The conference itself was enjoyable and informative as well. I feel like I'm starting to know enough that when the presentation is something interesting to me, I can pay attention and understand a lot of what is said. And I also know enough to know when something is being presented that I don't really want/need to pay attention to. Probably not the best attitude, but with 4 solid days of presentations, you have to pick your battles. In the past, I've struggled with staying awake the last couple days, but this year I only remember dozing off once. I'm sure part of that is due to the fact that the conference was on the west coast instead of the east. Getting up at 7 am Pacific Time (8 am Mountain) is much easier than getting up at 7 am Eastern Time (5 am Mountain).
As the conference goes from around 8:30 until 4 or 5 each day, there wasn't a lot of time for sight-seeing, especially since it was already dark outside by the time things were winding up in the late afternoon. I did manage to get out and do a few things. Some highlights:
- Saturday night after getting settled in, I ordered take out from the Cheesecake Factory a few blocks away and then brought it back to my hotel room and ate while I watched the Utah-TCU game through the magic of the internet.
- Sunday at lunch time, I made my way over to a farmer's market where I'd heard that I could find some good Argentine empanadas. I got one with chicken and one with jamon y queso (ham & cheese). Good times.
- Tuesday morning, I identified a couple hours of the conference that seemed the most likely to be not that interesting and headed out to do a little touring. I caught a cable car a block from the hotel and went up over the hill and down to the wharf. It was still early (around 9) so most things weren't open, and I just walked around and took some photos.
Taken at the top of Lombard Street
I really like the way this shot was framed by the front window of the cable car.
Fortuitous shot of a pelican with the Golden Gate bridge in the background.
I enjoyed watching the sea lions at Pier 39 for quite a while. Then I hiked up to Telegraph Hill, where the Coit Tower is located, and where I'd heard there were good views of the city. Then I walked down the hill, past Washington Square, and caught a cable car back over the hill to the hotel.
A sea of sea lions
This sea lion was busily defending her spot on the floating dock.
The Bay Bridge from the bottom of Telegraph Hill
I like the way the city seems to rise to a (dull) point at the top of this photo
Washington Square was full of Asians (Chinese?) doing various things. Tai Chi, aerobics, martial arts, etc.
This guy seemed to be teaching the world's easiest line dance. To the "Macarena" of all songs.
- Tuesday night after the conference was over, I went to see Wicked with my good friend Scott. He, having seen the show several times before, was happy to settle for balcony seats, but given my experience on Broadway seeing Phantom of the Opera from what felt like a football field away from the stage, I opted to spend a little more and get good seats. Which, by the way, it was nice to be able to get tickets at face value just a few days beforehand. Apparently San Francisco is not as obsessed with Wicked as Salt Lake.
Anyway, I ended up on the 3rd row and thoroughly enjoyed the show, which had a cast including Patty Duke and Deedee from the Mickey Mouse Club of my childhood.
Hey! It's me!
View from my seat
More photos here.