Well, here I am in San Francisco and I have some time to kill between talks so thought I’d stop by and blog a little about the trip so far. Sorry, no photos yet and nothing exciting, but as this blog is supposed to be about me keeping in contact with people better, I thought I’d go ahead and post something.
We had about a 10h flight from London and since it was during the day (mostly), I found it a great opportunity to relax with some knitting and watch some movies that I have been wanting to see for a while (Julie & Julia and Up). We flew Virgin Atlantic, and I have to say that this was the least pleasant long-leg trip that I’ve had. The leg room was the smallest I’ve had and the food was even more mediocre than usual. And they make you buy snacks rather than having them available between meals. So by the time the plane landed, my stomach was protesting loudly that it hadn’t had dinner yet. Alas it wasn’t going to get any either, because it took 2h (possibly longer) to get through customs. I think I had the slowest moving line in history. Seriously, they should have had the refs from the world record book there as I’m sure the attempt would have made the top of the list (or the bottom, depending on your point of view). So after finally getting to the hotel, then stopping by the conference to pick up the program, badge, etc, dinner ended up being a bag of chips and a yoghurt from the local 7/11.
Day 1 started at 1.30am local time. Luckily I got back to sleep…. for 30 min. I was then pretty much waking up every 30-60min until the alarm went off at 6.30. Yes I know, that’s a hideous time to get up on a Sunday, but at least my body was pretty sure it was 2.30 in the afternoon The day was incredibly long and had my poster presentation as well, so I think outside of about a 30min lunch break I was pretty much busy with conference stuff from 8am til 6pm. The plan was to go out for dinner, or at least be able to stay up a bit later than the night before, but alas, I fell asleep around 8.30. Which is probably why I woke up at 4 this morning.
Today has been better and since we had a later start and the hotel restaurant was open for breakfast today (it’s not on weekends, go figure), I was looking forward to something I’d eyed off the menu on Sat night: french toast. But not just any french toast. This was made from raisin brioche and served with caramelised walnuts and banana, not to mention coming with a nice little jug of maple syrup. Yuuuuummmm. If you’re ever in San Fran, I highly recommend heading down to the financial district and going to Midi (that’s the restaurant’s name). You don’t have to be staying at the hotel, and the french toast is well worth the trip. I’m wondering whether I will succumb again If I do, I’ll be sure to take a photo next time.
Today is a much lighter day than yesterday and I’ve had a few breaks where I haven’t had to have talks (I’m now in the second such break since starting this post). Some of the presentations I’ve been to have been really interesting, others.. not so much. Then of course there are the ones that you are really not interested in at all, but that you see because you can’t be bothered leaving the room for just the one talk. Or when a session is running late so you go in to see something and end up bored out of your brains with something you would never have inflicted upon yourself.
Lunch today was in a cute old-style diner on Mission St, just round the corner from the conference centre. Has a great atmosphere and despite being quite busy, they brought out our food about 10min after we ordered it. Quite tasty if simple fare – so another recommendation if you’re ever in the area. I think the diner was called Mel’s drive-in. It had this really cool 50-60s theme to it.
Well that sums up the trip so far. Hopefully the conference days will get lighter as the week progresses so I’ll have time to do some sightseeing.