Well, it is pretty safe to say that our weekend in Las Vegas was SO MUCH FUN. And it is probably going to take a few days to share all the super interesting stuff that we saw at the International Baking Industry Exposition, but suffice it to say that we were completely overwhelmed for the entirety of our visit. (But, I think that is the point of Vegas, right? Sensory overload, fo'sure. And cocktails...those too.)
As a quick overview, we flew out of Columbia Regional Airport on Friday morning and now I'm totally drinking the "why drive when you can fly" kool-aid from the airport's marketing team because sparing ourselves the two-hour drive to St. Louis or Kansas City was the absolute best. We took a quick flight into Dallas and then changed planes for Las Vegas, arriving at Caesar's Palace before noon (with the addition of the two-hour time difference).
And look, I know some people aren't Team Vegas for whatever personal reasons. BUT WE ARE TEAM VEGAS. We enjoyed ourselves with abandon. We explored everything the Las Vegas Strip had to offer on Friday afternoon and evening. We drank Starbucks and then moved on to sipping fancy $18 cocktails under the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Las Vegas. We drooled over million dollar jewels at Harry Winston. We kept one eye open for a Kardashian (you never really know, right?). By the time the night ended, Jeanne had enjoyed her very first shot (a kamikaze, if you are curious) and my Health app reported that we walked 7.6 miles in our explorations.
And on Saturday, we were up bright and early to figure out exactly what was in store for us at the Las Vegas Convention Center. And holy smokes, when the International Baking Industry people decide to throw a once-every-three-years expo, they really throw one. Over a thousand vendors selling everything from tiny paper bags to baking equipment priced at a million dollars or more showed up for this event. We wandered around the exhibition halls, bouncing from one booth to another like pinballs in an overzealous game.
We made some tremendous PJP progress, without question. We solved our sticker crisis (yeah, you read that right) AND figured out a piece of the puzzle to being able to produce tarts much more quickly and efficiently than we currently do. We also bought some fun stuff for the store and had some really interesting conversations with people working on some crazy cool things, like visiting with a company that helps plan bakery production facilities. Simply knowing the options available was completely inspiring for PJP and we could hardly contain all the creativity bubbling up in our minds for our long-term plans.
We were thankful to have Sunday available to spend a second full day exploring the convention halls...especially when wandered by a sign announcing the availability of Cake Boss Buddy Valastro to sign autographs that afternoon. DON'T MIND IF WE DO. And in case you are curious, he is basically even nicer than he appears on television (and even more handsome, ahem). He took our business card and asked that we send him some Jelly Jar pies and then even paused to take pictures and write #WorldPieDomination on a card.
So, there's one more person on the #WPD bus...welcome aboard, Buddy.