Posted by: GeekHiker | November 24, 2009

Lingering Memories

I went down to San Diego last weekend weekend before last; just a quick overnight trip.

I’ve only been there a few times in my life, which is kind of strange considering that both a) I like San Diego and b) it’s really not that far away from L.A.  On this trip, too, I realized that San Diego (in the downtown section at least) actually reminded me a little bit of Portland.  Plus, both cities seem so much more at ease with themselves than L.A., which always seems to want to be all things to all people.

That subject, though, is probably deserving of a post of its own.

Still, I always feel a little mixed, feelings-wise, when it comes to the city of San Diego.

Prior to this weekend (which was fun and which I’ll blog about as soon as I look over the pictures; maybe over Thanksgiving), my last trips break down like this:

  • A trip a number of years ago with The Ex Girlfriend.  It was right at the beginning of our relationship and, although fun, was only “okay” as trips go.  In fact, had I any clue when it came to relationships, I probably would have realized right on that trip that she wasn’t the girl for me.  Instead, I ended up spending over four years with her.
  • Before that was a three day weekend with The Co-Worker.  It was, and remains, one of my happiest and best memories.  One of those rare periods of time where everything just clicks.  Of course, that makes thinking about it now rather painful, so the less I write of it, the better.

Prior to that, the only other time I’d been to San Diego was as a kid.  That trip, though, has perhaps the strongest memories, if not the most clear ones.  Allow me to explain.

I was pretty young, maybe 7 or 8 at the time.  We did all the typical tourist things, like the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the San Diego Zoo of course.  But the memory that has really stuck through the years was what happened one evening while heading back to our hotel.

At some point my Dad, unfamiliar with the San Diego streets, accidentally cut off someone in traffic.

We’ve all done it, right?  You make the turn at the wrong time, against the red when you shouldn’t have, whatever.  The other driver gets angry, gives you the finger, honks the horn.

Or you’ve had it done to you.  You get angry, give the other driver the finger, honk your horn.

In either case, it’s all over and done with within a few minutes, an everyone goes about their lives.

Not this guy.  No, he took it to a whole new level.

He proceeded to follow us.

Around San Diego.

For the next hour and a half.

Down one way streets.  Up hills.  On the freeway.  Back on city streets.

At one point, Dad turned town a dead end street and wasn’t followed.  When Dad made the u-turn to come back out, the guy was waiting there.

Clearly this guy knew the streets in a way the Parentage did not.

Finally, my Dad decided to head back to the police station we had passed earlier in the evening.  The logic was, and I remember this clearly, was that if he was going to get beaten up, it might as well be in front of a bunch of police officers.

Before we found the station, though, the guy vanished into the night.

It’s one of the few times I remember my Father actually being scared.  Not so much for himself, I think, as for the fact that his Wife and kid were in the car.

I wonder if this event, seared into my memory as a young kid, subconsciously colors my feelings about San Diego.  I like the city, but when I’m there I always feel slightly out-of-sorts.  Not in an obvious way, just a feeling in the back of my mind.

Driving back towards Balboa Park on Sunday, in fact, I kept feeling like the traffic on the freeway was particularly aggressive.  But was it really?  I mean, I drive in L.A., so I know aggressive traffic. Perhaps it was all in my head?

Sometimes, I think, those strong memories from when we were young tend to always have some influence.  After all, I didn’t have the understanding of the way the world works that I do now.  All I knew was that we were driving around, being chased by a crazy person, and that Dad was scared.  And if Dad was scared, so was I.

So maybe San Diego and I will always have this odd relationship: a city that I like, that I enjoy being in and doing things in.

But one that I’ll never feel quite “comfortable” around.



  1. “if he was going to get beaten up, it might as well be in front of a bunch of police officers.” — I laughed at this. Smart!

    Someone followed your car around for an HOUR AND A HALF?? That would really scare me. Because it means the person is out of their mind and could be capable of anything. wow. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s exactly what makes you feel a little uneasy. wow.

  2. I think you left out the most important part of your SD visit this time…wasn’t there a special meetup there???

  3. I am glad that you don’t let past experiences completely color your time here. We aren’t *all* crazy.

  4. Ooooh Mel Heth, there was a *date*? OooooOOOOOoooh! Geekhiker, DO tell.

    • Is there a “like” button?

      2nd, 3rd, and 4th missmccracken’s comment

      Also, I was kinda irritated at the “shoulda known relationship not going to last” tone in the orig post….’cause foresight is never as good as hindsight ^_^

      Happy Thanksgiving GH; Hope it was a good one!

  5. I totally get what you;re saying. we had a pretty crazy experience in San Fran where my dad, a COP, was scared enough to hide us kids in the hotel bathroom. It freaks you out when your dad is scared.

    I once had a very angry chick get out of her car at a red light and i saw her coming so locked my doors which was a good thing cuz she tried to rip the door open. my plan was exactly like your dads, if she followed me? She’d be following me right to the police station.

    So i totally get it.

  6. woah, that would freak me out, especially waiting at the deadend part.

    i like san diego, too, but i’ve really only been to la jolla. and i’m told it’s wrong to like san diego based on my gentrified experience in la jolla … go figure

  7. Comment on Mel Heth’s comment. Reaaally? A date in SD? *sorry, I just think that’s interesting!*. LOL

  8. There was this guy who stuck to my 6 like glu who I gave a piece of his own medicine for a short while. But not for 90 minutes…

  9. Spleeness – My Dad is, if nothing else, practical! Yeah, it was pretty traumatic, I suppose, even looking back through adult eyes…

    Mel Heth – There you go, starting unnecessary rumors…

    100peaks – Good to know!

    MissMcCracken – Aw, geez, it’s so not what you think…

    M4891 – Maybe I just wish I had more hindsight to give me more foresight at a younger age?

    CMACC – Well, you can’t tease me like that and NOT write a post about it! On the second story, any idea why she was mad at you?

    Seine – I’ve never actually been to La Jolla…

    DesertLamb – *sigh* I’m gonna get Mel for starting this one…

    Gany – Hmmm… is there a time limit one has to cross to hit the “crazy” mark?

  10. Well, I know someone who would have rather hit the brakes (you can imagine the rest). But yeah, I see what you imply. My patience is sometimes is quite limited.

  11. that is so freaky, especially if you’re a kid. some guy once drove after me for a few minutes because i accidentally cut him off – and i was thinking too that i’d head to the nearest precinct if he kept at it.

  12. Very freaky. I would be scare too.

    I worked a lot in San Diego. Nice place to visit. Always liked it. Now, if I ever go back, I’ll be wondering …

  13. When I saw “lingering”, for a split second I read “lingerie”… LOL

    Date in San Diego? Yessssss!!! Do tell!!!!!!

  14. What a thought provoking blog post, is there any way I can get an alert email whenever there is a fresh update?

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