That's the gameplay, and aside from some balance-related tweaks, it's pretty much done. I spent most of the 10 days fixing bugs and expanding the sound subsystem. It's amazing what you can do if you're really into a project and don't mind working 12 hour days :P
The hotel I was staying at wasn't bad. Decent bed, plenty of space to work, private bathroom, kitchen area. The kitchen never saw use thanks to duinlas' family. They invited me over for dinner most nights of the week, and were gracious and interesting hosts... who made a lot of good food.
I've never been to southern California before, and an expert could probably tell the difference by looking at the plant life, but everything looked very Californiaey, even right outside the hotel. The ratio of import/luxury/classic cars (i.e. expensive ones) to regular ones was much higher than in Kennett Square (which my parents tell me is much higher than in Phoenixville).
My first weekend there, duinlas helped me fulfill an old dream of mine: going to a Fry's Electronics. Nobody understands this who lives on the west coast, but there is no analog to a Fry's back east. It was like an entire Wal-Mart, except filled with stuff you'd actually want. And stuff you would want if you were some kind of electrical engineer or ham. It was really, really cool, and the whole Roman temple motif at the entrance... well, it was like walking into a temple.
There wasn't much downtime during the week. I'd usually go home with duinlas, eat dinner, watch some TV, and then back to the hotel. I brought some other side projects (HexxagonDS, kx-tgxxxx phone driver), but never felt like working on them. If the wireless was good and none of my home computers crashed, I'd typically have last night's Daily Show and Colbert Report to watch from MythTV. By the next weekend, I had adjusted to Pacific time (just in time to adjust back to Eastern time). It was this weekend that the Carlsbad 5000 race (and the junior race!) was held. This made getting breakfast more time-consuming, and getting out of the area difficult. On Saturday, the day of the junior race, there were little kids everywhere.
On Sunday, my last day, I assumed the race was over so it would be clear to walk to the beach from my hotel. In fact, the main event was on Sunday, so I had to walk through caution tape to get there. An hour later, on the way back, the tape had been replaced with real barriers. The beach was nice, though it was an overcast day. Not being used to walking on the sand, my feet were killing me by the time I made it to the next public beach entrance. Since the race was blocking the way I came, I went around until I found a place to cross. As I began to walk across the street, a race official warns me that the racers are coming. After I hastily cross the road, there they are: hundreds of racing guys! I've never seen any kind of running race before, so I forgot to take a picture. Not bad for my last day!
That last day was an excellent one for programming. I got everything done I wanted to, and there were about 3 bugs which I figured out before the debugger had a chance to even run. The flight back was okay. I was unsuccessful in smuggling my now-less than 4oz. of toothpaste on board. The TSA guy informed me that 3.5 was the container size limit. The amount of toothpaste is totally irrelevant. I was hoping to sleep since it was an overnight, direct flight, but I couldn't do it. Last time I had a whole row to myself, but this flight was full. I kept going through my DS (on the dimmest setting) looking for stuff to pass the time. Electroplankton is really relaxing when you can't sleep or move much, but don't feel like battling monsters. I have no idea how long it went for, but I think I sold a DS to the guy in the previous row. ("What game system is that?" "It's the DS." "TS?" "DS!").
With no luggage to wait for (I always carry it on if I can), I got to the transportation desk first, and was on the shuttle within 5 minutes. I actually got home so early (~7:10am) that my parents weren't up to greet me yet. My little brother Jon was asleep on the couch, and was too tired to say anything coherent. An hour later, my mom moved one car out of the driveway (to make room for the shuttle) before she realized I was already home. Then a long period of sleeping, Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, and C&C 3 happened.
Sounds like a pretty full and awesome trip. I never knew that a Frys was that big! I always imagined something like Egghead was back in the day.
I am still stuck squarely on the GDI campaign. I am pretty sure I am close to the end at this point but some of the later missions are really quite difficult and require you to do a lot of fast attacks rather then my preferred battling technique of building obscene amounts of defenses then laughing as the AI throws itself against your wall of death.
Most annoyingly they are capable of building their own wall of death and AI > My death = grr.