Tag Archives: SDCC

GeekSideShowing's SDCC 2016

SDCC 2016 Recap: A Lead Up

When I got badges for SDCC 2016, after missing out on 2015, I was thrilled. I was able to get Thursday, Friday, & Sunday badges. Immediately, I got to the business of planning the ins & outs of SDCC 2016: secure lodging & flights, (slightly) obsess over waiting for the panel schedules to be released, wait for Nerd HQ info (any info, really), etc. As we neared the weeks before, it got serious with news everyday.

Where to stay:

I started with finding a place to stay that was a better distance from the Convention Center than 2014, while also enabling me the possibility to cook my own food due to my dietary restrictions. I was lucky to find the perfect place, a room with access to a kitchen, in Little Italy. This, would allow me to get back & forth from all of the SDCC happenings with much more ease. Check!

What to do:

This is the obvious biggie. The biggest factor is how can you fit all you want to do into the time you have. SDCC is when you really wish Hermione would lend you the Time-Turner. The struggle is real, & here is a glimpse at my overly ambitious schedule for SDCC 2016:

GeekSideShowing SDCC 2016 panel off-site tentative schedule

So, yeah. Not realistic, but definitely an important thing to think through because during SDCC throws you a couple curveballs. One thing that you early seriously think a whole lot about is the distance between rooms & locations. SDCC has grown to so many locations outside of the convention center that you can log in a LOT of steps & minutes just getting from place to place. It helps to have a Plan A, B, & C!

What to pack:

When preparing for SDCC, you need to consider the amount of walking & standing involved, as well as carrying merchandise & food. The first time I went, I was not as prepared as I should have been. Even though I read copious blog posts on the topic, some things can only be learned through personal experience. This time around, I wanted to make sure that I had a comfortable & supportive backpack, along with super good footwear. I bought a new backpack at NYCC 2015 & have been using every time I travel. (No, I haven’t been paid by EQ USG) It is from Equilibrium Urban Survival Gear:

SDCC 2016 backpack setup

 If you follow me on Instagram, you saw a bit of what I packed as far as clothing, including what I planned to cosplay:

SDCC 2016 packing

As you can see, I wanted to represent my love Star WarsGhostbustersStar Trek, Doctor Who, & Destiny. Not pictured was my Captain America t-shirt.


That is all for now, stay tuned for more SDCC 2016 recaps!

Got a shout out!

I was checking my Twitter feed, when I received a notification stating the @FemHype had mentioned me.

Tweet of FemHype mentioning My Geek Side Is Showing

So I went to check it out & was thrilled to see that my blog was featured in their Sunday Loot #InternationalDayofHappiness in Gaming post! The gamer in me was simply giddy to be included.

Featured on FemHype

screenshot of My Geek Side Is Showing featured on FemHype.com

I had been meaning to get back into blogging, after my year hiatus, but hadn’t fully committed to it until this shout-out of the best kind. I’d been dabbling staying current with my FB page & Pinterest boards, but not with the blog itself. Between work & moving, it has been on the back-burner.

In preparation for the two cons I will be attending this year, SuperCon & SDCC <squee!>, I am excited to get back to sharing my geekiness! Plus, I just got a Groupon for lightsaber classes & I’ll definitely document that experience.

Well, here is to a geeky, fun-filled 2016!

SDCC Countdown series

Couldn’t get SDCC 2015 badges, now what?

I was one of the many who embarked on the quest to secure SDCC 2015 badges this past Saturday during the Online Open Registration.  Unfortunately, also like many, I was left in the purgatory that is the spinning blue dot waiting room for a total of 2 hours with no spoils at all.SDCCOOR-ends

This was only my second year trying to secure badges to SDCC.  My first was 2014 & I had the SDCC gods smile upon me with 4 Day badge plus Preview night on my very first try.  Therefore, not getting a badge this year was disappointing, but not wholly unexpected. I know of many who have tried for years without securing a badge at all.   I am by no means bitter that I didn’t get a badge, just bummed because I was looking forward to reliving all the geeky goodness I reveled in last year.

