Ethnic Bites & Mosquito Fights

My second trip to the NIH for grant reviews was a bit more relaxed, as some of the submissions were repeats from last year. After running into my colleague Susanna on arrival, I invited her to dinner at PassionFish where I splurged on lobster tail with shrimp risotto and a crab & corn chowder. Although I was disappointed by the tighter budget and lack of a breakfast voucher, I wittingly brought leftover mac & jack with crab for lunch while others were stuck eating cold sandwiches. The stormy weather left most of the participants tele-conferencing from home and delayed my return flight, leaving me stranded with bad onion soup and escargot in DCA and almost missing my connection home. Fortunately, Melody was soon back from her week-long Harvard-Macy course, so we were able to enjoy our last weekend together with my parents over corn dogs at the Farmers’ Market, discounted tickets to Fairytale Town, and casual Italian fare at Obo. Our hyperactive Westley had several near-falls that made my heart jump more than the next season of the Walking Dead. On Cesar Chavez Day, we took advantage of daycare coverage and drove to SF Chinatown for slightly-overpriced XLB and beef noodle soup at China Live, followed by an hour-long wait for toasty egg tarts from Golden Gate Bakery. We brought extras to my post-doc Sook’s house-warming party that afternoon, where Westley was slow to warm to the crowd despite an impressive spread of home-made Korean food. Meanwhile, our front and rear porches had been infested with mosquito swarms, likely due to our new bat-free environment, requiring me to spray down the house exterior with insecticide while dressed in a bunny suit. This week, I flew to the Beckman Center for the Ryan Initiative for Macular Research, where I had the rare opportunity to rub elbows with academic and industry leaders. We had only one free evening away from the catered meals, but the sushi at Buddha’s Favorite was worse than Javi’s enchiladas in SNA. Having missed my niece’s birthday, I made up family time with Westley and the in-laws over leftover cake and colorful play-foam. We ended the week with our first visit to nearby Taqueria Guadalajara, where the lengua tortas, cabeza burrito, tamale, and pozole were fresh and authentic, but did not change our affinity for Mexican cuisine.

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