Sunday, September 11, 2011

Queenstown Conference Adventure

So I've been promising it all week, and here we go - lets start with the most important, food.

I made an epic picnic for the drive over, spent about 8 hours cooking, made epic mess and did about 5 loads of dishes.
For the picnic the menu contained:
Spinach, feta and pine nut filo parcels:
Strong vintage cheese and honey cured bacon savoury muffins.
Roast pumpkin, kumara and potato, chargrilled capsicum, red onion, feta, toasted pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, fresh basil and a balsamic vinaigrette; salad.  It tasted like all the best parts of hell, despite what it looks like, I had to sneak a spoonful for breakfast before we left.  (Shhhhh!)
Mum's recipe Anzac biccies, dipped in Whittakers Milk Madagascar chocolate:
And an amazing Cream cheese and orange pound cake.  Of which I have no photo, was the first of its kind I had ever made, the recipe which should have made one - made three, and has reserved itself a special spot in my recipe folder.  A-maze-ing.

The whole thing was quite sinful, actually.  Brill.

We stopped for lunch at the Sutton Salt Lake, before picking the speakers up in Middlemarch-ish.  Only two of us were brave enough to paddle (pretty much snow melt - snow pockets persisting beside the road the whole drive over).
Lab crew, leaping small mountains in...multiple steps.  
Photo by The Crazy One. ('cause I'm in there...somewhere)
Oh!  That's me! Credit: TCO.

The rest of the trip over was long, but relaxed, quiet and quite lovely.  We had a van with 7 and a car with 4.  I was car shotgun due to my inability to retain material in my stomach when not in the drivers seat, but actually did pretty well on the whole refrain-from-vomiting-in-front-of-your-colleagues thing.  I also had 'Pod privileges and attempted to educate my fellow passengers a wee bit.  Not sure how that went...

We arrived in time to check in, get changed and rock on up to the gondola for Conf Dinner.
Which was awesome

The dinner itself was lovely, and the Gibbston Valley was flowing like water.  I love Gibbston Valley.  How fortuitous.  And because of the copious amounts of red, or just because it actually was - the crème brulee was the best I had ever tasted.  The other option was a lemon tart, and we spent an inordinate amount of time wondering whether the three dots had any significance.  The darling wee sugar lattice also may have been worn as a hat at some point.  Maybe.  (Not by me!)
Dessert.  Every bodies fav hat.

The conference itself was brilliant.  We were only in attendance for the Developmental Biology Satellite, and I don't think anyone missed any entire blocks.  A good show that.  The science was only made better by the beautiful scenery - and the amazing weather we lucked in on.
Main conf room.  Such a tease.

I'll get my good shots up on Flickr soon.  The way back we stopped at Bannockburn for fossil hunting, and the Lab Road Crew got busy:
Nothing like scientists let loose on siltstone.

So I got home, picked up Trouble from the kennels, stinking like 20 dogs and happier than a piginshit, went home and crashed - I think I slept for about 12 hours Saturday night.  Incubated a cold for 4 days, fell sick on Thursday, battled through till Friday night and then ruined my weekend with snot.  Went out to see 3 friends finish the half marathon at noon today, Trouble loved it, I was just as impressed as always that these crazy people want to do such a thing.  Its funny how many people are into that shit - saw a couple of kids from my undergrad teaching, some of my book club, friends of friends, people from around uni - etc.  Guess Dunedin is a small place, shouldn't be all that surprising.

Ok, I've written myself into a snotty, sleepy delirium.  But - True Blood Finishing Party on Tuesday!  Whoop!  Love anticipation!

No comments:

Post a Comment