January 4th, 2011
4.30 in the morning and after only 1 hour and a half sleeping, it is already time to go. This time we do not take the train to the airport. In Holland taking the train with heavy luggage, just forget it! There are no dedicated spaces for the luggage, and if you leave them out of your reach you might go on your trip with no luggage anymore. So we decided to take the car to Schiphol airport.
It is 5.35 AM and we leave ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Herman drives, Richard will drive back home. The dog is also with us. Herman as usual is amazed that even so early most people drive at the allowed speed (120 km/h) and so he also has no choice than to follow the rules. We arrive at the airport at 7 AM, bye-bye to Richard and to Zhuhai (the dog) and we head to British Airways counter. First we have a flight to London Gatwick and then a direct flight to Las Vegas with Virgin Atlantic.
Stress… British Airways has delay. The crew decides to make us sit at the very front of the plane so that we will be able to get off as first. Finally, it is okay, flight goes quicker than planned and with 15 mm delay we arrive at Gatwick. Now we have to go through the customs, claim the luggage since they could not be booked directly from Amsterdam to Las Vegas for security reasons… Okay, no choice. Let’s run. We have the luggage and now the shuttle to Gatwick South terminal. Then everything starts to get smoothly and goes all right, Virgin staff is very courteous and takes every steps to have us on time on the flight. We get priority check-in and even get the seats we had asked for. While checking in, we meet Ken Kessler who tells us that the British government is now richer since the flying tax is raised up and education is only now for rich families… Well it comes a time that the citizens will have to pay for everything the government cannot offer anymore. Is the real crisis now starting…?
The flight with Virgin Atlantic is great as long as we can remember. The advantage of having slept only 1 hour 1/2 the night before is that now we are out of conscious in the seat and can rest. Just sleeping in a different kind of bed.
While we are getting our luggage, Ken Kessler comes to introduce us Paul Miller and Herman and Paul make a quick agreement that after the CES a Kiseki Blue N.O.S. will be sent to Paul for testing and photography. Ken writes the review on the cartridge for HiFi News, ToneAudio and AudioPhile Sound. More for the fun than for the promotion of the sales, since there are only 100 pieces available worldwide. While the sales activities have not really started yet, 50 pieces have already been sold. Too bad, we have only 100 pieces…
Las Vegas, 2 pm local time, 12 degrees celsius, blue sky and no snow. We are fit and ready for it. It is really better flying that way than with KLM with a mandatory stop and that makes you arrive at 11 pm at night, really tired. Streets are not yet busy, and the taxi takes only a few minutes to bring us to the hotel. Kevin (PrimaLuna US distributor) has already pre-booked the rooms, so within 30 mm we are ready with the check-in. Time for margaritas and mexican chips. While awaiting for Kevin’s arrival -he is driving from LA, we go for a short sleep. 2 hours later, he rings us up. We brush our teeth and now we are ready for the real job.
We go to the show rooms. Kevin’s team has already started to prepare it. We have two rooms opposite of each other. We miss the big room we had last year, it could be booked this year. It is still a big mess, but we can already see what is going to happen there. We are going to play with the Sonus Faber Elipsa and Vienna The Kiss. And, for the first time, a DiaLogue PREMIUM Integrated Amplifier is there, yes in REAL. Nice thing with 6 little proud tubes located in front of the EL34 power tubes. Great beautiful metal work. Nice. By the way, we are located next to FuruTech showroom, maybe possibilities for the BeneLux market, who knows! 🙂
The guys from Kevin are stopping with their work and are going to try to improve their salaries at the Casino. We go to floor 35 to Dan d’Agostino room, his family is just arrived and it is nice to see them again. His room is located next to Magico. Nice. We help him with a few huge crates and decide to meet tomorrow. Direction (again) the Mexican restaurant for a salade and tacos. No margaritas anymore. Dominique goes to bed while Kevin and Herman decide to stroll around in case they need something (who says women always go shopping). Herman finds a nice jacket, 4000 USD; well they have found they did need anything..ha,ha,ha! Well it is already 3 pm in Holland, so it is time to go to sleep.
This morning, with great pleasure, Herman sees more than 100 emails coming in on his laptop… so it is time to work again. Dominique goes to help the guys with the showroom preparation.
Talk to you tomorrow, with more show news… the real work is now starting!!!