Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Getting ready

Yesterday morning Sasha left for Bulgaria. She successfully completed her second semester with an exam on Sunday, her 6th this year.

I'm leaving for Bulgaria this Friday. My flight will be through Chicago and Germany. The weather here in North Carolina is excellent, but on the news this morning they mentioned snow in Chicago. If all goes well, I'll arrive in Sofia Saturday afternoon.


To Washington DC

We're leaving for Washington D.C!

I'm excited, not only because I'm looking forward to see old DC again, but also because it's the first long-distance road trip that I'll make by car.

We'll leave in an hour or so, and pick up 3 of Sasha's classmates who will join us. We're going to stay at Rosa's place tonight, and tomorrow morning Sasha and Vladi will vote in the Bulgarian elections in the embassy in D.C.

It's a 4 or 5 hour drive, and the weather looks good although we may get some heavy winds in Virginia.


Back to the U.S.

At Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. My mother woke me up at 8.00 o'clock, and waking up took a few minutes because of the party the night before. A traditional Sunday morning sandwich and good coffee made all the difference. It was sad to realize this was the last morning in Middenmeer, but mainly I was happy with the great memories of this week -- it was a great vacation and was very, very nice to see everybody again. I really should visit more often.

I packed my second suitcase in the morning and we left around 9.45 -- a bit later than scheduled but still well on time.

At Schiphol airport we parked in the "Wooden Shoe" section of the garage. After the check-in we had a last cup of coffee together and around noon we said goodbye and I went through security.

In the taxfree zone I bought some more Dutch chocolate. I was tempted by many other souvenirs but decided I had brought plenty of these.

I bought a 0.75 liter bottle of water just before entering the gate. This was a mistake. Because bottles with water are not allowed on flights to the U.S. I had to drink everything before I was allowed to enter the waiting area. Some cool fresh water was just what my body needed, although I didn't expect to drink it all at once.

I like flying during the day when I don't have to force myself to get some sleep. There were Dutch newspapers in the plane so I read Saturday edition of the De Volkskrant. The flight wasn't very full and the seat next to me was empty so I had plenty of space.


To Schiphol

I'm going to the airport in Amsterdam this morning. I've had a great week and it will be a bit sad to leave, but I'm also happy to go back home.

My Continental flight to Newark is at 1.35 pm and -as is tradition- we are planning to be at the airport very early to have a cup of coffee together.


Train through the cows

Cows from the train.So it's been nearly two years since I was in a Dutch train, and it's a nice experience to travel from Hoorn to Rotterdam today.

Traveling in this train is a real Dutch experience -- the moment I'm writing this the train is moving through farm fields and there are cows just a few meters from the train, staring and chewing while the train moves by. A few years ago some of our foreign guests enjoyed it a lot to take a train through the flower fields in spring. I understand now why.

I'm traveling on a 1st class ticket, and that is a good thing. It's so crowded! Even in 1st class there are too few seats and a couple of people didn't find a place to sit from Hoorn to Amsterdam. There is no reserved seating so when the doors opened there was a mad rush to get inside and get a good place to sit. The train itself is amazing -- better than any American public transport. Smooth, quiet, very clean and fast.

I briefly saw Amsterdam Central Station, a beautiful trainstation but I had only a few minutes to transfer to the train to Rotterdam. It's an all-service train, so it stops in small places like Abcoude and Woerden. My end point is in a suburb of Rotterdam where I have a couple of meetings for work today.

The train also drove through Duivendrecht and Amsterdam Bijlmer, where I used to live. I heard the familiar sound of the metro doors closing on Duivendrecht. The Bijlmer station has changed incredibly. From being a small, greasy train station it is now being transformed into something like Duivendrecht: huge, open platforms that are long enough to load and unload the large intercity trains.

Yesterday evening I had dinner with Ettie and my parents. I really enjoy being around them, after such a long time! It's especially nice to see Ettie and I hadn't seen her for so long. Gerben is back in Leeuwarden since Sunday evening for his work. We had stamppot andijvie for dinner, which was delicious. When I was little I used to dislike it but not anymore.


In the Netherlands

Welcome.Yesterday I left home around 1.45 pm with two large suitcases and my laptop bag. Not that I brought so many things to bring to Holland, but I want to have an empty suitcase here for all the stuff I plan to bring back to the States.

I arrived in Newark some time before m5.00 pm and I had a nice dinner at the airport -- there's a pub called Galahar's that serves good food, surprisingly good for an airport. When I went in the plane I planned to get as much sleep as possible. As soon as I sat in my chair I put on my headphones, eye patches and sleeping cushion to get as many resting hours as possible. By skipping dinner I managed to get some extra rest. It's really tiring to travel eastwards, with the time that you loose.

It was very nice to see Ettie, Gerben, Jaap and Mieke waiting for me at the airport. They waived through the glass. One thing I noticed when I entered the luggage claim area was the staunch smell of cigarettes -- there was a "smoking area" inside the luggage claim that made the whole space smell.

After 10 minutes I found my luggage and went through customs -- back in the Netherlands.


At the river

Summer lunch.We didn't do much this Sunday, and that was perfect. We woke up looking out over the woods, in the summer house, and we had breakfast on the deck in the sun.

It was quickly getting hot again so we went to the river. The summer house has a long dock, reaching far into the Mill Creek, where Rick has his boat. There we had our coffee and stayed for a long time.


Nature at the summer house

Ground hog.The weather this weekend was amazing. The temperature was in the 90s and the sky was clear blue.

Sunday afternoon I made a short walk, and managed to get a groundhog on camera.

There were plenty of animals around -- when we just arrived at the summerhouse we saw a fox running across the road in front of our car, and we saw many groundhogs, large birds and deer. And crabs and many fishes, of course.


Saturday in Reedsville

Harbor of Reedsville.We spent a great weekend in Rosa and Rick's summer house in Reedsville, at the Chesapeake Bay.

On Saturday Rosa picked us up at 1.00 pm and we drove down the I-95 to Fredericksburg. We used the HOV lanes in the first part of the trip, saving a lot of time with the heavy holiday traffic. After two hours we made a stop at the usual place, a gas station called "Racetrac". From Fredericksburg we went east and took local roads that brought us to Reedsville.

We arrived at the summer house around 6.30 pm. After we had set up the house (drinks in the cooler, airconditioning on) we went to visit Barbara, a friend of Rosa. We learned that the Independence Day Celebration was on Saturday and that there would be fireworks on the river a bit later.

We had dinner outside, in a restaurant overlooking the river and after our meal we had a good view of the fireworks. It was warm but there was a refreshing wind coming over the water. The Chesapeake Bay is famous for it's seafood, especially crabs, so we had a crab meat dinner.

After the fireworks we had coffee with cake at Barbara's place.


To the Chesapeake Bay

We're leaving soon with Rosa to go to her cottage at the Chesapeake Bay.

It's an extra long weekend, with Tuesday's Fourth of July celebrations, and the weather is excellent so it's great to go outdoors this weekend.


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