San Diego, 2005

C11 San Diego proposal ( updated)
My 10th Convergence, 2nd one dragging Cris along. Of course I had to have something wrong with me: I was in a special boot that kept pressure off the front of my right foot (inflamed joint, bone cyst) and had a cane to help balance me.
We used some of the suggestions here regarding places to eat, and things to do.

Thur Apr 21

I called a taxi thinking it would take 20 mins, but it was here in 10, so much running around ensued to finished getting dressed. Nice guy, waited for us to get our gear out to his car. Quick trip to the airport, there by 8. Checked in our bags at the machine, both of us still really asleep and having to explain things in detail to each other. Through security, they let me keep on my foot brace, but I put the cane through the machine. In search of a Power-C drink, ended up with a berry one instead, with a hint of banana. Read while waiting for our flight to be called, we were there before they deplaned the inbound flight at our gate.

There were two kids seated in the row in front of us, luckily they fell asleep soon after take off. Quick trip down to DC, Dulles, soft landing. Our outbound gate was close to our arrival one, but we had 4 hours to kill so we walked through the C concourse to D and went to the TGIFriday's there. We had a passable meal, then back to our gate. Cris got me a smoothie (it's becoming traditional for me to have one in Dulles) and we read and waited for our flight. It was full up, but I was able to get us shifted to be next to each other (we'd had two middle seats), but the family we apparently disrupted was vocal about getting back in one row asap (disrupting boarding a bit in the process of getting everyone to move around). Finally all set and on our way on time. Food was okay, ravioli, lots of water, two movies (Spanglish, then we voted for National Treasure over Oceans 12 - though the captain demanded a recount). We had a wonderfully snarky flight attendant making announcements (she acted surprised that the flight crew recognised SAN, told people they could use their cell phones while we taxied to our gate but only if they talked really loudly about things that no one else wanted to hear - coincidentally keeping everyone in their seats until the fasten seatbelts light went off). We had a bit of a wait for our bags (lots of flights in at the same time as ours, and only 3 carousels). Then another bit of a wait until the hotel shuttle picked us up (but I enjoyed breathing the outside air after hours in planes and airports). We ended up with a van full of goths for the ride out to Shelter Point. Checked in to the Shelter Pointe Hotel okay, got an accessible room just off the lobby, though it was down a tiled hallway that was a bit annoying to navigate - all the tiles around the hotel were edged by deep grooves and the surfaces were uneven, which made walking with the cane a bit of a challenge. I took a shower while Cris went out to get water from a convenience store, and fell asleep - he had a long way to go, but I was dead tired at 10pm. Room's on the ground floor near the two story lobby (with gas fireplace big enough to roast an ox), and across from the pool. No pre party for us.

Fri Apr 22

Woke at 7 (woo east coast time), showered, and went down to AJ's hotel restaurant for buffet lunch. Used the 10% off email, and got it back for use on the next trip to the restaurant. Our table overlooked the marina, we watched clouds and sun fighting for the sky.

Back to room, text messaged Amy about going to the San Diego Zoo and talked to her when she called back. We met her in the hobby at 10am, decided to pick up the rental car later in the day, and shared a van cab with a couple from Nanaimo to the Zoo. Our cabbie gave us a mini tour on the way, pointing out sights as we passed them.

We queued up to do the bus tour first, the rain held off mostly, we were on the upper deck so it could have been wet. Then we walked around to catch more details. The aviary rocked, a rock pigeon almost landed on me. Lots of small herbivores in various enclosures, and we saw the pygmy hippos, the giraffes, camels, elephants, snow lepoards, a black lepoard and more.
I called the same taxi driver for a lift back, he toured us through Balboa park and the museums.

Went straight to the meet and greet, got laminates and t-shirts and goodie bags. Talked for a bit until the rain came down, and went back to our room. Made dinner reservations for us, Amy, Stuart. Got picked up from the lobby by the Enterprise guy and got the car sorted out. Back and read for a bit, then out to Sushi Ota, picking up Stuart from his hotel on the way. The restuarant was pretty busy, but they had good fish at a decent price. The salmon nigiri I had had a train of fish, very generous. The plum wine was good too, and I had plum wine ice cream to round off. The spicy yellowtail roll wasn't that spicy.

