This week I’m attending a meeting in Leesburg, VA. I’m writing this post as I go, if I was in the mood I’d add a timestamp with each entry but given the different time zones I’m going to be in that is a little too anal retentive even for me and my obsessive compulsive personality.
Since my last post I’ve been spending time going over my meeting briefing notes and watching DVDs. I picked up the first series of The Walking Dead and I’m hooked.
A local Gourmet Deli Belconnen does good coffee
This deli is full of good stuff from an amazing range of chocolate to other sweets to large containers of beans and cheeses and cold meats. There are all sorts of oils and spreads and spices to choose from. The staff are pretty friendly and always happy to assist.
The shop is opposite Coles so if your heading to Westfield Shoppingtown in Belconnen for your grocery shopping, the Gourmet Deli Belconnen is a good place to relax and have a coffee.
After some early morning shopping I made myself some scrambled eggs for breakfast. I like to make thick and rich scrambled eggs. I usually use a couple of free range eggs that I’ve warmed up to room temperature plus an almost equal volume of pouring cream. I whisk vigorously (now using my Magic Bullet®) along with a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. I melt real butter in a small heavy fry pan until the butter foams and starts to brown, then I add the egg and cream mixture. I wait a minute before touching the mixture. I slowly pull away from one side the mixture and watch the liquid replace the solid fluffy curds. I repeat this slowly until most of the mixture has has formed soft shiny curds. I removed the pan from the heat and scoop the scrambled eggs onto freshly toasted bread. If you like you can garnish with parsley and if it feels right a little freshly grated cheese (Mersey Valley or Coon) can be added.
Avocado and tomato on toasted light rye sourdough bread
Avocados have been expensive lately. It’s been a while but I wanted some so I bought a Hass avocado for $2. This makes a great lunch.
Fruit and the Magic Bullet®
I have been enjoying the warm days and there’s nothing more refreshing than crushing some ice with mint, adding a little fruit and some cordial. These are the fruits I used today.
Mango coleslaw with a little salmon and a crushed ice minted lemon lime and bitters
This is the last coleslaw I make for a week. I think all my Instagram followers are happy not to see any more red cabbage spam
The start of my journey in the Qantas Business Lounge at CBR
Even though I made myself a caramel coffee banana smoothie for breakfast, it’s hard to pass up some yoghurt while in the lounge along with a nicely made flat white.
The snack served on QF704
This biscuit was a little too sweet. I should have chosen water instead of juice. Too much sugar at the start of a long day.
An awful cup of coffee at The Terrace near the check-in aisles at SYD (T1)
This was disgusting. Too milky and the coffee wasn’t strong enough. It was also tepid rather than the right temperature for frothing milk.
The Koruclub is well appointed and always has fresh supplies. It’s not in the same class as the Qantas lounges, but with the best fare of the day policy, I cannot complain. I am grateful that I get to travel for work and work with international colleagues.
They also have a hot dog stand.
This is a chilli dog with onions and cheese. I really should stop this senseless eating.
So the flight to San Francisco was delayed by about an hour which in my mind at the time made my connection with Dulles just that little more tight than what it already was.
This is the view from my seat. I was facing backwards.
It’s nice to see the engines intact
This is the menu for the main meal. The question was steak or salmon. Given the amount of salmon I’ve eaten lately I chose steak.
To start we always get some nuts, usually almonds and peanuts that have been warmed up. That’s always a nice touch. The entrée was a nice salad plus some smoked salmon so I wasn’t missing out on salmon altogether.
The fillet mignon was okay. The flavour was pleasant but the meat had been cooked too long for my liking and it was a little dry. The mashed potato was okay with it plus the little fried onions as part of the gravy.
What I like about United Airlines is the dessert is always a sundae of some sort. For some reason the flight from Sydney didn’t have much choice. There was either strawberry or chocolate sauce. I chose strawberry.
I spent most of the flight reading for this meeting but I did watch one movie, viz., The Expendables 2. A great action flick with the classic modern day action actors.
For breakfast rather than the poached eggs I went for the deli plate. The plate consisted of ham, cheese and some smoked salmon. The passenger next to me chose the eggs and the yolks looked like yellow squash balls. I’ve had poached eggs on many airlines and it’s uncommon for them to serve the yolk soft let alone runny.
Scenes coming into San Francisco.
On getting into San Francisco International Airport (SFO), I had a mad dash to get my connection, UA525 to Washington DC Dulles (IAD). The lines at Customs and Border Protection were really long, fortunately as a government employee I carry an Official Passport and along with a Visa and the correct forms I don’t need to spend time with finger prints and photographs. The usual questions are usually asking about the meeting I’m attending and that’s it. I picked up my checked-in bag and moved quickly to the domestic terminal area to drop off my bag and dash to the departure gates. About half the time I travel to North America the airline or connecting airport (usually LAX) doesn’t get my bag on my flight so I have to wait another day for it. That means I attend a meeting in crushed clothes I’ve carried as carry-on luggage.
On UA525 to Dulles we had a choice of cannelloni or chicken caciatori. I chose the chicken because I didn’t want the pasta and the cheese. I should have had the pasta and cheese. It looked very appetising while the chicken didn’t and it tasted blergh. It was a breast and it was dry.
That said United Airlines made up for the main course failure with a nice ice cream sundae. I had vanilla bean ice cream with caramel sauce, nuts, glacé cherries and whipped cream.
I got to Dulles at about 2200 and waited for the shuttle to the National Conference Center in Leesburg. The bus arrived and started to back up and despite the bus behind it honking its horn and flashing its headlights the bus driver didn’t stop and connected with the bus behind causing some minor damage. This little bingle caused a 45 minute delay so I didn’t check into the National Conference Center until after 2300.
It didn’t take long to get to sleep. I ended up sleeping 5 hours without my CPAP machine which is pretty good. I still felt a little tired.
The Center has a good dining room. I had eggs prepared by an egg chef. I like fried eggs sunny side up.
The Center is pretty cool. The closest thing we have in Australia is the Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI). The NCC used to be owned by Xerox. It has accommodation for nearly 1000 guests and 250 meeting rooms. The better thing about the rooms compared to AEMI is that the en suite is private and not shared. The rooms are very small but there is enough room for a double bed and television. There is no refrigerator in the room but there is a drip filter coffee maker. The best thing is free high speed broadband in each room and free high speed wifi across the entire site.
The same dining room is used for lunch. I had snapper, beef and pumpkin.
The snack machine options were mostly these very sweet granola bars.
For dinner we went to the Black Olive Sports Bar. We ordered a few pizzas. I tried pepperoni and a super deeper deluxe.
Okay that’s enough for this post. I’ll continue blogging about my travels in another post when I get back to Australia. Catch you later.
Websites of things mentioned in this post.
Air New Zealand
Mersey Valley cheese
Mersey Valley Classic is a cheese with great character and complexity. Rich, full and flavoursome, it is a truly classy addition to a cheese platter for lovers of that great Vintage taste.
How to make a coon toastie
The National Conference Center
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