"So, Mark...how was San Diego?"
Why, yes...this was the actual view from our hotel room.
How was my San Diego vacation, you ask? I'll give you a brief recap:
Sea World: A nice mix of animal exhibits, entertaining shows, and "Amusement Park Lite" rides...making it a great destination for people looking to have fun while learning a thing or two in the process.
The beaches: I highly recommend a day to do nothing at one of San Diego's beautiful beaches. We'd heard some good things about La Jolla Shores beach, and it certainly lived up to the hype. Very relaxing and extremely beautiful (by the way, it's pronounced "La Hoya", and not "La Jolla", as my Spanish-speaking daughter pointed out to me).
The views: It's not hard to find some staggeringly beautiful views throughout the San Diego area. We went to the end of Point Loma, and were blown away by the "widescreen wonder" of the sights and unusual geology.
Oh, but wait...that's not what you want to hear about, right?
Okay...I'll get to the part you really care about: Comic Con.
Four of the dazzling Vader Busts on display in the LucasFilm booth
Unlike the three and four-day Con marathons of my '03 and '05 visits, I only attended on Sunday this year.
As an added twist, I took my wife and kids along to experience the Con in all its kooky glory. Since Saturday completely sold out ahead of time, I had a feeling Sunday wouldn't be the rather "laid back" experience it had been known for in the past...and I was right.
Naturally, the rest of the Engblom clan was pretty overwhelmed at not only the size of the crowd, but the size of the venue itself. After a claustrophobic slog through the Exhibit Hall, the lovely ladies excused themselves for some downtown San Diego shopping (as far away from the armies of Stormtroopers and Captain Jack Sparrows as possible), leaving my son and I to tackle the crowds.
We ended up having a great time together as we explored stuff one, the other, or both of us liked. My son (pictured here next to a mutant Bart Simpson) even gave me a hand in tracking down a couple of comics from my "want list", helping me compare prices from various dealers (who were pretty stingy on the traditional "last day discounts" I might add).
Of course, I completely missed out on all the panels and presentations I normally attend...but it really didn't matter to me this time around. After all, a quick twenty minutes on the computer this morning pretty much brought me up to speed on all the major news (which, with few exceptions, seemed kinda boring and predictable, actually)...so cramming it all into a couple of intense hours on "The Floor" was just the right amount of Comic Con for me.
"Slave Girl Princess Mark", Jabba the Hutt, and
my daughter (bravely ignoring her idiot father).
One panel, while discussing the rather serious topic of emergency escapes, included a character inexplicably dressed in a purple top hat and tails running behind a woman carrying an unnecessary item. What the?...
The second and even more bizarre panel featured what appeared to be a ballerina assuming the "brace position" during an airline crash. Because, you know, nothing communicates the seriousness of the situation quite like someone wearing a pink tutu.