So the San Francisco-based pony con of 2016 has come and gone, and like last year, I was an attendee. It was so much fun, even despite some serious logistics and transit issues, and I'm definitely returning to the Bay again in 2017.
The adventure began on Wednesday night, where I stayed with SoMA-To-FoRM
for a bit before heading out to the airport for our flight. Our connecting flight to Charlotte, from which we would fly to San Francisco, was due to leave at 6am. Unfortunately, after actually boarding and entering the taxiway, they announced their flight computer was not working, and we returned to the airport to unload, after which the flight was completely cancelled.
Luckily, they moved us to another flight, this time to Dallas, but it wouldn't leave until after 2pm. Thus, it was nap time for several hours as we waited. The second flight went off fine, and we reached Dallas. By this time my roommates were mostly there and I had to update them as to why we were late (was supposed to arrive at 1pm Pacific time on Thursday) We boarded the plane in Dallas at about 530, only to be informed that there was a tear in the fabric of the baggage area below the plane and as per FAA regulations, it had to be repaired and paperwork filled out. This led to AN HOUR
We reached San Francisco at about 9 or 930pm, well after dark. And my checked bag was not on the baggage carousel. After slight panic, I figured it had probably arrived on a different flight since we got re-routed and sent to a different airport that morning; a check with the baggage claim office showed that this was the case, and I got my bag. So I had clothing for the week lol. Then it was off to catch a shuttle to the Hyatt... which took half an hour, as we were so late they weren't running it too often. It was 11pm before we got to the hotel, where our roommates had graciously gotten us food at In-N-Out so we could collapse and sleep.
The next morning, I stood in the registration line for aeons, even as a High Society sponsor. Turns out their badge printers had never left the shipper, meaning they had one printer to work the entire line that morning. Between that and the disruptive renovations happening to the hotel throughout the con, I figured the con was having a bit of my
luck that weekend. But after that was done, it was off to stand in line at the autograph room.During which, this happened, and I was happy. Also got a photo with her, which is stashed away on Facebook.
After that, I ran off to pick up limited stuff and badge perks at the con store, after which my rushing around was done and I could enjoy the con.
Registration area remained hectic throughout Friday
Much of the rest of the day, and indeed into Saturday, was spent catching up with friends I only get to see during conventions, and that's the main reason I even go to cons these days in the first place, along with autographs and hoarding merchandise of course. We went out to dinner in town with several friends, during which Nicole Oliver proved she's of the nicest and friendliest VA's on the show as she suddenly appeared at our table to talk to all of us for a little while. That was an unexpected and awesome surprise. The guy behind the piano at the restaurant was also really cool, playing songs he figured we'd recognize and watching our reaction.
I spent Saturday hanging out with people and going in and out of the vendor hall, more at a leisurely pace since I got my main things done the previous day. I was mainly waiting for the VIP meet and greet, which was in the evening. Hung out with a lot of cool folks and did art in the common areas between meals and visits to the room to drop off stuff. The meet and greet was fun; I talked with Kora Kosica (lead character designer) and even signed HER Art Of Equestria book, then chatted with Andy Price for a while before the crowd got too thick for my tastes. Also confirmed that Andrea Libman appreciated the candy I brought her at Bronycon. XD
The 'big' things for me were to happen in the pre-dawn hours Sunday, as SoMA-To-FoRM
and I headed out at about 2am in a rental car to go to Big Sur, about three hours south of the convention. Let me tell you, that is one of the most gorgeous places on earth, and I am so glad I got to witness the breathtaking splendor of this region of one of my favorite states.
Scenery anywhere else in life might never compare to Big Sur
Unfortunately, we were not aware that Sunday was also the day for a marathon to be held at Big Sur; that and a couple of accidents led to an absolute traffic standstill south of Monterey for at least two hours. After that frustrating exit, and a stop for food, we were greeted by MORE traffic on the interstate. It took forever to get back to the con, but the trip to Big Sur was totally worth it. I attended part of closing ceremonies then went out for food with the roommates before playing a few rounds of TSSSF and Cards Against Equestria and getting some sleep.
Monday, we checked out, and headed to Muir Woods, north of the city, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge into the rugged wilds of the central California coast. Having never seen redwood forests before except for a little stunted grove or two the previous day at Big Sur, the forests were breathtaking.
Forests of the east can't compare to the 200'+ forest canopy of an old growth redwood forest
Once we left Muir Woods, we retired to the airport, awaiting our flight out, which thankfully happened with no issues. It's as if our travel luck had all left us earlier, to be piled onto our return flight. But by Tuesday morning we were back home, unpacking a few things only to start preparing for the mountain vacation with the grandparents and, immediately thereafter, Everfree Northwest. busy busy busy!
Thanks to SoMA-To-FoRM
for going with and for the road trip, KLPlushies
for the room, DeadParrot22
and others for being awesome roommates as usual, and to the con staff and all the epic people I met who I should probably eventually add on dA. XD