Met up with a new old friend
First off, the food was great. After some time eating some great mexican food, we went over and started bowling. It was about then that I met up with long-time friend Andy Sain who lives in the area. He wasn't there for training, but since we've been conversing online forever and hadn't ever actually met he came over and joined in for a few games of bowling. He was one of the first webmasters I met when I was just starting to get into the whole online deal, and he's helped me quite a bit over the years. He's got a great software site that I refer to quite often.
Andy and I talked for a while on how tough it is to come up with new ideas any more, then on some of the difficulties in launching a new site with the whole sandbox and the time it takes to build links and properly optimize each page so you can start to see some traffic. It was interesting hearing about what's working and what isn't for him (oh, and he's selling a Blimpie in the Vale, NC area if anyone is interested) and how some sites that he hadn't done any real SEO work to had been banned while others that he's done some questionable things with in the past remain just fine.
Overall, this trip has been well worth it so far for me. Here's to selling a ton of Irwin products in the future so I can repeat this adventure.