Saturday, December 14, 2013

#17 - Christmas party

On December 14th, the ArenaNet's Christmas party took place.

This party was at 7:00 PM to Midnight, everybody was invited with his or her family. The address: Columbia Towers, 701 5th Ave Ste 7500, Seattle. We were happy to go to Seattle and to see a lot of people (well I was a little bit stressed by the idea to see a lot of new american people with a few I used to see online, or to read their books.)
The dress code was "Black & White" and the theme "Casino".

It promised to be super classy and we looked in our walking closet ... our 2 clothes luggage ... well we haven't taken our suits with us so we tried to do our best (be careful Tyn is scary on this picture!)

We can see the fear on my face and the madness on Tyn's (it's probably his face that scares me).  This is the picture we took when we arrived in the tower. But let's go black in time, 'cause it's a fun story.

17:55: departure from our apartment to the bus stop at 10 min walking. A little bit before the last intersection, we see our bus (at least one with the good number) at the traffic lights ... then it goes straight instead of turning right. Because I am wise, I do not panic. WRONG! Although considering the time it was not bus, so Tyn the real wise reassured me, we arrived to our bus stop and Tyn wanted to reassure me some more by showing me the bus schedule ... and surprise! This bus stop is not served during the holidays. So we had to go to another bus stop not far away from this one. We were still on time, everything was fine, we arrived before the bus, we stepped in. Mission accomplished.

18:20: the bus leaves Bellevue to Seattle passing by highways above the Lake Washington, it's really beautiful, but when we arrive in Seattle, strange thing, we going underground. Surprise, there is a bus network under the city, like a subway: the bus passes in a tunnel (too narrow for my taste) and goes station to station. It really blew my mind, because I was not excepting something like that (for you it's spoiled \o/)

18:45: we arrived in Seattle. We walked slowly to Columbia Towers. Why slowly, because for me the roads in this city does have a real problem: it goes up and down all the times. Stupid hills!

18h55: we arrived in front of the Columbia Towers ... and ... holy crap ... we couldn't believe what we were seeing. We could barely distinguish the top of the tower! That picture was taken near the bus stop station.

We searched for the tower's entry by turning around, so by 8:00 p.m. we finally arrived. No, I'm kidding.

19:05: we got into the tower. It's big, super classy, and people are mostly well dressed, even if there's a couple geek t-shirt around, which is enough to reassure me. So everything was fine! (Well we didn't had much choice anyway).

We discussed with some people, and a suited guy finally tells us that the ArenaNet party can begin. We are invited to follow him to the first elevator. In fact, it was like a rocket. We arrived really fast to the 40th floor. We left the elevator, and discover that we are among the firsts to be there. We went to the cloakroom to give our coats, and were invited to pose for a picture (yes the first one of this post ... end of the flashback). Then we could to go to the second elevator to go to the 74th floor.

Once we arrived at the 74th floor, we received 2 tickets for drinks and one for chips, and went to the main room. It's huge! The whole floor is booked for the party, and there's gambling table everywhere. Poker, roulette, blackjack, Spanish 21, and others games which we didn't knew. And a lot of food tables \o/ We've found heaven!

So as I told you, the party was on all the 74th floor, in a tower in Seattle ... so the view was really amazing.

You can see the Space Needle (which looks like a small needle but it's huge), and the bug wheel near the ocean.

Here you can see a piece of the stadium and the port.

So we decided to play a bit. And because we are totally noob in this kind of games (except for poker but most of the tables were full), so we chose a free blackjack table, and the croupier explained to us how it worked. I won a lot, Tyn way less but still a little bit. We also ate delicious meal (beef, salmon, really good fries, a lot of chocolate). Then we tried the Spanish 21 (which is almost like Blackjack) because there was an excellent mood at the table. I laughed a lot, the croupier (Zach) was really funny!

Here is the result of our gambling night:

You don't know what it means, us neither :D (white: $100, red: $500, green: $2500, black: $10000 ... yes dollars). Except that we had to trade our chips against lottery tickets and we ended up not winning anything, so we got back to the dessert buffet to get revenge! Here is our loot (the boxes not the Christmas tree, that one is another story)!

Some nice boxes "Happy Holidays - ArenaNet". The box on the left contained madeleines, the little one in the middle, we don't know yet and the box on the right was empty, as we could have taken whatever we wanted from the buffet ;-) We did not fill it because we were afraid to look like we had no food at home ;-)

At midnight, after the last lottery, the party was over, so we went home thanks to the cabs reserved by ArenaNet to give a ride home for those who needed it.

It was really great with a lot of beautiful memories, thanks ArenaNet ;-)

It was ok when I had to speak with people. They were all kind and warmful. And I could see Tyn's boss, who is really nice and so tall, it reminded me our little Gus from Lille ;-)