Last Thursday I began a 79mile, white-knuckled drive down to the airport. Was there a lot of snow? No. Was there just enough to make the roads slip slip slippery? Confounded even further by rush hour traffic? Yes. And Yes.
But it was well worth it because I was on my way to San Antonio, TX for a conference. And now a list of reasons it was just all around awesome:
1. I stepped off of the plane and it was warm. WARM. It was 65-70degrees all 3days I was there. Know what that means? No snow! Glorious.
2. I got to see my Miami people. Well, not all of my Miami people, but most of the social psychology ones. Had a great time sharing a room with John Paul and Mia. Enjoyed catching up with Liz, even though we left it until the last moment. Made ridiculous comments with Don during presentations. Even had potentially productive research discussions with Isaiah. And, of course, seeing everyone else throughout the weekend. It was interesting to observe and join the Miami dynamic as it is still the same... but has changed. Or I've changed now that I'm no longer an official part of it. To be fair, I've probably only changed because I'm not in the situation anymore. [Social psychology dork alert: It's a person by situation interaction!]
3. JEAN!! I had a mini-CC reunion with Jean my first night there. We made plans to meet up Thursday night and it all quite easily fit into place... My friends and I randomly chose to eat at a restaurant that was only 3minutes away from her school, so it was pretty easy for her to join us. Then we all walked to a 24hour Mexican bakery with 73,000 (yes, I counted) pinatas hanging from the ceiling. It looked as if Jean was overwhelmed by the sheer number of confectionery delights (there really may have been 73,000 of them) (okay, that's still probably a gross overestimate). We wrapped up the night by sitting in her car talking before she drove me back to the hotel. I haven't seen Jean in over a year and a half, so it was great to catch up and fill each other in. Plus we discussed trips to EUROPE this summer. All around win.
4. Friday I had lunch with Heather and Eric. A 2+ hour lunch. Yes, technically Miami people, but it was an event unto itself. The guise was that Heather and I were going to talk about research... which we did for about 5minutes. The rest of the time was just catching up. I've noticed before (when Heather came to visit in October) that our relationship has changed since I've graduated. We're more open about various things now that we no longer have the official advisor-advisee labels attached to our relationship. Sure, she'll always be my advisor, but we share more now. Oh, and to top it off, I got to watch Heather act like, well, Heather when it comes to Eric. It's hard to explain, so I won't, but it is always amusing to see how Heather and Eric interact. They should sell tickets.
5. The food! Some of you may know that I'm mildly lactose intolerant, so after eating Mexican the first night, I boldly declared that I would not be eating Mexican anymore this trip. Guess what... that's all I ate. And it was wonderful. 2 of the restaurants were just kind of generic and nothing to write home about, but they had tequila so that more than made up for it. The other 2 though? Delicious. At lunch, Heather and I both had chicken enchiladas covered in a white wine sauce. I wanted to lick the plate. (I'm pretty sure Heather did also). Dinner the final night consisted of free appetizers (due to a reservation snafu), chicken mole, and blood orange mojitos. I don't think I've ever had such good Mexican food.
6. And finally, the conference. There have been years when there just hasn't been anything "interesting" to attend. Not so this time. There were plenty of sessions that I wanted to attend and I even got excited about some new research. So much so that on Monday, the day after I returned, I submitted a proposal for a new series of studies. Hopefully, I can begin collecting data on that soon. Our (Isaiah, Heather, and my) poster was also a success, even though one guy got laughably belligerent over a miscommunication (well handled, Isaiah). There was a steady stream of visitors, and I even had some interesting conversations with this one guy, and later his graduate student (though they took quite the cognitive effort given their heavy French accents).
Another SPSP over. Next year: San Diego.