25 November 2005

Gen Con SoCal: Photographs

As posted previously, we had our yearly pilgramage to Gen Con SoCal last weekend. We didn't take a ton of pictures, but let's hope that the quality of those we did take makes up for the quantity.

Our arrival at the Anaheim Marriott was uneventful. The boy slept much of the way, only waking up when we got to the hotel. I'd originally thought that we'd stayed at the Marriott before, but I had it mixed up with the Hilton (which is across the street, and which is where we stayed for the first Gen Con SoCal in 2003). We parked (getting what our friend Karen would call "Rock Star Parking," despite the fact that about ten-thousand gamers had taken the liberty of parking in the Marriott's parking structure) and entered the bowels of the hotel itself.

Once we'd checked in at the front desk, we headed to the elevator and took it up to the ninth floor. Stephen rode along in his stroller, oblivious to the fact that daddy was well on his way to maxing out his credit card. Ah, the bliss of childhood ignorance. How I envy the little guy sometimes.

The hotel room was relatively small, but it had two features which I quickly came to appreciate. The first was a bed the size of sub-Saharan Africa. The second was an honest-to-God balcony (which I later discovered was one of only four on our floor; how special!). Naturally, we took plenty of pictures from the balcony. My wife even took pictures of cabs and their associated cabbies. I have no idea why.

On to the con. I didn't have my badge; the wonderful folks at Green Ronin did. So, once we'd procured my wife's badge, I sent her into the hall to collect mine while I kept an eye on Stephen. We saw a great many things while we waited, including a man on stilts dressed in the garb of a Scottish highlander. I'd never seen such a thing; neither had the boy. We both stared in wonder as I fished around for the camera (which I couldn't find).

Amy returned to tell me that Stan! had my badge. Coincidentally, Stan!, JD, Keri, Marc, and Hyrum arrived at that moment. With my badge around my neck, we headed into the hall and took stock of what little it had to offer. That's not to say there wasn't anything worth buying, but SoCal has gotten smaller each year. I fear that it isn't a very profitable con for most of the vendors. Of course, Chessex always seems to have an endless stream of gamers waiting to purchase dice of various shapes and sizes. Stephen can be seen here, posing with his little dice love beads (or whatever they are) on our massive monarch-sized bed.

I went off to run my game, while the boy and his mother remained in the hotel room and had a nap. They called me just prior to my game ending, and met me outside the game room. We contacted JD and Keri, and found that they were waiting for Stan! just outside the hall that the costume constest was being held in. Stan! showed up, and we walked to the Hilton and had a tasty dinner. One thing about Anaheim, as opposed to Indianapolis, is that the variety of eating establishments within walking distance is pretty slim.

After dinner, I helped put Stephen to bed just before I went off to have a beer with my Aussie friend, David. When I returned, after about an hour or so, Stephen was fast asleep. As much as I might've liked it if he'd been able to sleep in his Pack 'n Play, he was much more comfortable in bed with us. Given the continental size of the bed, there was more than enough room for the three of us.

Sunday morning, I decided to take advantage of my exhibitor badge and tour the dealer's room. Stephen and I went to the convention center, via Starbucks, and took a seat near the cafeteria. I drank my iced coffee and shared a pumpkin spice scone (which was a big hit) with the boy before talking around and taking some pictures. We didn't see a whole lot of interest; to be honest, I enjoyed hanging out with the boy more than I enjoyed touring the hall.

At the end of the day, I'd finished running my second TW session, and the wife and I did our last-minute shopping. We'd gotten down to our last diaper (which Stephen was wearing), the poo clock was ticking, and we were still an hour from home. After such an eventful day, Stephen ended up konking out in his stoller. Looking in at him, he looked so damn peaceful. We couldn't help but take a picture of him, surrounded by all of his Lovecraftian goodies.

Into the car we went, and onward towards home we drove. The poo that we dreaded never materialized, though Stephen's only remaining diaper was sopping by the time we managed to change it out for a fresh one.

And that was my boy's first game convention. Next time, we take more diapers.


Violet Twilight said...

i LOVE rockstar parking :) hehe

Alan said...

Thanks for the photos, amigo. According to this article, Gen Con SoCal attendance was up 12% this year. Not too bad!