It's real, we're here, and I'm revved up. I stashed piles of pre-trip paraphernalia all around the house: batteries, chargers, last year’s badge holder, socks, the pedometer that will surely track my mileage around the convention center, ibuprofen, those Dr. Scholl foot massagers to put in my shoes, a few more batteries, my laptop, iPad, iPhone, emergency chargers, cameras, lenses, favorite pen, last year's parking pass. Oh my favorite "must have" was a set of Chicago Bears cheek decals to share with a friend who lost a bet on a Chicago vs. Green Bay game. Yep, he's bringing some for me, too –although green and yellow are really not my best colors. I'm sure someone will snap a picture ... stay tuned.
Of course the weather can be just about anything and already is ... a little snow, a lot of wind and the need for gloves, hats and long johns. Seriously. But MATS is not a place to be weak.
The show doesn't even open ’til Thursday, but the parking lots are full of vendors setting up. Along with the rest of the trucking press, we're here for Media Day where we get a chance to hear from OEMs and industry specialists about last year’s results, this year’s goals and expectations and product introductions.
And there's more. Don't miss this year's collections of shiny show trucks parked behind the West Wing. At last count, they were fast approaching 100. New ones, refurbished old ones, and some stuff that's just off the hook different. The light show is tonight. There will be enough lumens to power a medium-sized city.