Weekend in the Dalecarlian countryside for the Swedish Conference on Macromolecular Structure and Function, held for 20 years among the red barns and horse pastures of Tällberg on Lake Siljan.
After a week clearing out our New York storage unit (final steps in our Stockholm move), we were lucky to seize a few days with friends on the opposite coast at Sierra Meadows, in the foothills of Yosemite.
We were thrilled to connect with so many old and newer friends from San Francisco and Los Angeles—not to mention Portland, Chicago, and Dublin—that made the Memorial Day trek, many with growing families.
The early summer days were gentle, the evenings golden.
Nighttime brought some stunning area musicians to entertain the crowd, and starry light shows above and below.
Top & asterisked (*) photos credit: Andy Shirey
Along with co-organizers from Sweden, Germany, and the States, I was thrilled to take part this week in an inspiring workshop at the Lausanne headquarters for the Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire (CECAM). Founded 47 years ago to promote fundamental research and applications of computational methods in science, CECAM joined the Swedish e-Science Research Centre, BioExcel, Journal of General Physiology and Nature Structural & Molecular Biology in sponsoring our three-day program—Ion Transport from Physics to Physiology: the Missing Rungs in the Ladder—on the campus of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in the south of Switzerland.
Our thirty participating scientists—representing 22 institutions in 11 countries—discussed recent successes and (often more interesting) challenges in studying ion channels and transporters at the molecular level. Among other things, an emergent theme was the need for a public database of molecular dynamics simulations, analogous to the Protein Data Bank or—perhaps less obvious, but with likewise important parallels—biomaterial repositories.
Alongside the stimulating science, I was moved by my virgin visit to Lausanne. The EPFL campus was populated by industrious sheep as well as students enjoying the spring sun; downtown, the Olympic Museum gardens offered idyllic views of the French Alps from the north banks of Lake Geneva. Evening at Chalet Suisse was equally memorable for fondue, raclette, and a breathtaking hilltop sunset.
Many thanks to Ignacio, Marianne, Bogdan, and the entire CECAM staff for making our Swiss sojourn so productive and enjoyable.
Bulbs, buds, and birds among lingering icebergs on Norr Mälarstrand.
Thanks in part to brother Julian’s hard work for the airline industry, we got to spend the last few days of 2016 on Maui, Hawaii’s second-largest island. Much as we have enjoyed the Swedish winter so far, it was an enormous privilege to celebrate a sole-warming holiday surrounded by family and inspiring landscapes.
Our erstwhile home on Kaanapali was crowded for Christmas, but we enjoyed the ready access to sunrise yoga and midday swims, as well as local produce and hot banana lumpia at Beachwalk Market. Other marvelous meals were had at Leilani’s, Maui Brewing Company, and Haliimaile General Store.
Our hired hybrid got a workout exploring the western and central island, from the Lahaina coast to Twin Falls rainforest. The Ohai Trail was a hidden hiking gem, with humbling ocean gales and stunning views of Nakalele Blowhole.
Ever in pursuit of adventurous spirits, we loved the unique glass stills churning local pineapple and cane into gin and rum at Haliimaile Distilling Co, and the inspired designs and demonstrations at Makai Glass Creations nextdoor. But little compared to a rare glimpse of over fifty sea turtles on Hookipa Beach during a spontaneous sunset pit stop along the Hana Highway.