The annual pilgrimage to San Diego Comic Con sure is simpler now that I live a few hours away instead of across the country.
|Good Nite Inn Seaworld room|
I'd planned to go to the office the first half of Thursday, but then I didn't want to show up in San Diego too late, so I moved my Amtrak ticket to just before lunch and headed down to Union Station on the Red Line. Amtrak adds additional trains for SDCC, which start and end at LA and San Diego, not continuing on up the coast. This is how I hope to avoid riding the train with colleagues on the way down—I start in LA on a train that originates there, and then I don't end up with anyone who boards in Burbank.
Some of my colleagues are wonderful to talk with, but not all of them. It's not like I get to choose when I buy my train ticket, so this is a bit of preventative maintenance. Avoidance is harder than it sounds since we all buy business class tickets for this particular journey. It's the only way to guarantee a seat on standing room only trains.
I picked up lunch at Union Station and boarded. Initially, one of my colleagues sat down next to me in spite of my attempts at avoidance. Good news, he was one I enjoy speaking with. But then he had to move to let a mother sit next to her two kids, so I was able to read scripts and catch up on some work on my journey.
Three hours later, I disembarked in Old Town, one stop before the end of the line at the Santa Fe Depot in San Diego. I'd booked a motel cheapie out in the land of topless bars, which seem to now offer vaping as well as nude woman, and I was able to walk from the train station, though the walk was not one I'd want to do at night.
|View from the Manchester Grand Hyatt|
This night was on my own dime, and I'd picked the Good Nite Inn off booking.com, which turned out to be perfectly fine aside from being in a remote location. I checked in and walked back to the train station, where I caught the trolley to the convention center. I picked up my badge, met my good friend and partner-in-crime Stuart, and we went to dinner. We headed to two different parties later that evening, and I caught a Lyft home long after midnight.
Friday morning, I packed up, headed in by Lyft to the Hyatt (now on the company tab), and headed to Brickyard for coffee and breakfast. My first panel started at noon and I had two more over the course of the day. I crammed for all three, like a student during finals week. The secret to not saying something stupid in public is to know what you're talking about. At least, that works for me.
Prepared, I waded into the hall. First stop, DC Super Hero Girls panel. Second, Justice League. Third, Young Readers. Later, the Eisners, where one of my comics was nominated in three categories, but won exactly none.
When I dragged myself back to my room after a long night at the Hyatt bar, I was relieved. The hardest day was over. Only one panel a day after this, I thought, and promptly fell asleep.