Monday, June 27, 2016

Matthew's "Amended" FanimeCon Report Part 1 - Intro

BONUS PHOTO: A view from China Lake State Camp
In my my six years that I have attended FanimeCon, outside excursions have occurred but were short. Most of them involved just going to Japantown for a couple of hours rather than exploring the entire city if I didn't head straight to San Jose due to time constrants like checking in.

In fact, most my reports illustrate this:

2008 (report started on Day One):
 ...started real early for me in the morning - about 6:45am. By 7:30 I'm already out the house, fully packed and on my way. I do make a gas stop in Dixon, just south of Davis, where I find gas prices lower than Sacramento.

My first stop is San Rafael, to pick up my friend Tom. That has got to be the steepest, narrowest driveway I've ever driven on! By then, it's about 9am-ish. Once I picked him up, it was time to make that journey all the way down the East Bay to San Jose.

2009 (report started on Day One):
...5am in the morning. Since I had to pick up my roommate in San Rafael and we wanted to both be down there early, I figured to wake up around this time. I left the house sometime before 5:30am-ish, and arrived in Cordelia (outside of Fairfield, where the 80-680 interchange is) to get gas and stop by Jack-in-the-Box for breakfast around 6:30am.

It wasn't long before I arrived in San Rafael, and we were on our way to San Jose and Fanime. Despite it being a Friday before a 3-day weekend, traffic down the 80 and 880 was surprisingly light. With this, we arrived at the San Jose Marriott before 9am.

2010 (report started on Day Zero):
...Ryan and Lucas...didn't get up to Sacramento until like 1 in the morning, and then we got an early breakfast from Sherri's near my house.

We left Sacramento at 8 in the morning to pick up Tom in San Rafael. It was crazy drive up because all the rain was passing through but we made it there around 10. We then went to San Francisco's Japantown to secure an Ouran wallscroll for the panel as well as FLOW CDs.

We got to San Jose pretty quick, and I was able to check-in before 2.

2011 (report started on Day Zero):
Like other years, we're up at the crack of dawn, ready to head out. Our first order of business is to take Ryan, Aubrie, and Bryan to a place I've been raving to them since I found this place: Jim Denny's.

After a much needed breakfast, we were off to San Francisco to visit Japantown before heading down to FanimeCon. But first, we needed to pick up Tom in San Rafael, and like last year we head down to the city via the Golden Gate Bridge.

We kept a time schedule since that's what we had planned last year. But despite all the time we spent picking up last-second items at either Kinokuniya Bookstore or the local supermarket, we ended up in San Jose much earlier than we expected, and we checked in much earlier than expected even with everything that transpired.

2014 (report started on Day Zero):
As Day Zero approached with FanimeCon's 20th anniversary in the backburner, some of my routine felt like I was going back to this convention for the second or third time while it also felt I was a grizzly convention veteran.

I woke up around 6:30am, prepped and ready to go. After running some errands in Sacramento, I took off down Interstate 5 solo, nobody in the car with me, just before 9am towards the 580 to cut through the East Bay while avoiding potential traffic from the heart of San Francisco and Oakland.

I arrived at Ray's house around 11am only to realize that I had about another hour before I would reach my hotel.

By the time I had reached the hotel to check-in before 12pm, the biggest news coming out of registration was that just an hour earlier the door opened for pre-registered attendees and by that point the notion of "Line Con 2014" was thrown out the window in favor of "Maze Con" or "Speed Run Con." 

With my absence from FanimeCon 2016 due to outside commitments set by myself at the beginning of the year, it seemed like I would not be able attend for a second straight year. However, a much-needed vacation was in order after working hard with overtime for a couple of months, so I decided to head down to the Bay Area to relax and to visit a good old friend of mine.

And then I realized: I'm here in the Bay Area during FanimeCon weekend not at FanimeCon. I have the ability to "amend" every report that I've ever written about this convention with the one thing that was truly missing from any report: a single part dedicated to exploring the city for the day, not having to worry about time constraints.

So here I am, about to turn myself up to full-blown tourist mode and do everything on FanimeCon weekend that I haven't done before.

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