My very first trip to Canada went a lot smoother than I had anticipated. For some reason, I imagined quite a few hiccups and setbacks for a solo trip: forgetting some vital thing for travel, getting lost trying to find my gate, having some issue in customs because I haven’t been through anything like that since I went to the Bahamas when I was 13 and 15, both times my mom was there to take care of everything. Needless to say, when my mom and brother dropped me off at the airport, I was a bit nervous.
However, breaking in my passport on my own was an interesting experience. There was a blend of anxiety from just being by myself, and also a strange sort of relaxation from it. By the time I arrived in Canada, got my phone working, made it through customs and had my money exchanged – I felt like I had the hardest part of the trip over. I made my way to the train with ease, boarded and stowed my luggage, and took the peaceful 25 minute trip from the airport to Union Station – just across from my hotel.
The only real issue I had, was when I checked in to my hotel. I gave my bags to the bellhop outside, and went in to check in. They gave me a key, floor, room number, and directions. Easy. I’ve been in loads of hotels.
But, when I opened the door to the room they gave me, I was a little… confused. I had a HUGE room, with a living room area, dining room complete with massive table and a china cabinet, a full refrigerator, bathroom, etc…. but, not bedroom to be found. And, with no bedroom –
I spent several minutes perplexed and messaging a friend, trying to decide if Canada had some magical bed hiding system I wasn’t aware of, and if it was possible that I could have somehow opened up the wrong room. After a few minutes, there was a knock at my door, and opened it to see the bellhop with my bags. He paused, confused, and looked around. “Is this your room?” he asked.
Your guess is as good as mine, dude.
Luckily, he was super nice and called the front desk to handle everything. Oh, simple mistake. My room is down the hall. They accidentally put me in an entertainment suite that was being renovated. Oh, okay. No big deal. We moved my things down the hall, he opened up the door with his master key, and then… Same room, same problems, just a reversed layout.
I had a good laugh about it all, and just rested on the couch and chatted with the very kind bellhop while I waited for them to situate me in a room with a bed. Eventually, it was all worked out, and I had fancy free breakfast vouchers for each morning I was there. However, I was lazy, and since I was there alone, it didn’t sound overly appealing to go eat at the fancy restaurant alone.
But, back to the trip.
By the time I sat my bags down in my room (my ACTUAL room), I was filled with a sense of pride. I’d done it. I made it to Toronto. I left everything I knew behind for an adventure, like any proper adventurer should. Given my rough health, lately, I took an opportunity before the con to rest a bit, then showered and changed, and loaded up my con bag. Eventually, after I was finished breaking in my room a bit, I made my way to the con, found where I needed to pick up my pass and wristband, and headed inside the first building.
Yes. First BUILDING. And here’s one of my few regrets about the trip: I only spent moments in this building the first day, and was blind when I wandered it the last day for a bit. There were tons of cool horror things and toys and such. Next time, I definitely want a good walk through on day one, at least. And to not break my glasses halfway through the trip.
Then, I followed the nerd herd over to the second building, where I’d be spending the majority of my time. This is where Artist Alley was, where the comic vendors were, where the writers and artists would be signing, where I could find nifty DC panels, etc. Plus loads of other cool things, like the IT virtual reality experience:
Normally, as you guys have seen in the past, I normally spend a lot of time around the “celebrity guests” from movies, shows, etc. This con, though, I had a very specific goal of being around more artists and writers and creators. It’s rare at the cons I normally attend, to find many big names in these areas. So to have SO MUCH TALENT from the comic book industry under one roof, I couldn’t pass up the chance to focus mostly on them.
The rest of my day was mostly getting a feel for the layout of the con floor. Which was not easy, at first, because it was MASSIVE. I swear, it took me forever to figure out where the exits were. At some point I grabbed a burger and a Coke, took a breather, and returned to my wandering. I did manage to scratch some of my To Do list off right away: I had Adam Hughes sign my Real Power of the DC Universe poster he did. Got Jae Lee to sign a Harley variant and the Harley Quinn “Our World’s at War”, and Hope Robinson signed my copy of “The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen”. I also met Jason Fabok, which made me weirdly shaky, and bought a print of The Button, had him sign two of my lenticular covers from The Button story ARC, and mostly got really excited I had a print of Batman holding the Comedian’s button from Watchmen. Hello, combination of two of my favorite things ever.
I also picked up the Batman Vampire trade for a reasonable price, grabbed one of the con exclusive Harley variants I wanted, and picked up a present for my mom. Not an overwhelming first day haul, but definitely a good one.
Now, after I finish up all of my Fan Expo posts, I’ll do a haul post to individually show off all/most of my stuff I brought home. So no worries if you can’t see everything too well. They’re time will come.
So, that’s how my first day went, pretty much. I came back to my hotel that night, swapped out my things in my bag for things I’d need to take the next day, and then eventually fell asleep.
Anyone else go to Fan Expo? Did you go all four days, or just select days? Let me know in the comments!