So the first day of my tour comes (almost) to an end. It’s been a blast.
Despite the rather long journey to Columbus via Detroit from London, the jet-lag wasn’t too bad and I managed to stay in bed until 0600. Feeling fresh, I started the day with a run down the rather dreary Olentangy River. It was very, very, very cold, with some light snow falling, but I always find running a good way to wake myself myself up. It also helps me reset my body clock. I did a short loop around the (American) football stadium before returning to the hotel to work on conference abstracts, student reports, etc.
My next challenge was breakfast at the hipster-infested, Fox in the Snow Cafe. This top tip, which took me on a lovely walking tour through the very attractive ‘Short North‘ district, was provided by my host, Derek Sawyer, who spoke highly of the breakfast sandwich. Quite frankly, he didn’t speak highly enough; this thing was incredible. Bacon, egg and cheese on a fancy roll, with some sort of mustardy sauce. The coffee wasn’t bad either. What was noticeable is that they had no wi-fi or plug sockets, thus there was a distinct lack of laptops. I’m not complaining, and its not that I wanted to work, it just struck me as odd for a US cafe…
A brief and ultimately doomed dalliance with Columbus’ public transport system, led me to an Uber downtown to the German Village, where I took a short and very chilly walk around the somewhat unremarkable Schiller Park. However, the story associated with the German poet who the park is named after, Friedrich von Schiller, is remarkable. Read it here in a Tweet I posted earlier today: https://twitter.com/seis_matters/status/825744184401346560/photo/1. Very topical given the current situation out here in the US.
Having not drank coffee for a few hours and with my body temperature heading south of 38 degrees C, I walked north back through the truly gorgeous German Village to a coffee shop called Straufs, where I watched them live-roasting coffee beans (a first, for me). A quick chat with my Mum via Skype and it was then time for lunch. There was only really one option: Schmidt’s. Located in the heart of the German Village, along one of the many picturesque cobbled streets, Schmidt’s is a German sausage ‘haus’ selling, well, lots and lots of sausages. Despite my burgeoning vegetarianism, which had already been screwed by the bacon in my breakfast sandwich, I couldn’t resist going for the ‘Bahama Mama’, a spicy sausage, served with sauerkraut and a German potato salad. It was delicious.
A short stop at Schmidt’s Fudge Shop to buy some gifts for Derek and his family, I then headed up to Pistacia Vera to meet Derek and his daughter for some cake. We chatted (Derek and I, not his daughter and I) about the US academic system, including the thorny issue of ‘tenure‘, mass-transport complexes (MTCs), and the availability of subsurface data for academic research. He ate macaroons. I ate a lemon tart. I wish most my afternoons were like this. It was then time to head back to the hotel for some R&R, and to finish off writing and submitting abstracts for the AAPG ICE, which is to be held in London later this year.
Now I’m waiting for yet more calories, with Derek having organised a dinner tonight with some faculty from the School of Earth Sciences at Ohio State University. Having typed this blog entry, I am now sensing that, to a large degree, all I’ve done is eat today. On a positive note, I did go for a run. My watch also claims I have walked about 1400o steps (c. 9 miles) today. I am totally having desert after dinner tonight.