It’s been a long day, and the next few days will probably be filled with more excitement… but I want to make sure to write a couple thoughts about today before they blend into everything else.
Ben and I went to bed late, then got up at 5am and made it to the airport in plenty of time for our 8:30 flight. Well, plenty of time on my clock, and not enough on Ben’s. We’ve learned to compromise over the years on that. The flight was oversold, and we nearly got free tickets and first class seats on the next flight… but some retards never checked in so we got on our scheduled flight and arrived in San Diego without incident.
We left Utah’s sunny, dry, 90+ degree heat and arrived to experience San Diego at a very pleasant low-70s with a fair amount of humidity. And palm trees! It warmed up a little during the day, but cooled off to the point of needed a light sweater in the evening.
At the airport, it was obvious that some people were coming to town for the Comic Con. Geeky T-shirts, overheard conversations, empty plastic poster tubes, etc. One guy was wearing a geeky black t-shirt (I don’t remember exactly what it was, something with orange flames) and was wearing a real top hat!
We had to wait an annoyingly long time to get into our hotel room, so we stashed our luggage at the hotel and stalled by eating a mediocre brunch at the nearby Denny’s. After our food arrived we basically zoned in and out of consciousness and every other statement to each other was “Sorry, I just zoned out there for a minute.” We camped out in the lobby for another hour after that, where Ben popped open his laptop to help him stay awake and I passed out in about three seconds on his shoulder. I figure there’s nothing like a snoring, travel-weary loiterer spread out in a hotel lobby to make the hotel clerks want to put me into a room.
After we finally were given keys to our room, and then missed the elevators after walking right by them, the first thing we did was put down our luggage and collapse into a nap for a few hours. It felt great, though we probably could have slept for a while longer and been fine with it.
The Trolley station that looked on a map to be a quite walkable distance from the hotel turned out to be a much different experience than planned. When I’d called to ask about walking, the guy I talked to said it was kind of a boring walk through an industrial area. What he didn’t say was that we’d have to walk past a strip club and through a somewhat seedy area to get to the Trolley station. Yeah, that was fun. I made Ben cough up a couple extra bucks to take a short taxi ride from the station back to the hotel later on because I didn’t like the thought of walking that in the dark. I’m just a baby from a small town, I guess, but sometimes it’s worth 6 bucks to trust your instincts. We’ll walk the same way tomorrow during the day and play it by ear at night, I guess.
My eyes are drooping and I haven’t even gotten to the Comic Con Preview Night exclusive to 4-day pass holders part yet!
We had to walk a good distance to get to the convention center from the Santa Fe Depot station because we decided to walk instead of dealing with transferring trolleys. A different guy told us it was only a half mile walk, but I would say more like a mile and a half. Anyway, it was a nice walk and we seemed to pick up other pedestrians heading to the con as we walked along.
The lines outside the hall were really long for Preview Night. And when I say really long, I mean OMFG ARE YOU KIDDING ME THIS IS JUST FOR EARLY REGISTRATION?!? We arrived at the north end of the convention center and headed toward attendee registration on the middle/south side. The line going inside seemed to be moving at a good pace, so we happily went to look for the end of the line. We became less happy as we followed the line to 3/4 AROUND THE BACK OF THE ENORMOUSLY HUGE CONVENTION CENTER. I have never been in that long of a line, though I have to give them credit because for as long as it was, it moved pretty quickly. And when we finally made it to the front doors, we kept following the line… up the escalators, down the hall, outside across a patio, into the actual registration hall where we were herded into aisles with Actual! People! Dispensing! Badges!
The totally awesome thing about registration is that even though Ben only had Thursday/Friday 1-day passes, the girl who printed out my 4-day pass also printed out his. We thought Ben was going to have to wait in line again, but he got really lucky! And even better, we had to get his colored badge holders from a little side booth, and the woman there gave him a sticker to wear that would allow him into the convention hall on preview night with me! So I got to walk around a lot more with him there (instead of waiting outside) and he won’t have to wait in that godawful line tomorrow to get in.
The convention hall: it’s about 3 times the size of all the other conventions I’ve been to put together. There’s so much to see that I’m going to have a hard time seeing everything and attending the panels I want to attend in the next few days. The place was packed with people fighting for the booth freebies and I could have done with a little more personal space. Hopefully that will be available in the hall as attendees are not all in hall because of panels, film festivals, various eating schedules, etc. Excitement was pretty mega-high throughout the place.
I’ve narrowed the number of panels I want to try to get into tomorrow to five. I’m guessing that I’ll be hard-pressed to actually make it to two, given the amount of time I’d likely have to devote to waiting in line beforehand. We’ll have to see on that.
I need to get some rest tonight… the next few days are going to be very busy and I’d like to have some relaxation time fit into the schedule as well!