I'm back from my week in the ACT, and I have zero photos to show for it! I charged up some batteries before heading down, but they were the crap ones and they were dead before I put them in the camera. Doh! But, you can check out Veganista's blog for some pictures and her take on things.
I'll start with my minor complaints--Canberra is freakin' cold. I was expecting heat, because Canberra bloggers mentioned 30 degree weather before I left. I brought one sweater, and only thongs for my feet. I was a bit chilly the whole time. It's also a very dry city. There was no moisture in the air, so my eyes were dry, my nose was dry, and my skin was dry. One benefit of the dry air--my hair dried straight. As soon as I got back to Townsville it went annoyingly wavy again.
All told, it was a very fun trip. The conference itself was good, though a little overwhelming at times (both in terms of information overload and not knowing anyone around!). My paper was well received by the small group of people that came to hear it. I heard lots of interesting papers and met lots of interesting people, both fellow post-grad students and lecturers and professionals.
The highlight of the trip was definitely the vegan meet-ups. Anna was extremely generous and invited me to stay with her for the trip, and I got along really well with her and with Suki, Mia, and Madu (though he was a bit indifferent towards me!). We seem to have lots in common--we're both INFJ's with very different backgrounds but similar outlooks on the world and life and things.
We also met up with Cristy and Lily from Two Peas, No Pod for lunch. Unfortunately, the food was the suck, but the conversation was really interesting. Lily was such a well-behaved bub--even when she was getting 'fussy' she was much more calm than many babies I've seen! We talked about PhD's, and travelling, and ecotarianism. I wish I'd had more time with less people around, but we'll just have to meet up again next time!
I ate very, very well during my trip. I think I've eaten in more restaurants in the past week than I have since the start of the year! Canberra has an enormous selection of restaurants, but we only got to try a few. Of course, Chez Anna may have been the best--creative dishes like layered nacho dip, sesame tofu with LOTS of veggies, Mushroom-pecan Pita Burgers with homemade mayo... She is a great cook! I definitely picked up some ideas for new meals and some food photo tips ;-)
I'll do some restaurant reviews in my next post, so this one isn't 100 pages of text only.