From October 14th to 23rd, I was in the states for the first time. I went to Santa Fe (New Mexico) to attend a workshop/conference on total scattering, the Advanced Simulation Techniques for Total Scattering Data conference, arranged by people from Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The actual conference was only from the 16th to the 19th, so I had a few days on each side to go around town and be a bit of a turist. I brought my camera, and got a lot of nice shots (although I'll have to find the time to actually do the editing and sorting of them later).
My flight there went through Heathrow and Dallas Fort Worth, and turned out to end in a mess - both ways. On the way over there, some very thick fog had hidden Heathrow, and we had to fly in circles - eventually landing in Stanstead to get re-fueled, before we could finally land - more than an hour late - in Heathrow. Of course I missed my Atlantic flight, but luckily I got on the next available one, and still caught my connecting flight in Dallas. My luggage wasn't as lucky, though.. The people in Dallas were really bad at handling the situation, and it was first when I landed in Santa Fe that people could help me on with the luggage problem (at which time it was too late to send the luggage on from Heathrow, so I had to wait to the evening after). On the way back, our landing in Heathrow got delayed because of the number of planes waiting, and I nearly missed my connecting flight to Copenhagen. The people at Heathrow were nice enough to hand out special orange tickets for people connecting with flights that left soon, but they didn't take into account that the name 'Jensen' is very common in Denmark, and hence stupidly enough only made one 'Jensen' ticket, and gave that one to the other 'Jensen' Dane that was going on the same plane. So I had to go through the normal procedures, and just caught the plane in time. Of course, my luggage didn't, again. But oh well, at least I got home.
The conference itself was really nice - both the practical arrangements, the small PDFgui tutorial, the talks, and the trip to Los Alamos, were really well planned and executed. I learned a lot of new information about total scattering, and what it can be used for, and met a lot of cool people. I was really happy to talk to a couple of people from ORNL, to hear how things work over there, since I will be going there in half a year of so.
The turisting part of the trip went nicely as well - I had some fun walking around town, looking at the old buildings and just getting a feel of things. I went to a local supermarket just to see how it was (I was expecting the people packing your groceries for you, but it still just felt creepy to me..), and I went to lots of small restaurants to get some of the New Mexican food (which I was pleasantly surprised about), especially the chile. I even went all the way through town to see the farmers market, and I'm glad I did; You could get to see how they roast the peppers for the chile - that was fun.
Overall, it was a great trip, and I'm really looking forward to going over there again.