Thursday, July 18, 2013

CALITRIPPIN’ DAY 2: Preview Night!

With registration not starting until 3:30 and the Preview Night exhibit hall doors not opening until 6pm, my family and I had a bit of downtime today before all the impending Comic Con craziness.

I decided to record my July Ipsy Bag video on my hotel balcony. Oh, how I miss recording in natural light – so difficult to do in my NYC apartment because of how close all the buildings are together - they block out most sunlight from entering the apartment.

The view  of the bay outside my balcony
Afterwards, my family all headed down to a local coffee shop called Lion Coffee. We discovered this place and their amazing croissant breakfast sandwiches about 5 or 6 years ago and it’s become a tradition to eat here every Preview Night morning since. If you’re ever in San Diego, I highly recommend checking this place out. Although we come for the breakfast sandwiches, the smoothies are also really good (my sister and I shared a Passion Fruit, Mango, and Strawberry one) and I’ve heard their coffee is not to be missed either – if only I drank coffee. Plus, the service is great - my mother asked for onions and lettuce on her sandwich and when she told them it didn't have any, they offered to make her a whole new sandwich (which we passed, no use wasting food) and gave us a card for a free drink next time we were there. Thumbs up.

Lion Coffee - one of many Comic Con traditions
Next up was Ralph’s for groceries. This is another Preview Night tradition. We learned early on how pricey Comic Con snacks and food can be, so coming to Ralph’s for fruit, sandwich making materials, and whatever else has become an essential part of our SDCC routine.

Picking out snacks for Comic Con
Passing the convention center on our way back to our hotel after grocery shopping
We headed back to the hotel to drop off our groceries and relax. For the first time since I started attending Comic Con, I have free Wifi in my hotel room! They always have it down in the lobby, but NEVER in the rooms. We are only on the fifth floor so I wonder if that has anything to do with it. Either way, I’m not complaining. Being able to post on my blog during the con is something I’m definitely not going to take for granted.

Registration goes quite fast so we weren’t in too much of a hurry to rush over. A little after 4pm, my dad, sister, and I (my mom only had a 4 day pass – no Preview Night) made our way to Hall E and entered the convention center. Getting our badges was a piece of cake and took less than two minutes. Between the three of us, we also got the exact three bags we wanted which were Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and The Big Bang Theory (for which I was propositioned twice as I waited for my dad and sister).

The line behind me to get into the exhibit hall
Just chilling with my Supernatural bag
Got all three bags we wanted - no swapping needed!
Then the waiting began to enter the Exhibit Hall. It really wasn’t all that bad though and before we knew it, we were already inside heading straight to our beloved WB booth. We picked up our usual Comic Con Exclusive TV Guide issues and what would be our biggest swag item of the night: a Batman iPhone 5 case.

Honestly, I was very underwhelmed with this year’s Preview Night. We made it into the very long and crazy Fox booth line so we did get plenty of posters and Bones coasters (ha, that rhymed), but WB stopped handing out anything but TV Guide issues very early. Also, the CBS booth which usually has fun bags and items for shows like The Big Bang Theoryand Dexter did not do any such thing this year. My sister and I barely even recognized the booth as being CBS. Each year, one of our favorite swag items to receive are t-shirts. My dad will usually pack only a few shirts in anticipation of receiving these shirts to wear during the con. Often times, we’ll go home with 20 shirts between all 4 family members. This year, we didn’t see anywhere that were handing shirts out.

In line for swag at the WB booth
The Big Bang Theory art gallery at the WB Booth
FOX booth craziness
I know this sounds like I’m being a bit greedy basing my opinion on how much free stuff was given out, but that’s why my family and I come to Preview Night. So we can go ahead and get all the cool free stuff early and enjoy the panels and events the rest of the week. If they’re holding or cutting items back to give out later in the week, it kind of defeats the purpose of why we do Preview Night. Aside from lack of freebies, the booths and displays seemed a step down from years past as well.

For the first time in seven years, I actually went back to my room early. After hitting up every booth that seemed to be giving away items, I separated from my dad and sister and walked from one end of the exhibit hall to the other, taking pictures, looking at merchandise, and even tried on a few pieces of a clothing (they actually had legit fitting rooms) at this super cute clothing booth for girl geeks called Her Universe. I didn’t buy anything at the time, but I may be back on Sunday…

Upon coming back to my room, I ate, downloaded my photos and vlogging footage from my camera and phone to my laptop, and began writing this post. My dad and sister returned shortly and we created a somewhat vague plan for the next day which seemed pretty underwhelming, as well. 

I'm staying optimistic though and know by the time Friday rolls around, things will kick into gear overtime so I'm just going to enjoy this quiet before the storm. Greatly looking forward to tomorrow's Visionaries panel with directors Alfonso Cuaron, Edgar Wright, and Marc Webb along with Comic Con's last Dexter panel!

I've always wanted to be behind the wheel of a pirate ship
Photo fun at the Black Sails display
Thor Display at the Marvel booth
Zombie at The Walking Dead booth
A couple Star Wars cosplayers

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