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MVP Summit 2008 - Part 1

Rob's travel log.

Travel to Seattle, WA

  • Left Melbourne 10:30am 10-04-2008 on QF93 - 14.5 hr trip.
  • Arrived LAX - Perfect weather for this time of year. 2.5 hr trip up to Seattle, WA
  • Hit Seattle finally at 2:30pm?
Not many good movies this flight. Enchanted was very good - about a cartoon Prince and princess who fall through a hole (or pushed by the evil queen) into the real world. Some funny bits.

Also watch Mr Woodcock - just another movie. And "27 dresses" a Romantic Comedy which was about a girl who was always the Bridesmaid never the bride
Hit Seattle finally at 2:30pm
Found fellow Aussies Dean Calvert (SA) and Stuart Applegate at the airport. Dean had hired a car. We went to Frys Electronics and checked out all the cool electronic stuff. This helped us all stay awake so we could have a good sleep later and get into the new time zone. The car was very nice (about $200 total for the week - which is only about 4 taxi rides).
The hirer car had a talking navigation computer (box on the dash) which worked surprising well.
Very funny and very good. We managed to get from Airport to Frys (Mega Electrons store) and then downtown to the Hyatt (where the guys were staying). I then walked around the corner to the Sheraton Hotel.

Frys is enormous. This row is ONLY IPod docking stations..
Acres of electronics; DVDs; Games; for as far as the eye can see.

At Frys I purchaced 2x Zune docks for the kids. $US99 ex each. 
It has all good reviews. Kid reviews say it has a great sound for the bed room - Runs off battery; Remote; FM Radio; Recharges; extra in;
Checked into the Sherton Seattle. Room in the new tower. Very nice 24 floor, Room 71.
Later we (Aussies) had dinner at a Chinese restaurant across from the Hyatt.
Will get a little more crowed in the room on Monday when Bill shares with me.
Got to bed about 9pm - Slept until around 2:30am :-) (the 5 hr time difference is a killer)

Day 1 - Friday 11/04/2008

  • Nice sunny day.
  • Did Hotel Gym - View from the 35th Floor is pretty good. Listened to my mp3 player.
  • Explored Pike market and picked up some supplies.(lemons, bottled water).
    Quite a unique market. Had some grilled fresh Salmon and salad at little shop I frequent.
  • Purchased MARTIN BACKPACKER Guitar - S/N 183.223 from "Lark in the Morning" 
    - John McClure - Manager. (see pics to the below). Great little guitar.
    Been wanting a steel string guitar for as long as I can remember. At $240 much cheaper than in Australia.
  • Purchase Logitech keyboard and mouse set from Office Depot (near by) - sick of laptop kb/mouse.
    This was only $50 and comes with wireless KB and Laser Mouse. Works well.
  • Deans needs more stuff - so back to Frys store with the help of Lidia (the talking navigation system).
    With the Dollar at 92% USA stuff is cheap. Although probably buying twice the amount is defeating the purpose. :-)
  • Frys: I purchased a 8GB memory stick for $50 (has Vista Ready Boost). Checking out latest Satellite PC. Very impressive so much cheaper than Australia.
  • Frys: The latest Logitech speakers are very cool - Z5500 - great pro sound. The new Creative speakers have wireless rear speakers.US$350 ex


This little magic shop was fantastic (down near Pike Market).
Got David some very cool Magic tricks. Looking forward to doing those with him and stunning papa.

"Lark in the morning". Little music shop just east of Pike Market. This is where I got the Martin guitar.

Inside the shop there was a stacks of Celtic harps and various ethnic hand made instruments. When you look up you see
a sea of hand made guitars -- It made me very emotional (so many hours of of care and craftsmanship).

I've been to the shop before. It always impresses. Its the only shop where I've seen a great range of Bodhrans and beating sticks.

It was a beautiful day in Seattle. Typical for this time of year - Chilly early and late in the day, and very warm and comfortable in the middle (Shorts and T-shirt not out of place).
This shot looks down from Pike Market (which is higher up), down to the docks and sea,
Later that nigh Paul O'Rear and daughter Hanah came into the city and we had a light meal and watch a film SuperHeros. Send up the Spiderman movie. Done by the Scary Move guys.  Unfortunately it was a very crude in parts. A vulgar teen flick. Crass but had several funny bits. All in all a good film to avoid.
Feedback for Seattle Sheraton
  • No hotwater jug in rooms. The coffee percolator produces fowl tasting water. Room service say they can bring up a Thermus flash of hot water. I'd rather use my own filtered water however.
  • The gym is not nice. Biggest problem is its basically in the same room as the swimming pool. So its hot and sweaty in there and the air is moist and full of chloride. Also cramped.
  • No clothes washing machines or dryers.
  • All in all sub standard for an international hotel.
  • Other services are ok.
  • Wont stay here again if I have a choice.

Day 2 - Sat 12/04/2008

I also have the software on my PC so I can phone Paul and others in various hotels around Seattle at 10c a call. Calls home to Melbourne are also 10c.


Went to Whole Foods and got some supplies. Whole Foods is a Mega Health and Food store. Size of a large supermarket in Australia, but all Organic and Health products. Lots of hot food as well. Had a nice Tofu meal.

Here's some shots of Whole Foods:

Some interesting ceramic sculptures outside Whole Foods.

Some goodies from Amazon while in the US.


Microsoft Zune 80GB - Bought on Amazon ($250). One each kids as well.
Zoon H2 - For church - Bought on Amazon ($199)
Fuji Camera runs on AA batteries and has 18x optics Zoom. Nice little semi pro camera Ang,
Grace and I will enjoy using. Great for Telephoto shots as well as very close up shots. Also got an 8 GB memory card for it.

Martin BackPacker Guitar - $250
Full size guitar with little body. Spruce body and Rosewood finger board. Natural rubbed finish.