As mentioned, recently got back from a trip to NYC. I officially went for the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) summer session. It's much smaller (low 1000's as opposed to 10000+ attendees) than the annual (winter) session. I prefer it. The winter session is too big, too chaotic, and really, they fill it out by the same or similar courses being given multiple times throughout the week. The summer session has many fewer courses, but just as many as I actually want to go to. After doing Dermatology for this long, if I get 1-2 tips out of each session, then it's a success for me. Now that I'm back, I'm doing what I always promised myself I'd do after a conference (and have rarely done), namely review the notes. In modern life, most of the lecturers post their handouts on-line. I've downloaded them, and am systematically going thru them and integrating into my learning program. (I have app called Anki, sort of digital flashcards, that I've found has really improved my learning, even at this late stage in my career.)
Had wanted to go down to NYC earlier, when ravensron
was visiting, but as mentioned, the MIL was ill for months (all better now, thanks), and I was neither going to go alone (I've become a total homebody, in case that wasn't obvious by now), nor were Nom & I going to wrangle 2 tiny ones down to, and around, NYC w/o backup. In the end, 6 people across 3 generations went. With all the spending on renovations and such, had enough travel miles for almost everyone (Wallstreet
is a lap child, so almost no cost, and I paid for my ticket but is tax-deductible.)
We've taken to getting to the airport well-early (like 2+ hours before), and with 6 people holding 5 seats on 3 different bookings, I don't even pretend to use their silly kiosks, I go straight to the "I need help" counter regardless of their regulations. Oddly enough, the kids, fussy as they are, are fine on airplanes. They're practically seasoned travelers at this point. In fact, we were essentially free of travel-kerfuffles as such. The only real negatives was the MIL
was just recovering from a cold, and Hedgefund
seemed to have caught it, and the kids were a little feeling "why am I not at home," so everyone was restless and didn't sleep well. Had fun, but a fair amount of illness and tiredness, with commensurate lack of energy.
Got into the hotel (stayed at the conference hotel in midtown) too late to do anything except bed down. Each morning I got up early, went to the conference while everyone else breakfasted and relaxed and strolled around, then I joined them for lunch.
It was Restaurant Week in NYC, and we'd booked some good lunches, but didn't always follow through in the end. For good restaurants, we ate at Capital Grill and Ruth's Chris. Both are chains (steakhouses as it happens), but high end chains, and their NY outlets are especially lovely and very good food. Although the in-laws don't always have the most elevated tastes, they do appreciate when we take them some place with standard food done very well, and with lovely decore. At their age, after all they've been thru in life, I'm glad they are getting some enjoyment.
Did a few "NY things" of course. However, for the kids, the highlight was WWC
bringing two kittens up to the hotel room for them to play with. HF
always liked cats (since WWC
introduced her to same), but she especially loved kittens, what with their being tiny. She use to be afraid of animals, especially dogs, but after enough times of my telling her, "we eat dogs, yum, yum, yum," now she usually just gives me a knowing smile when she sees a dog. It unsettles people when they hear me tell her that, but it worked, she's not scared anymore. WS
has gotten a bit afraid of animals, he's so tiny yet, and also not verbally-oriented enough yet to understand about eating dogs, but I'll work on him.
Was hoping to get together with more friends and family, but didn't work out, except for one of my Army buddies who joined us for dinner, and then he & I had some drinks afterwards. Everyone else either couldn't make it, or just didn't respond when I emailed.
Have to see one show in NY. Ended up at an off-broadway piece called The Marvelous Wonderettes
. Described to us as "campy fun." It was neither. It's basically a thin story of 4 girls who have formed a local singing group, woven around a review of 1950's and 1960's songs. The 1st act is their performing at their HS graduation, and the 2nd is their performing at the 10 year reunion. They were trying to be to 1950/60's pop music what Mama Mia
was to Abba, but failed miserably.
For museums, went to NY Historical Society. They had several exhibits WWC & I wanted to see:
The first was about WWI. They had historical reenactors in WWI uniforms in the lobby. It was a good exhibit. A bit grim (hard to be otherwise about WWI) and a bit preachy/politically correct at times, but worth seeing.
There was a really nice exhibit of Tiffany lamps. They were from a private collection, someone who'd started collecting them when they first stopped being stylish (1920's) and amassed over 200. I love Tiffany's works, but I've seen so many of them by now that's it less striking to me. Eloise at the Plaza
was featured. I hadn't realized that it had started as a comic cabaret act, and the book came later. Brief but enjoyable.
The last exhibit was one WWC really wanted to see, called Saving Washington
. It was supposed to be about the contributions of women to the US Revolutionary War and the early days of the Republic, but actually rather thin except for the parts about Dolly Madison. (Wife of 4th President James Madison, the first person to make "First Lady" a notable position, and the ultimate Hostess-who-advanced-and-agenda.)
Overall, NYHS was worth the visit, but not as fullfilling as hoped for.
Last touristy thing we did was the Circle Line Cruise. It's a cruise/tour boat that circles Manhattan Island, while giving a commentary on what you are seeing. I'd always wanted to do it, but never had. WWC
had done that in 4th grade, which is a good age to do it, or if you're from out-of-town. It's ideal then, before you've seen all the sites 100's of times and know them better than the tour guides. The bambini were too young to enjoy it, and not sure how the in-laws reacted. I'm glad I finally got to do it, even if not OMG-exciting.
That last sentence seems to sum up this trip from a vacation point-of-view. (Great from a medical conference POV.) We're glad we did it. Everyone had a good time (except for the sick and tired parts) and saw/did some new things. Not awe-inspiriing, but worth doing.