Wow am I sick! I went to Halifax a healthy, eager young researcher and I came back a huge pile of germs. Flying on the plane was sure fun but thanks to my EarPlanes I survived. Between my ankle sprain and my head cold I’m a thoroughly whiny individual. I’m sure I’ll recover soon!
Halifax was incredible! On a scale of High Level to Paris, I’d give it a solid 8.5. I arrived on Wednesday evening and was picked up by one of my best friends, Kate, who is in the clinical psych program out at Dal. She gave me the tour of the town and I got to meet her sister Hilary and Hilary’s boyfriend, and one of Kate’s clinical program friends. It’s so nice to put faces to these names that I’ve been hearing about for so long.
On Thursday I walked downtown to the conference center to meet up with Kim and a few other clinical girls. Downtown Halifax is beautiful! Lots of old stone and brick buildings, brightly painted doors, statues and greenery. Me and my ankle sprain thought it would be a lot of fun to walk up Citadel Hill on the way, and it was beautiful but I sure paid for it later! The girls were finishing a poster presentation so we found lunch on Argyle Street at The Argyle, a three-level restaurant with corona and free cheesecake. The weather was beautiful! It was so humid (though nothing compared to Washington). After my patio afternoon, Kate and I went for dinner at a place called Talay Thai with amazing pad thai, and then I met most of the Regina crew at Murphy’s on the harbour for a drink. It was a pretty good tour day of downtown Halifax!
On Friday, Kate and Hilary toured me ALL OVER! The drive out to Peggy’s Cove is so beautiful, I was floored by all the lakes and villages. Kate and Hil are both photographers and we had a great time stopping over and taking in the scenery. It was really sunny out and, although windy, not half so bad as I was expecting. Peggy’s Cove was gorgeous itself (of course). It took a bit of mountain goating to get to the fun photography spots, but Freddie the Schnauzer and I were able to keep up. I’d be out there all the time if I lived in Halifax! Even the town around it was pretty. Lots of things were obviously staged for photograph tourists, but that didn’t make it any less fun to photograph.
After Peggy’s Cove we drove for ever and ever to have lunch at Mahone Bay – so worth it! THE BEST smoked salmon bagel I have EVER come across, and I have had a lot of them. Kate and Hilary had avocado sandwiches with like three avocadoes apiece. Amazing. The town had a few little coffee shops, lots of giftstores, and an Amos Pewter shop with a workstation in the back. We learned a lot about the pewter-making process. It melts at low temperatures and solidifies almost instantly when it touches a metal surface – the lady kept splashing pewter onto her workbench and instantly became a big splash-shaped tray of pewter. It was beautiful.
Saturday morning I presented two posters at the Canadian Psychology Association conference! This one wasn’t quite as exciting nor as busy as the ADAA poster conference but I still had a lot of fun. There was a flock of Reginians and some new friends there, and it was nice to see everybody’s research and talk to other presenters. I presented one poster for a labmate which looked to see whether changing the order of the questions in certain questionnaires affected people’s responses to them (which they didn’t, for the questionnaires used), and another poster of my own work with Matt on how personality traits account for social anxiety symptoms using a new personality scale, HEXACO. I had a neat conversation with a lady who actually supervised my supervisor a while back! Conferences are such fun.
To conclude my Halifax weekend I met a bunch more Haligonians (and Dalhousians) who work in Kate’s lab. We went to a birthday BBQ on the Dartmouth side of the harbour in a beautiful home. So much birthday cake, and what a fun lab Kate works with! Lots of big personalities and very smart people. It’s fun thinking that one day I may work or do research with a few of them! Clinical psychology in Canada is a very small world full of interesting people.
I really enjoyed Halifax, I would be so happy to head back out there in the foreseeable future. I think Jordan would love the feel of downtown, and we missed Kate’s boyfriend Logan by a matter of days, so that will need to be remedied. The East Coast has been really wonderful to me this year! Next the Hooligonians will need to come visit me in the lush, exotic lands of Regina…