The ICDIM2012 Conference, and the return trip

I wrote my last post as the ICDIM2012 conference was about to kick off. Looking back on it, it was a good conference; all the talks were of a high standard, and there was an  excellent poster session. But for me, what was most useful about the conference was the opportunity to catch up with research collaborators who I only see every few years. We planned papers and future visits, and as a result I feel our collaboration is renewed and back on a secure footing. The conference was also an excellent opportunity for my ‘team’ to present their work: Tom presented two posters, and Scott gave a talk. Well done to them for their professional efforts.

Socially the conference was excellent. Santa Fe is a friendly city of manageable size, with plenty of eating and drinking establishments. We adopted one, Junction, as our local, and the staff got to know us there. The beers from the Santa Fe Brewing Company kept us happy, and the food was similarly good. I mentioned quite a few places we went to on Facebook, so feel free to head there to see more about them. I love TexMex food, so it was easy to think I was making a brief visit to heaven!

We were slightly brought down to earth when the time came to travel home. The day before we left I got a message from American Airlines (AA) that our flight from Albuquerque to Dallas Fort Worth had been cancelled. After nearly an hour trying to phone AA reservations, I finally managed to book us onto a later flight. But the next day, on arrival at Albuquerque, we were told that even this later flight had been cancelled! There was no way we would make our international flight that day. But here I must give credit to the AA agent at Albuquerque; she booked us onto alternative flights the next day (via Phoenix and Chicago, as discussed on Facebook),  and put us up in the airport Sheraton. So although our return was delayed, we were comfortable. And finally, when we did fly back, we had first class seats from Phoenix onwards. The Chicago-London flight used a Boeing 777, and the first class cabin was truly unbelievable!

As a result, we arrived back in London about 20 hours later than expected, but our return journey, once we set out properly, was very comfortable. So you win some and lose some, but I think we won on balance!


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