Flying to Long Beach from Detroit, we had a pretty uneventful trip out. We did get stuck on the tarmac in Phoenix because there wasn’t an open gate, and I was really getting nervous about catching our connecting flight. Which was on the other side of the airport. I am too old to run through airports dragging my belongings with me like that. I hate flying!
We checked into the Westin around noon, and so far, I’m impressed with the hotel. It’s very swanky. Our room is large, the bath room is to die for, and everyone has been very helpful with when I had questions. I don’t like the assortment of rapaciously overpriced snacks they left out by the TV, and told Kim if she even glances in their direction, she will regret it. 6.50 for a 4 oz can of jelly beans?! Ouch!
Working our way through the hoards of otaku already crowding the lobby, we headed over to Tokyo Wako for some lunch. Since they no longer offer food service on domestic flights, we were both starving! I did eat breakfast at Quizinos in the airport, but Kim didn’t want anything. She agreed later that she made a bad choice. The two bags of pretzels on the flight from Phoenix didn’t even put a dent on the hunger pangs.
Stopping at Starbucks for a cap, and hoping it would prevent me for dozing off before six California time, we strolled to the shoreline. The landscape has changed so much since the last time we were here. There’s been an invasion of franchise eateries. While a cheaper alternative to the outrageously priced hotel restaurants, all of that commercialism was a little sad. There’s nothing really unique about the waterfront now.
Setting up for the show
After sushi and an overpriced bowl of chirashi, it was time to track down the pre-reg line so Kim could get her badge. The line was extremely daunting, to say the least. It stretched on for about two blocks, and the thought of standing in it made me a little ticked off. Why did they wait until the weekend before the con to mail out the badges?
Leaving her in the mind-boggling line, I went over to the Hyatt to see if I could pick up my press pass. Nope, come back at six said one person. Another said not until tomorrow.
I went back to the hotel to chill for a bit, and Kim sent me text messages updating her line status. She was only in line about an hour and one half, which was 3 hours less than the pre-reg fiasco that was ACen. Once she got in to get her badge, she was very impressed with the helpfulness of the con staff.