Is there a glimmer of hope that there will be a badge resale?  SDCC-2015-resale-unlikelySeeing as there wasn’t a badge resale at all last year, the outlook is grim.  Badges sold out in under one hour this past Saturday, so I doubt there will be that many people who will return their badges.

So, now that the harsh reality of not securing a single badge for SDCC this year has set in, what is my next move?

I’m not really sure.  My going to San Diego at all is definitely up in the air at this point.  Last year, I was completely consumed with SDCC badge related everything, that I really only had time & energy for 2 unofficial events.  Was there a lot concurrently going on in San Diego that I could have seen/done? Absolutely!  I just didn’t have the time nor energy to cram more than I already was able to cram.  [Check out my overly ambitious panel schedule for last year!]  I didn’t get a chance to do anything at PetCo Park, nor NerdHQ, nor Game-con.  But, is the cost of lodging counterbalanced by all of the unofficial/other events?  I don’t know.  I would be going alone again, which means I would be the sole person paying for a room during the peak of San Diego tourism.  It makes a lady think twice.

I’d love to hear in the comments what you have done in the past or are planning for this year.

San Diego International Comic-Con 2014 Recap

SDCC 2014: Day 1 Recap or “How I just walked into Hall H” (Part 1)

I’ve been super busy catching up on post-SDCC work & life, so my recaps have been slow to come together.  So many pictures to sift through! Without further ado, my Thursday, July the 24th recap … or The “How I just walked into Hall H without waiting in line” Day!

One does not simply walk into Hall H (LOTR Mordor spoof)

Challenge (inadvertently) accepted!!

After getting a good night’s sleep on Wednesday, I was ready to take on Comic-Con’s first full day: Thursday the 24th.

SDCC 2014 Day 1 selfie

I had a custom t-shirt made in order to support my blog while at SDCC, so Day 1’s outfit was set!  The line for the shuttle was loooooong, so it took a while to get my day started.  I had my entire day overly planned, chuck full of options on what smaller panels I wanted to see.  Since I was on the Red Shuttle Route, I was let out next to Petco Park’s SDDC Interactive Zone.

SDCC 2014 Interactive Zone at Petco Park

SDCC’s Official Interactive Zone at Petco Park

Selfie-waiting-in-line-at-the-Amazon-Geek-Boutique-(titled)

I decided to check it out (deviation from day’s plan #1).  I wandered into Amazon’s Geek Boutique, which was promoting Amazon’s new delivery lockers with a Transformer’s themed giveaway.  It was my first non-shuttle line at SDCC!  I ended up winning a poster, which didn’t make the trek over to the convention center without the protection of a tube.  Lesson learned!

Amazon Locker at SDCC 2014

Next to the Geek Boutique, was the Pizza Hut area dedicated to the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.  I’m a child of the 80s that loved the TMNT toy-buying machine that were the cartoon series & arcade video games (see #4 of my top Multiplayer at the Arcade post!), so I have some very mixed feelings about the new TMNT incarnation.  There was a line for free personal-sized Pizza Hut pizzas, a couch made entirely out of Pizza Hut boxes, & a pizza shooter with what I am sure was quite the liability waiver.

TMNT-pizza-thrower

I skipped all of that & headed to the X-Men dome-thing sponsored by Norton Anti-virus.  Sure, why not?!  I took a quiz on an tablet which determined that I would be Magneto if I was an X-men.  Next, I was able to pose for this great picture.

Holding Wolverine's hand: I'm thrilled, he's playing it cool.

Holding Wolverine’s hand: I’m thrilled, while he’s playing it cool.

It was then time to head over to the convention center.

How I just walked into Hall H without (really) waiting in line

Is that actually the line for Hall H?

Tents for SDCC 2014's Hall H line appear empty.

Must be an optical illusion … or a different line?

