My time in New Jersey/New York has come to an end. It was busy, but it was great.
Thursday started with meetings from 7am (over breakfast of course!). Then another meeting till about 10am. Then I had one-on-0ne meetings with members of the team, which took me to lunchtime. After lunch, managed to check my email, speak to my wife, and do some work remotely. Also, one of our team members is an Italian American who LOVES football, and supports Roma, so we had a good chat about football, or soccer as it's called here. Then my manager took me out to dinner, then it was back to the hotel pretty late. It was great to meet my manager for the first time, until Thursday, he was just a voice at the other end of the phone, and an email address !
Friday: Friday was a bit more laid back. Although, the 5 minute drive to work took one hour, first of all, the satellite navigation didn't have the address of the office, so I tried to use what I could remember from the map I had seen earlier, but got hopelessy lost. Anyway, I drove around till I saw something familiar, and eventually got into work just before 10. The main aim of Friday was to collect as much information, data to take back to the UK, and double check that I had all needed, which did take a while. After work, I went to see an old classmate of mine from high school, who I hadn't seen in almost 10 years. I had dinner with her and her husband, and we chatted till about 9pm, not even realising time had gone so quickly !! Then back to the hotel.......
Saturday was all about one thing, shopping, shopping and more shopping. There was a shopping plaza about 10 minutes from the hotel, so it was off there for shopping. I had no idea how long it would take, but when I got home eventually at 4pm, I was EXHAUSTED, and I think my jet lag finally caught up with me. I called my wife, and then nodded off to sleep. I woke up at 10pm, I'd missed dinner, and still had to pack !! I had mountains of shopping to unpack, unwrap, and pack into my suitcases. Eventually finished up at midnight, changed my clock, and went to bed.
Sunday: took my suitcases to the car, then went for breakfast. I wanted to try something different, so I found a local Ihop, where I proceeded to try and finish the breakfast I choose. American meals are so enormous !! Anyway, after that, back to the hotel, and then I went into New York (finally) to see my brother in law. We went into the city for a bus tour of the city. From Times Square (apparently, the center of the universe), to the Fashion district, to Chinatown, to the World Trade Center, where sadly, the batteries in my camera died. We went to Wall Street, caught a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, and finally stopped at the United Nations. By now, I was running late, so we got out, and got a cab back to where I had parked. Then I raced out of the city, only to get into some CRAZY traffic. By the time I got out of New York, my flight was in one hour. I drove like crazy, and managed to check into the flight just in time. However, as I was the last person to check in, I was told that I might not be able to get on, as the plane was too full. Thankfully, I eventually got on, and the whole mad rush was over, and I calmed down during the 45 minute flight to Dulles Airport. Well, it took a while to get off the ground, we were in a queue to take off for 45 minutes !! When we took off, I counted the number of planes behind us, 22 !!!
Anyway, I'm in Virginia now. Staying in a hotel in Stirling, and my course is in Herndon, which is about 10 minutes drive away. If I thought New Jersey was desolate, then Virginia is even worse !! The hotel doesn't have a resturant, so I drove for ages to find somewhere to eat dinner !! Anyway, this week is going to be super intense, by the time I get back to the UK, my head might explode with all I've taken in over the last 2 weeks !!!