Whew! I am back from my conference in London and starting to feel a little more relaxed. Well, I felt relaxed this morning, and then the panic about finishing chapter rewrites before the end of the month really set in. All the members of my panel deemed the session a success, and it was fun to meet so many scholars and hear some great papers. There were tons and tons of Nederlanders at the event, and I think I may have spoken more Dutch in London than English.
I would write about food in London, but considering the fact that I basically lived off of Pret a Manger sandwiches and Costa coffee for three days, there's very little for me to say on the matter this time around. Instead, I will do a fluff post made up almost entirely of pictures of my time in SoCal. Sadly, I didn't take that many pictures in California, I think because we were just busy having a good time with our friends...and oh yeah, getting ready for the conference. Here are just a few things that made going back to the West Coast so great and just so different from my life in Amsterdam:
somewhere near downtown. I had some mocha Bailey's concoction and a scoop of a fancier version of cookies 'n cream. The woman behind me in line asking which ice creams were vegan made it clear I was no longer in Europe. Like the Dutch would ever consider a non-dairy based ice cream.
Wurstküche. I love that the name of the place is in German but on the menu the sizes for the fries are written in Dutch, you know, because they're "Belgian" fries. They actually weren't really Belgian style fries, but they were good with the handmade Bratwurst and the five kinds of mustard.
I laughed a little when I noticed the children's birthday party winding down in the private events room next to our table. The cool parents were leaving with their little ones just as the younger crowd was showing up for happy hour. I guarantee I never had a birthday party at a downtown hot spot when I was growing up. I ate a lot of Usinger's Sasuage, though. Does that count for something?
We did plenty of other things in between all the eating: Niek and I got to run up Runyon Canyon a few times, I went to a knitting store and spent too much on fancy types of yarn, we had plenty of good coffee, the conference presentation went fairly well, and so on and so forth. A big highlight was the hike to a waterfall in the San Gabriel Mountains.