Photos from June/July trips to Cambridge and London

001S4_20150618_174706_expI just posted a few photos from our trip to Cambridge and London in June and July, mostly for events surrounding the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD50). Suzanne and I flew over Wednesday night, heading to Cambridge via car service Thursday morning. Normally, I take the train/tube/train, but there were three of us (a colleague was on the same flight — actually two and one’s wife, but they drove elsewhere first) so it made more sense for us to all get a car. We spent Thursday and Friday night in Cambridge, attending the black tie social event Friday night. Suzanne had been to Cambridge once before, but only back in 2002. We visited around town and hit the Fitzwilliam Museum, which I had never been to and was very nice. Saturday morning, we headed down to London for the night. While there, we hit the Courtald Museum, Covent Garden, the National Gallery, as well as doing some shopping on Regent Street and walking around Westminster. Our return flight was late Sunday afternoon. It was very nice for Suzanne and I to have a weekend away, even though it was a short trip with a long flight.

Ely Cathedral
The next Saturday, I flew back for the three day scientific symposium event. This was very nice and included an excellent talk by the creator of the CSD, Dr. Olga Kennard (who is in her 90s). The following Saturday, I took the 15 minute train ride up to Ely. This was a very nice visit, especially the renowned Ely Cathedral. On Sunday, my colleague, who stayed the whole time, and I flew back home. It was a hectic but good couple of weeks.

London Photos

Big Ben in LondonI just posted the (way too many) photos from the London part of our trip. We had a very nice week, doing a ton of walking and hitting most of the major sites. Monday it rained a bit, but we were at the Imperial War Museum most of the day, so it didn’t matter so much. In the course of the week, we also walked around Westminster, seeing Big Ben, did the Churchill War Rooms, the Science Museum, a bit of the National Gallery, the Tower of London, Borough Market, St. Paul’s Cathedral, a boat ride to Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum, the British Museum, and the Museum of London. My dad and I also did Westminster Abbey Saturday morning. Suzanne, Kyle and I did a day trip to Oxford to visit a friend from Marburg and her family while my dad visited Kensington Palace and Hyde Park. It was a pretty full trip. We rented a the very nice Cheniston Gardens apartment in right near, less than five minutes walk from, the High Street Kensington Tube stop from Ivy Lettings. This was only a one bedroom as we had booked before my dad decided to join us. He stayed a few minutes walk away at the London Lodge Hotel.
Tower of London while cruising down the Thames in London

An update and some photos

I know it’s been a while since I’ve done and update or published a batch of photos, so here they are. We hope things have been well with you in the meantime.

Here are links to the new photos of Kyle:

  • Jan & Feb: Some new photos from Kyle’s birthday party
  • Mar & Apr: USS Intrepid, Philly Brickfest, and Easter
  • May & Aug: Camporee and American Museum of Natural History

We have had a fairly busy few months. In late January, Kyle placed third in his group at the Pack 98’s Pinewood Derby. He was very excited as it meant he got to go on to the district race later in March. In early February we had a very nice birthday party for Kyle at the Trailside Nature Center in Watchung Reservation. We had some live turtles and snakes. Later in the month, Suzanne started a new job at Baron Environmental. She actually had two offers at the same time. While the other paid better, this job was more what she wanted and was only six miles from home. (The other would have been a 60+ minute commute.) Obviously our plans to move to Boston had shifted a bit. (More on that later.)

Kyle playing at Coles School

At Kyle's 8th Birthday Party at Trailside Nature Center in Watchung Reservation


The first weekend in March we had a wonderful overnight with Cub Scouts at the Philadelphia Zoo. We slept inside but did a nighttime tour, a talk by a snake handler, and a tour in the morning. I took some time off during Kyle’s spring break and we visited the USS Intrepid which Kyle had been wanting to do for some time. Seeing the space shuttle Enterprise was a real highlight. We spent a quiet Easter here at a home.

Kyle and the Space Shuttle Enterprise at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York City

Kyle doing an Easter egg hunt at our house in Fanwood


In early April, we headed down near Philly for the Lego Brickfest. Kyle absolutely loved seeing all the Lego creations and getting some special custom Lego stuff, including a Star Wars stormtrooper. In mid May, it was time for the Spring Cub Scout Camporee. They brought in a couple of vehicles from the Army National Guard which Kyle loved being able to climb in. It was also nice to camp again and we had good weather. The next weekend, we headed to NYC to visit the American Museum of Natural History, especially to see the dinosaurs. Suzanne and I had visited in 2004 (a friend’s wife worked there at the time, so we got the whole package for free), but Kyle had never been. He really liked it, especially the meteorites and other rocks and gems.

Kyle at Philly Brickfest 2014 in Oaks, PA

Kyle At the Spring Cub Scout Camporee at Winnebego Scout Reservation in Rockaway


Our big and absolutely great news came in late May. I was offered a position with the relatively newly opened (January of this year) NJ office of the Cambridge Crystallographic Centre (CCDC). They’re located on the Rutgers campus in Piscataway only 11 miles from our house, so I moved back to NJ in late June. (It’s quite close to where Suzanne used to work for her previous job before they moved her office.) CCDC, a registered charity based in Cambridge, UK, provides scientific data and software centered on small molecule crystallography. I’m providing a mix of software technical support, some scientific support, some development, and a bit of IT. Our office is only five people (just added our fifth this week), but there are plans to grow here. I actually had a lot of contact with CCDC when I was a post-doc in Marburg as they were a partner in the consortium I was involved in. The person I worked most closely with is now their deputy director. I was over there for a week a couple of weeks back and it was great to see Jason again and meet the new people I’ll be working with. Plans are for me to visit the home office two or three times a year.

As I said, I was in the UK for work, so I added a few nights in London over the adjoining weekends. I don’t have any photos posted yet (I did take ~1000), but I had a great time. I was in London most of Saturday after arriving at my hotel around 9:30 AM through Sunday about 3:15 when I grabbed the train to Cambridge (a bit under an hour) and then again Friday evening through very early Sunday morning the next weekend. During that time, I visited the area of Westminster, Big Ben, and Whitehall; visited the Churchill War Rooms; strolled around Piccadilly and Soho; did some shopping on Oxford and Regent Streets; hit the British Museum and the British Library (all Sat & Sun before Cambridge); toured St. Paul’s Cathedral; walked around the City, Covent Garden, and Hyde Park (Sat after). I also hit a few pubs here and there and had several evenings to walk around Cambridge. It was really jam-packed but really enjoyable. Our plans are to go as a family next year, perhaps daisy-chaining with a work trip.

Parliament and Big Ben from Westminster Bridge in London

Westminster in London

Kings College In Cambridge

Kings College Chapel in Cambridge


As for upcoming things, we have a few minor events here and there. Jack and Mary Lou will be up in a few weeks as Kyle’s camps, which he thoroughly enjoyed, especially Cub Scout Day Camp, end a week before school starts. Our big plans are a vacation to Washington, DC later in the fall.