Since last year, September is Intel AppUp Elements time – an Intel owned software developer event. This year the conference took place in Bellevue / Seattle, Washington State and had the chance of going there.

Besides the actual conference program with many sessions and great Intel announcements, I managed to walk around Bellevue and did a small tour to all touristic places to be seen downtown Seattle.

I got there by public transportation. I was pretty impressed as I haven’t thought that US cities might have a transportation system any near a European one. We got on a bus ride – bus 550 if I recall it correctly – from Bellevue and got out downtown Seattle 40min later for $2,50 (a cab ride costs $35 and takes 25-30min). Seattle has an underground system for public busses and trains – yep, trains and busses share the same track. Seems as I have to change my opinion – and I am happy to do so!

After Elements was over, I was about to stay in Seattle but I got the generous offer from a colleague to stay with her and her family for the weekend. This decision was easy and we drove three hours South of Seattle to Battle Ground, Washington.

The city is ironically named for the absence of a battle in 1855. When some of the Klickitats Indians escaped from the Vancouver Barracks, Captain William Strong, the post commander, led a detachment of volunteers to bring them back. They overtook the Klickitats near the city, but rather than engaging them in battle, Captain Strong talked them into agreeing to return to the fort peacefully. Somehow during this episode the Klickitat leader, Chief Umtuch, was slain in battle. In any event, the Klickitats promised to return to the fort after burying their chief, a ceremony that would take several days, so Strong returned without them. The settlers had been expecting a battle, and when Strong returned empty-handed, they accused him of cowardice. The Klickitats did return as promised. And the area where the Klickitats were encountered became known as „Strong’s Battle Ground,“ and later simply „Battle Ground.“

It was awesome to refresh my „American way of life“ memories from my high school exchange from 1999/2000. We went to soccer practice, worked on homework, played in the yard, went out with the dogs, had breakfast & dinner as well as went on a great hike at Siouxson Creek hike.

For Sunday I got myself a car at the Portland International Airport (booked through ADAC in Germany) to head to one of the biggest outlet center in Woodburn (location) – the fact that the state of Oregon does not have a sales tax and the currency conversion of $1,36 per Euro made it even more attractive to shop there.

Monday came more quickly than expected, it was time to say „Goodbye“ and head three hours North to SeaTac (Seattle & Tacoma International Airport) to return back home.

It was a great week in the US – thanks to everyone involved.