I just returned on Thursday from a trip to San Diego to attend a science conference. My lab attends this conference every year (last year it was in D.C.) with about 13,000 other scientists. I had a poster presentation on Wednesday that went well. The conference was held at the convention center in downtown San Diego, but some fellow co-workers who previously lived in the area decided it would be best for us to stay in Pacific Beach. So, we stayed in a hotel that was a 15 minute drive from downtown, but right on the beach. Although the water was too cold for swimming, I did take advantage of my surroundings by running on the beach nearly everyday and then soaking my feet in the ocean while I watched the surfers (7 hours in high heels plus running in the sand starts to make the feet ache).
We arrived a day early, so we could spend most of Saturday afternoon at the Wild Animal Park. At the Wild Animal Park most animals live on the Savanna, rather than in cages like at the zoo. Jessica, one of my fellow grad students, has an aunt, Barb, who works at Conservation and Research for Endangered Species (CRES) located at the Park. Barb gave us an awesome tour of CRES. Barb is a reproductive physiologist, so we got to learn all we could ever want to know about assisted reproduction for endangered animals. On the tour, we got to see the lab facilities (exciting to us scientists) and see the ultrasound of a frog to look for eggs (exciting to us who work with ultrasound). I think we may have witnessed the first sign (i.e., eggs) that they are successfully breeding this endangered frog species.
I guess the Jeep makes it feel like a safari?
We also went up to La Jolla one morning to see the baby seals. I took our old camera, so my pictures aren't very good and you will just have to trust me that there are babies on the beach.
The beach at La Jolla
All-in-all the trip was fantastic. I learned some new things at the conference, ate a lot of good Mexican food as well as some yummy fish (hard to get in the land locked state of Colorado), and stayed up too late every night causing me to suffer from severe lack of sleep that I am still recovering from.
Sunset at Pacific Beach