Amazon Web Services big Australian event was happening in Sydney this year and work wanted to send three of their finest to investigate and represent the team. The three included NavMan, 3rdDegree and myself. After work we hopped on an AirTrain to the airport, had a surprisingly good Parma at cafê In-Bar-Go and boarded a plane that was running only a little bit late.

We arrived in bustling Sydney quite late, so shared a cab to out hotel, The Shangri-La. To call it a hotel is an understatement, a palace is more fitting. After staying at the Stamford in Melbourne I wasn’t expecting any competition but I think it turned out to be a surprise knock out. It wasn’t that the room had better facilities, if any it had fewer features, but it had a sort of elegance I hadn’t seen since The Intercontinental in Chengdu but had a quality that surpassed it. Unfortunately, the hotel has (unsurprisingly) been taken off the available hotels to stay at for work travel so might have been the first and last time staying there.

After having a pre-flight beer, on-flight beer and two post flight cocktails at the top floor of the hotel, I slept like a baby. Waking up so early and knowing I had such a short time to get ready whilst lying in a warm and comfortable bed, was akin to torture. After checking out, we had a short walk to one of 3rdDegree’s regular breakfast joints. I got a Sausage Panini with Chilli Jam and was one of the better breakfasts I have experienced. Is this how the other-half live?

Once I was loaded full of sausage (that’s what she said) and coffee we traversed to the Menzies hotel where we boarded the AWS shuttle bus. Trying to emulate the Google way in San Francisco a luxurious coach chock-full of nerds and geeks was waiting to deliver us at the SCG for an intense day of learning.

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