By: Revanche

New plans for Comic Con

February 8, 2011

In nearly ten years of attending Comic Con, I’ve always been a budget traveler.

I was lucky that it was a relatively local event, because it was easier to keep costs down.  I started out volunteering in order to get free admission to the first few conventions, and rarely ever bought anything unless it was a gift. Even then I was on a strict budget. The experience was souvenir enough for me.

The biggest expenses were lodgings, parking and food with lodgings ranging from $100 per night to an insane $500 per night at some of the premium hotels. If my friend’s family hadn’t generously hosted me every year in San Diego, six or seven years running, I could never have justified those early years as a broke college student. To avoid paying ten dollars parking every day, sometimes I would park way out on a dusty road, near the railroad crossing and just off the highway to trek almost a mile in.

At first it was just me geeking out alone, save for friend’s younger sibling who was entrusted to my care a couple days of the convention. A few years later, my friend C eventually started attending too, then other siblings, the odd cousin and friend joined the stream toward the Convention Center and suddenly we were a proper group with schedules and everything.

Every year I’d drive down and spend a couple hours in the early afternoon with C’s parents, then I’d be off to pick up my badge from the convention center for Preview Night, sometimes with C’s sib, sometimes without. C would show up with his SO whenever he pleased, and we’d convene on the Con floor. That night, we’d have a post-Preview Night rehash over dinner at the house.

Every morning we’d pack our lunches from the supplies that C’s parents had more than generously laid in for us, and every night we’d meet back for dinner and banter.

Even when I started bringing PiC and a friend or two of my own, and there wasn’t enough room for everyone even to camp out so we branched out into another set of lodgings, also generously loaned to us for a stay, we always came back after a long day at Con. Not for us the after parties, the Gaslamp gatherings, home was where we headed. It’s what you do. It’s what we did.

It’s not quite the same now, C’s dad is gone and we miss him terribly. He was never a demonstrative man but he had a hug, hello or goodbye, for me in the later years; a sign, I think, that we’d become more than just kids who showed up to invade his house once a season.

This year’s going to be even more different.

We have to fly, now, of course.  That’s kind of a pain – I can’t linger for the last gasps of Con anymore as I have to join the sad departing hordes to the airport.

A friend of the heart from the ‘nets will be coming out to join our group and I really hope she feels just as comfortable with the group as the other additions have become. And we don’t have our lovely loan of a condo this year so I’m scrambling a bit to find ourselves a new set of lodgings.

This last, while I never take the loan of the lodgings for granted, caught me by surprise and PiC and I have to figure out how to lodge our newly formed group.  Wish me luck, I’ve run out of any decent number of hotel points, and paying for hotels in San Diego around one of the biggest comic conventions ever is rather intimidatingly expensive.

2 Responses to “New plans for Comic Con”

  1. Good luck! Although I’m not a huge Comic fan, attending Comi-Con at least once is on my bucket list. Just to say I did it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A local California friend and I (from the Midwest) went to SDCC a few years ago and stayed down in San Ysidro. We drove the few blocks to the train/el/metrolink station and took that straight in to the front of the convention center. It was GREAT to avoid the hassle of the crowds, awesome to avoid the crush of parking and driving nightmares and it was CHEAP. I paid $88/night at a Holiday Inn or someplace equal to that. If you can find the train/el/metrolink stations that run to the convention hall, I’d suggest staying further out and taking that in. MUCH less headache and you have more time to enjoy yourselves.

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