First up was CARO in Toronto. We stayed at the conference hotel, the beautiful Hilton right downtown.
The sessions were great, but I think what I enjoyed most was the company. Seeing how friends from other programs across the country are doing career- and life-wise is always really nice.
The highlight was my first visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario. It was even free (Wednesday evening). We were admittedly a bit too rushed to see the galleries properly, but did get to check out the Every. Now. Then. exhibit we'd been recommended, a contemporary Canada 150 interpretation.
|Esmaa Mohamoud's deflated basketballs -- deflated dreams|
|Ruth Cuthand's Don't Breathe, Don't Drink -- each vessel represents a First Nation with a boil water advisory|
|snapshots and colour|
We had some nice meals, including a fancy dinner at One King West.
|Kekou, a gelato place with awesome flavours|
Little did I know though, CARO was just lead-in for ASTRO, the American radiation oncology conference, which is the largest event I think I've ever been a part of.
While CARO is attended by a few hundred people and you're never more than arm's reach from someone you know, ASTRO attracts over 10,000 attendees and exhibitors from around the world. It felt like it'd taken over San Diego. Not to mention the convention centre (where they host Comic-Con), which was a little ASTRO city, complete with a daily newspaper.
And of course San Diego itself is fantastic. I was actually very conflicted on how to best experience both the conference and the city.
We put our posters up in the biggest hall ever and spent hours in the equally large exhibitors' hall, where companies go to all lengths for self-promotion. Like coffee baristas and smoothie bars at their booths. How else do you one-up the companies who get their advertising onto the lamppost banners and room keycards?
We made our way into some swanky parties and somehow got invited to drinks with a drug company rep at the top of the Hyatt.
|great quotes on the windows|
|apparently the tallest waterfront hotel on the west coast of North America|
|Café 21 -- deliciously messy burger|
|El Agave Tequileria -- got to try cactus, mole, and of course a little tequila|