MVP Summit 2011 – Post Conf

After a whirlwind three days during the Microsoft MVP Summit, we had a day-and-a-half to do some more looking about – and enjoy some more of Seattle.

We picked up a rent-a-car – Chevrolet Impala – and the all-important GPS Satellite Navigation unit.   We would’ve been lost without it – LITERALLY !

Fryes – after a quick stop-in to Best Buy, and finding it closed (shops are open 10am-6pm) – we took off to Renton, heading down South from Bellevue.

This is the mecca for all electronic goods – much like a Harvey Norman, and a JB HiFi combined – with the size of a Bunnings Warehouse – it’s enormous !

They sell everything from books & CDs – headphones & TVs – and hard drives, motherboards, cabling, fridges, ovens, BBQs – soooo much stuff !    In fact, I couldn’t think of anything they DIDN’T have in-store…!

I bought a 16 GB USB key – was only $25 – and a new set of headphones as well – Yamaha W-165 (??)

Target – I was wanting to get a few gifts for the kids – LEGO !    The prices in America are about 1/2 the price in Australia – so I grabbed a few kits for the kids.

Kurt Cobain’s House – with a visit to Seattle, I was wanting to check out where Kurt Cobain had lived and died.   We drove to Lake Washington Blvd – and found the memorial spot – just a park bench that has been graffitti’ed and there are messages for Kurt – flowers, candles and so forth.  

Was kinda nice to see – very peaceful – and made me think back to April 8, 1994 – when he died.   (I can still remember where I was that day.   When I was living in Cairns)


That’s his house in the background – the garage where he was found dead has since been bulldozed.


** We’d parked the car just near a beach – around the corner from Kurt Cobain’s house – looking over to Bellevue (in the distance) – where we stayed.


Sports gear – I was wanted to get some branded shirts & so forth, so we cruised around – guided by the GPS – to behind Qwest stadium – and found a sports store.  

I nabbed a very cool Seattle SeaHawks hoodie – and got a T-shirt for my lads as well – Seattle SeaHawks hoodie for Charlie – and a Washington Huskies shirt for Liam.

Boeing factory – the main reason for hiring a car was to be able to drive out to the Boeing factory in Everett.  This was a bit of a drive North – and we raced to get there for a 3pm tour.   As we showed our tickets, I realised I’d booked for the day before – oh no !!    They were nice enough to realise our mistake – and thankfully, we were able to join the tour.

What an amazing factory – as large as 9,000 basketball courts – and 11 storey’s high.    We got to see where they’re building the 747, 777 and 787 planes – in the biggest production line I’ve ever seen.   The factory was more impressive than the planes !!

** We weren’t allowed to take photos during the tour – that’s the factory across the parking lot – doesn’t look very big – but it’s 11 storey’s tall…>


Dinner at Pike Place – we headed back into Seattle to meet up with some other Microsoft folk, at a great seafood restaurant near Pike Place.   And then, home to the hotel – I was knackered !

Driving in America – We’d driven 120 miles for the day – I adjusted to driving on the “other” side of the road fairly well – it’s weird the way it messed with the brain.  

With the seat on the opposite side, the driving on the other side – my brain somehow swapped my thinking for LEFT/RIGHT as well – I kept getting them mixed up – and turning LEFT, when told to turn RIGHT – LOL !

This is the car we had – easy to find in the car park :



Last Day in Seattle – Friday 4th March

With a flight leaving at 3pm (from Seattle), I only had a few hours to look around, and pick up a few items. 

Woke up early, and dropped off the car at 7.30 – and then had breakfast with some SharePoint MVP’s and NINTEX folk.   We went over to the Bellevue Mall – and (back) to the Lego store – and some jewellery for my darling Donna.

Also – stopped in to Safeway (!) – to buy some chocolates for the office back home – Reece’s Peanut Butter Pieces, Butterfingers, Babe Ruth, and Three Musketeers…    (we don’t have any of those back home).

Last stop – I wanted to check out Gregg’s Cycles – the biggest bike shop I’ve ever seen – supposedly the best in Seattle…

About to head home  As I write this, I’m sitting in the departure lounge at LAX – about to board the plane for Melbourne !

Wow – what a great WEEK in Seattle – seems like it was much, MUCH longer than ONE week – some great memories and experiences – and discussions with people from around the world.

Can’t wait to get on-board and home to my darling wife & kids…!     X



2 thoughts on “MVP Summit 2011 – Post Conf

  1. You forgot to mention that you bought your wife that lovely Pandora jewellery. I would have bought her something from Burberry – but that’s MY favourite – coz I’m CHAV 😉

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