Last week I was away at my Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) conference. It was lots of fun, although there wasn’t NEARLY enough talk about quilts. I did make sure to bring it up from time to time, though, so probably for everyone else there was a surprising amount of it. Of course my BFF Gillian was there, so I did get to talk quilts with someone who understood.
The conference was held on the Liberty of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) which was sailing to Cozumel. Most of my days I spent in the conference center which was on a lower deck that was underwater, so no windows.
I made sure to take a picture to prove that there really was a conference going on.
On the shore day at Cozumel, there were no talks, so a bunch of us piled into taxis and headed to Chankanaab, a National Park.
It turns out that Mexico’s national parks are not exactly like American national parks, in that this was a very touristy place. On the other hand, the snorkeling was amazing! I was lucky enough to see a whole group of Caribbean Reef Squid (squad/shoal/school of squid depending on where you look) which were both beautiful and creepy!
When we started snorkeling, I noticed one of my advisors from my thesis committee pausing at the water’s edge.
Me: “You okay?”
Him: “Yes..I just don’t know why I’m doing this. I don’t like fish.”
Me: “You…don’t like fish.”
Him: “Yah, they swim at your face and stuff, I don’t like it.”
Me: “Snorkeling is awesome! What are the fish going to do with you anyway?”
Him: “I know you’re right. Okay I can do this.”
*He swims around a bit*
Him: “Okay you’re right. I’m calming down. This is amazing.”
*Gillian and I swim off*
When we get back…
Him: “Look at this!” *shows off red mark on his arm*
Him: “I got bit by a fish! You can see the teeth marks and everything!”
Seriously guys, who gets bit by a fish?! The person afraid of them, I guess!
After that, no one wanted to go back in the water, so we wandered around the park and saw the crocodiles and “Authentic” Mayan Ruins. Which were really replicas made in the 80s.
Then it was back on the ship for more talks.
The day we got back to Florida, Gillian and I were chosen for special screening by customs. “Oh you want to go through my suitcase full of a week’s dirty clothes? Um. Have fun.”
Customs guy: “What do you do for work?”
Me: “I’m a programmer.”
Customs guy: *makes notes on customs form, studies it a bit more.*
Customs guy: “What’s the primary language you use?”
Customs guy: “….”
Customs guy: “What’s the primary PROGRAMMING language you use?”
Me: *feels dumb*
In my defense, who expects a customs guy to ask about programming languages? Not me, apparently.
After our 30 minute detour inside the creepily designed customs building, we were set free. (Seriously, I was going to take a picture despite the “NO PICTURES” signs, but figured I couldn’t exactly post it to my blog without them knowing I took it. You’ll just have to believe me that someone was paid a lot of money to make that place feel REALLY uncomfortable.)
Our flights didn’t leave until later that evening, so Gillian and I rented a car and went on an airboat ride in the Everglades, which was AWESOME! I can’t help but smile when I’m on an airboat, they are just so cool.
Then we did the touristy thing and held the baby alligators, because DUDE. Baby Alligator!
After some cuban food for lunch, the long day of flights commenced, with Gillian heading back to Boston and me back to Santa Cruz. Our day had started at 6am Eastern, and we both got home at 3am Eastern/midnight Pacific. It was a VERY long day, but such an amazing trip!
I’m already saving for next year’s FDG, where we’re going to try to hold a workshop on computational crafting. Next FDG: More quilts!