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Published: November 23rd 2011
Yes, this update is insanely late!! In fact, it is November and I actually went to Seattle during the first week of September, but because I like to update the blog in order, I'm going to write a little about my trip to Seattle and then fill people's inbox with yet another update of everything that has happened after Seattle. I could combine the two together, but since I am a woman of many words, that is not a good idea.
Seattle! I am a child of the Pacific Northwest so I was WAYYYYY excited when I got up at 4a.m. to fix my hair and head to the airport for my early flight out of Lansing. The cab showed up and I trudged outside into the darkness and rainy morning of course forgetting a few things off my "DON'T FORGET TO PACK THIS" list, but I could survive without them for the week. I ended up at the airport, got some coffee, watched the news, and read a book on my Kindle (one of the best gifts ever for a book lover like me who lugs around 5 books on vacations). We boarded the plane and the flight actually
went by very quickly. By 11a.m. Pacific time, we touched down at Sea-tac and I headed to the train to ride downtown. Thanks to my scholarship from IAGLR, I booked two nights at the Sheraton and ended up on the top floor with a huge window looking out over the whole city. And within 5 minutes of being at the airport, I ran into 4 MSU grads. We were taking over Seattle 😊
The next couple of days were filled with fish lectures, practicing my powerpoint, socials with graduate students, an awesome party at the aquarium that ended with a very nice phone call from Lansing 😊, and some sight-seeing with my Bar buddy (Shannon) and her boyfriend. I even volunteered at the check-in desk for a few hours on Tuesday morning and got to geek out as I handed some well-known scientists their name badges (sorry Dr. Railsback for basically drooling and muttering something like 'i've read tons of your papers' as you took your name badge from me). I was really surprised because during my volunteer time, this girl looked REALLY familiar and her name badge said she was from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. When I
finally talked to her, she said I looked familiar too and that she was a TA during my ichthyology class in the fall of 2007. CRAZY!! It is definitely a small world! She was really nice and we talked for quite a bit about Alaska while we worked the check-in desk. The next morning (Wednesday) was the day of my presentation on my experimental data from this past summer. I was really nervous when I woke up so I took my time getting all dressed up in a tight skirt, nylons, some nice shoes, and a nice purple sweater. Around 8:30, I headed to the convention center and heard a talk from Fred Allendorf, a well-known geneticist from Montana. Yet another explanation of why it is a small world - Dr. Allendorf advised my undergraduate research professor, Dr. David Tallmon as he was working on his graduate degree and Hope, a grad student in my lab at MSU, was an undergrad working in Dr. Allendorf's lab when Dave was also there working on his grad degree. See!! Small world!! But that's not the last example.
So after the talk, I headed upstairs a little early to the room for
my talk and talked to an undergrad I had met the day before at a mentor luncheon. We listened to some really good talks before my time came up and I headed to the front of the room. Well the next 13.5 minutes were a bit of a blur as I rambled and rambled and rambled about sturgeon. I slowed myself down at the end, but knew I had a lot to say so sped up again. No questions from the crowd -- I like to think I wow-ed them when in reality I probably confused them all. Ah well. A guy did come up during the break and asked me some questions so it wasn't all bad. Well I went and had sushi for lunch and then came back to the room where Kim was giving Jan's talk for him since my fellow grad student couldn't make it. And guess who the proctor ended up being? Dr. Andrew Whiteley, the former post-doc from Dave's lab in Alaska who got me started on the sculpin project 😊. It was nice seeing him again and saying hello and talking sculpin. I stayed around as Kim gave the talk and listened to
Andrew's talk before grabbing a cup of coffee and going back to the hotel.
Around 2pm, I got the much anticipated phone call -- my family had made it! 😊 My mom, stepdad, and Aunt had come over to meet me. It was the first time seeing my family since last Christmas so it was really exciting. We headed out towards Sea-tac and checked in to our hotel and met up with my other guest, Robert, my best friend I met in Alaska a couple years ago who now lives in Washington. All of us went out to dinner with my friend Shannon and had a really nice meal. It was nice being back with my Alaskan friends 😊 The next day, the gang headed downtown on the Link lightrail and we picked up our Go Seattle cards at the Hard Rock Cafe. We went all around Seattle, saw fish being thrown at Pike's market, had an awesome crepe in a small crepe shop, got some Seattle's Best Coffee, took a harbor cruise where we saw sea lions and learned the history of the waterfront, ate fried fish on the dock, went to the Science museum, and ended the
day with a ride to the top of the Space Needle! It was a gorgeous view and Robert and I took a fun photo for my friend Jasmin who always takes outrageous photos 😊 By the end of the day, the parentals and Aunt were pretty exhausted so we went back to the hotel to relax before going out for a nice dinner. The next morning, we had breakfast with Robert before he headed back home and we headed to Point Defiance to the Zoo and Aquarium. I loved the small shark tank and could've spent all day there, but the rest of the family was not as entertained. We walked all over the zoo before heading back to Seattle and relaxing before heading downtown to the Mariner's game!!
I grew up watching the Mariners on TV, but had never been to a game. So my Aunt scored me some great tickets (Thanks Aunt Pat and Uncle Phil!!) on the 1st base line as a belated birthday present. My parents even wore their MSU Dad and Mom shirts to the game and we all had a lot of fun watching the Mariner's beat the Royals. Ichiro even hit a
homer!! It was a great night, but by the time we boarded the link, I was exhausted. We got back to the hotel and I just crashed. My flight was early the next morning so I said goodbye to my Aunt and my parents drove me to the airport. It wasn't too sad as I would see them again in a few months so I gave them a big hug and headed inside. My flights back were really slow and seemed to take forever, but I finally got to Lansing a little after 10pm and a friend gave me the best welcome home I've ever gotten. 😊 Overall, it was a great trip and I'm really glad I got to see the family, spend some time in the Northwest again, and give my first professional meeting presentation on lake sturgeon. 😊 I can't wait until the next one!!
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