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

2005/09/29

The Microsoft MVP Summit - day 1

Ok, so today we had registration on the agenda from 13:00 onward, and thus had the entire morning to explore Seattle. Being the typical tourists we appearantly are, we walked through downtown Seattle to the Spaceneedle. We could have taken the monorail, but decided to get to learn Seattle a bit better from the ground first...

Walking through downtown Seattle, we concluded it's quite a nice, quiet city, where given the cars driving around (Ford FS120, Mercedes E200, BMW 760i, etc) people seem to be 'somewhat wealthy'. Seattle is very clean, has nice big sidewalks and isn't quite as crowded as let's say downtown Manhattan. The spaceneedle was a great experience, although I wish it still was the tallest building in Seattle, it does have a great lookout over the harbor, the city and even the mountains (we had some fog upstairs, so that view was somewhat blocked)

On the way back to our hotel from the Spaceneedle, we rode the Monorail, which was fun (and a lot quicker than walking :)). We had a stroll through Pike Place Market,



, drank a beer on the waterfront in the harbor and then took the bus to register for the event. We arrived at the Microsoft Campus. which seems like a complete city on it's own, within beautiful surroundings I must say, forrest every way you look :)

After registration, we went to get my coupon for the Microsoft store filled. Appearantly, a few more people felt like doing the same, as the store was literally packed full with other MVPs. They really have great stuff in the store, so I ended up using my entire coupon's worth, mostly on gifts for others (Martin, I thought of you and have your request in my bag ;O).

So we registered and shopped, it was time to start the party! We dropped the stuff I bought at the hotel and went to the Hyatt hotel in Bellevue, just outside of Seattle, were we had a nice dinner, met a lot of other MVPs, connected to some EMEA MVPs we already knew and generally had a great time the rest of the evening. Around 10:30 I got tired and went back to the hotel to get some sleep.

All in all, this was a good and relaxed start of the real summit. Tomorrow, we have meetings with the award product groups, so I finally get to meet some of the great minds behind the BizTalk Server product (and Windows Workflow Foundation, which looks very promising too, ofcourse) :-D

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