Well, it’s the last day of the conference and I’m enjoying the incredible SD weather and thinking about the last couple of days and trying to do a little planning for the near future. I do have to say that in spite of all the bitching I’ve done about the minimal support of scholarly endeavors on campus, that this was an experience that was worthwhile and worth repeating.
I got into SD Thursday afternoon, checked in, registered, and immediately discovered that there were not any panels of interest to me for the rest of the day, which meant…. Walkabout! That was a lot of fun actually. Te hotel is tucked right between Gaslamp and Seaport Village, which makes it next door to Petco Park, home of the SD Padres who had the Nefarious Los Angeles Dodgers in town for the Season Opener. Gaslamp was jumpin with all shades for Blue and White! The biggest surprise that I came across though, really for the whole weekend, was the incredible lack of incredible local SD beers in Gaslamp! What’s up? I know that it’s touristy, and tourists like what’s familiar, but the way the SD beer spearheads the craft beer movement should be embraced and enthusiastically sold to the tourists as a matter of pride and identity, not be shoved to the side. Honestly, it was the reason I had a late lunch/early dinner at Nicky Rottens, they had a reasonable menu and mostly craft beer. I walked out of several places before deciding because they didn’t really sell good beer. On the plus side, I FINALLY got my hands on a Magic Hat #9 ( a really drinkable and interesting pseudo-pale ale) and had one of the best chile burgers I’ve ever had!
What was almost as nice as Nicky Rottens, was the cigar and beer I had at the Cuban Cigar Factory. While they had a pretty admirable selection of bottled Belgian beers, I could get most of them at home, or not far from home so I seized the opportunity to enjoy a Duvel on draft, much softer than the bottle conditioned variety and super enjoyable while watching the Padres!
After touring about the Gaslamp for a while, discovering a few little interesting shops (Chuck Jones has an art gallery! Loved it and could go broke there) I ambled around downtown and discovered The Best Beer Store, a location with such a staggering variety, and well kept, I think I spent 30 minutes just pacing in front of the reach in coolers trying to balance budget, against time and opportunity! I settled on an Ommegang 12oz Three Philosophers, a bottle of DFH Chicory Stout and a bomber of New Belgium Abbey Grand Cru, all to aid in the preparation of notes for my presentation or celebration of its completion the next day!
It was a very relaxing and entertaining first day in SD and seemed to have set the stage for the rest of the weekend. Stay tuned for part 2.