I got to be in the same room as Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. PatStew once called me "my dear" and it was awesome.
I've always been a nerd. Hence why I was upset when my sister went to San Diego Comic Con before I did. She being my younger sister means I've been a nerd longer. I refreshed Facebook constantly during her trip going over every one of her updates full of jealousy. She had an amazing time and said she was going back next year. I vowed to go with her. I've only ever been to my city's local con, C4. I was worried that the size of SDCC would make it less enjoyable than a smaller con. At my local con I was able to speak to the celeb guests and basically take my time on the sales floor. But with half of my friends going, I decided to just go in and see how things went.
The trip was full of a lot of firsts. The biggest one being was finally getting to meet my good friend Carmen, who I've known for just over 10 years but never met officially. As it always is when I meet a good online friend in real life for the first time, I was worried we wouldn't get on like we do online. My fears were quickly dismissed when Carmen rolled up to the loading zone at the San Diego airport and asked with a huge grin, "HOW MUCH!?"
Carmen and I after our bloodbath at Evil Dead: The Musical.
I get lunch with my friend Kim after we were both in need of a break in the con. We went to this amazing Mexican restaurant that had all-you-can-eat tortilla chips. Kim freaked out when she saw the Saints Row promotional presidential motorcade drive by and stop right across the street from us. She ran out, followed by me. I yelled over my shoulder at the waitress as I ran out that we left our stuff and we'd be back in a moment. We weren't dashing on the bill.
In the WWE panel, the audience started the annoying, "WHAT?" chants. A guy dressed as the Governor two rows in front of me stood up, turned around and yelled, "THE WHAT CHANT NEEDS TO DIE A TERRIBLE DEATH".
A dueling chant of "YES, YES, YES" started and it was amazing.
I also ended up having a massive crush on the Gov (does that make me the Andrea in this situation?).
Kim: he's into WWE and Walking Dead, you should marry him.
The trip to the con also included a few days hanging out with Carmen in Vegas and a quick side trip to Area 51 (or Rachel, Nevada if you're nasty).
Since Carmen's foot was out of order, I had to drive. This turned out to be a bad idea when I ended up missing the turn to Rachel and drove 40 miles out of the way while Carmen was asleep.
By the time we arrived at the only business in town, the sun was setting beautifully behind the mountain range that circled Rachel and Area 51 all around us. The A'Le'Inn had a UFO hanging from the back of a tow truck and an old dude sitting outside the place watching us suspiciously.
The little restaurant/bar/tourist spot had only 4 people other than us inside. The bartender/waiter was prompt and told us a lot about the area. The cows we had seen all over the desert on our way down the Extraterrestrial Highway belonged to one man who herded them on horseback over miles of open desert. The cows were black and were the cause of a lot of accidents at night when drivers wouldn't see them in the dark. The herder's farm was on the road known as "the Black Box" (actually white) entry to Area 51 and it was the road Carmen and I went down after we got the best homemade pie in America.
By the time we got to the black box road, it was so dark that the sky was bright with stars and the black cows were invisible until you saw their eyes. Carmen and I turned onto the road and saw the uneven service and foreboding look of the desert track leading to the site.
We had been warned by the bartender that the signs marking the "Cross this and get shot" border were easy to miss in the dark.
After a moment of sitting in the car, I said, "......want to go back to Vegas?"
On the drive back, despite signs warning of "low flying aircraft", Carmen and I saw only big-earred rabbits, black cows, and bright stars that we stopped to admire at the end of the Extraterrestrial Highway.
Sunset in Dreamland.
I think my favourite part of the con was how at home I felt. From the moment on preview night when I saw clips from Star Wars playing on huge screens and took my first picture with an awesome cosplay, I just felt like I was in the right place. It was amazing to be in a room and not apologize for how much I liked something. It was great to have so much fun with total strangers as we took pictures on the Iron Throne or in Scrooge's Money Pit, giggling as we found the right angle to wear the hat. Being un-apologetically dorky is such a rare thing when you're an adult and I usually apologize for being so silly and forgetting myself in normal every day life. At the Con, I was rushing about to enjoy everything with a huge grin on my face.
My favourite picture of myself.
To be with friends I hadn't met but getting on like we knew each other for years (cause we have) was brilliant and we have memories we still talk about. Angel tweeted me recently to ask, "Hey, remember that time we had to sit through a powerpoint presentation to get to the Hannibal panel?" after we had to sit through the One Ring panel, which was like watching a group of people outside a movie spoiling the whole thing for you. Despite that panel, panels I hadn't planned to attend were fun and the excitement of the die-hard fans was contagious and got me interested in checking out the subject of the panel (Looking at you, The Following).
All in all, it was an amazing time and I am determined to go again next year. Here's hoping I find a job soon so I can pay for the mayhem.
Plus I still need to meet Andy Serkis!