A few days before the Con, our plain was to walk there, meaning that we would walk from our house to the Bremerton Ferry, ride the ferry to Seattle, then walk from there to the Convention center, all in all it would have been a 2 mile walk (about). Then we found out it was going to rain. It's not the end of the world really, I mean it's rains all of the time here, but when you factor the long walk and the fact that we were going to be wearing costumes, well it was just a bit much. So yes we decided to drive. We reserved a parking spot through the Con's web site in a garage that was about two blocks away. If I had know the trouble we would run into with that garage, I would have gladly walked in the rain. More about that later.... So who did we cosplay as?...
Well I was Katniss Everdeen
Darien was Darth Vader
Zachary was The Hulk
Nathaniel was Link
And Olivia was Hello Kitty
Yes I made the hat, this is a better picture of it a few days before the Con.
And no, Jeremy did not dress up.
So we get everyone ready, pack a lunch and head out, but 30 mins into the drive we remember that we forgot the passes to the Con it's self. Yeah, of course we do. We have everything else under the sun, and we forget the one thing that gets us into the place. Yup so we go back, hoping we don't get there to late and miss the pictures with Michael Dorn, John de Lancie, and Dwight Schulz.
So the parking garage... Oh my... Keep in mind that I had not seen the garage before I booked it. My thoughts were, "Okay lets pick a garage not to far for the Convention Center, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg... Oh look here's one." Yes it was just like that. The parking garage was the worst I have ever seen (this coming from a person who has been to many city parking garages). The ramps in the thing were not wide enough for two cars, and that would have been okay if there was a light to help people take turns, but there wasn't, so I have to back up a lot, before I could even find an empty spot. Then I find one that looks big enough for our mini van, but my first few attempts to get into it fail, and by that time, I have myself in a some what stuck position. Luckily Jeremy was there to take over and park for me, with me guiding outside the car. Eeeeek!
So we made it, and we begin our walk to the Con. Not a single drop of rain has fallen yet, making us both think, that we would have been better of taking the ferry. Once we get to the Convention Center it is complete chaos, because there are just so many people there. We grab our kids hands and make our way to the 4th floor taking in all of the awesome costumes. We get our lanyards, then find the line for the pictures with the celebrity guest. We were lucky, we didn't miss them, and we didn't have to wait long.
I don't think they see a family of 6 wanting a picture often, because all 3 of them were surprised. They were so nice, and commented on the kids' costumes. John de Lancie (AKA Q), even had his hands on my shoulders, and Dwight Schulz (AKA Mr. Barclay), had his arm around Jeremy. I love this picture, I love Michael Dorn's smile and I love Nathaniel's blank expression.
We made it to the kids area as well. They had a super hero mission there, and if you completed it, you got a free T-shirt, mask, and coloring book. They also had face painting and balloon animals, with princesses and fairies.
The balloon animals were $2 and the face painting was $4, I didn't mind paying for that at all.
I also ran into an old friend...
Katie and I went to church together as teens, yup in the good old state of Maryland. I found her again on facebook about 5 years ago noticing that she lived in Washington. Little did I know that someday I would live there too. When we both found out we were going to Comic Con, it seemed like that best time to meet up. I have forgotten how awesome her hugs were. We hadn't seen each other in over 12 years.
After that we walked the floor a lot, braving the crowds and went to see the Lego display
Nathaniel really liked this, the only down side was once again the crowds. I was really hard to move in there, and didn't see as much as we would have liked.
Luckily at the end of the day getting out of the parking garage wasn't as complicated as getting into the garage, well that is after we sat in our car and waited for 3 stuck cars to finally figure out who is going first and then work out how to make that happen. This gave us a chance to just sit back and eat our lunch (which by this time was a very late lunch). We got home around 4pm, ordered pizza, and chilled for the rest of the evening. I was glad I got the picture with the Star Trek peeps, I was really glad I got to see Katie again, and I loved seeing all of the costumes, and those things made it worth it for me. The crowds were really crazy though, and the parking a nightmare, but we'll remember that next time.
Well I do have tips if you are ever going to go to one of these, and if you are taking your kids
1. If your kids are going to wear a costume, make sure all of their accessories attach to their costume, if not they will be carrying them, meaning you will be carrying them.
2. Pack a lunch. They have food venders there, but the lines are always long and the food is expensive. They don't look though your bags at any point, or say anything about outside food, so just bring some. Even if it is just a snack.
3. Beware of the parking. See if you can ask around for a safe and non expensive place to park.
4. There are crowds and a lot, so remind your kids of what to do if you are separated. The staff at this Con had bright green shirts on, so it was easy to point them out to the kids.
5. Look at the schedule before you go, and decide what you are and are not doing. If you want signatures or pictures, get to the right spot early, and beat the lines.
6. Warn your kids before hand that they may see some crazy and scary costumes, but that is all in fun. If your kid is really scared of some costumes though, you should probably avoid going.
7. Bring cash, because not all of the venders accept credit.
8. Bring a bag. This was something that we had wished from the beginning. When you get there you are handed a schedule and info on the con along with a free comic book, for each of your party members. It would have been nice to put them in a bag, and not have to carry them around everywhere. We were told that they sold canvas bags at the main merchandise vender, but when we finally made our way back there, they were all sold out.
Thank for reading, and if you ever go to a con have fun and take in all of the awesome nerdyness.