Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Holiday feeling

We slept in Saturday morning, but didn't wake up very late.

It was such a great feeling to be in a new town, full with historical places to go visit, and in a holiday park with all kind of nice things to do. A real vacation! I feel really privileged to have this kind of opportunities.

Around 11.00 o'clock we went to the front-desk to ask about the new cottage they wanted to assign to us, and they told us that the other cottage would be available after 16.00 so we choose to go out to the city immediately.


Powhatan Plantation

So, Friday night around 21:00 o'clock after a long trip we arrived in the Powhatan Plantation, our holiday park.

Powhatan Plantation is located just outside Williamsburg, Virginia, and it's a park mainly for time-sharing owners: people who buy a share in the company that manages the cottages and in exchange are allowed to stay a certain period of time in the park each year. A friend of Rosa has such a share, and she let us stay in the park -- thanks a lot!

We had a terribly nice weekend, but we're very sure that we'll never agree to such a time-sharing deal. There's hardly any flexibility, as you'll have to reserve your place in the park many months in advance. What's worse, the service in the park was pretty bad. Not that that interfered with our enjoying of the weekend, we had a great laugh about it, but I suppose it would feel different if you visit the park more often and for longer periods. Anyway: for us it was a perfect weekend, and the invitation came pretty much as a surprise; Thursday morning Rosa asked us to join.

The first item causing confusion between us and the people at the check-in counter was on when we were supposed to check in, Friday or Saturday. It was thanks to the determination of the ladies in my group and a printed e-mail that everything turned out well. When we went to the cottage that was assigned to us it turned out to be double-booked: we arrived exactly at the same time as another car in front of the cottage, and the lady told us they were assigned the same apartment number. Because they had small kids we went back to the office, where it took another half hour for the reception to figure out where to put us next. Beautiful park, nice cottages, but the people at the service desk are not the friendliest.

After the check-in we were offered a free breakfast in the restaurant, "...that will only take 60 minutes...". It took me a while to realize that they were inviting us for a marketing-talk over breakfast, to try to sell us a share in the park. We politely declined the offer.



Friday I left work at 16:00 o'clock, a nice early start of the weekend. Rosa, Mila and Sasha picked me up by car near my office, and we were ready for the journey down south. Our destination was Williamsburg, a bit east of Richmond, the capitol of Virginia.

To go to Williamsburg, you'll have to take the I95, an interstate highway, and we were told that it would be pretty crowded on the way. Although it wasn't a three-day weekend, it was Easter and many people were leaving D.C. early with large traffic jams as a result.

The nice thing was that because we were with four people in a car, we took the "H.O.V.". This is a dedicated lane for cars with more than two people in it. We didn't realize that immediately, and got stuck in traffic for half an hour, but then we were able to switch to the dedicated lane and that was very pleasant: seeing all cars standing still, and we're passing them quickly.

It still was a long drive because the HOV was only 40 miles long or so. We took a break half-way and we arrived in Williamsburg around 21:00 o'clock: five hours by car.


To Williamsburg

Williamsburg, south of D.C.The afternoon we're travelling to Williamsburg. Rosa invited us to join us there for the weekend, an invitation we were very happy to accept!

Williamsburg is well known for a restored colonial area in the center of the city and it's located a few hours driving south of D.C. (Google map).

I'm leaving work in a little while; many people told me that it will be very busy on the road (the Friday before an Easter weekend) but we're looking forward to it a lot.

Work Arlington 2006

Eating & drinking

Yesterday I went for lunch with a colleague to an Afghan restaurant around the corner. The food was very nice; somewhat similar to the Middle Eastern and Arabic cuisine.

There's a huge variety of restaurants in this area, from all over the world. In general people go much more often for dinner or lunch to a restaurant than I was used to in the Netherlands. Our company for example, doesn't have a cafeteria, instead people go to places outside to have lunch or bring back lunch from there to eat in the office.

For coffee it works the same: Starbucks and other coffee places here are triving on all the office workers around. This morning when I was crossing the street towards Starbucks, a group of school kids entered just in front of me. It didn't take that long however, the guys working there know how keep moving and I got my morning coffee ("a grande coffee") quickly.


Pictures New York

Here are three pictures of New York.

The images are not as good as I wanted them to be, but I hope it shows how crowded the streets are.

Wonderful city.


To New York by bus

Times Square.We were just on time for the bus yesterday morning. The organization of the bus company is not as smooth as it could be, and it's important to be on time to make sure you actually get a place on the bus, even when you bought tickets in advance, like we did.

As a result of this, there is usually a fight just before the bus leaves, and this time was no exception. Sometimes it's between the operators and guests that were overbooked, but often also among the operators themselves, which is quite amusing to see. From a secured placed in the bus, of course.

The bus leaves from Chinatown in Washington D.C. and is operated by Chinese Americans. There was only one seat open when we left New York, after two ladies were left behind because they were travelling together. The first stop on the journey was in Baltimore, where the last passenger came aboard. There were more people waiting there, but the bus left and they had to wait for the next one, probably an hour later. The bus drove through to Delaware, and then to Philadelphia. We had a short break on the way which was very welcome -- we had left early after all and we didn't had a lot of coffee in the morning.

On arrival in New York the bus makes three stops: one on Times Square, near Madison Square Garden, and finally in Chinatown. We got of at the second stop, near the trainstation. It was great to travel together, with a nice destination and no rush.


To New York

We're leaving in a little while to catch the 9.30 bus to New York. We'll visit Jonathan and Irena this weekend.

This week I transferred some money from my US bank account to the Netherlands. It was pretty quick, I signed the "wire transfer" papers Tuesday, and Friday the money was on my Postbank account.

The exchange rate came as a shock: 1 dollar is 75 euro cents now.


Girl with the Pearl Earring

The book Girl with the pearl earring is a bestseller here. This is a picture of the window of a bookstore close to my work.

September last year Sasha and I went to see the original painting in the Mauritshuis in The Hague, after seeing the movie with Steven in the Toneelschuur.

It's nice to see the old 'skyline' of Delft in a bookstore's window.


Tickets U2

Yesterday we bought tickets for U2!

U2 will be touring around the world this summer with their Vertigo tour: they're in Amsterdam in July and in October they'll be in New York. We have two tickets for the latter. The concert will be in Madison Square Garden, a famous location for concerts, on a Friday evening.

I bought the tickets on-line, on The sale started exactly at 9.00 o'clock. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the buying process -- the site was very responsive, even at the most busy moment. I wanted to get four tickets, but the system only allowed two tickets per transaction and everything was sold out quickly. A couple of additional concert dates were added after 9.00 o'clock and they quickly sold out as well.

It's something really nice to look forward to, a concert by such a great band. And, very good news for the readers that don't have tickets yet: there are two additional concerts planned in New York (November 21 and 22), and the tickets for that will go on sale next Monday.


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