Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Going to California

Five years ago, the Joint Mathematics Meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America were held in San Diego.  I made the trip, but I also rented a car and made a detour up to Disneyland first.  (Because, hey: Disneyland.)  This year, the Joint Meetings were back in San Diego, so I repeated the entire trip.  I journaled the trip a bit, but I intended to travel-blog after I got back, and so here I am.

I left Erie on a cold but thankfully not very snowy Thursday, on my way to Philadelphia to catch another flight headed to San Diego with a stop in Phoenix.  (We were told it was 63 degrees in Phoenix, which already made me feel pretty good.)  I brought most of my in-flight entertainment (books, movies, etc.) on my iPad, and when I got up to visit the lavatory, I discovered that a lot of people apparently do the same thing now.  Most rows seemed to have at least one person watching video or reading from a Kindle or something similar.  I wasn't sure if we could disembark at Phoenix (which they called "Sky Harbor"), but we did and I got to stretch my legs a bit.  Then I was just grateful I got to get back on the plane, because it was another of the standard "This flight is oversold, and we need two volunteers..."  Well I had no intention of making the first day any longer or not showing up until the next day, so they can just keep looking.

The first day is rough enough anyway.  After about 11 hours of airports and flights, it's time to recover luggage, find the rental car site, unpack the Garmin, and find my way to a Wyndham Garden motel near the airport where I've booked for the night.  Then I can hunt for some kind of dinner, and settle for a somewhat overpriced chef's salad in a diner near the motel, and finally settle in for the night.  Of course, it's three hours earlier in San Diego, so I'm still getting to bed reasonably early.  That's the advantage of flying to California.  Of course, going back is murder.

The first day is long, but necessary.  I'm over two thousand miles from home, and now situated only about an hour and a half from Disneyland.  Tomorrow, I drive up the coast to Anaheim, where I'll spend five glorious days in the sun with The Mouse.  Then back down for five days back in San Diego at the conference, ending with my own presentation before I fly back again next Saturday night.

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