Out of town…again!

So over the weekend I was once again missing because I was in Chicago for a conference.  I had a really great time and got a lot of good feedback on the research I was presenting, so it was a fairly good experience. I’m hoping to be able to spend more time there next year, though, as I never get a chance to network at these things (every year I have a bunch of other commitments and end up spending less than 2 out of 4 days at the conference). 

I did play hooky for a bit and go to the Chicago Field Museum, mostly to see dinosaurs!

Apparently this head weighs like 600 pounds!

My awesome souvenir.


I’m a pretty huge dinosaur fanatic so that was pretty exciting. There were also displays of animals from around the world, stuff on ancient civilizations in the Americas, and one on ancient Egypt that I went to. Plus, we got tickets to one of the special exhibitions on the cave paintings at Lascaux. I had learned about these in my anthro class in college and the exhibit was really interesting. 

In terms of food, I did ok. I didn’t get to eat any pizza 😦 On Saturday, I went out with one of my friends to one of those make your own stir fry places. I didn’t really overeat that much (I had about 1000 calories total), but I got really sick afterwards from being too full. Perhaps it was because I drank, too (I only had 2 drinks, though!). Again, I really need to figure out how much I can eat. I don’t know why this is so difficult for me. Ugh. Then, I was going to get pizza after my presentation on Sunday, but I couldn’t find the place at first (I am TERRIBLE at directions so watching me roam around Chicago by myself is quite amusing). Then, by the time I found it, there were only 45 minutes left until my train was leaving, so I decided on fast food instead. I got a naked burrito at Qdoba, which was probably far healthier anyway. I did get one special Chicagoan food, though – cheese and caramel popcorn! I ate a bunch of it on the drive home instead of eating dinner and got really thirsty, leading to a #firstworld problem – I had spent all my cash on cabs (lol heels in the city), so when I stopped to get a drink at a rest area, I couldn’t buy one because I didn’t have any cash and the vending machine didn’t take debit cards! Most of the vending machines on my campus do, which has apparently spoiled me. I had to stop at a fast food place in the middle of nowhere just to get a drink!

Speaking of my campus spoiling me, our super duper brand new fitness center certainly has. When I go to conferences, I pretty much always stay in conference hotels, which are usually really nice. At this particular conference, I always stay at the Hilton Chicago. Fancy hotels always wow me and make me feel fancy. I find it sort of sad that their marketing works on me, especially when I know that I actually get MORE for less money at cheaper hotels (i.e. I only get free internet, breakfast and access to the fitness center at this because the conference pays for it – normally I’d only get this by going to a cheaper hotel!).

It’s so fancy that this…

…is a fridge!

This year, though, the one thing that did NOT wow me was the fitness center. Now, don’t take this the wrong way. This is commentary on me and how spoiled I am, not on the quality of their fitness center. Their fitness center is lovely and wonderful! The woman who was working there was super friendly! They have nice, soft towels for you! It is large and bright and has tons of equipment and even has an indoor track! Yet, there I was, judging them for having our university gym’s “crappy” treadmills (which are still really nice treadmills). I don’t know what I’ll do when I have to go out into the real world and go to normal, not brand new fancy gyms 😦




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