Back to hotel and got ready to head out to 4th and B - it was 8 by the time we got back. We'd just made it on time for our 6:30 reservation, with a few turns, and came back much more directly.

Put on short velvet jacket, sleeveless dress shirt, and capri pants with striped socks. Drove over, found free parking after one circle, and went in just in time to catch most of Shaolin Punk's set, which was energetic and fun. Mr Monster tried to be a surf punk band, but the singers were not so good. They did a cover of Sci Fi Double Feature that almost worked. More Machine than Man had videos projected on a screen in front of them, so we could occasionally see them through the screen when the lighting was on them. The lead singer of Ego Likeness reminded me of Caroline Blind - sexy womanly voice. Talked with Michelle for a while, and Amy, seated up a few risers at a table. Left around 1am, to sleep.

Sat Apr 23

Woke up at around 8, went for a hot tub and a swim - two older people in the tub with us, and a mother teaching a toddler to swim (toddler had a colourful one piece/short type bathing suit). The pool was just the right temperature. Showered after and then went to AJ's for breakfast, got the discount again with the email print out. No buffet this morning, but also no person talking loudly on their cell phone, and we were at the table next to where we'd been the day before. My huervos rancheros was assemble your own, but good for all that. I had a chance to browse the vendors room at 10:30 when they opened, nothing caught my eye though I was tempted by the Sigh Co table and their t-shirts. Back to the room to gussy up a little for tea, had to get a wrist band, and then moved along the table set up in the Cabo courtyard. Sat with Amy and Rachel (I think - I found her ring by the table). I was a bit disappointed that the promised good loose tea was gone, replaced by the hotel's bagged offerings. I caught Dragon and asked for some veggie sandwiches as all the offerings were meat, and the loaf slices all had bananas and/or walnuts in them. It started getting cool, so I went in for my jacket (our room's balcony opened on the Cabo Courtyard). The models in short flippy skirts were plagued by the wind, but dealt with it gracefully. I really liked the first outfit, with the red and black corset with lapels in satin from Versatile (formal halter corset). The crushed velvet dress (full length, much warmer) was also nice in red and black. Chatted a bit about historical sites and family history, was great to be able to hear everyone. Tea plus fashion show lasted about two hours, then I found Cris and we went back to the vendor's room so I could try to find an under corset lace top at Versatile Fashions - no luck, it may have been one of the Annisse or Exquisite Restraint or Heavy Red models that was wearing it.

Then Cris and I drove out to the Museum of Man in Balboa park - large breadth in the Weapons of the World exhibit, though some repeats in the cabinet's contents. Walked through the Alcazar moorish garden on our way out. Cris got the car and we drove down to the alternative shopping district (ran into the tail end of one of the shopping trips, I think). Browsed Bluestocking books, Wear it Again Sam, Off the Record, and got tea time soap in Shwoomp.

Then we decided to try and find Ranchos Kuchina to get a Mexican dinner. We drove past the street outbound on Broadway, passed by it only seeing the Ranchos sign on the way back, called 411 and asked where they were, and finally got there. Parked in alley behind it, and went through the Mexican grocery to the street and into the restaurant. Good if different sangria (wine with an iced guava mix poured in), chips, and I had an avocado burritto with green sauce that was quite good.

Back to hotel at around 6:30 to see the indoor fashion at 7, which started at 7:30. Doomie didn't turn off his mic as he was trying to get models onto the catwalk, so we were giggling at him talking firmly to them. We were opposite the lights, so it was hard to see details. Exquisite Restraint had a cool collection. Quick change to my Shrine dragon covered gown with the trailing sleeves (with my tricorn, of course, this time with a scarf under it tied to trail down my back) and then over to the venue - we got free rock star parking across from 4th and B and went in. Sat on one of the couches under the balcony overhang - the couch was a bit soft, but much more social - Amy and Stuart, Jason, Cossack and Tatyana joined us at different times.