As I was crossing the skybridge, I looked over at the tents for Hall H & saw that they appeared empty.  I figured I must be mistaken, but as I walked up to them only about 10 individuals were standing in chute 1.  Still sure I was looking at the wrong line, I asked a staff member who in fact confirmed this was the line for Hall H.  So, I said, “What the hell, let see what this is all about!” (deviation from day’s plan #2)  I stood in line for 5 minutes before I asked myself what in the world was in Hall H today that no one was in line. I knew people had camped out the night before in order to see Benedict Cumberbatch, for his first SDCC appearance, in the Dreamworks panel.  Surely there was something good after that panel, right?  I checked my events guide & saw that the next panel was for The Giver, followed by Paramount Pictures. Before I could finish placing my events guide back into my backpack, the line was moving!

I initially thought we would then be let into the convention center into a new series of zig-zagging lines, similar to the disillusion caused at Disney World when you have been waiting outside in line & you finally get inside the building/ride only to have a huge sea of continuing zig-zagging line awaiting you, only now with at-least air-conditioning.  To my complete amazement, we were ushered directly into Hall H as the preview of the upcoming Penguins movie was playing.  It was dark, but Hall H was definitely over 50% empty.  As if there was a massive exodus, once Benedict left the building. I happily reaped the benefits!Inside Hall H during SDCC 2014

As soon as the preview was over & the lights came on, signaling the end of the Dreamworks panel, I got up & made my way as close to the front as possible.  I finally found a spot in the second section from the front, next to the bathrooms.  Great seat & vantage point. Disclaimer: Unfortunately, the cellphone I ended up having to buy last minute the night before <see previous post for details> made most of my pictures look as if a drunken baby was trying to use the camera.  The focus was horrible, as was the aperture speed.  I cringe at the (lack of) quality of the majority of the pictures I ended up with, but at last I have some pictures!  Next year, I will bring a back-up digital camera!

The Giver panel

The Giver panel in Hall H SDCC 2014

This panel was interesting because I had not yet read the book, which made me part of the minority of the audience, understandably given this was the panel for the movie adaptation of the book.  What was really interesting is that the panel included the book’s author and actor/executive-producer, Jeff Bridges.  “The Dude” was amazing.  He has been trying to get this movie made for 20+ years!

Paramount Pictures Panel

So many mixed feelings! This panel was a medley of all the movies Paramount was showcasing, so it had a completely different feel than the previous panel.  Here is my wrap up of the lowlights & highlights:

Lowlights
  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
    Disclaimer: I grew up watching TMNT in cartoons, playing the amazing multiplayer arcade video game [so fabulous & memorable that I wrote a post about it!!], so I am definitely coming into this whole topic biased.  I also inform you that I have not seen the movie, but its 19% on RottenTomatoes.com seems validating.  Michael Bay is at it again, & by “it”, I mean trying to ruin my childhood memories.  I spoke about my misgivings regarding TMNT back in a fabulous Female Geek Blogger’s G+ Hangout.  Things that had me very worried: mentions that the script originally had our beloved TMNT as neither Mutant nor Teenage.  I’m sorry, I didn’t know we could change the key aspects of a character at will.  Especially, key aspects in the TITLE!  To follow this means: Mighty Mouse is no longer bound by the limitations of being a mouse nor mighty, or that Two-Face doesn’t need to have two faces!  Nope, I can’t keep going with this insanely flawed logic.  Due to completely justified geek rage vented throughout the internet, these changes were reverted back to the way it was supposed to be all along.  A fellow TMNT fan even brought it up and asked what was with all this alien talk during the Q & A, only to have the following answer given by TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman, “In TMNT #4, the Ooze is described as being of alien origin.”  Yeah, I’m not a xenobiologist, but I’ve seen enough on television & movies to know that just makes the Ooze alien, not the turtles MUTATED by exposure to the alien Ooze.

    TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman at SDCC 2014

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (TMNT) co-creator, Kevin Eastman on the movie panel in Hall H during SDCC 2014.

    Something that didn’t get changed back & should have IMO: Shredder is now a left-over Transformer special effect?!  Ugh.  I was not really pleased with the footage that was shared, either.  Don’t get me wrong, Raphael came off as bad-ass as he should be, but Mickey seemed akin to a Valley girl, which was just wrong.  Michelangelo is cool, not an absolute airhead.  And what in the world did they do to poor Donatello?!  He is not a rejected go-go-gadget lackey!  I just can’t.

