I have our plane tickets & hotel reserved for our trip to Seattle in July. I had done a terribly silly thing and didn't buy the tickets when I should have - then they doubled in price.
Thank goodness for US Airways. Over the years, I've found a good way to get good tickets is by directly buying from the airlines - BUT, you never know which airlines to check. I usually check American just because it's usually the cheapest coming out of D/FW. But when the prices seem high (over $350 a piece), then I go searching - that's how you can find who has the flights on sale. I've also found that since you're book directly with the airlines, you can find a cheaper flight directly with them as opposed to going with something like Priceline/Orbitz.
Hotels - don't do the package deals (airfare & hotel) if you have kids. They fold that extra person into the fee. Try to book on-line, but if you have a special conference and aren't seeing the rates as advertised, call the hotels directly. When I have a quick trip that I'm driving to, I do Priceline. It's been the best deal going - $25 a night stuff. I also name my price with Priceline for car rentals. Always go for the cheap ones because they go fast and you'll most likely get upgraded or be offered a great upgrade price.
We're going to Seattle for the Casual Connect conference. These are the types of games J writes and I hope it's going to be a great conference for him. He's covering it for GameDev.net. There are definitely some killer parties scheduled.
As much as I HATE hearing about Spongebob from my 6 yo, I am looking forward to Nickelodeon's party - A Night in Bikini Bottom. Alas, I'm worried that I'm not going to be able to stay away as 9 pm my time is 11! Sure sign I'm gettin' old. . .
We're also invited to the Speaker Dinner - it's going to be at the Rock Bottom Brewery. Mmmm. I love brewery's.
Speaking of which. I feel that I'm positively a low brow. I went to a wine tasting room in Grapevine the other day and got a great glass of wine and some tasty treats. The wine description has all sorts of "hints of chocolate", "notes of huckleberry", etc. . . I have a confession - for me, wine enters into three categories. Great, passable, and no way in hell. Most wines hit in the passable category for me.
But beer, man, I can really taste the difference with beer. I am not a fan of the Blue Moon types (you know, the ones that people hang orange slices on the side of their glasses). I tend to like the amber types of beer - not thick and dark (read: Guinness), but the reds are really great. If a blond type has a good taste to it, I'll drink it. I had real trouble with a Nut Brown Ale we found in a Memphis Brewery over a decade ago. It was just TOO yummy. I was positively green the next day. I don't do that to myself anymore. Wait, is that another sign that I'm gettin' old, too?