A third visit to North Carolina in 2009 (week 1)
"Sunday, 19th July 2009"
This will be my last visit to North Carolina I suspect. The project I am involved with is coming to an end - and the we will start to work on our own implementation elements on our own sites. For me this will be in West London.
A fairly large group of us flew out of London Heathrow (T3) on American Airlines 173 to Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
It was another 8 hour plus flight; sadly I found that even though I was in Business Class, the AA entertainment system was showing the same movies and programmes from our trip in May this year. My colleagues on either side of me had the entertainment I had in June, this meant that i did a lot of reading.
The Homeland Security people at RDU were failry busy; however I was through quite quickly and then had a little bit of a wait for my luggage. I took an RDU Airport Taxi to my hotel. Once again, we were staying at The Umstead (100 Woodland Pond, Cary) - this time I had room 405 and just like my last visit I have an excellent view...................of the car park at the front of the hotel. I have been told that they can move me on Wednesday when other rooms are available.
I took a walk around the pond at the rear of the hotel and then freshened up a little. At this point BBC America is on the television and I am indulging in all that they have to offer on the subject of "Dr Who".
More to come later, I think.
"Monday, 20th July 2009"
I awoke really early, at 02.30 which of course is 07.30 in the UK - however went back to sleep until about 04.30 and then from about 05.15 to 05.55 I read more of my new "Martin Beck" which I started to read last night.
I have caught up with some work emails and it is now 06.15 and I should start to shower and so on for the day ahead.
It has just dawned on me - I think it is 40 years ago today that the NASA first had men land on the moon! Happy Anniversary, Neil and Buzz.
It has been a long day - and it was quite interesting to start it off in a warm and a slightly humid way. However, as the day progressed we experienced torrential rain two or three times this afternoon. Finally back at the hotel I freshened up and had a rathe rlight dinner in the Herons restaurant. Then a catch up on my emails then to bed at a little after 22.30.
"Tuesday, 21st July 2009"
It was another day - and it did seem as if it was a little fractious at work. I think that is all I can say on the matter; hopefully tomorrow is not going to be as challenging.
It was decided that a colleague, Donna, and I would go to Crabtree Valley Mall and do some shopping this evening. We had an enjoyable few hours shopping and as ever - I some how managed to buy more than I really wanted to buy. I again shopped at Ticknors and this time was professionally served by Jagger Ticknor. (www.ticknorclothiers.com)
After our shopping we had agreed to have dinner - we did so and after a short discussion we called into The Cheesecake Factory. It was large, busy and very cool (great air conditioning). We were served by Will who was very attentive and friendly. Food was great and as the name suggests - try the cheesecake.
Finally back at the hotel at about 22.30. A long and busy day.
"Wednesday, 22 July 2009"
I awoke later than I really wanted to - but did feel much better and well rested. So after a quick coffee and then a chat we all headed down to our final engineering meeting.
It was quite a long but productive meeting - then sadly a small group of us held a further meeting for two hours. We all got back to the hotel at 20.00. I decided to eat out - and asked Jefferson (the concierge) for a recommendation and he suggested the nearby ãn restaurant - which was a wonderful suggestion. It is also another business owned by the Goodknight family (The Umstead and of course SAS).
There was a free shuttle to and from the hotel - and I ate at about 20.30 and was back at the hotel by 21.45. I am now watching (well almost) Angels & Demons.
Perhaps it is now time for bed. 23.00!!
"Thursday, 23 July 2009"
I had a good night of sleep and found I was not so tired today - the weather forecast suggested that I may be tired later through both the heat and humdity. I shall see what I feel like later in the day.
As it happened, the weather was fine for the rest of the day, although I did not really venture outside for more than a few minutes midway through the day.
After returning to the hotel - I again asked the concierge for a dinner suggestion; I had decided not to join the group who were all going to eat at Pop's. It was suggested that I visit "Ruth's Chris Steak House".
This was an excellent suggestion - and once again I can say the service was wonderful and the food was great. It was fairly busy and a number of the private rooms were in use. I ordered a steakhouse salad (and ended up with two) and a regular fillet (12oz). It was cooked to perfection and although dessert tempted me I decided to have only an espresso grande.
Then back to the hotel - and now in the room. We have an earlier start tomorrow so I think I should have an early night.
"Friday, 24 July 2009"
It was an earlier than usual start for the day - we had to be at our RTP offices for an 08.00 start. Luckily the day ended earlier than normal - and my colleague from Costa Rica, Jens Peter Kofoed, and I returned to the hotel - briefly freshened up and then went out to the Crabtree Valley Mall. Peter had some shoppoing to do for his wife and children. (He has Danish ancestry but has never been to the land of his grandfather.)
It was quite enjoyable and eventually I did buy a couple of CDs from "Best Buy".
We had dinner at Fleming's Steakhouse - it was excellent and the service was great. It seemed as if steak was of course on the agenda - the filet mignon (petite and regular) was each of our choices. I think can say that there is a real difference between 8oz ands 12oz.
A busy week is over! More to come next week.