As we do every year we made our annual European Attraction Show trip. Besides attending the EAS show in support of our Master Distributor, Tim Aldous, we took the opportunity to visit with the rest of our distributors on a social level as well as a professional level. iCOMBAT has become a global brand in the 8 years I have worked here. We became an international company through Tippmann but our equipment was branded under their name. Over the years we developed our global brand and started to distribute our equipment through iCOMBAT. But with a global company comes global complexities in a myriad of issues as we operate through layers of currency, laws, languages, and time zones. My job is to support the distributors that we choose to work with to overcome these obstacles and this is a perfect chance to catch up.

During my visit to Europe, I had the opportunity in some spare time to visit my family home and some of our clients in Spain. This was a one-week extravaganza of wine, seafood, and family fights! It was great to stroll along the beach and to have long lunches (comidas) with old friends as well as seeing my family and watching sailing boats cruise past us all day long. The weather was perfect and Gin Tonics were just as I always remember them!

The trip from Spain to Bordeaux France was uneventful except they had excellent Chorizo (Spanish pork sausage), cheese, and even decent wine selection on board. Olivier, co-owner of our distribution company,  picked me up and whisked me straight to dinner downtown Bordeaux, a city filled with tradition and….electric cars! The wait staff scoffed at any wine selection that was not from the region so I acquiesced. The meal was amazing as it tends to be in France (just don’t tell them that). The next day, Tim arrived and we discussed the company plans for the year and talked about the show over some amazing steaks locally procured and made at Olivier’s house outside on his grill over a fire of old Bordeaux wine vines. Amazing smells, amazing colors, and amazing steaks….with lots of wine! The next day we started the drive early in the morning, we took turns driving every three hours and made camp in Lille France where we had a great dinner (Olivier had beans and we paid for that the next day). My Duck was to die for and as a matter of fact, it did die just for me. Next day we took in the sights our way through Belgium we stopped at an amazing family-owned Italian restaurant where my minestrone was spectacular and only bested when my carbonara spaghetti arrived at the table, with, of course, more wine! We eventually made it to Amsterdam, where we had booked a villa. The next days blurred by broken up by time in the booth, drinks at our local of choice (La Chouffe beer for me please and a really good local, which I can’t remember) and then dinners at the house. The first night we ordered out and the following nights I cooked for the crew. The last day before I flew out to Spain to round out my trip, I stayed away from the show as Tim and Olivier, as well as the rest of the team, had matters well in hand! In the end, my flight was moved forward, which I only made because I was at the villa instead of at the show, only to be delayed! I will say the Schipol airport is a great place to be delayed as they serve Chouffe and cook a mean bitterballen with some rookworst.

Next EAS is in Paris, which is IrD (our distribution company) territory and I have a feeling it is going to be epic. I miss Europe and our incredible distributors already…except when they yell at me over skype or send me a mean message over WhatsApp!!

iCOMBAT – We Are Laser Tag