Eric Schrock's Blog

Month: December 2005

What a party.

I can’t say much more – I’m afraid I won’t do it justice. Suffice to say that we rolled back into our hotel room at 5:00 AM after hanging out with Swedish royalty and Nobel laureates in what has to be one of the most amazing ceremony and banquest ever conceived.

You’ll have to ask me in person for some of the details, but a few highlights include my father escorting princess Madeleine down the staircase, as well as my mother being escorted (and talking with) the King of Sweden in the more private dinner the next night. Not to mention way too many late night drinking escapades with the likes of Grubbs and Nocera.

The only downside is that my flight home was delayed 5 hours (while we were on the plane), so I missed my connection and am now hanging out in a Newark hotel for a night. At least I get a midway point to adjust to the new timezone…

Hopefully the banquest footage will be available soon at Check it out when it is.

Things have picked up over here in Stockholm. The rest of the troops have arrived, filling up the Grand Hotel to the best of our ability. My father’s been running around to press conferences, interviews, and various preparations. The rest of us only have one or two events each day to keep track of. Thankfully, my father has a personal attendant to make sure he doesn’t miss a thing, not that my mom would ever allow such a thing to happen.

On the 6th, there was a small reception at the Nobel museum. They used the opportunity to show an “instructional” video to make sure we all knew how to behave during the ceremony and the reception. My father even signed one of the cafeteria chairs, apparently a tradition at the museum:

It was a real treat to arrive in a limo with dozens of cheering children peering through the windows and waiting to see who got out. My father has even met his adoring fans outside the hotel:

The whole experience is rather surreal. The next day we had a reception for all the science (physics, chemistry, and economics) laureates and their families at the Royal Academy of Science. Besides having the chance to get our whole family together in once place, it was interesting to talk with other families in the same boat. There were a few amusing moments when we were standing with Bob Grubbs and his children, who are all above 6’3″ tall (including his daughter Katy), as my father, brother, and myself are all 6’3″ or taller. The 7 of us are able to make almost anyone feel incredibly short.

Today was the day of lectures. Besides being hung over from some ill-advised late night wine via room service, these lectures were definitely intended for colleagues, not family members. I’d like to say that I understood my father’s lecture, but when you can’t pronounce half the words coming out of his mouth, it makes it rather difficult to keep up. At least there were some molecular diagrams that I could pretend to understand, though even those were quite a bit more complex than the ones I learned in high school chemistry.

Of course, Stockholm is a beautiful city. Lots of time is spent walking around the streets and poking our heads in the little shops. Tomorrow we’ll try to hit up a few more museums in the little spare time we have.

I’m off on vacation for a while while I attend the Nobel Festivities. While this is my second trip to Stockholm, it will be rather different as a Nobel guest staying in a 5-star hotel. Last time I was here I was a poor recently graduated college student at the end of his backpacking trip. While pizza and kebabs were nice, I think I’ll get a better taste of Swedish food this time around.

I came rather early with my parents, thanks to a convenient business trip to the east coast. So while today is my second day in Stockholm, nothing really starts until tomorrow (when there is a tour of the Nobel museum). Eventually, we’ll end up with 28 family and friends here when all is said and done. But arriving with my parents did have its advantages. We got to hang out in a private room in the SAS business lounge during our layover in Newark. When we arrived in Stockholm, we were whisked away from the gate via limousine to a private VIP lounge with a respresentative of the Royal Academy of Sciences and my father’s personal handler. We handed over our passports and baggage tags, and half an hour later we were climbing back into the limo pre-packed with all our bags.

I haven’t done much as of yet, but I did walk around Skansen with my mother, aunt and uncle. This is probably the last time I’ll have a stretch of free time with my parents, as starting tomorrow my father is busy with receptions, meetings, rehearsals, and interviews. I’ll leave you with a picture from the top of Skansen, taken at 2:30 PM – we don’t get much light here this time of year:

I’m sure I’ll have more interesting things to report in the coming days. Be sure to check out videos from last year to get an idea of what I’m in for.

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