Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sun, Snow and Skiing!

And Happy Birthday Lucy - One Today!

Well, i'm here, and apologise for the giant blog break, it's been busy and relaxing all at the same time. Let's catch up. So I flew from Honolulu to SFO and spent 2 days with Stian, Nicola & Co., went to see his new house, saw the kiddos (oh so cute!) and had a wonderful dinner with Barbara and Carlo - thank you so much for the hospitality you guys, was great to catch up!

Then onto Canada! A long long day of flights. I'd ordered some snow boots to Nicola's house to pick up enroute, and I ummed and ahhhed as to whether I really needed them (they weren't cheap - not expensive for snow boots, but not cheap) and whether I could get by in my hiking boots. Just so we're clear, it took me all of 1 second stepping foot in Canada to not regret that purchase.

The last flight of the day was a 8pm hopper flight from Minneapolis to Thunder Bay, 45 minutes in a tiny plane. My snow boots didn't fit well in my luggage so I wore them that day. When we left MSP we were warned a storm was coming through and we might get to TB and have to turn around. We got to TB and were told that we could land, they just had to plough the runway. So ten minutes later we were on the ground, ploughs were all over the place trying to keep the runways clear (it was snowing!). Remembering there are no tunnels at TB airport, I was suddenly glad not only I had snow boots, but that I was wearing them! The plane taxied, then took a bump over a snow bank, drove through the snow and up to the terminal. The ladder was pulled up and they didn't even plough a path! Though I was cozy I did feel bad for the ladies wearing slippers!

A successful pick up from Carney and I was fully in Thunder Bay (AND - the smuggled pineapple made it all the way from Hawaii!). The first day was glorious, just about 0F and sunny. In hindsight I wasted that day, as I went into the lab all day (but I guess that is what i'm here for....), as for the last 2 days it's been -20F instead and a little cold to play in the snow. That said, this afternoon, after 2 gels and another PCR in the machine, Carney took me to the ski hill for an hour of up and down the bunny slope. I'm pleased to report I think i'm now back to where I was with skiing on my last go 2 years ago (to put this in perspective i've had 2 days on the ski slopes in my life, separated by 5 years). Now I have to decide whether to take an intermediate lesson or whether just to practice....i'm excited by being somewhere I can ski more than once and even have the opportunity to take more than one lesson. The big deal is skiing is free (Carney is ski patrol so can get a buddy pass) whereas i'd have to pay for lessons ($45). Any thoughts from skiers much appreciated - I don't want to tackle the black slopes or anything, but would like to get to the point where I could tackle any blue or green when I go places, rather than feeling I always need to take a lesson every time I jump on skis...

The most exciting thing so far is catching up with Kim, Carney and the girls! We've already got lots of fun things planned, the first may be a 10K indoor race this sunday.....well okay, so that's not as fun, but there are other plans like skating, sledding and mushing afoot! Alongside, PCR, Extractions, Sequencing, and writing a proposal that is.......

The view from the deck - snow!

The biggest change in the family is Taylor is walking! She only started a week ago, but has already got down the running away when you call her name!

And my first gel! I seem to have hit PCR hell already (anyone in molecular bio will know what I mean here....), but this first gel went "okay".....good to get the bugs out the way early I guess.....

3 comments:

nicola@which name? said...

great update! thank you!
wishing you had been here longer. thank you for the note and stickers. they were a hit!

BSA said...

It was great to get an update--and so wonderful to see you--though for too short a time. Are you saying you can have free ski lessons? Take them--take as many as you can...it makes such great sense to learn everything correctly from the start. You are in such great physical shape you will learn quickly. Next step is the Olympics!

RGW said...

No, no free lessons. Free skiing, but I would have to pay for lessons if I want lessons. If the lessons were free I would jump at it!