I forgot my camera cord so no pictures yet, but I brought a bunch of other stuff I probably won't use. I'm in beautiful Avon, Colorado, which is right next door to Vail, for a watershed conference. Vail is where Jerry Ford had a house on the golf course, so it is fancier than Avon, but not as fancy as Aspen, which is on another planet.
Avon is plenty nice, except nobody has probably heard of it. The Beaver Creek ski area is within sight up the mountain from me, and it's 'new' as far as I'm concerned, meaning it was developed in the last 30 years or so.
My room is a full suite with separate living room that has a gas fireplace, full-size kitchen with nice appliances, and washer/dryer combo. I could have brought my laundry. For $119 a night - not bad. I needed some pampering. Standing in that kitchen, I was thinking it was almost worth going through the flood to end up with having a nice vacation at the peak of the Colorado fall color season. And a guy named Corey bought me a beer at happy hour.
I don't know if meals are included in the registration for the conference, but I got the registration free because I volunteered to help with things.
My main job, which happens tomorrow, is to show the poster session people where to set up their posters. They are limited to a 4 by 4 foot area, and have to bring their own easels - no tables available. I picture it looking like a science fair. And their topics are these obscure things like: "Didymosphenia geminata, an algae in Colorado that won't be slipping away anytime soon." I'm not making that up. It's hard to read something like that without thinking 'and why should I care?' but of course each presenter is passionate about it, and will either get their MS or PhD degree from the paper they are writing on that topic.
Today I helped stuff 250 conference badges into plastic holders, and then we sorted them alphabetically, but the new thing is to have peoples' first names really big, and then their last name and affiliation little tiny, so you have to peer at their chest to figure out if you want to talk to them or not. I think this is a societal trend where it is who you are that matters, not what organization or company you represent. But in a business/educational setting, it DOES matter more who a person represents, because then we know what subject area they are knowledgeable in. That's the way it is these days.