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The Last Couple Months
August 22, 2010 18:51
Early June we went to A-Kon 21 in Dallas, TX. Of course, the anime conventions are all attended for the benefit and desire of Kiko and her friends, of course, but Gertie and I enjoy them a well, and while I'm not much into the culture of it, I don't dress up and I don't really watch any of the anime or read the manga, it's still a fun experience, the costumes and people wearing them are fun to watch, and many of the panels cover topics that transcend the world of strictly Anime.
While I would have like to attend more panels, some of the ones were chaired during times that I was not available to attend them. Either they were too early in the morning, or I was chasing after kids, or I was spending 3 1/2 hours checking out of the hotel. But I still attended quite a few of them. I attended one about video game production companies. One that featured several web-comic artists, including the designer of 2 Lumps, one on learning Japanese through Anime, which I will say I didn't actually learn much Japanese through, but the clips he showed during the panel were amusing. I also attended Nerd-Core Comedy hour which was pretty fun, and I also attended a panel on cheap movie production.
On the downside, it was HOT. Granted, it was like 105F out that weekend, but the hotel had absolutely abysmal airconditioning, especially considering all of the people that attended. The elevators were also a nightmare. 30 minute long lines to catch an elevator that took almost 5 minutes to get to my floor. And no, there was absolutely no airflow in the elevators. And not everyone was using high quality deoderant. On more than one occasion I found myself using the stairs, which was no small feat considering that we were staying on the 20th floor. I only actually used them to go UP once though. That was enough.
Checkout was a royal pain as well, considering the elevator problem going DOWN got REALLY bad a couple hours prior to the mandatory checkout time. I had to make 6 separate trips to get everything out to the car. Checking in was much easier since Gertie was already there when we arrived and had managed to requisition us a luggage cart (which we completely filled up). I only had to try to find a place to park. NOW I know where I can park, but that Friday it was the ultimate lesson in futility. Almost all of the public parking was several blocks away, charged a hefty daily fee, and required us to vacate by midnight... which presented a problem since all-night parking didn't seem to be available. After a couple hours of trolling around, I eventually discovered the Plaza of the Americas had a public parking garage. Nowhere was it displayed that it allowed overnight parking, or even what it was for. Turns out, from the 7th floor up, it had parking available for the Westin Hotel and they didn't seem to require any confirmation of a reservation to use it. There was also a LOT of parking available and nobody else really seemed to realize it was available. Helpful hint for next year! Although the prices were listed at $18 per day, I only spent $15 when we left, so not a bad deal. The Sheraton's parking garage (the hotel we were actually staying at) was full before I even got there. Yeah... THAT'S some good planing on someone's part.
Long story short, I had to make 6 trips from our hotel room to the car, which took about 30 minutes each round trip, to get all of the luggage to the car. Most of this was the girls' luggage, but I also didn't help matters by bringing along a desktop computer and CRT monitor, but while it was heavy and annoying to carry, it had the benefit of not being likely to sprout legs and run off, and even if it did, it wasn't worth a great deal anyway. While lugging that monitor down 20 flights of stairs, I was sorely tempted to find a trashcan somewhere and just abandon it.
Updates on the Flordia trip in the next entry.