It’s 8:54am, Sunday June 22nd, 2014. I’m sitting in a hotel room looking out at a hazy view of the Pacific Ocean.
It’s the morning after the 2014 A4D Meetup and I feel good. I also feel like I’ve been run over by a truck.
I wanted to write this out before I get back on the road and drive back to Hollywood today. So – here goes. But before we start, if you’re not on my email newsletter yet, click here to automatically subscribe.
I left Hollywood at around 2pm. I knew traffic was going to be a mess (it always is) but I wanted to get to the hotel early. I was going to be speaking at the event for the first time ever and I wanted to have a little bit of extra time to prepare.
I did my presentation in Apple Keynote, an app I’d never used before so not only was I unsure about speaking in public, I wasn’t sure if the presentation would even work when I got there. I figured I’d test it in the hotel room, make a few last minute edits and be ready for the show the next day.
Before I left I had a quick conversation with myself. It went something like this:
“Dear self: Today I am going to be driving on the highway to San Diego. During this trip, things will probably not go my way. There will be traffic jams, wrecks, people will cut me off and honk their horns at me. I will most likely have to pee in a disgusting gas station toilet.
All of these things are part of the adventure and the adventure is the thing that matters. The time I arrive at my destination is irrelevant.
The thing that matters most is that I enjoy the adventure as it unfolds. Every part of it, good or bad.”
Conversation over, I pulled my car out the garage, and drove onto Sunset Blvd. A few minutes later I hit the 101 and headed out on the highway.
Straight into a massive traffic jam.
Cars were bumper to bumper for as far as the eye could see. People were honking, I could see arms in cars waving at each other and flipping each other off. It was like driving into a stream of hot, raw anger.
As my car came to a complete stop I laughed. “Just as planned I thought, it’s going just as I planned”.
It’s crazy how setting your mind up before going into a situation can change things.
Normally I would have:
- Punched my steering wheel a few times
- Started looking for holes in traffic I could wedge myself into
- Spend each second trying to advance through the mess as fast as possible
This time I just sat, turned on the radio and listened to some music. No problem.
The traffic finally cleared about 30 minutes later and I was finally able to drive the speed limit. It didn’t last long though. Just minutes later I’d come to another complete stop. Over and over again.
- I had prepared for this
- I listened to a few podcasts
- I had a Monster Zero Ultra.
- No problem.
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
I finally pulled into the Hard Rock valet area around 6:30. The two and a half hour drive had take four and a half hours. The valet opened my door:
“Checking in?” he asked. “Yeah, two days” I answered.
“Okay – valet is $40 a day, just so you know” he said.
“$40 a f#cking day to park, are f#cking crazy asshole?” I thought.
“Okay, cool” I said, and I walked inside.
I Don’t Want Pizza or Drinks, But I’ll Go
That night I went to a gathering at Basic bar and saw some old friends.
Basic is a place for pizza and alcohol, which are two things I don’t really mess with these days… But I decided to go ahead and go down there to see who was there. I only get to see my online friends a few times a year.
I ended up hanging out with and meeting a lot of the newer A4D team (they just keep growing) and saw some long time buddies like Jason, Joe and Tobias
I got to meet a long time Twitter friend @uccash in person which was really cool. Dude is a heavy lifting maniac. We talked marketing and fitness for a good while. Nice to meet ya bro.
I also ran into “Steve”, the affiliate manager that introduced me to the game 5 years ago. We still see each other from time to time, he’s no longer an affiliate manager (so don’t ask for an intro haha) he’s doing his own thing now, a very wise move on his part.
I’m Outta Here
I called an Uber around 10pm. I was beatdown from the drive, the San Diego Padres were playing a game just a few blocks away, the entire GasLamp district was a mad house.
@uucash jumped in the car with me and thank God for that because our UberX driver spoke very little English and had no idea how to get us back to the hotel. UberX is cheap, but it’s a gamble. About 50% of the time they don’t know how to get around at all. Thankfully @uucash did the navigating and we got there in one piece.
Bachelorette Party Central
The Hotel was insanely loud. I saw 3–4 bachelorette parties go by. A madhouse. Elevator to my room. People were running up and down the halls screaming, laughing, fighting, screaming again. It was pretty clear that there would be no sleep.
*Note: If you want a quiet, peaceful stay in San Diego, stay FAR FAR away from the Hard Rock hotel. It’s been this way every time I’ve stayed here. Great if you’re looking for a big party night, horrible if you want to actually sleep.
Somewhere around midnight I got into bed, launched my Rain Rain app to drown out the partying, pulled the covers up and breathed deep. Come on sleep, come on baby.
Day 1 in the can.