  2. Project Almanac (2014)
    Time Travel + Teenagers = Mayhem.  Always.  Especially when the trailer includes the line, “I can fix this!”  No, no you can’t.  Or rather, it hasn’t really happened in movies before, so … Also, I just feel that if you have access to something that results in time travel, you should have at least learned a couple of basic rules, such as don’t go visit a sleeping past version of yourself because you create a paradox & no good ever comes from creating a paradox! (see Back To The FutureDoctor Who, and Harry Potter).
Highlights
  1. Hercules (2014)Hercules SDCC 2014
    Disclaimer: I’ve been a big fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for quite some time, but I went full-on fangirl when he surprised all of us by showing up to promote his movie, Hercules Let me set the scene for you: The screen shows the Hercules title, then the lights go out & everyone is waiting for the trailer only, as had been the case with The Mazerunner earlier in this panel, but then all of the sudden the lights turned back on & there is The Rock, 2 rows in front of me, coming out into the crowd with his music playing.  I was so busy fangirling that I didn’t start taking pictures (which came out horribly, so I didn’t include them in this post) until he was really far away & up on the stage!  He was there to promote his upcoming movie by renting out 3 movie theaters in the San Diego area to screen his movie one night before the scheduled World Premier on a first-come-first-serve basis for those with a valid SDCC badge & who followed his Twitter feed.  I took a video of The Rock’s “panel” but haven’t gotten a chance to upload it nor to create a Youtube channel to upload it to, etc.  So as soon as I get around to that part of my ever-growing To Do list, I will let you know because it was fabulous!
  2. Interstellar (2014)Matthew McConaughey Interstellar SDCC 2104
    How could this panel get any better after The Rock? Well, the lights dim, a clip starts playing of real scientists, astro-physists, & entrepreneurs talking about space exploration, the lights come back on & out comes this handsome fellow: Matthew McConaughey! This was a complete surprise for everyone in Hall H, as well as the first appearance for both Matthew McConaughey and Christopher Nolan!  The trailer they showed looks amazing & I will definitely be seeing this when it comes out.

Entertainment Weekly: Television Visionary Show-runners

EW panel Visionaries: TV ShowrunnersAfter the Paramount Pictures panel wrapped up, I picked up my things and headed as close to the stage as I could.  I scored great seats: just behind the press seats.  This panel turned out to be very interesting.  I’ve watched a couple of EW hosted panels online on Youtube from previous SDCC and have mostly enjoyed them.  This panel had the show runners who were previously writers on shows I loved (hello Veronica Mars, Alias, and Dawson’s Creek!) and currently are in charge of various shows I’ve been meaning to watch (Sleepy Hollow) or already love (Arrow, The Flash).

I honestly have not gotten into Vampire Diaries nor The Originals, but for no reason in particular.  I guess my TV card was already pretty full after adding Doctor Who.  I absolutely enjoyed the Star Trek movie reboot written by Alex & Roberto “Bob”, as well as the show Fox tried so hard to kill, but couldn’t Fringe, but I haven’t gotten around to watching Sleepy Hollow either.  After SDCC & watching this panel along with both main actors in other EW panels, I am definitely planning on catching up on season 1.

It was very intriguing to watch this panel & get some insight into how each learned how to be a show runner from their respective mentors: Tom Kapinos (Dawson’s Creek) & J.J. Abrams (Alias).  Greg Berlanti & Julie Plec know each other from college, while Alex Kutzman & Roberto Orci know each other from high school.  Rob Thomas felt a bit like the odd man out, but in a wonderfully quirky way.  This was such a great panel over all.


To be continued …

So much more happened that day, which I will continue in my next post on Wednesday.  I hope you come back to find out more about the Female Geek Blogger SDCC Meet-up & the San Diego Symphony Video Game Concert, because it was also really great.

I’d love to hear other’s Hall H experiences.  From what I gather, my experience is not part of the norm.

