Seattle 2010 - MVP Summit - Day 1 14. February 2010 Conferences, Fun, Reviews Comment (0) The MVP Summit 2010 is starting in a few days (Tuesday, 2010-02-16 to be precise) and as usual I am flying over to Seattle a few days early because of incredible cheaper flights at the weekend (less than half even with 3 days extra hotel costs). The MVP Summit is not in Seattle this time, but in Bellevue, which is ~20km away (no, I am not using Miles or Fahrenheit). Anyway, this is still 3 days away and until then I can enjoy Seattle for a while. My trip started at Saturday morning 05:30 by finding out that the S5 train to the airport does not drive on Saturday. I just moved to the Suedstadt because or new office is located there now, which is below the city center of Hannover. This was my first time at the Suedstadt train station and I only knew that the S5 train will depart every 30 minutes, well except on 05:30 on Saturdays. I had to wait for the 06:00 train, which took me to the airport at about 06:29. As usual there was still plenty of time until my airplane was ready for boarding at 07:00. I also took some boring pictures of the airport, but I won't post them here. Instead you can see pretty similar pictures in my older posts: Seattle 2009 - MVP Summit Seattle 2008 - MVP Summit GDC 2007 - San Francisco Seattle 2006 - Visiting Microsofts XNA Team PDC 2005 - My experiences from the PDC Los Angeles and Hollywood This time the plane did not take me to Amsterdam, but to Paris instead (with Air France). Before take off the plane got some green gue sprayed on for defrosting it, which looked strange. As you can see the green gue is gone (seems windy outside the plane). Below us is France, but there is nothing to see because of the rainy weather and all the clouds below. After 1.5h we landed in Paris. As expected there wasn't much to see except clouds and rain. Not sure what kind of people are willing to wait in this area .. The little I could see from the airport in Paris looked pretty cool and relaxed. Security checks, security checks, security checks. This time every person got a very detailed check, a deep look into your bags and a personal touch to see what kind of weapons you got under your clothes. This is not only retarded, but also extremely useless because everyone already went though several security checks making it pretty much impossible to have any weapons still on them. Time to enter the big plane finally, which will carry me to Seattle in the next 11-12 hours. I am still pretty tired, but I don't expect to be able to sleep in the plane, it is just too loud. It took almost an hour in the plane until we finally could lift off. First there was an extra 20 minutes of wait time because the security checks took that long to get all passengers on board (did I say retarded security checks already?). Next the plane needed green defrosting gue too and then it needed permission to take off at a new time, etc. After almost 12 hours in the plane and arriving an hour late in Seattle, the second part of the retarded security checks by the great Department of Homeland Security took another hour of fun wait time. At least I was able to surf the internet thanks to free WiFi at Seattle Airport. I was chatting with people on Skype and ICQ until I got in line and the security guy was asking me what I were doing just now. He even thought it was funny to speak a little German to me, but what the hell, I just went here to speak English :) One more picture of Seattle airport. I got 100 dollars from an ATM and used the first 11 dollars of that to get to my hotel via the Gray Line of Seattle busses. As you can see the weather here is pretty shitty too, raining almost all day, but at least it is much warmer than in Germany (10 degrees celsius instead of -2 degrees in Germany). A few minutes later the bus arrived. I took a quick picture of myself and I think I don't even look like someone awake for almost 19 hours now. Maybe it is my training from the good old coding nights. Driving through a tunnel, nothing spectacular, but I kinda like this picture because of the yellow colors. As last time I will also try to blog a few videos. Only problem is that my camera does not produce any good videos, so I will have to wait for something interesting to happen to make it worthwhile. This is just a video from the bus ride to Seattle: Seattle downtown is now visible through the rain. Hopefully not all the days here will have this kind of weather. Another short clip from the bus: The bus is finally reaching downtown. I still like all the skyscrapers here, we got nothing like that in Hannover back home. Seattle downtown close up. I really like the skyscrappers here. I think this one is the biggest. If the weather is better tomorrow or on Monday I will try to get on top of it and view around :) The public library of Seattle, still a pretty cool building. The streets of seattle. I will walk around here a little bit more in the coming days. There is the Space Needle. My hotel is not far from it, but I have to walk a bit since the bus did not go all the way. There it is, the Holiday Inn. Don't ask me why I took this hotel, it was just the cheapest offer from Expedia, so I took it in like 3 seconds ^^ And this is my bed, which I could really need now after being awake for 22h (started the day at 04:30 in the night, now it is 15:30 +9h time difference). But I only took a quick nap of 3h. Time to explore Seattle a bit and I was also kinda hungry so I searched for the next supermarket. The Holiday Inn sign also looks much nicer at night. The Space Needle at night. As usual I am the only pedestrian around .. And finally a picture from the supermarket where I found lots of cool stuff. But what the hell is this, 1.5l bottles of Listerine and this many different tastes? After my little shopping trip I went back to the hotel, made some popcorn in the microwave and watched a few OSL StarCraft videos to relax. Then I slept for 9h. Much more pics are coming tomorrow.