August 9, 2011

Returning Home

We’re finally home! Actually we were home for two days between China and Las Vegas – but that’s splitting hairs. Our overnight flight from China landed at around 10am, after 14 hours of flying and a four hour layover in Japan. I made the rookie travel mistake of thinking “I’ll just take a cat nap”. I woke up five hours later. It took me until Tuesday to really adjust back to California time, just in time for our trip to Vegas.

(Photos from the trip in our family album)

China was fun. We were there for the SIGIR conference, but managed to take an extra day to sight see. (We had to see the great wall, I mean how often to get to go to China?!). It was my conference, so Domingo relaxed and spent most of the day working in the hotel room. Next, we were in Vegas for Domingo’s conference, and it was my turn to hang out in the hotel all day working on my paper. I had a paper deadline which I needed to focus on. To add insult to injury, this was the view from the hotel.

Yes, the Vegas gods were mocking me.

We did manage to see a few shows in the evening. I love Cirque du Soleil! I love Vegas, but jeepers is it expensive. Our trip to the great wall, which included 4 hour round trip transportation, guided tour of the Ming tombs and lunch cost less than any of the shows we say in Vegas!

The iPad ended up being very worth it, even the $100 case came in handy. We only took it to China (editing a 9 thousand word paper on an ipad would have driven me insane!). I got a few important emails while we were out that I needed to respond to, and the keyboard made it much easier. The iPad also made for a great entertainment device on the plane. I had plenty of games and video lectures to keep me entertained. With fourteen hours in the air, that’s a huge deal. It was small enough that it fit easily on the tray table, even when I had the case folded to look like a laptop. I almost snapped my laptop in two a few years ago when the person in front of me decided to recline and the tray table lip caught the top of my computer. Not cool.

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