>I made it back, and nothing went horribly wrong while I was gone. In fact, I think it was a great success. The folks in my lab seem to be feeling more confident and even got some things done while I was gone! I think that we are approaching the stage where the folks in lab can repeat the basic experiments that I was doing and get the same answers. I consider this a great success. I have also added my third lab peep. This person is less of a newbie and I think will really be a great help with training the younger folks that are in my lab. I feel really good about the whole situation. Hooray!
AND, I had a super time at my conference. I really like conferences. On one hand it is a bummer to be away from the kiddo (though she is getting awfully good at Skype for a toddler). On the other hand, it is just SO FUN! I caught up with friend/colleagues that are in the process of starting up their lab. Commiserating and comparing notes about what we are all doing was great. I picked the brain of the people around that were a year or two further along, and got a lot of really useful advice and perspective. Also, there was beer. Yum. And a lot of great science. Which was fun, because I have been feeling a little isolated in my new home. It was fun to talk to people about experiments and not have to explain the basics. I'm sure that my new colleagues will get more familiar with my field, but right now it is a little lonely. Also, many of my conversations are with the new trainees in my lab.
All in all, I would say that I am feeling re-energized by the conference. That should get me through the next round of grant writing. Woo Hoo!!!