SDCC Countdown series

Enroute to SDCC 2014! Wednesday 23rd Recap

So my day started quite early, as I had to get to the airport by 6 AM in order to catch my 1st flight to San Diego.  Check in was pretty smooth, which was very important since i was still a bit sleepy.  I had planned on sleeping on the 1st leg, but didn’t fall asleep.  When I arrived to Houston, I got to use the automated immigration kiosk.  Pretty nifty & a bit creepy simultaneously.  I had 2 hours between flights & so I was able to get some food.  The side effect was that I now had 10-15 minutes before boarding during which to charge my iPad & back-up battery (blanked out last night & forgot to do so last night!).  I figure approximately 80% of the people are on this flight for Comic-Con.  We board, all is well … until it’s not.   There is an overheating notification on the flight deck & back to the gate we go.  Need to get a new plane & now our arrival is delayed for 2-ish hours (still waiting for the plane as I write this).  This eats into my “I have enough time to get a bunch of things before picking up my badge & attend Preview Night” plans.  Eek!

Speaking of my pre-con check-list …

This time delay, as it were, is more problematic than I would have liked because I was actually going to go get a cellphone before heading to the convention center & now, I’m not sure about my time table.  About a week ago, my  power/sleep button on my trusty, unlocked iPhone 4S stopped responding.  At first I hoped it was just the new case I had recently started using.  Took the case off & no change.  I had a work around because I just modified my settings so my screen would lock sooner to compensate for no longer having control of the sleep button.  I had (naively) hoped I could make it a couple more weeks for the release of new cellphone models in the early fall.  Well, my phone had other plans it seems; 2 nights ago, my phone froze up & the easy solution to this problem was no longer possible: hard reseting my phone by holding down the Home & Power/Sleep buttons simultaneously for a bit.  That is not going to happen now.  I tried going to the Apple authorized tech center in my town (I’m currently living outside of the U.S.) & was told that for iPhone 4 & 4S they do not repair the button & cable (which I found out is a common failing issue regarding both models) so my only option was to buy a new 4S for $300.  Okay, never mind, crazy people.  For that, I’ll buy a new unlocked phone to use in the meantime while in San Diego & then when I get back home as soon as I get in San Diego … or at least that was the plan before my 2nd flight got delayed. I now arrive at 3:45 PM instead of 1:45 PM & need to get to my hotel, check-in, drop off my stuff, pack my con backpack, figure out how to get to a Best Buy or something, get to one of the shuttle stops & head down to the convention center to pick up my badges!  Also, I need to eat sometime between all of that.

Airport wifi, you tricky temptress

As soon as we were told that we’d be taken back to the gate & reassigned to another airplane, my initial reaction was “Great! Now I can charge my devices a bit more & surf the net to find more info about which San Diego Best Buy has the unlocked phone I need to buy, etc.  I got off the plane, quickly found a seat & opened my laptop to find out what the situation was with the Airport wifi.  Turns out I could get 45 minutes of complimentary internet courtesy of Biongo.  Sold!  I accepted the terms & was able to download a pic of my SDCC badge barcode onto my iPad (I had it stored as a PDF on my iphone, but now that is inaccessible).  Then about 2 minutes into my complimentary 45 minutes, we were notified of our new gate in a different terminal.  I get over to the new gate & try to hop back onto the Biongo.  It says it has full signal …

tricky airport wifi

It says I can join the network … until it times out indefinitely.  Oh, Biongo wifi Hotspot, why are you lying & getting my hopes up?

tricky wifi denial

After being frustrated for quite a while, it was finally time to board!

I arrived at LAX & hoped on the Super Shuttle to my hotel.  Now I had to check-in, drop my bags off in my room, freshen up, & locate where to buy a phone.  I headed over to the Best Buy in Mission Valley & took a taxi down to the Convention Center.

SDCC experience begins!

selfie after getting my SDCC badges

I picked up my badge & took it all in! I was finally at my first SDCC!  I went down to the Exhibition Floor, albeit with only 1 hour left, to try to see as much as I could.

