with a full kitchen (fridge, stove, microwave) so we actually saved money by cooking in a few nights (but then promptly spent the money we saved at the bars on duval street…). key west is super bike friendly so if you’re driving there take your bike! we drove there from jacksonville and parked the car and used bikes only until we packed up and left. also, there’s a great vegetarian/vegan restaurant there called “the cafe” on southard street. so yummy! you must go! we’re actually headed back to key west on wednesday thru sunday and i can’t wait to go back!

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