Having been buried in a windowless room in Orlando for a couple of days preparing for the Premier Business Leadership Series, I was delighted to get outside and sample a taste of Old Havana whilst networking with guests and SAS colleagues from around the world at the conference Welcome Reception and Dinner.
Never having been to Cuba (or even Florida for that matter) I didn’t know what to expect, but the combination of warm air, good food, good company and great entertainment made for a wonderful evening on the Valencia Terrace of the JW Marriott Grande Lakes Hotel – the location of the American leg of PBLS.
As well as enjoying a delicious buffet and bar (where Cuba Libres and Mojitos were the night's signature drinks), there was a walking guitarist, and cigar rolling demonstrations. Patrick Ewing, former player and now Assistant Coach for the Orlando Magic and Nick Anderson, also lately of Orlando Magic made a surprise appearance - something my American colleagues told me was a real highlight but as an ill-informed Brit I have only a passing knowledge of basketball at best. Nonetheless, it was not difficult to see that everyone was having a great time. Best of all, no one got to see me attempt to salsa.
It augers well for a great conference over the next two days, kicking off with General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) first thing tomorrow.