Suntory times

In our continuing pursuit of regional distilleries, Osaka’s Yamazaki plant was not to be missed.

The guided tour (with audio translation) was well worth advance booking; but it was equally easy to lose oneself in the gardens, tasting room, and cavernous Whisky Library.

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Philosopher’s friends

Post-conference afternoon on Kyoto’s Philosopher’s Walk, aka Cat Path, with fellow pharmacologist Angela and some largely uninterested furred and feathered locals.

Early-fall foliage was brilliant, from the Silver Pavilion Zen gardens —

— to the towering gate-climb at Nanzen-ji Temple.

Naturally, for two biology enthusiasts, a favorite was animal-themed Otoyo Shrine.

Science after the storm

index_images2018 has been busy with work travel. Among our more distant treks, Reba was fortunate to chair an opening symposium at the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ISBRA), held this year in Japan. Travel was hairy due to the typhoon four days prior, which decimated traffic at Kansai International Airport, but our symposium speakers managed to arrive in the nick of time.

Brilliant green from the recent downpour, the Kyoto International Conference Center venue conjured appropriate spaceship vibes in the midst of idyllic Takaragaike Park.

Among other tasty treats, conference proceedings ended with a gala dinner and nihon buyō performance — and inauguration of ISBRA’s first woman president, Oregon Health & Science University Professor Tamara Phillips. Glad to have braved the storms!

Copenhagen origins

We were privileged to join Oliver’s parents, Dieter and Veronica, for a sunny, historic weekend in Denmark’s capital.

CPH - 3Six decades back, young Dieter befriended a fellow traveller named Stanley Treanor, jointly eavesdropping a paid tour of Copenhagen City Hall. Stanley would later introduce his Dublin niece Veronica, who would wed Dieter in ’64. The couple relocated almost immediately to the States, where they raised Oliver and his siblings. This summer marked Veronica’s first Copenhagen trip of her own.

Sunday afternoon at Tivoli Gardens was an especially joyful tribute to this auspicious site in Soell family history.

Top photo credit: Veronica Soell

Guilford grace

Summer sun at the Soell cottage on Long Island Sound.

San Francisco fantasies

Vibrant new year at the Palace of Fine Arts and California Academy of Sciences.

Gualala holiday

Closing out the year with a family trip through Mendocino County on the northern California coast.