Maybe it's more like our trip to Los Angeles. It's been a couple weekends past since we got back, but I figured I'd tell everyone in cyberland all about it still...
The reason for the trip was to attend the 96th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Or at least I was to attend the meeting, I just dragged Mike along for the weekend. I had a poster to present on the Monday of the meeting, which I might discuss later, so we had the weekend to play a bit.
We arrived at LAX around 9pm on Friday evening. Mike got there before I did and just waited around at the Southwest gates for my flight to get in. From there, we made our way down to the ground transportation area (which is a madhouse...I can't ever see myself driving to LAX and driving by the terminal areas without losing my sanity). We had to wait for a bus to take us to the car rental place (which...took a little while. We saw like 6 busses for a different company pass by, the same one mind you, before ours finally came. Finally on the bus, we head off to the rental lot. Right outside the gate to the lot is a car with an Asian family in it (2 people up front and like 2 or 3 kids in the back). It was just STOPPED in the road in the right lane before the turn in. The bus kept honking, but the people wouldn't GO. It was as if they didn't know how to drive the car! The kids in the back started waving at the bus driver to just go around, which the bus eventually did, only to have to make a right turn about 15 feet in front of them.
We get the car and set out north on the 405 towards Sylmar/Valencia. The place we stayed the first night was close to our Saturday amusement park of choice, Six Flags Magic Mountain. Checked in, got pizza delivered, watched a little TV and went to sleep. I remember waking up earlier than I needed to, seeing the first bit of sunlight coming into the window. For some reason, I had feared that we had overslept and would be late to the amusement park! (Mike was still kind of out of it. I jumped right out of bed and volunteered to shower first. Mike dozed, having to actually ask if I had already taken a shower when I woke him up afterwards).
And then off to Magic Mountain! Traffic was a little nuts (just sheer number of people), but we got there and into the park just about a half hour after the park actually opened.
It was a great time. Perfect weather. Great rides. A few strange people (we were starting to feel a bit out of place as the night wore on...we were the exception to everyone having strange body piercings. Eyebrows. Lips. Scruff of the neck. I don't care to know where else).
With enough thrill rides in our system, we left to go check into the hotel that was being paid for attending the meeting. Disneyland Grand Californian.
Wow. There is no way I'd be able to spend that much money on this hotel by myself. I'm not entirely sure that, if I had the money, if I'd stay there. Beautiful hotel, and nestled right between Disneyland and California Adventure. We weren't going to either...too much. But Downtown Disney was free to go to (where all the shopping is), and that was right outside our door too. Apparently that's where all the normal people were.
Sunday was the day that Mike had to go home (so he could go back to work Monday). We headed out to Redondo Beach and got to walk in the sand as the waves washed over our feet. I wouldn't have traded that walk for anything.
Then off to a quick dinner and then to the airport to drop of the car and get Mike on a plane.
If the IP doesn't change, here's some pictures from our trip:
I headed back to the hotel (sans Mike...sniff) and got ready for the meeting on Monday morning. Just to summarize...the meeting was okay. My poster went well (got lots of comments/questions/etc). I got some stuff from the vendors at the meeting too (a radio, a cool pen, a stuffed duck, magnets, etc). By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was tired and wanting to go back home. But I had to go back to Tucson for 2 days before finally being able to get back to see Mike in Reno.