I’m back from a Liberty Fund in San Diego (organised by Matt Zwolinski on Lysander Spooner). But I almost didn’t make it.
I was scheduled to take the shuttle bus from Auburn to the Atlanta airport on Thursday morning. But on Wednesday I got a call from the bus company saying that thanks to the ice storm they were cancelling their Thursday morning trips – and all trips Wednesday as well. I contacted the local taxi company, who said that for a whopping fee they’d drive me to the airport, but only if we could leave right away (i.e., before they’d have to be driving in the dark, with colder temperatures and poorer visibility). So I frantically threw my clothes etc. into a suitcase, taking no time to shower, reserved a room for the night in Atlanta, and we were off. Between the traffic slowdowns, partial road closures, and sliding around on the ice, the trip to the airport took four hours (as opposed to the usual hour and forty-five minutes). Happily, all went properly the next morning.
Owing mainly to my mother’s final illness, when she couldn’t realistically be left alone overnight, I haven’t been on a plane for nearly two years. Incredibly, airplane bathrooms seem to have gotten even smaller in the interval, which I wouldn’t have thought possible. I can’t imagine how disabled passengers manage.
I grabbed lunch at Las Cuatro Milpas, widely reputed to be the best Mexican eatery in the city. I thought the burrito was a bit dry, but the taco was incredible.
The conference on Spooner was great, and San Diego was lovely as usual. Being back there was a poignant reminder of what life is like where the airport is right in town rather than nearly two hours away, and nothing is ever shut down on account of an ice storm. The conference was at La Jolla’s Colonial Hotel, where my mother lived during the 1930s.
During a conference break I headed up to the Torrey Pines Nature Reserve, which I hadn’t seen since I was around eight or nine. Still as beautiful as ever.
I forgot to mention I also stopped by my old Ocean Beach neighbourhood and had lunch at Hodad’s.
The last time I was in San Diego (2011), I stumbled on Las Cuatro Milpas entirely by chance, loved it, and had virtually every one of the rest of my meals there. But I had no idea of its reputation until now.
I had to chuckle at this: “Being back there was a poignant reminder of what life is like where the airport is right in town rather than nearly two hours away…” That sentence was itself a poignant reminder of my grad school years, when I lived in an apartment next to the airport in South Bend, Indiana. On the one hand, there was the convenience of living next to the airport. On the other hand, there was the perpetual sense that the planes were taking off and landing in my apartment.
Having lived in the SD Airport flightpath as a kid, I find planes flying low overhead every two minutes oddly restful. But I can see how people who aren’t used to it would be freaked out:
Yeah, that is not at all restful. It’s a hell of a lot louder than Michiana Regional Airport ca. 1997. I’d have gone insane listening to that.
That said, when I spent time in Abu Dis, in the West Bank, I sometimes found Israeli army incursions oddly sleep inducing.