Apple Train The Trainer Experience

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Currently, I am sitting in a Hotel in Cupertino, CA getting ready for a Train the Trainer session at Apple Headquarters. This post will be a short one, but I wanted to give you an idea of the trip here, and let you know that I will be posting some experiences for anyone else that may be interested in becoming an Apple Certified Trainer. Hopefully this information will be helpful to you.

The Flight
I don't like extensive travel that leaves me in a position where I can't get around. Hence, I don't like to fly to a lot of places within the US. Unlike Europe with their extensive train system, the United States is very much wanting in mass transit options. I could rent a car, but being the scot that I am, I don't like to spend the money. So, needless to say, I was very apprehensive about this trip.

The airport was busy, even for a Sunday. Getting the boarding passes took some time, but as Salt Lake International has an automatic pass machine, it made it that much more convenient. Once the pass was in hand, I headed up to the gate. I didn't check my luggage, because I only had two bags. One that met the requirements for the carry-on bag, and the other was my laptop bag. That simplified the flight process considerably.

The flight was very pleasant. It took only 2 hours to fly from Salt Lake International Airport to San Jose. I flew Delta because they had the lowest rates that I could find, and the flight was very comfortable. It was a smaller plane, so there was a lot more motion than I like, but as I didn't get sick I would call it a success. The only thing I regret is not taking a set of headphones with me, so that I could watch my iTunes videos while flying. Oh well, a purchase for the return flight, I guess.

The Hotel
Now that I am in San Jose, I needed to get to my hotel. I didn't have access to an airport phone (and didn't have the change for a pay phone), so I called the hotel from the cell phone. The hotel I am staying at is the Cupertino Inn, which is just across the freeway from Apple's Infinite Loop campus. I chose is specifically because it is within walking distance from the campus, and therefore makes getting around less of a hassle. The rates are decent, at $119.00 per night ($165.00 during Holidays), and the staff is very attentive.

So I called the Hotel, and they sent their shuttle to pick me up. They knew which Terminal I was at (good thing, as I didn't until I left the terminal), and were prepared to call me back if they couldn't find me. The wait was about 15 minutes, which isn't bad for mid-day traffic on a Sunday. The really cool thing is, it was a Limousine that picked me up. Yes, that's right, the hotel has complementary limousine service. That sold me on the hotel right there. I could have shown up to a complete hole in the wall, and still loved the hotel.

Once at the hotel, I entered through the courtyard. That is because the hotel is currently under construction to renovate the space. The desk attendant was very helpful, and was patient as I signed the traveler's cheques. A quick side note on the Hotel, they don't take checks. Not even certified checks from well-known Universities. So if you are going to be staying at the hotel, have either a credit card or cash/traveler's cheques ready.

My room is on the ground floor, right across from the pool. The irony is huge, as I love to swim but didn't even think of packing a swimsuit. This is because the weather in Salt Lake was 36 degrees and snowing. It just didn't register to me. The room is spacious, with a large bathroom, desk, love seat, comfy chair, and a king sized bed. The TV is a decent size, with plenty of channels if you don't already have your viewing programs on iTunes. ^_^ All in all, it is a really nice hotel room.

The hotel is within walking distance of a Rite Aid, local market, a Quizno's Subs, a mom and pop cafe, and an Outback Steakhouse (right across the street from the Apple Campus). There are also two gas stations, should you get that middle of the night craving for really bad nachos (and who doesn't?!?). On top of that, the hotel has a 24 hour room service that is reasonably priced (first I have ever seen!). I am looking forward to trying it out one of these nights.

Anyway, that's how it's been so far. Stay Tuned as I post my experiences with the Apple Training Staff!