Bands: Mercurine - the lead singer reminded me of Becky, but her voice wasn't quite up to that standard. The Strand were much more crunchy than I was expecting, though I think they were a bit distorted as well (Michelle said she could understand him better at AZ shows). Machine in the Garden provided background noise was I got caught up in a conversation. Summer's dress was dripping with red ribbons, it was neat. The Azoic had good stage presence, the lead singer reminded us of Alexis. Picked up their new cd just before leaving.

I was pleasantly surprised that the women's washroom was pristine, and had an attendant who squirted soap on my hands. Cris had warned me that the men's was a typical club bathroom. I adjusted my head scarf under my hat and headed back out. We left as the Azoic was finishing up, as we had brunch reservations the next morning.

Sun Apr 24

I woke with my phone alarm at 9:45, thankful to have slept through the night finally. Showered and changed into business casual clothes to head out to Coronado and the Hotel Del Coronado for the fancy pants brunch.

We had left extra time to get there, which was needed when we took a wrong turn. The island is very flat, the hotel is very large. The brunch was held in the ballroom, under an arching dome, open to light at both ends. They had a huge array of great food set up on 5 different tables, it was so worth it to go over to the island. I had a crab leg, smoked salmon, 3 kinds of shrimp, sushi, an oyster, swordfish, scrambled eggs, a mimosa, 2 pots of tea, OJ, tiramisu, flourless chocolate cake, and more. We took a walk on the hotel grounds and sat to watch the sea from a semi circular bench. The sun was warm and the wind light as we sat there, but the crowds were heavy. We could see the bluffs at the opening to the Pacific.

Back over the bridge and to Balboa park again, where we were ordered around in a parking lot as stupid people tried to back up into us. Cris dropped me off and found a better spot, then we went to see the Photography Museum. They had two exhibits on: Edward Burtynsky, a Canadian photographer of mines and the detritus of human manufacturing - gorgeous landscapes in quarries, neat side by side photos, and Andrea Modica, a portratist - loved the one of the two kids in bed, one lying down, the other cross legged with her hands over his eyes, plus the one with someone cupping the fall of a girls straight hair off the side of a bed.

No postcards of those two pictures (very small exhibit space, no permanent collection that we could see), then went down in elevator to the model railroad exhibit. Lots of scale models of trains, it was interesting to listen to the afficionados as we wandered among the dioramas.

Next it was back upstairs and we walked through the Japanese Friendship Garden, with a calligraphy display in a small building. Some C11 attendees were going in as we came out. Got a very hot cup of chai in the tea house/noodle shop, and walked back to the car for the drive back to the hotel. Called my dad to check on wine to bring to Uncle Gerard tomorrow (red), and wrote up travel dairies sitting on our porch and observing goths stalking by. Need to check email... Missed the workshops, as got back to hotel at 3pm. Just DJ's tonight, so probably won't stay too long.

Rested and read for a while, and tried to collect a few people for supper, but the corpgoth dinner was at the same time and thwarted me. Cris and I headed out of the hotel at 6pm and drove over to Broadway and 5th and snagged a parking space just down from Khyber Pass. We still weren't very hungry after the uber filling brunch, so we went back in to browse at Off the Record. Cris got a Kraftwerk t-shirt, then we went back to the restaurant where we were seated quickly. They had neat translucent plexiglass between us and the kitchen, and murals on the walls. I had the vegetarian platter and a good mango lassi (way too small, as usual, I need to make one at home that fills a blender again). The cherry rice was sweet, the other three were savoury, and the 5 veggie samples were good. I was fooled by the spiced cornstarch on the dessert tray, it had looked like ice cream when it went by for display to other tables. So, we went off to Extraordinary Desserts instead for our final course, again snagging a parking space right across the street. There was a longish wait at the counter, and a longer one at the table, tilting our V marker to try and lure a server to bring us our sweets. The lemon meringue cake wasn't the custardy pie that I was expecting, but it was a good yellow cake infused with lemon. I had a pot of jasmine earl grey tea from loose leaves, it was really good. We sat outside, moving under the heat lamp as the order took a while to appear and I was getting chilly even with my coat on. A kid kept rolling by on his roller shoes, he was lucky he didn't run into a waiter, or us. We headed back to the hotel once we were done eating, stuffed brim full and with leftovers, and I made the mistake of lying on the bed. I fell asleep while Cris was puttering about and we ended up punking out on the Port Royal Ball.

