I’ve been in Park City, Utah for the last week for Automattic’s annual Grand Meetup (last year we met in California).

What a week! I came home totally supercharged about Automattic, and the future of WordPress, and totally in love with all my coworkers. I’ve never met such a big group of super awesome, super smart, and super kind people in my life.

We stayed at the Canyon’s resort in Park City, Utah. The high altitude and dry air kicked my butt all week. Walking up a couple flights of stairs to the lunch tent made my heart feel like it was going to beat its way right out of my chest!


Where we stayed – Canyons in Park City, Utah


View behind the hotel, from base of the gondola.


View from the 6th floor

Automattic has really grown since I joined in July 2013. There are over 270 Automatticians now!

Automattic - 2014 company photo

Automattic – 2014 company photo

Our company’s annual Grand Meetup is a really special time for us. Automattic is a distributed company, so we all work anywhere we like, our homes, coffee shops, or co-working facilities. A few times a year we have smaller meetups with our team or for a joint project or at a WordCamp, but there is just once a year we get to all be together. I switched teams a couple of months ago, so this was the first time I was able to meet all the people I work with all day, in person.


Working by the pool.


Map of the ski runs.

The week is a very full week – stuffed full with workshops, project teams, learn-ups, flash talks, but there is still time left for some team building activities. I went on a tour of the High West distillery in Park City.


Finger foods and whiskey.


The Campfire whiskey was my favourite. Had a real nice smokey after taste.


Tour of the distillery. They were making a test run of a pear brandy in this little still.

This year, for my flash talk, I talked about Dawson City, and ended with the sour toe cocktail. I may just have branded myself as the quirky lady who drank the toe drink, but people were still talking about it a couple days later, and it was fun sharing Dawson City with everyone 😀


We had a ping pong tournament going all week that ended in a spectacular final match.

We had a few penthouse suites for evening socialization. Who needs sleep? That is what the rest of the year is for 😀




Who said you can’t drink in Utah?

The weather was quite hot for most of the week, at least for this Canadian, until the last day when the clouds and rain moved in.



Automatticians eating dinner.


Clicky Steve – I entertained him with tales of my former life as an affiliate marketer.


Mikey! My favourite Bolivian in all the world 😉 And soon to be a Canadian!


Confession: I picked this beer because of the fish on the label. It was much better than the one with the tractor on the label that had lavender and honey in it. Lavender shouldn’t be in beer.

Pam learned she shouldn’t trust me with her phone. Here’s my fun coworker Joel and I taking a selfie on her phone.

I took so few pictures during the week, so here’s another great pic from my really awesome coworker Pam:

By the end of the week, everyone who was hired in the last year hopefully feels like one of the family, like we’ve all known each other for years. As we all head home, back to our families and pets and routines, we usually skip the sad goodbyes and all head off to our various gates in airports, exhausted, but full of memories, smiles, and passion for our work. Plus we know we’ll all “see” each other at work again tomorrow in our various chat rooms and internal blogs 🙂


Leaving Utah – pretty scenery.


Hello Chicago!


I love this pretty hallway between O’Hare’s Terminal 1 and 2 in Chicago.


Had a long delay in Chicago before we finally took off for Halifax. Here’s Chicago after take-off.

My flight didn’t make it back to Halifax until 12:30am this morning, and then we had to wait for a gate and customs. By then it was just way too late to make it home, so I slept at the airport hotel and drove the 200 kilometres home, much more alert, today.


Halifax airport from my room in the ALT hotel this morning.

Oh! And the fun upside of returning to sea level is feeling like a champion on our 4km walk tonight 🙂