Martijn's blog - E-Commerce, EAI, BizTalk and .NET


The Microsoft MVP Summit - day 0

We've flown to Seattle with SAS a few hours ago. From Amsterdam, we first headed to Copenhagen where we waited a gruesome 4 hours for our connection, an Airbus heading to the US. A cool thing to note about SAS is the fact they have WiFi internet access onboard. It's slow as can be, but at least you can e-mail (and blog) from an altitude of 10km flying 900+ kilometers an hour... :-D (see the picture we took here)

After the dreadful 9 hour flight (on which there were 4 different movies to see, but they weren't streaming them, so hooking up the touchscreen too late means missing a chunk of the movie) where you learn to appreciate a repulsion caddle might have from being transported on a boat, we landed on SeaTac (Seattle / Tacoma) airport.

We ofcourse had to fill out quite some paperwork, one for the US Customs Service stating we had nothing to declare, and one for Visa Waiver countries stating your personal information. On top of the paperwork, we had both our index fingers digitalized and a mugshot taken by the border patrol.

After this exercise of patience, we moved on to get our luggage. We had to take it of the belt, haul it to another room, where we placed it on another bagage belt, were the security checks the European custom services performed were executed again...

Picking up our luggage from the secondary belt, we headed to Seattle by cab (the shuttle was nowhere to be found, or we didn't look hard enough :-))

Frans is staying at the W hotel, for a review of the hotel by another MVP, Sahil Malik, see this page. I'm staying in a hotel two blocks away, on 6th Avenue, called the Crown Plaza. My sentiments regarding this hotel are quite similar to Sahil's, except at least he has what appears to be a minibar and I'm stuck drinking chlorized water from the tap... :/

After walking around down-town Seattle and obviously missing all the cool restaurants (there don't appear to be a lot in the area??) we finally stumbled upon a restaurant worth mentioning. It's and Italian restaurant located next to hotel "Vintage Park" on 5th Avenue and they serve a great red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon) called "Washington" I believe and the Roasted Chicken with Risotto is great :-D

Anyways, I'm not normally in the habit of blogging about non-business stuff, but I thought it would be fun to write up my experiences in Seattle, the summit and being in Redmond... More non-NDA info to follow!


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