Here are some glimpses of what I saw as soon as I entered the floor:

San Diego International Comic-Con 2014 Preview Night First Impressions

I only stayed within a tiny portion of the floor, but these are just a few of the sights encountered on the Exhibition Floor:

SDCC-Preview-Night-collage

It was almost too much to take in all at once.  Having so many people coupled with very tiny & detailed items at different booths, it was a lot just looking around.  Plus there is a large portion of people power walking to booths in order to buy the SDCC exclusive merchandise before it sells out.  Very hectic, but exhilarating.  I came across the Star Wars toy booth & saw a lot of cool casts & busts of Star Wars figures (see pic above).  I turned a corner & ran into Final Fantasy figures.  I was able to play the PS3 demo of Kingdom Hearts 2 (see pic above for screenshot of the home screen), which was fun.  I tried to buy a Doctor Who shirt from the BBC America booth (see pic above), but they had just closed the line in order to finish all sales prior to the Exhibition Floor closing.  There was a big WETA booth with all kinds of props & Lord of the Rings/Hobbit stuff, including a life-sized Azog (see pic above). a further down there was a Game of Throne life-sized guy (see pic above) that was all kinds of creepy looking.  And with that it was time to leave!

View of Gaslamp Quarter from Convention Center

As the Exhibition Floor closed, it was an exodus onto the streets, with almost everyone heading over to the Gaslamp Quarter.  I stopped by Syfy’s Ascension Cafe, as they promote the show & had a burger for dinner.

SyFy takes over Ascension Cafe

I’ll be posting the SDCC related sights of the Gaslamp Quarter in a future post.  Geeking out 24/7 while here!

 

SDCC Countdown series

Some travel tips for those with chronic pain going to SDCC

I recently read a fabulous post by fellow Female Geek Blogger member, Kristen Kirk, discussing travel tips for anyone who suffers from chronic pain & fatigue, mainly fibromyalgia.  Check out her spot-on post!

Kristen brought up so many great ideas & suggestions, I felt compelled to add my two cents to the discussion in an effort to also help as many fellow sufferers as possible.  I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a year ago & I have made various lifestyle changes to help minimize my symptoms.  But I didn’t let my diagnosis stop me from doing one of the things that fuels one of my biggest passions: traveling!  Since my diagnosis, I have flown across the Pacific to Hong Kong, then up to Beijing.  I took the bullet train form there to Xian & back to Beijing, before flying back to Hong Kong & back to Mexico.  I also have flown to Guatemala & Honduras.  All this required proper planning, but it was definitely doable!  I hope my tips can help fellow persons living with fibromyalgia or other chronic pain.

Photo by Isabel Gutierrez. Copyrighted 2014.

Photo by Isabel Gutierrez. Copyrighted 2014.

I am flying to San Diego for SDCC this year from Eastern Mexico, which forces me to connect through Mexico City’s international airport.  This translates into hours of uncomfortable seating awaiting my next flight.  Here are some of the things I do, in addition to the things Kristen stated in her post, to help me get through even the most grueling of flight itineraries:

Pick an Appropriate & Supportive Carry-On
My doctor suggested using a backpack over a messenger bag or anything that caused my back to be unbalanced.  With this logical advice in mind, I have found a backpack with proper back support & good straps is preferable to a rolling carry-on, unless the rolling carry-on is a 4-wheeler. Not only does a proper backpack help me limit what I am taking so I don’t overexert myself, it also distributes the weight evenly, instead of having me pull on just one side.  A good & supportive backpack can be a bit expensive, but not much more than a good quality rolling carry-on.  Since I need to take my laptop & lot of gadgets when I travel in order to teach online, I settled on this beauty of a backpack
Disclaimer: I am not paid to endorse this product, I just love it so much & felt compelled to share!

Stay Hydrated
I make sure to take my refillable water bottle whenever I fly to stay hydrated at all times. No need to have a headache on top of being fatigued during/after flying!  My bottle clips onto my backpack, so it is hands-free carrying.  When I am in the US or any other country with water fountains, I refill as needed, just don’t forget to empty it prior to going through the security check-point.  Even if I need to buy a bottle of distilled/purified water, I empty it into my refillable water bottle.  I also carry vitamin C boosters, etc. to help my system while traveling.

