This was my only full day in San Diego without Comic Con so it was my best chance to see some of the city. Surprisingly I woke up at 05:00 and just couldn’t get back to sleep so instead got ready for the day ahead. Breakfast at the hostel consisted of pancakes with maple syrup; so quite an American breakfast! It was the first time I’d made pancakes myself so I was lucky they came out edible and in one piece.
We then headed out into the city to do some exploring. I tried to get a new US adapter so I could charge my phone, but the place we tried didn’t sell any. So instead we headed towards the convention centre and the Marriott.
This morning the queue to get into the fulfillment room in the Marriott was even longer than the night before and seemed ridiculously long. I was tempted to go off and do something else but the volunteers assured us that it would probably get even busier later in the day. As I’d already paid for the t-shirts I realised I had no choice but to queue. Whilst queuing the other two went off to get a drink and ended up in the Nintendo gaming lounge for a while.
By the time I got my order it had been just over an hour since I’d joined the queue. I bought an extra t-shirt whilst there as I thought it’d be good to get the Sandman one as well.
Once I’d picked up my t-shirts the other two had arrived as we’d agreed they’d check up on the queue progress after an hour in the hope that I’d have finished by then.
After explaining what they’d been doing and that they’d won a t-shirt we headed to the Nintendo gaming lounge to play some games and to see what else we could win.
In the lobby area of the Marriott there was someone playing as Mario and another as Luigi. In the entrance to the gaming room they also had someone playing as Pikachu (a character from Pokemon).
When playing some games the Nintendo employees would give you a token which you could redeem to get a t-shirt once you’d got enough. For some other games they gave away free items such as pin badges and a Mario hat.
Here I tried out a few Wii-U games such as a 3D Mario game and a Luigi specific one. There were also two places you could have your photograph taken either on a Mario landscape or with Donkey Kong.
I didn’t really get on that well with the Wii-U games and one of them felt a little laggy when there were 4 people playing on it at the same time. It could have been though that this was just a development version so may not have represented the final product.
Over the road from the hotel we went to a place for the History Channel’s “Vikings” show. For this they had a boat race where the fastest time for the day would win a Viking shield signed by the cast. Before having a go you have to sign a waiver and then put on a life vest and helmet. We paddled hard and almost tipped the boat but our time was the fourth fastest of the day.
At this point they gave us a free copy of a Viking comic and we decided to have another go to see if we could do better. Once again we had to sign the waiver.
This time we paddled hard but our time was actually worse – possibly as we’d crossed into the next lane and the boat in that lane toppled over.
There was so much still to see but we decided it was about time to get some food. Along the way we came across some girls dressed as Tetris pieces, and some replica Jurassic Park cars to advertise a new musical. Our first attempt at finding somewhere to eat failed due to how busy it was, but on the way in two girls asked if we could have our photo taken with them (we were wearing Mario hats).
The food place was a sports bar where I went for a bacon cheeseburger with fries. It wasn’t bad and was a good choice I felt for my first proper American meal. I was pretty sure that one of the people sitting on the next table was one of them from the Ryan vs. Dorkman Star Wars fan videos.
Having gotten a refill of my drink we walked with our drinks back to where Ender’s Game was located. We stopped briefly for a replica of Ecto 1 but soon joined the queue. Just before we entered we had to get rid of our drinks as they were not permitted inside. Once in the first thing we saw was a replica of a lounge which was an actual set from the show. This was then followed by walking through other sets and getting to see some props.
Having seen that we decided to continue along that road towards where we went the night before. The next thing we saw was the spice shop from Grimm, though I didn’t bother photographing it as it didn’t really look much like it. In the area I assume is normally a car park we headed over to where there was a van for Falling Skies. We queued for quite some time and whilst in the line I won a t-shirt by answering the question “Who does Noah Wyles play?” – which is of course Tom Mason. It turned out the queue was not really worthwhile as once in they let you watch some scenes from season 3, but ones that had already aired.
From there we went to another trailer where they were showing a 3D trailer and IMAX exclusive scene from Gravity. It didn’t look too bad, but not one I’d see at the cinema – I’d be more likely to rent it from LoveFilm once released.
The next area was for the upcoming game, Mad Max. For this one you could have video taken of you in the car which would then be superimposed over a post-apocalyptic road scene. They also provided things like helmets, goggles, and weaponry so you could get into character for it. I made a bit of a mess of the weapon reloading though!
Once done in the car they then give you a free Mad Max t-shirt. As I’d quickly changed into the t-shirt they asked me if I wanted to have my photo taken in front of the car.
The Walking Dead “car crash” we’d seen the night before was now populated with zombies roaming as well. From what I could tell it seemed to be advertising a new game featuring Merl and his brother Daryl from the TV series (these weren’t characters in the original comics).
We had a quick wander past the other booths for DC Comics/Kia “We can be heroes”, Adult Swim (Robot Chicken) and a few others before deciding we’d pretty much seen everything. We headed in the direction of the Hilton hotel next to find out where the Indigo Ballroom was as we knew there’d be a “How I Met Your Mother” panel there on the Saturday.
Whilst sitting around there the actor who plays “Beast” in Beauty and the Beast walked past, followed by Kristin Kreuk (who plays Beauty). Sadly I didn’t get to take a photograph of her as by the time I’d spotted her she already had a crowd getting signatures. I waited patiently but someone came to lead her out of the hotel. She walked past a second time five minutes later but I still missed her – I think to some degree she wasn’t keen on people wanting to take her picture.
As my travel adapter wasn’t staying in the wall socket I went in the shop in the Hilton and bought a two-way USB adapter for just over $20. At first I was a bit confused about the price as I didn’t realise this shop, unlike the others I’d been in earlier, did not include sales tax in the price. It would have been nice to see some consistency.
Outside the hotel we had another look at the LEGO in daylight before wandering down the dockside to get a photograph of the Jackdaw, the pirate boat from Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. By this time the sun had started to get lower so we headed back to the hostel to relax for a whole before heading out to Subway for an evening meal. Only the two of us went out as the other had come down with a cold and wasn’t feeling too good.