I'm sitting in the San Diego Airport waiting for a delayed red eye flight back to JFK. What better time to fashion a bulleted list to document and reflect upon -- in a disorganized way -- my trip to Californ-I-A?
- This afternoon on a double-decker bus tour of downtown S.D., I saw clouds in the sky for the first time all week. A few wispy, white, unmenacing clouds.
- We rented a convertible for the week, a Mitsubishi Eclipse.
- The first car I ever drove was a Wrangler, so I know what it's like to drive without a roof, but it's different in California when it's warm enough to do it every day. Also, the Eclipse's engine never stalled dead at 70 mph on the highway like that old Wrangler used to do.
- I've never really been behind the wheel of even an entry-level sports car before. Don't get me wrong, I love the Yaris, but it was nice to be able to take off on an open road without the fear of an automotive hernia.
- One really does need a vehicle to do anything here.
- On a related note, we saw fireworks on the 4th at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, and I have never in my life seen such expansive parking lots. And it still wasn't enough.
- At the fair, you could pay someone to strap you into an apparatus, and slingshot you straight up a few hundred feet in the air, and then bounce you around bungee-style, upside down and inside out, until you begged for death.
- They had a swing ride at the fair. I've vomited on a number of carnival rides in my life, but never in so fantastic a manner as I did on the swings at the Big East fair in Connecticut when I was about 10. At least I think it was that fair. I just remember the shirt I was wearing. And the barf.
- This airport has only one runway, and a plane either lands or takes off every 90 seconds. Why oh why not mine?
- I just realized an epic fail: I left something I really would've liked to keep in the rental car. Fudge.
- You know what's really big? An aircraft carrier. Although we didn't go on (who has the time), we did drive by, and The Midway is huge. It's really amazing that something like that can float.
- If you get bitten by a rattlesnake, apparently, you should NOT ask someone to suck the poison out. Which really makes me think...what OTHER misinformation have I been fed by Hollywood?
- Of course, when in San Diego, one must go to the zoo. The animal that stares most hungrily at zoo visitors: the Komodo dragon. Animals that dig most enthusiastically in each others' butts: these guys.
- The people I met in San Diego were, in general, extremely proud of their city. And not in a jingoistic "your city sucks" kind of way (I'm looking at you, Boston), in a charming way. It made me like the city more.
- Only about 15,000 people live in downtown San Diego (according to the recording on the tour bus). I thought it was way bigger than that.