I'm not a fan of flying anywhere, especially long flights, but the four-hour flight between Chicago and San Diego is one that I enjoy, especially because of the views it affords. My camera doesn't do them justice for the desert landscapes make Earth look like another planet. I never get tired of looking out of the plane window on this flight.
I arrived in San Diego on Thursday for the American Association of Colleges & Universities conference on Diversity, which was highly recommended to me in my new role as Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at my small college on the hill. I wasn't complaining that it was in the 80s when I arrived, though the shuttle driver was bemoaning the heat. I told him I was from Ohio and that I'd trade him anytime.
The hotel was at walking distance from the harbor, which was lovely, and I appreciated that my name was correctly spelled and my í accented, as it should be.
We got a long lunch break from the conference on Friday (good planning on the conference organizers' part!) so we took a walk to the harbor and found a great place to eat and a famous bookstore to visit.
A Starbucks near the hotel was a great plus to me, although I couldn't get anyone to spell my name right there. You always know you're not in your país when you can't get them to spell your name right!
The conference was, overall, a helpful and productive experience, giving me lots of ideas and new connections in the field. But, most of all, I loved the time I got to spend with my oldest niece, who came to visit me from L.A., where she's studying film and acting. That time spent with her was precious. In addition, now I also know that San Diego is gorgeous and a great place to visit.