Trip Report: EuroTour '07

17 December 2007

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As noted earlier, Rebecca and I flew off to Europe last week for a little holiday, JavaPolis, and a week of team meetings.

With the winds behind us, we managed to make it to Schiphol airport in a record 6.5hrs from Newark. Not bad at all.

Met up with James Cobb, the kick-ass .org brand-manager/designer at the airport. We managed to keep each other walking around and awake all day to stave off horrible jet lag.

The wife and I stayed a night in Amsterdam before taking the train to the lovely Centraal Station area of Antwerp. If you're looking for the ambiance of a Motel 6 with the convenience and bouquet of being beside the Greyhound Station, this is the place for you!

Once in Antwerp, we hooked back up with James, and met, for the first time, the Fabulous Five from Poland: Przemek, Ryseik, Adam, Tomek and Pawel (left to right). Mark Newton was present for a few days, but had to return to Switzerland early, unfortunately.

We ate a lot of frites. And waffles.

The Polish developers attended a lot of the conference talks, and we as a team had some great whiteboarding/brainmapping sessions about the future direction of, as we're calling it (more blogs to follow on that topic).

Somewhere along the way, the guys goaded me into doing the Java Black Belt competition at the Cap-Gemini booth. I managed to make it to the finals, and ultimately won a PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, it was a PAL-based Region-2 PS3, which is decidedly incompatible with my Region-1 NTSC lifestyle choices. It's now living in Poland, along with a Nintendo Wii that Adam won.

I chatted up Crazy Bob and learned that we'd both lost our hats during the trip. A man without his hat is a sad sad thing. Luckily, I did manage to procure another. Also luckily, I have more hair than the other Bob.

I met Vincent Massol, Stan Silvert and Julien Viet for the first time. I met Emmanual Bernard, Max Andersen, and a host of other JBossers yet again.

During the entire trip, I managed to get yelled at a lot (hat shopkeeper, hotel matron, inn keeper, bar maid) and had that Alecia Keys song injected into my skull everywhere I went.

Overall, a success!