Aloha ARVO

This year’s ARVO meeting took place in Honolulu. And while there are worse places to spend 5 nights, it was not the same without my wife and son with me. My brother-in-law dropped me off at SMF at 5am last Saturday to make my early flight to SFO, where I shared breakfast with my colleague Jack before connecting to HNL. An old friend picked me up for ramen with his family, then dropped me off for an Allergan ad board meeting that lasted until dinner time. Exhausted, I opted for ramen again over a networking dinner before settling into my hotel. I kept busy on Sunday attending talks and meeting collaborators, but ducked out for lunch at Marukame Udon, where I enjoyed the cafeteria-style noodle shop experience and brought extras back to the hotel to supplement the offerings from our Chair’s reception and Genentech investigator meeting. I had little time to practice my talk and EyeTube filming on Monday morning, but was well-prepared for afternoon outings. For lunch, I took my med students to Maguro Bros, which served solid, unassuming sashimi donburi and poke bowls from a dingy stand inside a Chinese supermarket. Dinner by contrast was a chic kaiseki feast at Nanzan Giro Giro with my Duke friends that featured flamboyant waitors, designer stoneware, and a creative omakase menu of black cod, foie gras, and lots of dashi. I explored nearby Ala Moana Center on the way back with my friend Paula for souvenirs, including goodies for my kid and labmates. The next day was filled with more poster and paper sessions, training from Heidelberg, surgical instrument shopping, Chinese food with CAOS, chats with Google, and flavorful Manichi ramen. I finally took a breather Wednesday morning with an early snorkel tour at Hanauma Bay, where the rocky corals were replete with tropical fish but left me pretty banged up. I returned to the convention center fo more meetings in the afternoon, and caught up with friends over acai bowls and oxtail pho. On Thursday, I awoke to toasty malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery and boring saimin from Zippy’s, but nabbed a nice Zip Pack to-go for my flight back. After fending off questions from my resident’s presentation, I raced to the airport in time to get another souvenir for Westley before my flight. I ran into my friend Mike during the SFO layover, and discoursed about family and career over airport udon before finally getting home around midnight. I had little chance to recover with an overbooked clinic on Friday and a COEH Symposium talk on Saturday. This gave me barely enough time to prepare for an “infectious night of fun” at my house, where I invited lab folks to a game of Pandemic followed by wings and burgers from Costco. Fortunately, I made sure the meats were cooked thoroughly to avoid an actual infectious outbreak, and everyone seemed to enjoy the festivities. With a new tank of propane and warmer weather approaching, I’ll be firing up the grill again soon.

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