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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Long Beach Conference

Last week was the annual Soil Science Society of America conference, held in Long Beach this time. The weather was AMAZING--low 90s the whole time! Isn't it November, though?

My mom and I flew down on Halloween and got settled in our swanky hotel, AVIA. We got two adjoining rooms and put Eddie's crib into the bathroom of the smaller room so he'd have a sound barrier between him and us noisy adults. My mom was nice enough to let us use her bathroom during Eddie's sleepy time. The only bad thing about this hotel was that there were no bathtubs, only HUGE showers. Eddie doesn't mind showers but I don't like showering with him because he's so slippery when he's wet!

The next morning I went to the conference while Eddie and my mom picked my brother up at the airport. Edward and my mom made a great babysitting team for Eddie...one has the baby know-how (mom) and one has the muscles to wrangle the overly-active 14 month old (Edward).That afternoon I presented my poster...unlike last year when everyone just came by to see Eddie sleeping in his stroller, this year I got several people interested in my work. Woo! I've already started conversing with a researcher from Ole Miss about my method and possibly running some of his samples.That night after dinner at California Pizza Kitchen we took Eddie swimming in the roof top hotel pool....it was heated to 72 and we all had a blast. Eddie wanted us to let him "swim" between us the whole time...and if you stopped to catch your breath before "swimming" him back to the other person he'd squirm like crazy. Once Eddie was tucked away in bed, Edward and I met up with my college friend, Milad, for chatting and drinks at a local pub. I hadn't seen "Muffin" in years and it was so fun to catch up!Tuesday's conference agenda was boring so we spend the morning at the aquarium. While we were outside at the shark touch tanks, someone brought out a prehensile-tailed South American porcupine. He was soooooooooooo cute! I had never seen a long tailed porcupine before and had no idea they liked snacking on sweet potato and bananas...a lot like Eddie actually. =)We had time to swim AND get some pre-dinner ice cream at Cold Stone before meeting up with Dyani's cousins for dinner. Eddie was a good boy and entertained himself by coloring his kid menu, eating some of my porcini-crusted mahi-mahi, and flinging water around playing with a cup and straw (he's so cute so no one got mad at him!). Edward stashed his car at one of their houses a few weeks ago when he drove it back to CA from NY to attend his own conference (higher education technology)...so it was also nice to get his car back.

Wednesday I got up and out of the hotel early so Edward and my mom were "in charge" of Eddie the WHOLE day. After going to a bunch of talks in the morning I took advantage of my baby sitters and ate lunch alone with my book and a glass of sangria. (It has heavenly.) Then I volunteered at the Association of Women Soil Scientists booth selling shirts. I bought two for Eddie and one for myself. That evening for the closing reception Jared Diamond spoke. My mom and Edward wanted to come along so I had to get badges for them. Edward used my labmate's badge (Eshan Toosi) and the nice people at the convention center printed one for my mom since they knew she was doing me a favor of babysitting for me. Diamond's speech was surprisingly boring (at least the first 20 minutes I listened to before taking Eddie downstairs to run amok).

That night Edward and my mom went to Riverside to meet up with one of his college friends (and pick up some stuff he's stashed at her house) so Eddie and I ordered delivery pizza. After he was in bed I watched my annual quota of HGTV and Food Network. Those networks have seriously gone downhill...all about competition and suspense these days and almost no "how to" shows. Lame.

I decided to stay until Thursday since my heart procedure was rescheduled from Friday until December. The flight back home was uneventful, minus my forgetting my car/house keys in Edward's car. Edward and my mom drove back up to Davis in his car so I took advantage and let him bring all our luggage back so we didn't have to check anything on our flight. The only problem was that my keys were in my backpack and not the diaper bag....sigh. Luckily our roommate was home so he kindly picked us up (and brought Eddie's infant seat, which Eddie barely fit into).

Next year I'm going to the conference ALONE and Dave can be "in charge" of Eddie the whole week. It'll be glorious. =)

3 comments:

Kelly said...

Man sounds like a busy trip! And I love Eddie's rainbow striped pj's, he looks like a character out of Candy Land :D So, cute!

steph.kelley said...

What a wonderful photo-conference odyssey — a real treat to be with you all weekend. :) xo

mu rye uh said...

cool hotel and I swear there are conferences for everything but extra cool when you reap the benefits of it! And yes next year i agree you get a week by yourself