A busy day of something vaguely resembling science was followed by a day of relaxation, fun and new friends in Blackburg, VA.
As I warned you in my last post, drinking a combination of caipirinhas and 8.2% IPAs is a short way to a long hangover. So did my day begin in an overcast, rainy Blacksburg and, having abandoned my plan for a run, I made my way into downtown to find Idego, a coffeehouse tip provided by Brian Romans. Some coffee, a croissant and a blog post later, and I was still feeling crappy, so having met Brian and his wife Hannah for a short walk around the farmers’ market (FYI London, these were real farmers from the surrounding area, selling stuff they’d actually grown), Brian and I repaired to BB Cup for a spicy Korean lunch. It was exactly what my hangover needed. The rain continue to pour and we were somewhat trapped in the restaurant, but all was not lost as we took the time to shoot-the-shit. A key outcome of this exchange was that, in academia, it was more important to be nice and polite than to be smart and aggressive.
Brian and I the did a bit of shopping ahead of a party to celebrate him achieving tenure and Cody Mason (@cosynomad), one of his grad students, passing his PhD. We bought beer and cake, which personally all I thought was needed, before buying some salad stuff. Booooooh. The rain continued to beat down, but we braved a very short walk around Pandapas Pond in the Jefferson National Forest, before taking a mini roadtrip around bango country.
Returning to Brian’s house, the party began. Good company, good food and good booze made for a awesome evening; I honestly can’t remember laughing so hard, so much. Cody’s cosmogenic nuclide-inspired congratulation cake was a huge hit with young and old and it was a shame when the evening came to an end. However, in the interest of my liver and other bodily functions, it was probably for the best.
I’d just like to close out by saying a huge “thanks” to my host Brian Romans. It’s always nice to meet and spend time with people who, in the past, you have only seen fleetingly across the conference room, or you only know via (signed) journal reviews. Contrary to popular advice, meet your heroes.