April 13, 2012
Grits, a Southern US dish made of coarsely ground corn, was new to us and Yi didn't like it because it was so bland but I liked it because it balanced the saltiness in the accompanying dishes.
During the breaks, we had small bites such as seafood ceviche on endive cups, prosciutto with rock melon, asparagus with goat's cheese (yum!) but I was too shy to stop the waiters for photos.
The second day of the conference. We were specifically told that the dress code was casual (it being California), which was great because the last thing a conference on innovativeness was prim and proper formality. I wore a dress on the second day because I saw other ladies in dresses despite the cold. I had noticed a particular lady when we were waiting to register yesterday because she was wearing beautiful black heels, a black fur cape and carrying a black Hermes bag. I was at the buffet table on the second day when I heard the waiter say "You are a princess?!" and I looked at her card and it said 'Princess ...K...'. She lives in NYC, she said, and she definitely dressed like a New Yorker.
I enjoyed every presentation except maybe the one where the presenter who overshot his time. Ellsworth Wareham, a cardiac surgeon in his 90s, gave a great talk on how to live long. Roz Savage's presentation left me in tears. She is the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. When I watched the videos of her rowing alone in a small boat in the stormy seas, it just made me wonder how some people can be so brave and resilient. Philip Sheppard, a cellist and professor at The Royal Academy of Music in London, gave an amazing performance and spoke about his task of rescoring the national anthems of 205 countries for the upcoming Olympics. I was proud for Singapore when the architect Moshe Safdie presented on one of his projects, the Marina Bay Sands. During the break later, I overheard a lady say to my daughter how she longed to visit Asian countries and Singapore, especially after Safdie's presentation. I can't tell you how awesome the presenters were; you'd have to be there to experience it.
12-year old pianist, Victoria Young.
Charles Yang on violin, Mike Hawley on piano and Philip Sheppard on the cello.
Three photography studios of different styles were on hand to take photos of the presenters (and non-presenters, after the presenters were done). This one was where futuristic props were used.
Tin plate photography, resulting in beautiful, interesting and antique-looking photos. Wish I had my photo done this way.
Artichokes are not particuarly flavorful or tasty and are quite tough in fact. I equate artichokes' status to bamboo, an equally tasteless and sometimes fibrous veggie, eaten for those very same reasons.
There were always two soups and I love soups especially on cold days.
Told you, the Americans love red velvet cakes.
The conference ended a little bit late and we had about 1/2 hour before we rushed into the bus for a visit to the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium for a cocktail dinner (beautiful finger food & wine), sponsored by Nokia (we got two Nokia 800 smart phones as lucky surprise gifts!). The museum was closed early to the public for the conference party. What a privilege! I left my camera behind in the hotel but here's a photo of jellyfishes taken with Hub's iPhone.
Walking back to the hotel with a group of new friends on a lovely night. Bliss.