T-minus 20 minutes until I need to go take the shuttle from my hotel to the convention, so it seemed like a good time to write a blog post.
Those of you who read this blog already know my feelings about airports, so I will refrain from waxing poetic about them once more.
I will also only summarize the incredibly long plane ride. Jet Blue is the best way to fly, but there is simply no way to make six hours in the air tolerable, especially when you have managed to hurt yourself before flying and need to stand up regularly or your leg locks up and you fall down the next time you try to stand (embarrassing). I was in a middle seat, and the flight was too booked for me to change. Thankfully, the marketing executive next to me was a kind gentleman, and understood my need to make him move a couple times an hour.
The best part of the flight? I did some pre-con research. You see, I've never been to San Diego (I've never been to California), much less Comic Con, so I consulted a recently released guide book by Mira Grant.
Yes, I'm being facetious. If you haven't read Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy, you should. She just released a novella about the early days of the Rising (read: zombie apocalypse) that takes place at the San Diego Comic Con, which was perfect reading material for my way over. I love the zombies, but it is her description of the crowds that is really harrowing, for someone preparing to attend for the first time.
As the plane begins to descend into San Diego, the ground I can see through the window looks like the surface of the moon. This is what the moon will look like, if we colonize it. I suddenly feel inspired to write a space adventure, or I would if I hadn't just lost the feeling in my toes.
Instead, I keep watching Animal Planet (Cat from Hell) and getting glimpses of the world outside the window, whenever the man next to me leans back and the plane's tilt is such that I can see past the wing. The world under me disappears into what we on the east coast call "clouds" but which my driver later calls "marine fog," so I don't see what San Diego looks like from the air.
Outside, it is cool and dry, 60 degrees with maybe 50% humidity, which might not be the best weather for swimming, but is paradise if you have just come from 95 degrees and so humid you can practically swim in it. My wonderful driver happily describes the area for me, discussing the types of trees, the naval base, and pointing out a practice ship the navy uses for training (it's made out of plywood, surrounded by parking lot).
Let me say this: I can drive 8 hours to the north from my home and be in another country, but Montreal looks a lot like Boston to me. I have been to Seattle and Chicago and New York, and while each is a little different, I don't feel the need to visit to soak up the exotic atmosphere. They look like cities.
San Diego could never be mistaken for home. The architecture is distinctly different, even as I pass the same stores we have at home - Starbucks, Walgreens, Chilis. It reminds me of my visit to San Antonio to visit the Alamo. Is this a Spanish influence, a southern reaction to the heat, or (my anxiety wonders) a different building style required in an area prone to earthquakes? I didn't think to look up how close to any fault lines San Diego is. In my New Englander brain, I just assume California is never still.
In other news, the plants are equally exotic. Palms and Sequoias, imported in large numbers from Australia (another fun fact from my driver) line the roads, along with flowering bushes I don't have names for. Apparenly landscaping and gardening are big here, since almost every day is beautiful. The area gets less than 10 inches of rain a year, and rainstorms only happen every six months or so. (I do that math in my head, but don't challenge my driver-guide. Maybe twice a year they have a colossal downpour.)
I check into my hotel, and then instantly feel lost. The hallway I was told to go down to find my room isn't a hallway at all - I'm outside, which is an unexpected and confusing transition for my jet-lagged, over-caffeinated brain. I remind myself: it only rains here twice a year. This is the "hallway." After minimal wandering, I find my room. Time to sleep.
And now? It's time to get to the convention. Talk to you later.