Monday, September 28, 2009

GHC09: Landed in Tucson

It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here - we're in Tucson for the 2009 edition of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing! Five of the seven Carleton CU-WISE girls came today, while the last two are heading in on Tuesday. Our luggage is also a bit behind us. We're hoping to get that by tomorrow. (It figures - the one time I finally decide to just go ahead and check my luggage, they 'lose' it.)

Grace Hopper Celebration
(Shafagh, Serena, and Barb wait to leave the Ottawa airport at the beginning of our journey.)

Our flight was three legs, going from Ottawa to Toronto to Las Angeles to Tucson. Most of the trip was with Air Canada, which I love because of the seat-back entertainment. I watched two movies, one of which was called The Soloist, about a journalist who befriends a homeless musical genious. It was very good, but somewhat heartbreaking!

Grace Hopper Celebration
(The gang snacking in the Toronto airport.)

While flying over Arizona, the thing that struck me the most was how brown it was; it truly looked like a desert. Little stubs poked out of the ground like stubble - these were cacti as far as I could tell. Random humps of mountains protruded here and there, and very obvious and very green patches of grass provided the only break from the otherwise sandy looking soil.

(Cacti in Tucson! Yay! Photo from Barb.)

Although our luggage is still missing, I am very happy to be settled into our wonderful suite here at the Double Tree. The staff here are AMAZING. For example, when my laptop hard drive unseated itself again from all the travelling, they were able to bring me a small screwdriver to open up the back of the computer pretty much right away! They also hooked us up with the necessities (toothbrush, etc) because, of course, all that's in our missing luggage. They even helped us figure out our transportation for the next couple of days. Thanks - you guys rock!

Stay tuned for much, much more about our experience in Tucson and at Grace Hopper!


Collin said...

Well this is completely off-topic but i wanted to comment on The Soloist.

My wife and I saw it on dvd recently (like within the past couple of weeks) and we agree -- it's great! It is sad that Ayers was, as of the end of the flick, not really stable, but it's great that he still sleeps inside! The film did show the futility of trying to "save" someone. we took in a 19-yr-old (this was a long time ago) in an attempt to "save" her too; I think we did her some good but after she left us, she continued making decisions that grieved us....

Finally, though we don't live in Los Angeles, I do feel a little sensitive about the spelling... :)

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