I got back Sunday night. Monday was filled with laundry, fixing a problem with the work laptop, soothing the cats, taking younger niece and the nephew out for dim sum and a Trader Joe's stop, and packing. Today I flew to Dulles (Washington, DC/northern Virginia) for three days of meetings. I met up with two coworkers at baggage claim, then the head of the national project I work on picked us up. One coworker drove in from Maryland and two others flew in yesterday from points west, too far to fly in on the same day.
We assembled at USGS headquarters in Reston, VA, then headed downtown via bus and the Metro to the Agriculture Building, located on the Mall. We had a good meeting with a group from a number of Ag programs, most of whom were very interested in sharing data and working with us on various aspects of water use. That broke up about 5, and as one member of our USGS group had never been to DC before we walked over to the Mall, down to the Washington Monument with the view of the 4 biggies (White House, Capitol, and Lincoln and Jefferson Monuments). Then we walked to the fairly new WWII memorial, which several of us had never visited. We then headed generally toward a Metro stop, passing by the Interior Bldg as we went. We decided to eat before catching a train and ended up at the Elephant and Castle pub. Noisy, but the food was good.
I'm now settled in my hotel room, after having to request a room change because the first one smelled of cigarette smoke. The apologetic desk clerk who called to be sure room #2 was OK said they had an Asian group leave today, and this was the third room that had had complaints. He'd also stopped one person from smoking in the hall, who told him "you said no smoking in the rooms". Guess the concept of smoke-free hotels has not spread to whatever country that group was from.
Tomorrow we'll have some discussions among our group, taking advantage of being in the same place for once--mostly we work by conference call. Then we'll spend most of the day with a guy from the Australian Bureau of Statistics talking about how we each do water use estimates. He'll also give an hour long talk to a broader group in the afternoon. Should be interesting.
Thursday will be spent on thermoelectric water use, a meeting that is to set up an interest group on thermo data and methods. I'll fly home Thursday night.
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