Mon Apr 25

We decided to leave the hotel for breakfast this morning, heading up to La Jolla and The Cottage (again parking right next to it for free). We sat outside in half sun half shade and the waitress was able to turn off the heat lamp as the day was balmy. I had stuffed french toast (folded in half with strawberries and marscapone cheese spread thinly on it). I had fresh tangerine juice that was sweetly citrusy and very good. Cris then drove us over to the AAA office in La Jolla and they weighed him down with all the maps we could possibly need of LA. Then, back to I5 and north to Los Angeles. We went past Camp Pendelton and saw helicopters on exercises, and we could see frequent glimpses of the coast through the dips in the dry scrub covered hills. Much more desert like along that stretch of highway. We passed the sign for the Wild Animal Park but didn't detour. When we stopped to grab a half tank of gas (expensive!), the auto card reader at the pump wouldn't authorise my card though it asked for my zip code. I got the clerk to put 15 on the pump and finished that way. We ended up taking I5 right into Hollywood, and drove down Sunset Blvd until we were just past Vine (I was able to get a glimpse of the Hollywood sign) and we again parked just up from our destination, Amoeba Music. We had some time to spend before heading to San Pedro to visit my uncle, we we dove into the wonder of the music supermarket - it reminded me a lot of Sam the Record Man in Toronto, but cheaper. I quickly hit my $50 limit and cashed out before I could be tempted more (I didn't make it past the C's, but I got some good deals on Cranes and Curve cd's). Cris eventaully broke free, and we popped into a coffee/tea shop across the street for some cold caffiene, and hit the road south west to San Pedro.

We hit traffic and I called to warn Gerard that we'd be a bit late, but we made it there just 15mins after our ETA. We had a good chat and then he drove us in his new yellow Focus (we had a white Focus for our rental) to Red Lobster, and I was able to reset the GPS unit for him when it got confused. They gave me more than 30 shrimp with my meal deal, but I ate every one. Back to Gerard's place, and I had Cris take a picture of me and me uncle for posterity - it had been a lot of years since we'd seen each other. Traffic was light heading back, well, relative for California, but the bright head lights were annoying. We had lots of new music to listen to at least, and didn't need to pop over into the carpool lane to keep a constant speed.

The moon was low and red as we pulled into the hotel lot, at around 9:30pm. We did some pre-packing and then fell asleep, worn out from the 250 miles of road we'd rolled over.

Tue Apr 26

I'd put in a wake up call, so the phone rang at 7:30. I took my shower first, and then unpacked and repacked half my suitcase as I realised that I had left my orthotic insert in the boot I'd stuffed full of small clothes and used as a base for the rest of the packing. We had our last breakfast at AJ's, and I was good and had the granola, fruit and yoghurt - even though it was much larger than expected and filled me up, at least it wasn't fried or drenched in butter. A last sweep of the room, and we checked out, leaving the rental car at the hotel for Enterprise to come and collect. We just made the shuttle to the airport at 9:30 and had no problems at check in. Unfortunately, they decided to swab me down when I went through with my shoe and brace on, but we still had lots of time before our flight left. No pre boarding, but I inserted us in the line at the start of our section (1) and got to the seats with a minimum of waiting (though an old lady had beat us there and we had to make her move). Bought a snacky lunch (picked out the bananas and walnuts from the trail mix) and watched Lemony Snicket as our movie. We should descend to O'Hare soon, hopefully we'll make our short conection and be in Boston with our luggage later this evening.

Despite having to walk through the colourful tunnel to the next concourse over, we made our connection with time to spare (we got in a bit early from SD, actually). The flight home was fine, though we had a bit of a wait for our luggage. Taxi home, found a piece of paper saying that my suitcase got opened and inspected, and rather compulsively threw everything in there into my laundry basket. Managed to get to sleep at a decent hour (ie midnight instead of 9pm) and was up for work the next day.

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