Well, less than 12 hours and I'll be "wheels in the well" and heading south for San Bruno. This will be the fourth archives branch I've been to, albeit I only managed three hours at Laguna Niguel.
Preparations for a research trip is like any other, with perhaps some odd items on the checklist. Laptop & scanner? check. Spare scanner? Well, not enough room since I'll be walking in and need to pack a sling bag. All associated cables I might ever need and won't be able to go drive to pick up a new one if I forget? check, check, and check! Business cards in case I run into another researcher on-site I'd like to keep in contact with? Check. Full battery charge on all my cordless devices and camera and chargers for same? check. Cheat-sheet of Navy File Codes that I want to keep in my head as I'm scanning the finding aids? half done and I'll finish it on the flight down. Headphones for music to keep the pure scanning sessions a little less monotonous so that I'm not brain-fried by 3/4s of the day and miss things? check!
These are just some of the little touches you learn about over time to maximize the productivity of the time you have.
Biggest regret? No car means no chance to hit an In-N-Out Burger. Still want to figure out a way to bring my spare scanner.