Austin (TX). June 17 2016. I get off the plain and the heat assails me. Is it different from the famous Mississippi heat?? Not sure, but I am still sweating like a ……………………. (fill the blank with whatever kind of metaphor you like to use in these kind of circumstances).
The shuttle takes us from Austin’s Airport to Durden Hall (2624 Whitis Ave.). It is actually a pretty sweet place, at least for me. My boss is already complaining that he would have preferred to go to the Hilton or whatever other Hotel…I am loving it.
We go looking for some food. We try this local Mex restaurant called El Patio. Puts out with our expectation. Cold “cerveza” and meal of decent size and flavor. We leave with a full belly and no complaints.
We take the shuttle downtown to the Austin conference center. This place is huge. Now I know what they mean when they say “Everything is bigger in Texas!!”. We register for the conference…
I am super excited and scared at the same time…so many names…so many “big” names…and here I am, with my story about Iguanas (that I should be rehearsing before tomorrow!!!!). We go to the Keynote Opening Speech. Only then I realize how many people are actually there….
Carl Zimmer is giving a talk. It is about his career as a scientific writer, and of course is somewhat celebratory to Stephen Jay Gould. Nothing fancy, but is still love it. He talks about Evolution, with an emphasis on us, Homo sapiens.
I use all my drink tickets on the first night….tomorrow things get serious…