The whole reason I went to Barcelona was for work, so I spent the bulk of my time – Tuesday through Friday afternoon – working. Just as well: The weather those days sucked. Most of the conference took place inside, so it didn’t really matter. The weather did matter, however, when we took a boat out on the Mediterranean Wednesday night.
It wasn’t raining, so that was a plus, but the wind had been super strong all day. When I swam in the Mediterranean on Monday, the water was still enough for me to float on my back without worrying about being slammed by a wave. On Wednesday, people surfed in the same area. Still, we couldn’t just stay at the dock – right next to a big parking lot and not very scenic – so we ventured out.
It was cold. It was windy. But most of all, it was choppy. Everyone claimed a place to sit or hang on, and once there, most people tried not to move. The waitstaff, bless them, continued with their finger-food serving as planned. Unfortunately, the food came out on square plates made of light plastic. The plate at our table was fine until we ate the food on it, and then it nearly blew away. The winds were strong enough and the corners of the plate were sharp enough that I had visions of it flying into the crowd like a ninja star and getting lodged in one of our business partners.
I had to act. With a cup of cava in one hand, the ninja-star plate in the other, and the best sea legs I could muster beneath me, I ventured across the deck to the bar. On my way, the CEO of our company fell backwards into me, or I fell forwards into her, and all I could think was, “Someone is going overboard.”
No one did. I delivered the plate to a waiter and then clung to the bar until we returned to port. Aside from a few cases of seasickness, nothing too horrible happened. It was a bonding experience, for sure. (“Like Vietnam,” one of the less optimistic and tactful participants said.) And we will certainly never forget our boat ride in Barcelona.
The rest of the conference was largely uneventful. I gave the best-received PowerPoint presentation of my life – people get really into talking about Facebook and Twitter. I ate some delicious sea bass. And I got to wake up to this view every morning: