I will be documenting my experience as a first-time attendee at Comic-Con International over the next four days. Hopefully, I will be able to post a little something each day, but I am expecting the unexpected. Book reviews on here will return early next week. Until then, I encourage you all to enjoy the show.
First, a primer to the next four days’ worth of starring characters:
EM – One of my oldest and dearest friends. You might know her from EM’s Epic Escapades, Theatrophile, and as the San Diego Theater Examiner for Examiner.com.
RP – Comic fanatic. She’s a lovable goofball whom I met through EM a while ago now. We get along splendidly. She writes for Examiner.com as the San Diego Comic Book Examiner.
CDA – Someone who I swore I had never met, but have now discovered that I met her at EM’s wedding some years ago. We have far too much in common. She is the writer behind San Diego At Large.
I promised that hilarity would ensue, and boy was I right. The minute I pulled into the driveway of my hotel to check in, things started to go just slightly off the rails. Understand, I drove into the San Diego area today from San Luis Obispo, where I had been visiting family. I figured that I would have a better chance at arriving in San Diego earlier if I started a little further south than the San Francisco Bay Area.
Needless to say, even with that head start, the drive was grueling as always. I know I give people who live in L.A. a very hard time for being…let’s call it neurotic. After sitting in traffic for two hours while passing through the L.A. basin, I remembered why most people who live there develop said neuroses. I really should make a mental note to cut them some slack occasionally.
But I digress.
When I pulled into the hotel valet area, I was exhausted. As it was, I had barely made it into town early enough to check in and meet EM at the Convention Center so we could head to our first media event. The valet guy had the bellhop take my suitcase from my car, and I gave him my check in information. He gave me my claim ticket for the car and my bags, and sent me inside to check in at the front desk.
Now, I didn’t really pack all that much. I have one suitcase that had my clothes and my laptop in it, and I brought in my backpack myself. I was assured that the bellhop would be notified when I was a assigned a room and they would bring up my suitcase for me. I was so tired, I didn’t insist on taking my suitcase with me. I really should have insisted on it.
I will tell you at this point, that I have a tag on my bag as an identifier for when I check luggage when I fly. It’s a tag featuring Book Lust to Go, a book by Nancy Pearl. I had picked it up at a booth when I attended the ALA Midwinter meeting in January.
After checking in, I headed upstairs to my room so I could freshen up while I waited for the bellhop to bring my suitcase upstairs. After 15 minutes of waiting in my room and fielding phone calls from EM, who was patiently waiting for me downtown, I decided to call downstairs and inquire after my suitcase. They told me it would be up “in a few minutes”. So I waited…and waited…and waited. The whole reason I wanted to get my suitcase before heading out for the evening is because my business cards were in there. Not to mention my brush and blow dryer. I had wanted to blow out my hair since I had been sitting in the car for at least six hours. Nobody looks pretty after a road trip like that. If you claim otherwise…you’re either full of it or you’re super-human. Just saying.
Forty-five minutes passed.
I finally decided to just give up on the bag. By that time, I was running late, and I couldn’t stand making EM wait for me while the hotel took their sweet time delivering my bag. So I combed through my hair with my fingers, freshened my make-up (thank goodness it was in my backpack), and headed downstairs.
As I walked towards the front entrance, I spotted my suitcase at the bell station. I walked up to the guy there and said, “Um, I called down here forty-five minutes ago for my bag. Was I supposed to give you a claim check or something?”. They proceeded to tell me that they couldn’t find the name on my suitcase. They had been looking for a guest named…Nancy Pearl.
So, dear readers, that is how I managed to have my suitcase (temporarily) lost, having never boarded a plane.