Thursday, January 7, 2010

nearly done with the post-AGU travel adventures

After a plethora of posts during AGU, I then spent the next several weeks visiting friends and family in Alaska, without making time to post. This was my first visit “home” in five and a half years, and it was wonderful. There is nothing like living or eight years in climates which have lush green grass in the winter and brown grass in the summer to really make me appreciate the beauty inherent in a snowy environment. Winter has always been my favourite time of the year, but part of what makes it my favourite is the snow. I love to see trees covered in fine crystals making them look like ice-sculptures. I love the contrast of snowy peaks and blue sky, or the way dark clouds glower over land smoothed white. Some people may have looked at me odd to be heading to Alaska for winter solstice and staying through New Years, but to me it was a perfect way to celebrate the season.

However, in addition to enjoying the weather, the visit was a constant round of socializing—hurrying from one gathering of friends or family to the next, with no time to slow down. I didn’t even make an attempt to read my 1000 words a day during this trip! It was fun, it was exhausting, and it was so worth it. Two weeks in Alaska wasn’t enough time to see everyone I would have liked to have seen, but it was enough to completely recharge my personal batteries and have me ready to enjoy working once again. I’ve got just one more large gathering of friends to attend—a Medieval themed event in California (which was added to my schedule when I realized that I could save 400 Euros on the cost of my flights by flying on the 11th instead of the first week of January) and I will return home to Europe and dive back into doing experiments once again. The peace and quiet of the lab sounds very appealing at the moment.

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