So last Monday, TYG and I headed out, as we always do, for the Mensa national gathering which this year is in San Diego. The longest flight we’ve ever taken but the San Diego Zoo (which will get its own post) would have been a good enough reason for the trip by itself.
The setting was San Diego’s Town and Country Inn, which is a very odd but attractive mix of multi-story towers (above), motel-type two story buildings (below) and one-story bungalows. I don’t know if it was originally one thing and got renovated or if several different resorts got lumped into one. But it is very attractive, with flowers, palm trees, pools and gazebos.
Although there were plenty of presentations, I only made a couple: Wil Wheaton was the keynote speaker at Friday night’s dinner (and prompted a couple of posts for later); “The Man from 1926” talked about the differences in life back then; a historian talked about England’s Crystal Palace exhibit 150 years ago; and Sara Karloff spoke about her father, Boris, which was one I really wanted to see (followed by Ms. Karloff introducing a showing of Frankenstein). And I was tickled that like me, one of her favorite films of her father’s is his classic 1960s drama, Targets
The real fun, as always, was hanging out. I was constantly in hospitality talking with people, mostly friends I don’t get to see the rest of the year, sometimes with people I’d never met before. This is the stuff that keeps me paying my Mensa menbership dues, year after year. Conversations about movies, jewelry, relationships, jobs, kids, dogs (I showed lots of Trixie and Plushie photos), and general geekiness. It’s particularly wonderful when so much of my work week is spent alone with just the dogs.
The food? Underwhelming. To their credit, the hotel had plenty to nosh on between meals (PB&J, fruit, tuna cups [nice idea even though I don’t eat fish], sweets). And the hot water for tea tasted like water, not coffee—I’ve had coffee-flavored tea at other RGs and I don’t recommend it. But Thursday there were no vegetarian options at lunch and dinner. None whatsoever. That’s simply appalling in this day and age—avoiding meat isn’t fringe any more. I’m not a demanding vegetarian at these events—having burritos with the option of meat or bean at Wednesday’s dinner was good enough—but I do expect something. And the frequency with which the option was soup didn’t help.
The Fahrenheit? As this is “dry heat” and way lower than I routinely walk our dogs in this time of year, I didn’t think it would be a problem. But Tuesday at the zoo, despite hydrating plenty, I began feeling kind of not-good. I didn’t faint or anything, but I was very careful to drink lots and lots of water the next couple of days.
(I also managed to blister one toe walking around the zoo and to make myself very stiff by swimming in the hotel pool—my first effort at swimming in well over a year, so the stiffness isn’t surprising).
Yesterday, we made it home. This morning we pick up the pups from the vet. I’m rested, recharged and feeling very happy. More photos to follow later this week.