Any week that I get to attend a SolidWorks User Group meeting is a good week - when I can attend three it's a great week.
The trip started with a drive from New York City to the state capital of Albany for the Tech Valley SolidWorks User Group meeting. Ed Gebo started things off with a SolidWorks World 2012 update, and was followed by a very good presentation from Paul Parise - so good in fact that the crowd egged him to keep going even after his time was up. We also got to present Rachel with her SWUGN User Group Leader of the Year award. Congratulations Rachel!
The next stop was Buffalo, NY for the Buffalo/Niagara SolidWorks User Group meeting. Jamie Ferrie took over the group last year and has done a great job keeping things going. As far back as I can remember, they have been holding their meetings at The Screening Room, a small theater that normally shows classic, independent, and "cult" films. It was a perfect setup for a user group meeting, although I was a bit disappointed that among all of the movie posters gracing the walls, my favorite classic film was not represented. I felt better after I saw the food that Jamie had ordered for the meeting - first time I've seen sushi at a user group meeting.
Thursday marked the inaugural meeting of the SolidWorks User Group Simcoe in Barrie, Ontario. Before I made the border crossing into Canada, I had to try out some of the local fare for lunch. Now I've always known that when you visit Buffalo you have Buffalo Wings, but this time I learned something new - Beef on Weck. Similar to the Chicago style hot beef sandwich, the Beef on Weck features roast beef on a special roll - the kummelweck - and a lot of kosher salt. It was fabulous.
The meeting in Barrie was terrific too. Kelvin Lamport and Michael Fernando did everything right for this first meeting, and everyone who attended was looking forward to the next one. Canada SWUGN rep Chris White made the trip north as well.
All in all a wonderful trip. I got to visit three SolidWorks User Groups that I had not visited before, I got to drive through my favorite city (NYC), I ate some great "local" food (Friday night was New York style pizza), and even drove through snow storms. Here's one last (bad) picture - maybe the most iconic building in the US (if not the world) as seen from my hotel window.