Tuesday, July 16, 2013

CALITRIPPIN’ DAY 1: Goodbye, NYC! Hello, San Diego!

Today’s the day I’ve been looking forward to since, well, since 51 weeks ago. The day I leave to meet up with the rest of my family in beautiful, perfect-weather San Diego for this year’s Comic Con International.

For those unfamiliar with Comic Con - what started in 1970 as a small comic book convention has turned into the largest multi genre fan convention of its kind AND the world's largest pop culture event. The number of attendees was recently capped at 130,000! Whether you’re into tv, movies, comics, science fiction, fantasy, video games, anime, toys, or cosplay – you’ll find it in excess at Comic Con. 

I’ve been going to Comic Con since I graduated high school seven years ago at 17. Every year I look forward to it. It’s nice to know that each year, no matter where I’m at in my life, my family will come together to attend this event.

Although Comic Con doesn’t officially start until Thursday, my family and I always make sure to snag Wednesday Preview Night tickets that give a limited number of attendees an early look at the convention’s grand exhibit hall. Movie studios, TV networks, video game and toy companies, etc all converge on the massive showroom floor. Along with getting enough free promotional items "swag" to fill two or three extra large suitcases, this is also where all the celebrity signings and cosplay sightings occur. Since the next four days are usually filled with attending panels, we like to use Preview Night as a way for us to go on and get all our swag and take pictures of booths, displays, and costumes early so we don’t need to worry about it later in the week.

We’ve realized arriving on Wednesday can be a little crazy so we usually arrive in San Diego on Tuesday to give ourselves a little time to get settled, buy groceries, and see the city a little bit before the Comic Con chaos begins.

Waking up today, I was still in shock that it was finally that time of year again to head out to the geek mecca. I hadn’t even packed when I woke up at 9am and my flight was at 12:30pm. I was bringing two large empty suitcases with me on the trip for my family to bring swag back to Florida and was only going to be able to bring back my little carry on. I’ve always been sort of an excessive packer so this task was especially difficult for me. I was doing pretty well until it got closer and closer to 10:30 and, in a panic, I threw some extra pairs of heels and clothing in one of the empty suitcases. Going to have to figure out a way to bring those things back to NYC. Oops.

After a 45-minute delay on the runway, my flight from NYC to my 2-hour layover in Houston was smooth and uneventful. I read, drank Cranapple juice, and watched two episodes of SVU (I really can’t stop watching that show). On the flight to San Diego, I watched more SVU…

Finally, I landed and was reunited with my family in the most beautiful city I have had the pleasure to visit each year. We took a taxi van (to accommodate our 8 suitcases) to our hotel – the Marriott Marina where we’ve stayed the last six years. Conveniently located, it’s attached to the convention center and near the bay, has an incredible view and breeze. We unpacked, ate, showered...I wrote this post...and now time for bed. 

Looking forward to what tomorrow's Preview Night holds in store! 

Here are a few pictures from last year's Comic Con.

With actress Lizzy Caplan
Doctor Who panel with cast and creators
With one of my favorite YouTubers, Joey Graceffa
Two of the most sweetest, genuine guys in Hollywood - Jared Padalecki and Zachary Levi

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