Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Christmas traffic

The Holland tunnel.We left this afternoon for New York. We took the bus at 1 pm from Chinatown.

We had the best seats in the bus: all the way in front with a great view on the road and a lot of leg space.

I was worried about the traffic, with the holiday weekend starting, but we arrived around 6 pm on Times Square, much better than the previous time I travelled on a Friday afternoon.

The bus has a more experienced driver this time, and she took a lot of alternatives routes to avoid the congested roads. That's why we entered the city through the Holland tunnel instead of through the Lincoln tunnel.


Santa Claus in Puerto Rico

Santa Claus at the airport.Like I wrote before, decoration for Christmas is big in Puerto Rico.

A popular figure in of course Santa Claus, and you can find him in many different places.

Pictures from the airport, the hotel and of a giant Santa Claus balloon at the Prime Outlet stores.


Back on time

Last night I travelled back to Washington.

I stayed a week in Puerto Rico, longer than I had originally planned, and it's very nice to go back home. American Airlines, the airline that I usually fly with, has a great slogan "we know why you fly". In their commercials they show the various (family) reason why people fly, and the best ads are with people flying home. Most likely I won't go to Puerto Rico this year anymore.

I was later than usual at the airport, the cab driver had to get gas and left the highway to find a low price gas station. That was a bit annoing because I didn't want to have to rush at the airport. The lines were short though, so the check in went quickly. It really is low-season in Puerto Rico now, there are much less people travelling now than a few months ago.

My original flight to Washington D.C. had more than three hours delay, so I changed my ticket to fly to Baltimore instead. I was told that there was no captain for the other flight yet, and the lady at the counter was very nice and give me an exit row seat.

There is a big difference in weather between Puerto Rico and Virginia... it started snowing! Tomorrow morning's I had a meeting, which was cancelled because of the possibility of a lot of snow tomorrow ("inclement weather conditions", as they say in the States).


Hurricane Blockers

Hurricane Blockers.An intriguing commercial for "Hurricane Blockers" on a power box.

I couldn't find much about this on Google, and I wonder if this company tries to sell something that would block hurricanes, or if it's a call for changes to the building code.

The hurricane season for 2005 is officially over since a week or two. It was a record season, in the amount of hurricanes that were registered.


Christmas in Puerto Rico

Christmas tree.When we arrived on the airport Thursday morning I was amazed by the amount of Christmas decorations that were put up. The entire airport was decorated in Christmas style.

It turns out that this is what most Puerto Ricans do around Christmas -- everywhere you go, there is an abundance of Christmas trees, Santa Clauses and other decorations. My theory is that this is to compensate for the lack of snow and other natural Christmas-like resources on a tropical island.



MariachiThere are a lot of commercials for Mariachi on the highways in San Juan.

Mariachi are Mexican-style musicians.

787 is the area code for Puerto Rico.


San Juan Culinary

San Juan Culinary.Yesterday we went out in Old San Juan. We had dinner in a place called the Parrot Club, where they had a special drink called the Parrot Special. It was a fun evening.

In the main tourist street of Old San Juan, Forta Leza, there was a culinary festival. Many of the restaurants had tables and bars outside. It wasn't very busy, it had been raining quite a bit so it wasn't the best time for an outside festival.

After we had seen most of the Culinary we went back to Isla Verde. We had a couple of drinks in the Waterclub and I was back in the hotel around 2.30.


To Puerto Rico

To Puerto Rico.I left to Puerto Rico yesterday. The alarm went at 9.00 o'clock Sunday morning, which was early considering the the evening before.

Initially I had planned to fly to Puerto Rico last Friday but the activities that were originally scheduled for Saturday were already completed during the week so I had some welcome extra time at home.

I packed my luggage in the morning and after we had breakfast together I left for the airport. There are no direct flights from DC to San Juan except for the 7 am one, so I had a stop-over in New York. I had an exit row seats on both flights. I arrived in the hotel around 21:00 o'clock local time -- there is a one hour time difference between San Juan and Arlington.


Bus ride to New York

Eastern Travel departure point in Washington D.C.Friday I left the office very early, and took a bus to New York at 1.00 o'clock. I had bought a sandwich in the morning from my favorite place near work, Tivoli. When I wanted to eat it in the bus I saw that the cheese had gone bad! A big disappointment.

I had a great seat in the bus, right behind the bus driver. I enjoy that spot because it gives you a great view of the road and there's no seat in front of you so there's more space for a laptop. There weren't a lot of people travelling and I had two seats for myself. I spent the afternoon working. It was a good opportunity to clean up my mailbox: I had about 2000 messages that needed to be filed, deleted or dealt with. The only thing missing in the bus is an internet connection -- perhaps in a year or two, three. I reviewed some documents and spent a lot of time on the phone, it was quite a productive ride.

Unfortunately Friday afternoon is probably the worst time of the week to travel to New York. We left D.C. at 1.30, but didn't arrive in New York until 7.00 o'clock, an hour later than the schedule had said. It took more than an hour just to get from the turnpike to the Lincoln tunnel... Apparently it was the first time for our busdriver to travel at this hour, he was not very pleased with the traffic either and got rather cranky at his colleague who kept on calling him to see where he was.

I listened to the same CD about four times, and I had a few MP3s on my computer that I listened to as long as I could take. I really want to get a noise-cancelling headphone one of these days.


Bryant Park Hotel

Bryant Park Hotel.Around 13:00 o'clock I arrived in the hotel, and even though check-in didn't start before 15:00 they gave me our room right away. That was great because I needed to catch up with my e-mail as I had been off-line all morning.

The room was awesome! It is probably the nicest hotel room I have ever stayed in; very large and luxurious.

At 16:30 o'clock I went to pick up Sasha who arrived at Penn Station. It was raining a little bit, but it wasn't cold and we had a big umbrella. It very nice to see each other again like this after a week, and with a great weekend ahead. We brought the bags to the hotel.

We had dinner in a nice bakery nearby, not a long restaurant-type-of-dinner, because we wanted to arrive early for the concert.


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