My first trip out of the US

Ok, so as usual, let me start off by apologizing for not having posted in a very long time. But hey, this time I do have a real update, I am in France. For those who don’t know, I have never left the US before. I have visited much of the us, but never left it. I originally had planned to travel around Europe after finishing my PhD, but I was very very pregnant at that time. Well I am finally here. I am here for the PAHs and the Universe Conference in Toulouse. I left on Saturday afternoon. I flew from SF to Paris direct, so 10 hours on the plane. It wasn’t too bad. I slept some and thanks to my iPad (yes I have an iPad, but that is a separate post) I read and watched movies. I had a bit of an odd person next to me.. She was saving everything. No I grab free things and keep them, but she was keeping plastic cups and the plastic forks and things… It was a bit odd… But the food was pretty good. The salmon on the rice pilaf was yummy, oh and the champagne was good too. So once I got to Paris, getting over to my gate was a bit interesting. The police were blocking my route and not letting me pass. Luckily I had lots of time still and once they opened it back up again I got through. Still not sure what shut down the area, but oh well. The big guns were interesting. Well there I met up with Claire and Christiaan, and we just had a short flight from Paris to Toulouse. Once we got to Toulouse we ran into others for our conference. We were thinking of taking a taxi, but there didn’t seem to be any. So luckily we followed other pah conference people and took the bus to the hotel. I got checked into the hotel and after emails to say I was alive I ended up taking about an hour nap. Then I unpacked, had some room service (I was all congested and wasn’t up to going out), took a shower and went to sleep. Nicely I slept all night. First day of the conference went pretty well. I did keep dozing off. I don’t really think that was jet lag, but instead the fact that I have been so behind on sleep, that my body has just been trying to catch up. Lunch was really yummy and was 3 courses. Yes, this is included in the conference. It was a Cesar salad, then salmon, and then creme bruele (sp?). Yes I know I am focused on food, but I like food, and meals are a great way to track time. So then more talks in the afternoon. This time I had real problems staying awake. But during the poster session they had the best snacks, candy! I know I am crazy. Well since I am thinking people who rad this aren’t real interested in the science side of the conference I will leave that out for now. Anyways, so last night I finally got out to see a bit of the area. A group of us were going to find some dinner. 2 of the people we were with had seen a crepe place the day before so we we going to try to go find it again. We did end up finding it again after a while, only to find out that at night they really only deal with being a place to go smoke and not in food. We did finally find. A neat little sandwich place where I got a yummy panini. Finally headed back to the hotel and I ended up falling asleep while playing online. I eventually actually headed to bed and again slept through the night. I give thanks here to the fact that I am so behind on sleep and I am taking melatonin pills while here too (thanks Barbara for the suggestion). So that leads to today. I am actually feeling like I have more energy today, so we shall hope I stay a bit more awake during the talks.

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