I am traveling back home today ending wonderful, long trip. This was my last time presenting the project I was working on over the last 2 years and I wanted to take the opportunity to network and have some fun. I spent ~2 days in San Francisco before heading to the conference in San Jose, then I flew to St. Louis for my mom’s 60th birthday.
I had been to San Francisco twice for a conference back in graduate school, but felt so much pressure to participate in the conference all day that I did not see much of the city. I took a ride on the trolley and had a manhattan claw chowder in a sourdough bread bowl down at fisherman’s wharf. I felt guilty doing even those 2 things.
There were peers I felt were doing better than me in the PhD program because it seemed like all they did was work, be at the top of the class and attend every session at these conferences. While a few folks and even my advisor went to the Exploratorium and the Golden Gate Bridge or even Alcatraz. I know now not to listen to those people who would say we were sent here for work not for play. My advisor was having fun, why did I not do the same?
When I arrived in San Francisco, I stopped by my hostel to drop off my things and then set off on a long walk to the Golden Gate Bridge. This meant I walked from one side of town to the other since I was staying near Coit Tower. I took the bus back though. Then I repeated the same sort of thing the next day by checking out many neighborhoods on my way to Golden Gate Park. I love exploring new places and really wanted some time to do so on my own.
The highlights of my 2 days was seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, Japantown napping in front of the painted ladies and the amazing views of the bay. In Japantown I got to check out a Daiso, peruse manga and eat an amazing bowl of ramen. I love the feeling of consuming hot broth on a cold day. I feel comforted by warm beverages and food on chilly days, its one of my greatest joys in Fall.
I took the Caltrain down to San Jose for my first session of the ASTC conference and stayed in an AirBnB near San Jose State University. I caught up with a lot of colleagues and friends, then made some connections to hopefully help out with finding jobs where we move. The sessions on sustainability, education flash talks and my group’s session were all a great time. I also got to see San Jose’s Japantown for dinner one evening.
I was so ready to see my family after a week in California. I will miss them, but thankfully I will see them again in a month 🙂 And then a 3rd time in December! 🙂