I got home yesterday from a week-long trip to San Diego for a business conference. I have to say, I am really glad to be back. I went alone, so I was really missing Gwen and the boys by the end of it. Still, it was kind of fun going back to San Diego for little bit; I got to check out a few of my old haunts, and catch up with a few friends I haven’t seen in a few years. I have to say, being back there after 6 years had an almost…eerie feel to it.
The year I spent in San Diego has a special place in my heart and mind, for a number of complex reasons. For one, it was something of the Promised Land after two tough years of slogging through the shipyard up in Bremerton. When I arrived in April 2009, the schedule on the ship I was on became much less hectic and stressful, and it felt quite liberating at the time. There is also the fact that the summer of 2009 was the last summer before Gwen and I got married, which made it bittersweet. Sweet, in that it was fun enjoying my last few months as a bachelor, going to the game store any night of the week, and generally goofing around. Bitter, due to the fact I went without seeing Gwen until September, when I flew out for the ceremony, and so I was definitely missing her. Afterwards, San Diego was the place we spent our first months together as a married couple, including our first Thanksgiving and our first Christmas. So yeah, it was kind of a strange feeling coming back to this town that is so full of such vibrant memories!
While I was busy during the day with the conference I was attending, I did get to do a few fun things. On Monday night, the day I arrived, I went up to Game Empire, which is the game store I frequented while I lived there. Much to my surprise, I discovered that a decent chunk of my old War At Sea gaming group still played there, and were playing that night. They were happy to see me, and were nice enough to loan me some ships so I could sit in on the game they were running.
Later in the week, on Thursday, I went to Santana’s Mexican Food to get one of their Carne Asada burritos. When Gwen and I lived in San Diego, Santana’s was one of our favorite burrito joints. And while the location we typically ate at is sadly no longer in business, there was another location that was open a few miles away. The burrito was just as tasty as I remember!
After I finished eating, I rounded out my week by going to another game store that I had never been to before, At Ease Games. I was invited by Steve, one of my friends in the Game Empire War at Sea group. Together with Steve, Doug, Chris, and Bill, I played a railroad game called Railways of the World by Funagain Games. This game is a bit more complicated than Ticket to Ride, but was still pretty easy to learn. I had a lot of fun playing with these guys, and I’m glad Steve invited me.