I mentioned awhile ago that I was headed to Seattle to visit the Microsoft headquarters. The trip was so fabulous that I am still playing catchup recovering. I mean it. I have been on a lot of media trips, and this one was definitely one of the best. The PR and MS staff were incredible. We stayed right in the heart of downtown Seattle, so we were in the middle of the action. We laughed. We learned. And we played. There were plenty of activities to keep us busy. There was a TON of food. And we gained some great knowledge about Windows 8, Office 365, and Bing.

I arrived on Sunday, April 21st which was my birthday.  I didn’t expect so much to go on on the first day, but boy was I wrong! Day 1 was filled with fun. It was a fabulous birthday! When I arrived I was greeted by the PR team who immediately handed me some awesome birthday presents! You may have noticed the Instagram photo of my shiny new Sony Vaio T series Touch laptop on Instagram. We also received a new Windows Phone, the Samsung ATIV Odyssey on Verizon. Reviews on both of those items coming soon.

Some guests were still arriving, but those us that arrived early were lucky enough to do some sightseeing. We visited the Big Wheel. I was a bit weary. I have this height thing sometimes. I am not afraid of heights exactly, but if I don’t feel confined or protected then I don’t want to be there long. LOL! However, this ferris wheel has lovely enclosed compartments that are heated! The ride was very smooth and gave us a front row seat to an absolutely gorgeous view of downtown Seattle and beyond.

We also passed through Pike Place, road the Monorail, and made our way to the top of the Seattle Space Needle. Again… I was conquering my height thing. YAYY Me. It was so beautiful up there. I absolutely loved the view. Although it was chilly, so we did not stay out there long.

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At dinner that evening the team surprised me with a birthday cake. That was a nice touch! I am a softie and I almost broke down! But I held it together. 🙂 And it was a red velvet cake at that. Yummm!!!

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Also on the agenda was a visit to the Allrecipes.com office. They have an app that run on Windows Phone. We used it to whip up some yummy fresh Mojitos.Vietnamese Spring Rolls, and Apple Fold It Up desert. Everything was yummy!  And those spring rolls awakened a new obsession with me. I went through all kinds of stuff to find some in the Chicago area. They are awesome with fresh veggies stuffed in!

And we were still not done! We also headed off to the PopCap games office. Yes, really! You just heard me talk about PopCap in my review of Solitaire Blitz (and yes… I am still addicted to it). We learned some startling stats about just how much some of us play Bejeweled Blitz. We got a tour of the office. We learned that they have a play room. It is filled with video games, toys, and Nerf stuff. So awesome! And then we had our own giant Bejeweled Blitz tournament. The team that I was a part of took the prize. Woo hoo! We each got an awesome PopCap hoodie for our hard work. Hey… somebody had to do it.

AND (nope, still not done with the fun and food), we got treated to a private dinner with celebrity chef  Tom Douglas. You may know Tom from appearances on shows like Iron Chef America, Martha Stewart, or Good Morning America. He owns many restaurants and was won the 1994 James Beard Award for Best Northwest Chef.

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I ate SO much on that trip! And I had so much fun. There was so much to see and do. I took over 500 photos on the trip. YIKES! And yes, we did talk shop between all of the fun! I’ll cover all the techy stuff and my visit to the Microsoft campus in the next post!