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ComicCon Day 1 - RonO's Ramblings

Jul. 24th, 2009 08:16 am ComicCon Day 1

Yesterday, robot_grrl spent most of the day at ComicCon, and I was there for a while in the evening (work keeps getting in the way)

I left work in time to catch the 4:04 train south. At the Santa Fe depot, I was talking with Tara on the phone and she mentioned seeing people walking from there. I remembered that I'd walked back there after the car show in December, so I figured I'd give it a try. After checking the map on my phone, I was able to determine that the best way to get there was to walk down Ketner, which is on the side of the station opposite the tracks. It was a fairly short, nice walk.

Once I reached Harbor, I decided that instead of walking along Harbor in front of hotel parking lots (The Grand Hyatt and the Marriott), I'd rather walk back to Seaport Village and then along the bayfront to the back entrance. This was a nice plan, even though most of that stretch of the bay consists of the marina, so I was looking down on giant boats that cost half as much (or more) than a house. I was amused to notice that several of the boats moored there claim to be from such seaside locations as Arizona and Nevada.

It was when I reached the convention center I discovered that there was a flaw in my plans. The base of the two staircases outside that can be used to walk from the bayfront to the upper part of the convention center were both blocked with portable metal fencing. I guess for some reason they don't want people going to and from the bayfront that way. So I instead had to walk through the fairly narrow tunnel-like passage between the convention center and the Mariott and enter through the front door.

I quickly found Tara seated just outside of the Sails Pavilion. I had thought about going to a 5:30 panel, but was already getting hungry enough I wasn't sure I wanted to wait until after 6:30 to eat. (I've been eating about 5:30 when I get home for months, so I think that is what my body is used to now on work days). So instead we headed over to Tin Fish -- which shows up near the top of every "cheap eats" list for ComicCon I've been able to find online. We then walked briefly up the street to Sci-Fi SyFy's Cafe Diem and confirmed that they are serving a full menu (and will probably grab breakfast there on Saturday).

After that we headed back to the Convention center and wandered the other end of the Exhibit Hall from Wednesday (but still have missed more in the middle that I'd thought). We nearly got trapped, however, by the Nissan give away (which had better be daily) at the Hero's booth, but did manage to get out without getting crushed.

We then headed upstairs for the Geek Roundtable which I'd thought started at 7:00. When I discovered that it didn't start until 7:30, which would risk us getting home nearly as late as the previous night, we decided to skip it and leave.

Our trip home was fairly easy. We were able to get on a direct train to Old Town (where Tara had parked) quickly. Since I'd had a doctor's appointment in the morning, I'd driven to work, so Tara dropped me off there. After confirming that I-5 wasn't closed, we headed out and got home reasonably.

At one point before I got there, Tara reported her experience with trying to see program items in Ballroom 20 (the largest space). She had planned on trying to see the program on Psych -- even though I am the one who watches it regularly. But, she discovered that there were so many people staying from one panel to another that she could not get in. I think she said that she waited for a couple of hours in line (having planned on going to an earlier panel there also). This has me despairing of seeing anything in that room, except possibly the Chuck panel on Saturday which is the first item (and only if we get through breakfast quickly enough and the lines aren't already past capacity). I have no hope of making it back inside for the back to back panels on Futureama and The Simpsons that afternoon, and have already concluded that if I'm going to see anything of the masquerade it will be from a remote location. Standing in lines != fun.

I will be completely honest and say that at this point, I'm not sure it will be worth it to go next year. If Tara wants to go, she may be able to talk me into it. Or if I have a better experience tonight and over the weekend, I may reconsider. But so far, I've been in a crowded, over-sized, dealers' room where there isn't much I want to buy, and been scared away from panels by the thought of having to wait in long lines for hours just to see them.

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