The States – The trip part V

From a humble B&B to the Sheraton. From East coast to West coast. From Planes to Trains to Automobiles. That’s been the story of the day, good thing I can handle change 🙂

And what a day it’s been! It’s about 18:15 Seattle time as I sit and start to type this, and we’ve been up since about 01:00 Seattle time. And we’re on our way out at about 19:00 to have dinner on the Space Needle. I will sleep well tonight.

Anyway, before I head off to eat a little, let me recap the day…

As I mentioned, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. NYC time, with Ryan shouting (well, it sounded like shouting… anything sounds like shouting at that time of day!) After lying groggily for 5 minutes, I figured I’d better get the day on the go. After finalising our packing, we headed off to use the public transport system of NYC to get from Brooklyn to JFK. About 20kms or so. So, yes, he were literally walking along the streets of Brooklyn with our suitcases in the pitch dark. And despite the Johannesburger in me being incredibly nervous, we were actually in no real danger at all, as there were a whole bunch of people up at that time of day.

It took 3 trains, and about 2 hours of subway time to get from our stop at Avenue H to get through to the Air Train at JFK. I really did enjoy the Air Train. As the name suggests, it runs on air so it was seriously smooth. Also, it’s seriously necessary. JFK is massive. There are around 8 terminals. And each terminal is about twice the size of OR Tambo. (Each terminal has around 30 gates…) When taking off, I counted the number of planes in queue behind us… 13. Yes, 13 planes at any point in time waiting to take off just on one runway. busy place.

The plane ride itself was awful. I felt like tuna. Shredded, squashed, ugh. 6 hours. The only highlights of the flight included:

  • Wireless internet access on the plane. Absolute miracle. Loved it. Until my battery died after 10 minutes. (who needs to charge your laptop before a plane ride right ?!?!)
  • The music available on board. I got to sample the new Dave Matthews as well as Michael Buble live in NY. Both fantastic albums.

So, we got into Seattle around lunch time. To sunshine, and beautiful views of the city in autumn. The city is very much like Johannesburg in that the suburbs are tree lined, and they looked really nice from the air. The sunshine has since disappeared. The clouds are in full force, and I’ve experienced my first walk around the city in drizzle. I feel like a local. Fortunately, our hotel is literally 1 block from the CC where the conference is being held.

So, bring on SQL PASS. Loads of talks lined up on all the latest and greatest in Microsoft BI. Will post impressions as we go along.

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