We are four months into 2022 and I still haven’t documented our last trip of 2021! At the end of November we headed to the US for AWS re:Invent as well as a long-awaited Christmas visit with my family.

Leaving Munich

We had a fairly early flight out of Munich, and the first snowfall of the year was just starting as we waited for the train to the airport.

Flight to Chicago

We flew from Munich to Chicago, our first big transcontinental flight in a very long time! That flight wasn’t too full, but the one from Chicago to Vegas certainly was.


We got to Vegas and checked into our hotel. We were both pretty tired, but we knew we had to stay up as long as we could. Some of the European AWS leaders I knew were in town, so we met up with a few of them for dinner at In-N-Out.

With Rinon and Gloria

That’s us with the lovely Rinon and Gloria from Zürich at The Book in the Linq Hotel. We were really flagging at this point, so that’s when we called it a night!

The next day I wasn’t on duty until later in the day, so I took the Snook to lunch with a colleague of mine at the Momofuku in the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

Pork belly buns

The pork belly buns are, as always, divine…

Shoyu Pork Ramen

The Snook went with the Shoyu Pork Ramen…

Ginger Scallion Noodle

…while I had the Ginger Scallion Noodle with Chicken.

Bellagio Winter Wonderland

We were staying in the Bellagio, which had kind of a “winter wonderland” set up in the lobby. I should note that I was really happily surprised by the level of mask wearing in Vegas. All of the casinos had signs up announcing that masks were required, and pretty much everybody was complying. I even saw people wearing them on the Strip in the spots that were very crowded.

Me and Isa

I headed over to the Expo hall to meet up with my colleagues at the AWS DevLounge. Here I am with Isa, who heads up AWS DevRel for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa).

User Group wall

We had a big wall set up for user group leaders to write on, so I couldn’t resist giving a shoutout to my buddies back in Australia!

AWS Heroes

That night I headed to Mandalay Bay for a special AWS Heroes event. Heroes are external AWS experts who are recognised for leading communities, creating content, and basically being amazing ambassadors for the platform. One of the perks they get each year is an all-expenses paid trip to re:Invent, as well as a special kickoff mixer. This is me with Martin, Markus, and Philipp from the German AWS community.

The view

The view was pretty amazing!

I spent the whole next day in a meeting room with the DevRel leadership team, working on our goals and strategy for the year. (I should mention that Rodd was actually working too, just remotely from our hotel.) We had a special dinner reservation that night though…

Best Friend

Roy Choi’s Best Friend in the Park MGM! We caught the monorail over and were delighted to discover that the Park MGM is smoke-free. WOW. I’m actually tempted to stay there the next time I visit. It was literally a breath of fresh air.

Best Friend

The front of Best Friend looks like a Korean convenience store, but once you get in it opens up into a more traditional dining room. Our table had a view through to the kitchen. (I still look jet lagged.)

Best Friend

It’s a Korean restaurant, so of course we had to get banchan! I also couldn’t resist ordering a Frosé slushie from the “Dranks” menu.

We had Kogi Short Rib Tacos, Street Corn, Garlic Chicken, and glistening dinner rolls. In all honesty, it was too much food!

Us at Best Friend

These are the faces of two people who are definitely not ordering dessert. 😂

One of my main jobs at re:Invent was hosting some of the AWS OnAir sessions. Here’s one that I did the next day talking with our customer Aerospike.

I should also mention that I helped with a project to build a beer recommendation mobile application, which was also presented by some of my colleagues at re:Invent too.

After a long day in the Expo, I headed over to the Wynn casino for a meeting of AWS User Group leaders.

AWS User Group Leaders

That’s me with my colleague Sebastien taking selfies. It was really cool to hear from some of these folks about best practices for running meetups and creating inclusive communities.

That night, the DevRel team had a dinner at the Eiffel Tower in the Paris Hotel. We had a really great view of the Bellagio Fountain show.

Creme Brûlée

And I had a pretty amazing Creme Brûlée to end the night…

AWS Dress

The next day, I broke out my famous AWS dress. Here I am along with Dale Chihuly’s famous “Fiori Di Como” ceiling in the Bellagio.

My last day at re:Invent started in the Expo Hall again as we were getting ready for another day of Community talks.

Community Lounge

I also hosted several more OnAir sessions, including this cool one where had some of the new AWS Outposts servers physically there to look at.

And that was it for my first ever re:Invent experience! It was finally time to go on vacation…

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