Thursday, July 28, 2016

San Diego Comic-Con 2016 - One Fan's Adventure

This year I promise my blog won't run on for several days.  I'll probably be able to wrap things up in at most two without cramming too much in.  To be honest, my SDCC adventure was much more laid back than it was last year. I didn't hit nearly as many panels, and took few photos.  Not that there wasn't a lot of stuff going on, but after the events following my trip last year, I thought I should be a bit more relaxed this time around.  Hell, I will be celebrating (?) the first anniversary of my heart attack in just a few days.

I was lucky enough to qualify for another professional pass this year and also to get a guest pass for my friend, Dan.  You still have to go through the routine of going online and sitting in the queue but have a slightly better chance than in open reg. I may have to re-register for next year, but we'll see how things go. As usual, by Saturday I'm wondering if I'm getting too old for this type of thing and might want to sit things out.  Then I recall everything I've done and the folks I've met, so by the time I start getting those e-mails about registration I'm psyched and ready again.

Tuesday, July 19: This year, rather than trying to get a seat on Amtrak for early Wednesday morning I decided to take a late-night Surfliner down the coast to San Diego after work.  I've also learned from past experience that it pays to spend an extra few dollars to get a Business class seat.  The seats are a bit more comfortable, plus you get 'free snacks' and a drink.  Each window seat also has an outlet so you can plug in any devices you might have, plus you get free wifi.  I certainly recommend it if you want to give it a try.  The final stop is right there in downtown San Diego, within walking distance of a number of hotels and the convention center itself.

Kristina and Sarah used to rent a condo a block or so away from the depot, which was really convenient, but have since moved out of town.  They were nice enough to pick me up and I was able to stay the next few days on the TV room couch.  Of course, I did have to share it with Wilbur their cat.  At about 15+ lbs. Wilbur can pretty much take up as much room as he likes.

Wednesday, July 20: While this was Preview Night at the convention, it is surprising how little, even off-site, was open to attendees.  Some of the restaurants and bars were already offering specials,but the exhibits and outside venues were still in the process of being put together.  Kristina and I left around 8:30 am to pick up Dan from the airport, as he had decided to fly in from Phoenix, rather than drive he generally did.  The parking downtown has become such a hassle that we ended up taking Uber to and from the convention last year most days anyway.

SDCC now sends out the actual Pro badge in the mail prior to the con now, so it's only necessary to pick up your lanyard, bag and programs when you arrive.  With a few hours before we could get in to Sails Pavilion, Dan left his suitcase with Kristina and she dropped us off near the con center. Both of us had a desire for coffee, so we stopped off at a small cafe in the Gaslamp Quarter.  Simon's Cafe is a nice little place on First Ave.  They have a few tables and the place had a lot of comic inspired art and SDCC stuff up on the walls.

I'll try to finish up on Preview night and maybe Thursday in a day or two.  See you then!

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