Didja miss me?
The trip I was on was a "mostly business" trip to Monterey, CA. Yes, I was a pilgrim in an unholy land, and least if you're a conservative or a gun owner. Or if you eat meat and like sweet tea. Did you know that if you ask for sweet tea in a California restaurant, they look at you like you have two heads--and they're both spinning?
I did get to see why people moved there in the first place. Even as overrun with the human race as the California coast is, it is still incredibly beautiful. Sealions, bird life and whales (yes, I did the obligatory whale watching trip) are abundant. The hills come down to the water, and the effect is just startling, especially to someone who was raised on North and South Carolina beaches.
Prices, for everything, are beyond belief. Gas here is $2/gallon, there it's still $2.65/gallon. Crappy houses cost nearly $700,000. The house I live in, on 1.25 acres, can't be bought outside of Pebble Beach in the Monterey area. I have no idea what it would cost, but figure several million. (I of course, paid less.)
From a business standpoint, it was worthwhile, and hopefully I'll be able to give the employer some good value for their money. From a personal standpoint, I missed my family and my home, and while it was fun, those 14-16 hour days on planes and in airports suck. I wouldn't trade the experience, but I'm glad to be home.