As Labor Day nears, this is the last of my Summer Reflections for this year, with each new experience fodder for future book scenes or characters. With back-to-school movements, I, too, shall return to regular writing blog posts. I do have my tween fantasy sequel nearly ready to submit, and my time travel has already gone through my content editor. On to California…
Last month, my husband and I spent four days in San Diego, California, for a conference. Well, three for the conference and one day to play. Here are some reflections of that time.
(Bird of Paradise Flower)
It was right on the bay, with a balcony, and we were on the 12th floor. Very nice. We had two bottles of water in our room our first night. My husband used one, it was never replaced our next three nights. Just odd. There is also on top of the hotel rate per night, a 10.2% occupancy tax. Was not expecting that…but we had a very nice view.
Walking To and From the Conference
We had a 1.3 mile hike through parts of Little Italy to the conference location; so we walked nearly three miles a day just getting to and from the conference. The first morning we passed four homeless men and women, one still in a sleeping bag, on a bridge overpass, and another in his sleeping bag on the sidewalk, head on his sack, with two umbrellas covering his head. Returning one night, we passed what DH thought was a hooker. On my part, I’m quite ignorant about spotting suspected woman like this. But neither of us had difficulty labeling the 25-year-old beggar. At 10:30 PM, nearly back to our hotel, two corvettes raced down the street from behind us. If we would have taken just two more steps in the crosswalk, while our walk light said it was clear to walk, I may not be sitting here today writing this post. One of the corvettes spun off to the left, exactly where we would have been had we not stopped at the squealing tires. There are also a whole lot of dogs and dog-walkers in that area of town. At first I thought the urine-smelling streets were because of the homeless, but owners allow their dogs to relieve themselves right on the sidewalks. Now, you mustn’t think (I don’t) that all people are like this in San Diego, for we only caught some of the night life on the back streets.
We also walked the bayside sidewalk, past numerous pedicabs (carriage pulled by bicycle), down to Seaport Village, a lovely, quaint, quintessential California shopping area. We enjoyed refreshments in the foodcourt area while listening to two instrumental guitarists whom I found rather good. I watched a dragon chase a small girl around on the merry-go-round. And I purchased items from three shops.
The USS Midway Museum
In the same area as our hotel is a “retired” aircraft carrier, now a museum. We could see it from our hotel balcony. I went along because my husband really wanted to see it, and we could walk there. We ended up spending nearly five hours there, and I was surprisingly, totally engrossed. It was my first time on an aircraft carrier. We took the self-guiding audio tour and followed the arrows and noticed the ship’s maps (pictured in yellow and black code). I was first impressed by how huge the ship is, and later with some of the interesting facts, like how planes would land on the flight deck every 45 seconds. Impressive teamwork. I could have spent much longer aboard.
On the Phoenix to San Diego leg of our flight, there were about fifty young men who boarded with us. (DH thought they looked like middle school kids). None had carry-ons; all held only a large manila envelope. My guess was that they were heading to Boot Camp. This was confirmed by an announcement on board. Two of them sat behind me, both born in Mexico. One traded seats with the other because he had never flown on an airplane before. He exclaimed “Wow!” several times as we lifted off. I knew he had many more new experiences to come.
For our first two mornings, a group of young men jogged/marched with purpose past our hotel window on the bayside sidewalk below. Only on the second morning did I notice that these young men were also accompanied by policemen on bicycles. I found it ironic for people who will be defending the world against terrorists to be escorted and protected in our own country by civil law keepers.
(Thus ends my 2015 Summer Reflections. On to writing writing posts next week.)