Last week I was in Orlando, Florida for the Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting. I'm starting to realize that work conferences are the best way to travel! In January, I went to the Orthopaedic Research Society Annual Meeting in Long Beach, California and then extended the stay with a few nights in Sequoia National Park where Jason joined me. This time, Jason wasn't able to join me, but I stayed an extra night in Orlando to spend some time at the theme parks. Can't beat a few days of work, followed by a few days of play!
I stayed at the Contemporary Resort with two friends, just a 10 minute walk from the Magic Kingdom! Here's a photo of the sunset right outside our room. I was on my way to an early morning conference session when I snapped this shot.
Every year, the Society for Biomaterials has a Bash at their Annual Meeting. In 2008, I went to the meeting in Atlanta and the Bash was at the Georgia Aquarium. This year, the Bash was at EPCOT. We were bused to the park where we had drinks and appetizers. Then we were treated to the nightly light show and had access to the park until midnight!
Spaceship Earth, the ride inside the EPCOT ball, has been updated a bit. At the beginning the ride,your picture is taken, and at the end you answer a few questions on a computer screen to determine your future. I rode with my boss Tim. Below are some of the photos from the computer screen. I was laughing too hard to even follow the story. All I know is that it was set in space.
Saturday was the last day of the conference, and my birthday. So a few of us went to the Polynesian Resort for cocktails and dinner before heading to the park.
Birthday Cocktail in a Pineapple...note, that is NOT an artichoke on the top. I tasted it to be sure.
All you can eat meat!
Birthday Dinner at Ohana!
The best bread pudding I have ever had!
Surprise Birthday Cupcake!
After dinner we made our way to the Magic Kingdom. Our first view of Cinderella's Castle!
We are Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear at Splash Mountain!
It's a Small World! I had that song stuck in my head for the rest of the night.
Celebrating my birthday with Mickey and Walt
I stayed an extra day to spend some time at the theme parks with some other post docs and grad students from Boulder. We decided to spend the day Sunday at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, with the main goal being the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I've never read any of the books and have only seen 2 of the movies, but I figured the rides would be fun.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The ride inside the castle was amazing! It was a combination rollercoaster, virtual ride. Amazing! Since I was with a group of engineers, we spent a good part of the day discussing the novelty of the ride and how it worked to make you feel like you were actually in the movie. I know, we're geeks!
Waiting in line the for the Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster
At Universal Studios Islands of Adventure on the Jurassic Park River Adventure
The Hulk Roller Coaster!
Before Popeye and Bluto's Bilge Rat Barge...they warned us we would get wet.
After the Bilge Rat Barge...SOAKED!
Sunset from Pleasure Island on our last night.
What a great trip! Can't wait to go back with Jason!