Naturally, I wasn't looking forward to it.
Don't get me wrong. San Diego is lovely. Really, it's beyond lovely. But I knew I wouldn't be seeing much of it. I didn't know I'd be learning some hard lessons along the way.
DON'T TRAVEL WHEN MERCURY IS IN RETROGRADE
Holy hell. I left last Wednesday, and so on Tuesday, I was AMPED. I crushed my to-do list at work. I packed before 9 p.m. I had my shit DOWN, because I knew Wednesday would be a long day, spent mostly on a plane. But by 4 a.m., I was still laying in bed wide awake, Googling "breathing tricks to fall asleep," but my mind continued to race, and I only managed about three hours of sleep, approximately one half of the minimum I need to be a decent, functioning human being.
Of course, my 10:15 a.m. flight didn't go so smoothly either.
Did you know Mercury is in retrograde right now? So let me just say that I am not one for horoscopes or any of that shit, but I live with the fear of God when it comes to Mercury in retrograde. When Mercury is in retrograde (i.e., it looks to astrologists like it's moving backward), shit goes haywire. Appliances break, communication between people sucks, and basically everyone hates each other. In short, my daily life.
And Mercury in retrograde also affects travel. Things don't go as planned, there are delays, weird occurrences, etc. So of course my flight was delayed because the kind people at Southwest were nice enough to wait for a delayed flight from Norfolk. OK. I guess if I had a connection at BWI and my flight was running late, I'd appreciate them waiting for me. Besides, it was only a 20-minute delay.
Of course then the airport alarms went off, the flight was packed, some "navigation system" broke (?!), and we weren't off the runway until two hours later than planned. I didn't sleep thanks to a screaming child and wicked turbulence, and by the time we landed, my stomach was eating itself because a tiny bag of cheese nips just doesn't cut it. When the flight attendant started singing a song about how long the flight was, I have never hated anything more than I hated Southwest in that moment.
I stopped for food at the first place I saw in the airport, an Einstein Bagels, and bolted for the first form of transportation to get to the hotel.
DON'T WORK AND TRAVEL IN THE SAME DAY
I got in the van, and my driver informed me and the other passenger that she had to check another terminal to see if there were any passengers. She got out of the car and proceeded to have a 10-minute chat with an 18-year-old working at the transportation stand who was pondering her future career options. I know this because upon the driver's return, she told us all about said conversation.
Needless to say, my patience was wearing thin. I hadn't eaten the bagel yet because I felt like it was disrespectful to this woman's van or something. Plus, I was so hungry that what I was about to do to this bagel would be best done in private.
My impatience toward this driver probably should have been my first hint that I am not laid back enough for the West Coast (more on that later).
Finally, I got to the hotel, changed quickly, hoovered my bagel, and headed toward the conference center where I soon noticed that I felt like I had been awake for three days and I could barely string a sentence together. An afternoon of working, and my day wasn't quite over. I had a dinner ahead of me, which basically was taking place over my bedtime in Eastern Standard Time.
Based on my two nights there, I can tell you San Diego is a great foodie city. That night I dined with a lot of people who are smarter than me at a seafood restaurant called Blue Point. The food was phenomenal. You know I wanted to take ALL the food photos for you, but as I was sitting at a table full of PhDs, my grasp of the English language hanging on by a thread, I thought better of snapping a selfie with my amuse-bouche. (And when they started talking about the desire to retire at age 65, I kept my mouth shut when I thought about how I want to retire at age 30.)
I DON'T BELONG IN CALIFORNIA (SADLY)