USITT Convention in Long Beach
Long Beach Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
So far this is the most "exotic" trip I have ever been on. That is to say, it is the farthest west; it is the most "event-filled"; it is the most memorable time I have ever had on a trip anywhere. Growing up we travelled a lot, but it is hard to remember details about that as an adult. I guess I could call this the only trip "exotic" trip of my adult life. So far.
My original reason for visiting California had to do with the USITT conference that was held at Long Beach. My brother and his family lived only an hour or two from there. So the plan was I would fly in, they would pick me up and drive me to Long Beach, then pick me up a few days later. I would spend the remainder of my time with them.
Long Beach is a great little town. What I know of it consists of the waterfront beach and the shops there, the convention center, and what the lady at the hotel gift shop cared to share with me. The beach is nothing like what I would think of as a "California movie" beach. Instead, it is residential area on a small cliff overlooking the ocean (I think they called it a "bay"). Honestly, it looked no different than the great lakes here, except maybe it stretched farther to either side. The houses were "typical" California beach front houses. The beach itself was littered and full of people playing around and doing other various land activities (it was too cold yet to swim). I think I spent about a total of two hours there in the three days I was at the conference.
The shops were all situated along the pier area, which oddly enough reminded me more of a typical east coast feel than anything. It was all very touristy and waterfront, but it was fun to look around nonetheless. The convention center was FABULOUS, and I would go there again were there a reason to. It was also really accessible. All of the major hotels were situated within half a mile of the place, so we all just walked. There are also tons of restaurants. There was this one little cafe on my way to the convention center that was absolutely divine. I wish I could remember the name or even the location. All I can remember is it is vaguely kitty-corner to the convention center, is directly on a street corner, and it shares one of those streets with a pretty good Chinese restaurant. Speaking of, the food there wasn't great, but it was DIRT cheap and worked for us poor college students!
The woman at the hotel gift shop whipped out a map one day (we became quite friendly) and gave me the nickel tour of the city. Apparently our hotel was right on an invisible dividing line between the "good" and "bad" parts of town. Isn't it always the way? That was pretty much all I remember about that I guess. It was a tourist town, so obvious there is the "happy face" of it and then the part that people actually live in.
We ventured a few blocks into that "bad" section and found a gold mine. It was a used book warehouse, enormous in size and situated about 5 blocks from our hotel in the opposite direction of the beach and convention center. That was a great way to waste the afternoon! Plus, the best thing about California is they are always filming something for a film, right? So everyday we got to look out our hotel windows and watch a car chase being filmed!