Monday, March 29, 2010

Business or Pleasure?

That is the inevitable question when you tell someone you are taking a trip. Over the last several months whenever I mentioned that I was going to San Diego in March I didn’t get that question, instead I got a very long list of all the things I needed to do while I was there. I guess most people go to San Diego on vacation. I was going for a conference.

However, why travel to the opposite coast, to one of the most beautiful cities in our country, and not have any fun!! So that we did; lots of it! Hubby came along on this trip and thus it became half business, half pleasure for me, while at the same time being a 100% vacation for him. Lucky him! ;)

The conference, or rather, conferences, was a lot of fun as well. For the first time in the last three conferences I really do feel re-energized. That’s not to imply anything negative about the last two conferences. Two years ago I remember enjoying the conference immensely and was ready to take on some new things following it. But events shortly after that conference made it difficult for me to concentrate much. Last year’s conference occurred after some additional tragic events in my life and I just wasn’t mentally focused that year. But this year, I really did get a lot out of the conference and its many meetings. I am looking forward to tackling some things in a new way, trying some new things, and taking on some new challenges.

Now the fun part!! After getting in late on Friday (late is relative, we were still on East coast time) we got up Saturday refreshed and headed up the coast to check out La Jolla. We saw lots of big birds, sea lions, dolphins out in the ocean (too far off to take pictures), and beautiful scenery. Really the only reason to go to La Jolla is for the scenery. Heading back to the resort that afternoon, I finished the day in meetings while hubby relaxed with a book and enjoyed the quiet and beautiful resort setting.

Sunday was more morning meetings for me while hubby went off to check out Balboa Park. By the time I finished around noon he had planned the rest of my day for me. Yay!! We drove down to Balboa and headed to the International Village first to enjoy some food from the Iran House celebration going on that day. After purchasing our lunch of kabobs, rice, pitas, and baklava (and taste testing the milk candy while we waited in line) we took our lunch over to the free Sunday organ concert. The huge outdoor organ in the park is used every Sunday for a free concert. So we ate there and enjoyed the music. We also walked through the Japanese Garden and then stopped once more in the International Village on our way back to the car. We checked out the Scotland, Norway, China, Ireland, and Germany houses before finally heading back.

We wrapped up Sunday with Mass at a nearby Catholic church, a quick dinner, and then the big conference’s opening reception.

Monday was another day of fun for me. I attended one morning meeting and then we headed to the zoo. The SD Zoo is fabulous!! We spent the entire afternoon there and were not able to see it all. The bus tour at the beginning helped and we also took the Skyfair to get from one end of the park to the other (not my favorite thing) and I was able to see some cool things from above. I highly recommend the zoo. We got back to the conference for one evening meeting and then we went out to dinner in Old Towne. The concierge at the resort recommended a place (and provided us with a card to get a free appetizer). So we headed to Coyote Café and had some great Mexican food, as well as the best fresh tortillas I have ever had in my whole life!!

Tuesday and Wednesday were my busy days at the conference, so hubby was on his own. He spent Tuesday in Balboa Park visiting several museums. Wednesday he drove through some other parts of San Diego he hadn’t seen yet, drove across the two-mile Coronado Island bridge (just to say he had done it), and toured the USS Midway. Wednesday evening was the conference’s closing Banquet (complete with the most amazing Jazz Band of Music Librarians ever). Finally it was home on Thursday.

Overall it was a great trip and truly a 50/50 split in the business vs. pleasure category. We both had a great time and it was really good to get away and check out a new area of the country. I’m also re-energized and ready to get back to the many things awaiting me at work.

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