Friday, August 22, 2008

Rambling through Monterey: The rest of the story . . .

When we last saw Euphrony at the mega-rheology conference in Monterey, Mrs. E had just joined him in blissful weather. And he really intended to post this sooner. But didn't. And he doesn't think anybody has really noticed, either.

Day 7: Euphrony goes through conference talks, while Mrs. E sleeps till 11 and has a 2-hour massage, facial, manicure, and pedicure. (We cry for her pain.) That evening is the conference banquet. Normally, this is when the man honored with this year's Bingham Medal is roasted by colleagues, former students, and friends. Thankfully, we were given grace and this year he was simply handed a medal (along with a brief poem or two about him, rheology, and thermodynamics). Mrs. E - accustomed to running with the theater crowd - was naturally ashamed and felt awkward in a room filled with so many total nerds and geeks. She survived, we dined, and we went to bed.

Day 8: Last day of the conference, and it's only a half day. We end with a luncheon (which Mrs. E attends) and then it is pure vacation time. For Euphrony, it has been a long, exhausting week. Not only has he absorbed enormous amounts of information, but he has engaged in countless hours of small talk, bantering, socializing, networking, hobnobbing, and other forms of prattle - which comes to more words from Euphrony's mouth in one week than he normally utters in half a year. All in situations where Euphrony feels somewhat less than totally comfortable, to boot. (Euphrony has never been a very extroverted person.) For the afternoon, Mrs. E and Euphrony walk along the Fisherman's Wharf, take a glass-bottomed boat ride (the only thing viewed through the glass bottom was - wait for it - kelp), and eat clam chowder out of a sourdough bread bowl. We did see some dolphins and sea lions while we took the boat ride, through.

Day 9: Euphrony, always the early riser, is up at a decent hour. Mrs. E, however, is unable to rise from slumber before 11:00 (again!). We head up to Cannery Row, where they love to talk about their famous one-time resident, John Steinbeck, who only lived there a year because the people had little love of strangers. We go through the Monterey Bay Aquarium together (check out the picture of the line to get into the aquarium), including taking a behind-the-scenes 50-minute tour (same price for this as for the glass-bottom boat ride, and infinitely more worthwhile). After spending around five hours at the aquarium, we head out and grab some dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.. By the time we're done with dinner, it's getting dark and as we stroll back along the beach walkway, Euphrony snaps a few pics of the city lights. We also walk by a street musician who has a collection of every type of bagpipe you could imagine, among other things, and played quiet well.

Day 10: To stick with tradition, Euphrony is up early and Mrs. E sleeps till nearly 11:00. We then get moving, go down to the wharf, and catch some lunch before getting on a whale-watching boat. At lunch we got to watch a harbor seal basking in the sun just below us off the wharf. There were only a couple of humpback whales seen on this trip, but a few days before they had seen three blue whales - so we just were not lucky. That night we pack and spend a little time watching the Olympics.

Day 11: The voyage home. Poor Mrs. E. We had to catch a shuttle to the airport at 8:15, so her streak of sleeping till 11:00 was unceremoniously interrupted. We finally make it home around 6:00 that night, and Lil'E tells me she never wants me to go on another business trip again. Lil'er E only has eyes for momma. It's good to be home.

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Cristy said...

Aw, I was looking for a pic of the street musician and his bagpipes. I enjoyed the rest of them, though. Looks like a great time.

Good for Mrs. E to get the spa treatment! And to sleep in til 11 three days in a row. Surely that doesn't happen often.

euphrony said...

Okay, Cristy, I've added a picture of the street musician. He'd moved on from the pipes, but you can see them arrayed about him.

And no, sleeping till 11:00, even one day, just doesn't happen at home.

erin said...

Ha, you and your wife sound like my husband and me. He always gets up early no matter what time he goes to bed, but I could sleep until 10 or 11 all the time if I had the chance.

I love aquariums and dolphins and whales! Sounds like you had a great time.

Anonymous said...

Glad you guys had fun!

Those are some great picts. You were very fortunate to see some whales!

Cristy said...

Wow, he has some cool instruments! What IS that thing he's playing? I would like to have seen this. When we were in Chicago a couple months ago, there were so many street musicians and I loved stopping just to listen and watch. I felt a little odd though, because every one else was just hustling and bustling along, seeming to not even notice.

erinlo said...

I've been catching up on your blog this morning and am SO thrilled that you all got to go to the west coast for a vacation!! I'm glad Erin was able to meet you after the conference- which, BTW, sounds thrilling. Congratulations on your award- much deserved I am sure.

Jeff and I went to the San Jose area last year and LOVED it. Big Sur- one of my favorite places in the world. And the Monterey Bay Aquarium is top notch. Last week, we went to the Vancouver Aquarium which was twice as expensive so we were sure it would be twice as good. Not so much. I guess we got a little spoiled in Monterey. I'm jealous you guys got to go.

I simply can not believe how big the kids are getting. I miss them! I miss all of you! Please give my love to Erin!!!!

euphrony said...

Cristy, I can't remember what it was called. It is stringed, with a turning wheel - made of the same material as a violin bow - which is turned by a crank. I think he said it was Spanish. in origin.

E-lo, good to hear from you. We had a ton of fun. The award was not for me (it is a lifetime achievement award, and I still have a few years before I could be called having done a lifetimes' worth of work) but the conference was great. I know what you mean about aquariums - it's easy to pay a ton and get little. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is great. Lil'E starts kindergarten on Monday - ahhhhhhhhhh!

Anonymous said...

Bubba Gump's is the best!

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