Comfortable Shoes are a Must
Back pain is directly related to your feet.  If your feet are not being supported, that chain reaction goes to your ankles, to your knees, & so forth.  As the song goes, “Head, shoulders, knees, & toes. Knees & toes!” So comfortable shoes are an absolute must!  Of course, comfortable shoes are not cheap, but they are less tiresome on your body & that is worth its weight in gold to me!  Comfortable shoes in combination with the compression socks, which Kristen mentioned in her post, are a double whammy of relief when traveling.

Invest in an One-Day Pass at the Airport Lounge
If you have a connecting flight with a layover of more than 3 hours, seriously consider buying a day pass for the airline lounge.  Kristen mentioned splurging on the most expensive seat you can afford, but I think that one-day pass to the airport lounge is more doable, specially if there is a long wait when connecting.  For example, the Admiral’s Club, which serves American Airlines & all other oneworld Alliance members, sells one-day passes for $50; same price for Delta’s Sky Club.

Photo credit: Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Photo credit: Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Airport lounges are similar to first-class: once you have been in one, you really dread being in the “regular” area of the airport.  Airport lounges provide you with extremely comfortable seating, complimentary refreshments & snacks, superior restrooms, plentiful electrical outlets to charge your gadgets, & other amenities such as free wifi. They will make an announcement to let you know when you need to start heading towards your gate for boarding & alert you of any gate changes &/or delays.  If you think about all of what you get, it is definitely worth the money when you are staying for hours at an airport between flights.  Sometimes you end up spending more time at a connecting airport than the actual individual flights, so this is worth the consideration.

Once on the Plane, Settle in.
I truly settle into my airplane seat.  My unpack/packing may seem a bit much, but it is so routine now that it doesn’t take much time at all & is completely worth it.  There is definitely a method to my madness!  I typically choose to fly in the window seat, because while you lose a bit in the leg room, you don’t ever have to get up for someone else to go to the bathroom, plus you get wonderful vistas as you fly.  Of course, the flip-side is that you have to be the one asking other people to get up so you can go to the bathroom.  This is not such a big deal because I fall asleep as soon as possible on the plane. I actually acquired this trait in my early years due to getting air-sick, but I have found that I am less fatigued & in less pain overall if I sleep for a large portion of my flight(s). I have a little pillow for lumbar support as well as a neck pillow, one of those U-shaped ones. I use a small space saver bag to flatten my travel pillow, along with my travel fleece blanket, so it easily fits into my carry-on backpack; my little neck pillow fastens onto my backpack & weighs nothing.

Carry-on essentials

My carry-on essentials for good sleep: laptop backpack (to store stuff), my neck pillow, my lumbar pillow, my light fleece blanket, eye mask, & ear buds. [Not pictured: space saver bag, essential oil of lavender, iPhone, & refillable water bottle.]

Once I am seated, I settle in.   I place my little pillow in my lumbar & position my neck pillow.  Next, I unfold my light fleece travel blanket & set it on my lap for easy access.  I take a small vial of essential oil of lavender, which I then dab on my temples or even my blanket sometimes to help me relax & avoid any unpleasant “airplane” smell.  I take off my shoes & place my feet on top of my laptop bag, since my legs are a bit short to relieve the stress on my knees.  I put my earbuds in my ears to help block out the engine noise during take off.  I set my iPhone on airplane mode & its Pod on a timer to start approximately 20 minutes into the flight, to ensure we are at the appropriate altitude once it starts playing, with a custom playlist cued to help keep me relaxed.  In order to really get some rest, I use an eye mask to block out light, which in conjunction with my earbuds block out as much as possible.  Basically, create my own sleeping, relaxation pod.  As we are taxi-ing to the gate upon landing, the packing commences. I just pop my travel pillow in my space saver bag, sit on it to get all the excess air out, & voila! Back in my carry-on it goes with everything else.

So there you go, my travel tips to minimize fatigue & pain while traveling.  See you in SDCC!

If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments!