Reading The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life was definitely a must-do before coming the the Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting. It made the experience much more richer.
Berkshire Hathaway Invest in Yourself 5K Run
This year was the 4th annual Invest in Yourself 5km Run around Omaha. It benefits the Special Olympics Nebraska and Girls Inc. It starts at 8:00am on Sunday morning, the day after the annual general meeting. Registering for it included a Brooks technical T-shirt, a finisher’s medal, and of course (?) a Geico cowbell. The weather was reminiscent of Vancouver (it was rainy) but it was still a great run. There were coffee and bagels with cream cheese to great us after the run. It was great 5k run.
Borsheim’s Brunch and Ping Pong
The Borsheim’s Shopping Event and Brunch starts at 9:00am and ends at 4pm. At 1pm Warren Buffett and Bill Gates played ping pong with U.S. Olympian and North American Champion of ping pong, Ariel Hsing. Although I didn’t get a very good view, it was pretty awesome to see Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, two of the richest individuals in the world, play ping pong casually in a shopping mall. We then proceeded to check out Borsheim’s (which is apparently the “Tiffany” of the mid-west) but didn’t buy anything.
They were serving roast beef, chicken, cheese cubes, and fruit! The roast beef was delicious.
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates went upstairs to play bridge (I think it wasn’t really open to the public, but if you’re a good bridge player you can register to play with them). I saw Warren’s wife, Astrid Menks, leave the area quietly, I didn’t recognize her fast enough to say hi though!
Warren Buffett’s House and Kiewit Plaza
Of course, a trip to Omaha is not complete without creeping Warren Buffett’s house and office. It was kind of fun to indulge the creeper in me.
Warren Buffett is known for living in the same house for over 40 years. He bought it for under $35,000. It just amazes me that someone worth over $65 billion would live such a humble lifestyle. The neighbourhood is nice and the house is large, but it’s not ostentatious or grand. In fact, we drove past it looking for it. I think he put up a gate this year because in previous pictures of his house, there was no gate. We managed to see him roll in and saw security open his gate and saw him seated in the backseat of a Chrysler and walk out of his car. We were totally acting like Buffett groupies. There was police tape around the lawn and security cameras everywhere. Apparently this is the first year he had security at the Annual General Meeting, so safety is definitely a priority for him this year.
We also went to his office at Kiewit Plaza, where over $300+ billion in business is conducted, as known as Berkshire Hathaway headquarters. He just drives 6 minutes from his house to his office, both are located on the same street.
Finally, a pilgrimage to visit the Oracle of Omaha is not complete without eating what Warren Buffett eats! We were lucky enough to get there when Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Charlie Munger were still there. That’s over $135 BILLION of net worth under one roof. It was surreal.
He usually orders a 22 oz T-bone steak with a double side of hash browns and of course when in Rome… I managed to finish it all! The hash browns were delicious, though I definitely would not be able to have a double portion of hash browns. It comes with a salad. It wasn’t ‘frugal’ for $41USD but it was delicious! YOLO, right!
That concludes my whirlwind Buffett and Berkshire weekend. Hopefully I will be back but it was definitely a memorable weekend I’ll look back on years to come!
Readers, have you been to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting? What did you think?