A couple weeks ago, I was in Orlando, FL for a week-long work trip. The annual Winter Leadership Meeting was a big undertaking for the marketing department, and it was thrilling to see everything come together! Our team has been working on this since October, so needless to say, we were all ready to see our hard work come to life.
I certainly didn’t mind getting out of Indiana in February to catch some Florida sunshine. I tried to sneak outside in between sessions as much as I could, and my room had a great balcony I got to relax on for a bit one day!
The first day I got there we had deep dish Chicago pizza at Giordano’s for dinner to kick off the week. First time trying it for me! It was just as good as it looks. I had the Chicago special – pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions. Perfect fuel for a busy week.
Our overarching theme for the week was “dot dot dot,” or “to be continued…” for our company’s story. All that is to say, when I saw this wall art in my room, it seemed like a good sign to me!
Random tangent: here I am with a headset on. I felt like the secret service.
Overall, the whole meeting was a great experience for my team. We added special touches each day to follow the mini themes for our different sessions, including custom candy hearts on Valentine’s Day and DIY valentine cards to send back home for the attendees.
They loved it and we had a great participation turnout! On our “create magic” day, we had a magic table set up and Disney cookies that our VP’s wife made. Aren’t they incredible?
Wednesday night, we went offsite for regional dinners at Disney Springs. This was totally a highlight! Of course we had to get everyone Mickey ears for a group picture beforehand 🙂 They had our company’s logo on the back which made them a nice souvenir. A lot of people wanted them for their kids. Lol.
The whole week was full of delicious food at every meal (and no cooking or cleaning for me, yay!), but this dinner in particular was outstanding. We ate at Paddlefish, a new restaurant that just opened a week before we arrived. I tried lots of new-to-me foods this week and this night especially.
For appetizers, we each got a sampler plate including:
Ahi Tuna Poke: sweet black soy, yuzu, avocado, radish, Asian pickle
Beef Tenderloin Skewers: garlic mojo, hazelnut romesco, pickled onions
Roasted Corn Elote: local sweet corn, tajin, cotija cheese
Next came amazing bread with cinnamon butter. I had 2 pieces but ate them too fast to snap a photo! I did get our salad course, however:
Green Salad: baby gem, cherry tomato, red onion, Asian pear, yuzu
For my entree, I chose the scallops (duh!).
Scallops: brown butter, cauliflowe rpuree, crispy Brussel sprouts, Nueske bacon
Oh my goodness…this was perfection. The BEST Brussel sprouts I’ve ever had! Scallops are definitely the thing I order when I’m feeling “fancy”, so it was quite a treat to get them in the middle of the week like this. And they were done so well! Must be because we’re a bit closer to ocean than when I get them in Indiana 😉
Last but not least, dessert…
Strawberry Shortcake: Farmer’s market berries, whipped cream
Charred Carrot Cake: caramelized carrot puree, cream cheese mousse, shortbread cookie crumb
Delicious, to say the least! Love that I got to have both. I enjoyed every last bite and just barely restrained myself from licking the jars clean in professional company! 😉
The meeting wrapped up Thursday night with a black tie dinner, and the marketing team went home Friday afternoon after cleaning up/wrapping up everything Friday morning. It was a busy week but we definitely snuck in some fun and good bonding time together along the way. I really enjoy my job and this week was a perfect example of why!