Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Working With 20 Letters

Back in Davis for a week long Proteomics conference during a massive heat wave, but I am surviving! I am working in the Genomics building with all of the fancy toys, including the LC/MS chip system we are getting next year. Even though I have been enjoying learning how to process protein samples and analyzing mass spec data, I miss my DNA.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Summer Fun

After a busy two weeks at work, it was great to have a fun-filled weekend!

It all started on Friday afternoon when Ben flew back into town from a 2-week business trip. We met up and enjoyed a long, leisurely lunch by the creek at Novo. It was a nice warm day in SLO and the light breeze made it perfect to be outside, but a little too warm to convince me to order their famous salmon bisque (I had the yummy BLTA instead).

Then on Saturday, we had a lazy day around the house followed by errands and a date! We enjoyed Firestones for dinner, stocked up on snacks from 7-11, and headed over to the Sunset Drive-In to enjoy The Bourne Ultimatum and The Simpsons Movie. We both really liked Bourne and I enjoyed the fact that the Simpsons was free (oh the joy of a double-feature).

Even though we had a late night on Saturday, it was an early morning for us on Sunday to drive 2 hours north to Carmel to meet up with Ben's family. It was a wonderful afternoon on the beach complete with perfect warm weather, great company, and a delicious picnic. The only downside of the day (actually the whole weekend) was the really bad sunburn I got on both lower legs (opps, forgot the sunscreen there) - the fun summer sacrifice!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A California Castle

In celebration of my Dad's birthday, my parents drove down and stayed with my sister Emily (her roommate is off exploring Europe for the summer) giving us plenty of time to relax, hang out, and enjoy quality family time all weekend. As a nice surprise, my Mom purchased tickets for the Hearst Castle tour on Saturday afternoon since neither my Dad or sister had seen it. I had such a great time seeing the castle in the daylight (last year I went on the evening tour) and goofing off with Emily (I think we mimicked close to all of the statues in the garden). Enjoy the pictures of the grand estate!

Friday, August 03, 2007

The (not so) Windy City

My work trip to Chicago went by fast! The conference I attended was the Institute of Food Technologists' Annual Meeting and contained a large Food Expo (basically companies were advertising their products in new foods). Most of the foods weren't the best (new foods = low fat, low sugar, high protein, no flavor), but I did find one really big success - warm carmel corn from a carmel flavoring company (so it's an old favorite, it still was really good!). A huge plus was that a large group went from Work and a lot of old friends were attendees as well, so it was a fun social event consisting of a lot eating/drinking outside of the conference! Some highlights:

Pizzeria Uno - Enjoyed some traditional Chicago-style deep-dish pizza!
Tizi Melloul - For a change, the girls went to a Mediterranean restaurant and enjoyed light, unique food that was quite good.
Pops For Champagne - The bar was kinda pricey, but the champagne was very good.
Star of Siam - Two words ~ cheap and delicious!
1492 - Tapas is such a good idea for a big group of friends on a warm summer night!

Millennium Park - I took a break from the craziness of the conference Monday afternoon by grabbing a coffee and a magazine and enjoying a quiet afternoon on a bench in the shade.
The Art Institute of Chicago - D and I had limited time to check out the museum as we arrived late in the afternoon and it closes at 5pm, but I hit the main sights quickly and absolutely loved it. If I lived in Chicago, I could see myself enjoying the museum practically every lunch break!

The only minus point for me was that the conference started on Sunday, so my work week stretched from Saturday to Friday, making me completely exhausted right now. Also, my parents are currently in town for the weekend, so I must find the energy somewhere to last until I can crash Sunday night!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Taste of the Mediterranean

Taking the earlier flight today allowed me the ability to walk down the hill and purchase the needed ingredients for this recipe I have wanted to try for awhile. I was a little worried as Ben isn’t a big fan of artichoke hearts, tomatoes, or olives, but he surprisingly really enjoy it (the salad was also a hit but that isn't too surprising as it contained cheese!). This dinner has made me excited for the food during our big February trip!