(pre-script...I wrote this yesterday morning and didn't get time to post it
I'm just about to jump on the plane to New Orleans to go to the big genetics conference. I'm hoping I'll have net access so I can send you lots of pics. I've never been before and I know it's not what it was, but it's still great to go and I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun. We're staying near the conference centre, at the edge of the French Quarter, which wasn't hit very badly by Katrina. This conference is the biggest general genetics conference there is, so I'm pleased they went through with hosting it there. The conference website has been running a lot of good info about where the city is now and why it's vital to get tourists back. I guess that's one of the best way people can help get the city back on it's feet. I'm looking forward to it! OK, aside from the speaking part. My talk is first thing Wednesday morning so I'll be much more relaxed after that. We get home on Saturday, no doubt exhausted!!
On Saturday I went out to Gruene, on of the little towns just outside San Antonio, with a couple of the girls from work. There was a Texas winetasting fundraiser that we wanted to go to. Texas wine usually means blergh, but there were a couple of ok moscatos. I bought a jar of this amazing burnt orange jelly that has serrano pepper in it... sounds odd but it's this fantastic hot, sweet and slightly savory jam that would be lovely with chicken or cheese or just off the spoon!!
This watertower is in the centre of town. .. I'm rather fond of it!
After the wine tasting we went to a place called the Gruene River Grill. It was pretty good! I don't think we got to see them at their best because they were so busy, but worth a second visit at some point. They had great outdoor furniture to loaf around on while you waited for your table... huge plastic armchairs! They were incredible. Not particularly comfy but they sure looked cool.
After dinner we went to the Gruene Hall (the oldest dancehall in Texas apparently) to see Leon Russell. Aged 70s rocker but he still has a lot of energy and charisma, and you should hear him play the piano! Amazing. The dance hall and and the people were an experience in themselves. I wish there was some way I should have photographed some of the characters in the crowd. The hall is like a barn with a bar, but it had it's own, old-school Texas style. Lots of fun.
4 months ago