Just a warning - I'm splitting the event up into a few posts. So much happened this year, but I want to share every detail with you guys (also, my memory is a sieve, so this helps me remember it, too!).
My main companions this year were Liz and my partner, Colby. We were lucky enough to all secure 4-day passes (no preview night - I've never been) and a room right across the street at the Omni hotel. One reason this year was so different was because we were so close to the convention center. In previous years, we were a 25 minute shuttle ride from the convention center, which meant if you were in cosplay, you were staying in that costume all day. Plus, once we got home, we rarely went out again because we were so exhausted and it simply took a long time to get back.
This year, we were able to change costumes mid-day, change into regular clothes, and take a break somewhere private, and it made a world of difference. I absolutely prefer staying so close to the convention center - it's so much less stressful.
Before we even flew out of Austin, Liz met George RR Martin at the airport! She had a layover in Albuquerque, and who should she see at the ticketing counter for her flight to San Diego than GRRM himself? I felt like this was a great sign for how our con would be this year.
Liz got to our hotel first and send a photo - we could see the entire convention center and part of the Gaslamp district from our room! I was so sure we wouldn't be facing the convention center. It was awesome to be able to see the crowds.
Our first plan on Thursday was the Aisha Tyler meet-and-greet. (If you're an Aisha Tyler fan, pay attention to her podcast a few weeks before SDCC - we've gotten to meet her two years in a row, and all you have to do is send an email with a certain phrase at a certain time.)
We made our Archer costumes specifically to meet Aisha! Costumes from Archer are sort of a challenge because of the animation style - if you don't look like any of the characters, it can be hard to be recognizable - but I really like how ours turned out.
Aisha was super pleasant, as always, and sent us home with lots of signed swag and tattoo compliments.
We rushed back to the hotel to change for the Game of Thrones beer tasting. Before the con, the official Twitter account ran a contest to go to the tasting (you just had to tweet with a certain hashtag) and I won! I didn't think it would be an exclusive event - in fact, it seemed like it would be a really small event.
For SDCC, Liz made a Jorah costume, so I made a different Daenerys costume to match. Liz helps me out so much when I'm in costume anyway that it seemed appropriate for her to be Jorah!
Right when we arrived, some random guy stepped on the cape of my dress, tearing it from the shoulder pieces and leaving me clutching the dress to my body. It fell apart! I was trying hard not to panic, even though I assumed my dress was totally ruined. Luckily, Liz and one of the workers of the event helped, bringing me to a private room to safety pin me back together. It was a really scary moment, but my dress still looked alright, even with the damage.
I was still feeling really shaky emotionally when we finally got to the beer tasting event. We were the first fans to arrive, and to my surprise, everyone else was press. Press?! Who was coming that would necessitate this many people? We guessed Kit Harrington, the actor who plays Jon Snow, since the bar was themed like the North.
During this time, the official Game of Thrones Twitter account took a photo of us and it was posted later. I was freaking out inside, it feels awesome to be recognized by an official venue of your favorite show!
We were totally wrong - it was Pedro Pascal, who plays one of my FAVORITE characters, Oberyn Martell. I was totally unprepared to see him, then be served beer by him, especially after the distress about my dress. It was a completely weird moment emotionally, but one of the best moments of the convention. He was super nice, liked my contacts/eye makeup, and chatted with us one-on-one. It was a fantastic moment, and I feel really lucky that I had the opportunity to experience it.
Since there were so few fans there (maybe 15-20), I also got to meet some awesome Game of Thrones fans. And, to my surprise, the Valar Morghulis beer didn't taste bad to me (and I hate the taste of beer and alcohol, I rarely drink). It was really a perfect event and I'm so happy that we got to go.
After the event, we rushed back to our hotel room to change for the Female Geek Blogger meetup! I don't have any photos from this event, but it was awesome. I got to meet so many great geek bloggers that I've been friends with online forever! Some but not all: Megan and Tillie from The Nerdy Girlie, Joie from Confessions of a Book Pimp, Usagi from Usagi in Wonderland, Elle from Your Friend Elle, and so many more! We complimented each other's work, talked blogs and comics and cosplay, and there may have been a few tears shed. It was the perfect ending to a great day!
I can't wait to share the rest of the convention with you. I have so many photos and stories!