I drove to San Diego in about eight hours, along I-5. The experience is very cathartic and if you stop for one break, you could do it in about 7 or so. Driving along the central valley in California is monotonous and the music I had (Queensryche, Dire Straits, Pet Shop Boys, Pink Floyd, Rainbow, ABBA, and more) definitely helped to relieve the monotony. There is a weird sort of pleasure and contentment that arises from setting your car on cruise and enjoying the distant mountain view, in a way cutoff from communication with the rest of the world.
The reason I went to San Diego was to give a presentation on my research about protein structure at the Intelligent Systems in Molecular Biology 2000 conference. The talk went very well, and during the meeting I ran into lots of people I knew, some I hadn't met in years! This was unexpected and I came away from the meeting with lots of great ideas.
On one of the days I took off to LA to meet with a friend and we went out to Universal Studios. I had been there previously before and going through the same rides that I had done before (like the Studio Tour) was not as exciting even though there were slight changes. The Terminator 3D attraction which I hadn't seen before was amazing! The main purpose of this little travelogue is to show some of the cooler scenes from the Water World stunt spectacular, which is all the more cool and amazing because it's done on water: