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San Diego RECOMB Conference 2007
 
 
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
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Elissa and I went to San Diego for the RECOMB Systems Biology Conference. After a long search we decided that the best would be to stay at the hotel closest to UCSD, the one recommended by the conference organizers. We knew it was a pretty "good" hotel, but I have to say it was higher than what we expected. And we made sure to make use of every complimentary service the hotel offered.
 
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The front desk was decorated with these candles and seeds.
 
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The bedroom was huge and the beds were so soft. I loved those pillows.
 
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Of course the bathroom was the best part
 
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with all these free lotions and shampoo etc...
 
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The first California experience for me was rainy. Even the locals said that they never see so much rain.
 
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And our pretty hotel,
 
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that usually looks like this,
 
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on that day was actually like this... :(
 
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The conference was at UCSD. We spent most of the time at the conference for the first 2 days.
 
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Then Steve arrived. Steve used to work in our lab in Boston, and he had just moved to San Francisco. So he came to see us in San Diego.
 
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During a lunch break Steve and I went around the campus. We found this really cool bear.
 
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Then we went into the library,
 
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to look at the view.
 
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This campus is very different than any other I have seen before. There are a lot of modern buildings surrounded by nature, like here.
 
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We went back to the hotel, ready to use all its free facilities. Elissa went to the gym.
 
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And then we put on our robes on and we went to the pool,
 
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which was quite cold, so we jumped into the hot tub.
 
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Then I relaxed a little bit on this chair,
 
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we spotted Julien for a minute,
 
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and then we took a nap.
 
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After the nap we decided to go out and see the city. We went to the cliffs by our hotel.
 
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This is where they do hang-gliding
 
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and they fly with these parachutes.
 
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I learned that for this sport you have to be very patient. When you do surfing you wait for the right wave, here you wait for the right wind, like this girl.
 
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Here she is, trying to fly,
 
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the parachute went up,
 
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she still needed some help,
 
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and there she went.
 
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We noticed that the sun was about to set and we wanted to go to La Jolla and see it from there. We need to hurry up, but Steve wanted to stay and ask about hand-gliding. We had to threaten to leave him.
 
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And we made it to La Jolla just in time.
 
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The people that live in these houses must enjoy a beautiful sunset every night.
 
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We enjoyed ours...
 
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... and then we went to see the seals resting on the beach.
 
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Don't you think he's smiling?
 
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Dinner at Old Town, mexican of course. I got mexican ribs
 
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and a chicken taco,
 
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just made by these women.
 
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Steve got enchiladas
 
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and Elissa had a pork plate. It was all so good.
 
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The next day I met with Margherita, a friend of mine from Italy who I hadn't seen for about 20-25 years. She works at the Salk Institute, of which Dulbecco is one of the founders.
 
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And she showed me around. This in how one of the benches looks like. Do you notice anything unusual???
 
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Time to pack our bags and enjoy our last day.
 
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First we went to Sunset Cliffs Park. This is how the San Diego vegetation would look like if it was kept natural.
 
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These are the cliffs.
 
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And these are the houses in front of the cliffs.
 
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Time to take few pictures (thanks to Elissa from whom I borrowed some of the pictures in this album)
 
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And then we went to the Cabrillo National Monument, where you can have a view of the city and of Tijuana.
 
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We missed the right time to see tide pools.
 
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So we went up to see the lighthouse
 
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and take more pictures.
 
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Then we went to the Old Town again to get more mexican food.
 
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This is the original Casa de Pedrorena, built in 1850.
 
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It has a beatiful yard inside
 
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This used to be a restaurant. They say the balcony on the top floor is haunted by a Lady with a white dress.
 
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Driving in San Diego is crazy for me. There's a lot of cars and to go from one point to another one you always end up taking the interstate.
 
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But the best of it is that the airport is right there, between the interstate and the ocean. So while you drive you can see airplanes coming from east,
 
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flying on top of your head,
 
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and landing on the sunset.
 
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Next, Balboa Park, an immense park in the middle of the city where there are a lot of museums. It is beautiful, but I got the impression it was not natural. At least the part we saw.
 
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One of the coolest things is the cactus garden, where they collected several species of cactus.
 
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Last, we drove along the Coronado Bay Bridge to have a night view of the city.
 
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It was very cold, so we decided to spend our last hour in a coffee shop, where we got some refreshments. One of these please,
 
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and one of these.
 
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yummy!
 
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Before returning the car we drove by the famous Hotel del Coronado.
 
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Then it was time to say bye to Steve and take our flight back to Boston.
 
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Bye-bye San Diego, bye-bye California... I hope to be back soon.