I left work at noon on Friday, February 4th to drive the 500 miles to Cleveland to attend SQL Saturday #60. There were a lot of great speakers, and there were many people I wanted to meet that I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of meeting. Since airfare was the same price as what my company would reimburse in mileage, and by driving I could dictate on when I’d return for a certain football game on Sunday, I chose driving over flying. Besides, my wife tagged along, looking to get away for the weekend.
On the way to Cleveland we noticed that once you get past South Bend, Indiana there are no restaurants along the interstate. The only places to eat were the oases (oasises?) every 40 miles or so. By 8:00 pm Central time we had made it past Toledo, and decided to stop to gas up and get a bite to eat. The only place open in the oasis was the Burger King. I was too hungry to keep going, so we each grabbed a sandwich.
Saturday morning I met Mike Walsh (web | twitter), Wendy Pastrick (web | twitter), and Thomas LaRock (web | twitter) in the lobby of our hotel, and we all climbed into my Avalanche and rode over to the conference together. Once there, I made a point of meeting Erin Stellato (web | twitter), because my company uses her company’s product. I wanted to talk to her at some point during the weekend about it, perhaps at the after events.
My first session was Jeremiah Paschka’s (web | twitter)SQL Server Internals. During his presentation I became increasingly nauseous. I found the material fascinating, but was having a very hard time concentrating on it. After it was over, I ran to the bathroom, and found it full. I quickly made my way down to the first floor office suite and found their public restroom and proceeded to empty my stomach of everything I had eaten and drank that morning.
Feeling a little better, I made my way to Brian Davis’ (twitter) presentation on Service Broker. Another good session, but afterwards I could take no more. I found Wendy and told her what happened, I was going back to the hotel to rest for a bit (since I was the taxi driver I wanted to let her know she might need to find another ride). Jeremiah was standing next to her, and I told him not to take it personally, it wasn’t his presentation that made me sick.
Sadly, that was it for me that day. By late afternoon I had chills, a fever, and still a very nauseous stomach. It made me mad since there were sessions that I really wanted to see, as well as the dinner and karaoke. Also, I kind of ruined the weekend for my wife. She was relegated to driving around Middleburgh Heights, OH, looking for a store that sold Pepto-bismal, Sprite and saltine crackers. I never did get to thank all those who put on what was undoubtedly a great event.
Sunday morning I felt a little better. My fever had broken during the night. I felt I had to suck it up a bit, since we were giving Wendy a ride home back to the Chicago area on our way back to Madison. By the time we got back to Madison I felt just as bad as Saturday evening, but I did manage to stay up long enough to watch the football game.
Next time you’re driving to Cleveland from the west, you may want to consider packing a lunch. Nasty places, those rest stops.
As I’ve said, I blame it on Burger King meal Friday night. I hope SQL Saturday #67 in Chicago next month goes a bit better.