PAX Wisdom and First Timer Advice thread.

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  • TraitoriousTraitorious Registered User regular
    Teletheus wrote:
    I printed up some cards with my name, e-mail address, gamer tags, etc. from Vistaprint to hand out when I met cool folk in queues, etc. I know you can just enter information in mobile phones but I liked giving them out and they were cheap.

    Business card tips:

    Seriously, though, the card thing is a great idea. How long did it take for them to deliver your order? If I do it now, am I likely to get the cards in time for PAX?
    My buddy is doing his through either vistaprint/someone like them. I think he said you have a choice how many days you want for turnaround (days working on your card you send in after you send the template) and shipping. Both can be selected as 1 day, but it'll be much more expensive than picking 2+ days of course.

    If you pick 1-day for each, you might get them before PAX. If you get your template to them in time of course.

  • InitialdorInitialdor Seattle's Carl Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Fast Food Map

    I've slapped together a map of downtown's fast food spots for those with a mind for economy and speed. There's actually not a whole lot of the big chain places downtown (except for Subway). This was lazily put together from what I remember about downtown and a few pointers around the forums; I'm just trying to help. Cheap, greasy help, but still... :)

    I left out the two convention center Subways and other in-house food spots; don't need a map for those. I have also left out Capitol Hill. Lots of good stuff up there, but this map is strictly downtown; designed for the walker that does not want to hike that hill just for lunch.
    Xsko5.jpg

    Legend:
    Red dots are the venues.
    Yellow dots are restaurant-level places (slower, sit-down style).
    Green dots are fast food.

    Addendum:
    -Of the green dots, I recommend Chipotle and Jimmy Johns the most, but there's a trick to that Jimmy Johns: Use the door at the corner where I put the dot... automated maps point to the opposite corner of that building, but the actual Jimmy John's is just inside the door where the dot is. (I hope it's still there; last verified one year ago.)

    -Pike Place Market is Seattle's go-to tourist spot; many of the food stands down there are actually pretty fast as I recall, but I just dropped a bunch of yellow dots because I haven't been there in years.

    -Pacific Place has changed so much since I was last in there... that's why the generic label. Anyway, Pacific Place is higher-class; great food if you have folding money.

    -The three green dots just north of PF Changs are Westlake Center; standard mall food court. The "Thai and Teriyaki" label is just generic... there's three or four mall-ish pan-Asian places in there; not bad.

    -I have not yet tried Mod Pizza, but I hear nothing but good things about it. I hear Union Square right near there has some great lunch spots too... but I know nothing of that enclave, so no dots. You can actually reach Mod Pizza and Union Square through the walking paths in Freeway Park (unless there's some construction I don't know about).

    Initialdor on
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  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    For anyone looking to get business cards in a rush, Staples has a reasonably priced printshop where I always get my last minute panicky "oh crap right, business cards!" business cards. It might be cheaper than doing a rush job at Vistaprint and overnight shipping. Pick "instant business cards," and you can pick them up at the store in 4-6 hours usually, or the next day.

    Cultural Geek Girl on
    Buttoneer, Brigadeer, and Keeper of the Book of Wil Wheaton.
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  • AractorAractor Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Thank you everyone for your information in this thread! I'm finally making it to my first PAX and I cannot wait. This thread has been a lot of help to answer many questions I didn't even know to ask, as well as ease my mind when it comes to planning everything out.

    Attended: Prime 2011, Prime 2012, Prime 13, Prime 2014
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  • recycledairrecycledair Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Initialdor wrote:
    Fast Food Map

    Addendum:
    -Of the green dots, I recommend Chipotle and Jimmy Johns the most, but there's a trick to that Jimmy Johns: Use the door at the corner where I put the dot... automated maps point to the opposite corner of that building, but the actual Jimmy John's is just inside the door where the dot is. (I hope it's still there; last verified one year ago.)

    It is just inside that building, right next to the big Starbucks (I work in this building). There is also a flatbread place called Sandella's and a great sushi place called Kudasai, all right nearnthe Jimmy John's in the same building.

    The flatbread place is open on Friday from 10-7pm and Saturday from 11-6pm, not sure about Kudasai but it's right next to Sandella's, giving you another choice if it is open. :)

    recycledair on
  • DjFILDjFIL Registered User
    Initialdor wrote:
    Fast Food Map

    Thank you very much for this post. Will come in good use.

  • ChichenChichen Registered User
    Is getting in line for the exhibition halls at around 8:30 am a good time? I plan on waking up every day at 7am, doing morning routine, eating, then walking over and get there by 8:30 am. Is this a good time to get in line? Too late? Too early?

  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    Chichen wrote:
    Is getting in line for the exhibition halls at around 8:30 am a good time? I plan on waking up every day at 7am, doing morning routine, eating, then walking over and get there by 8:30 am. Is this a good time to get in line? Too late? Too early?

    It depends on what you want to accomplish. Do you want to be one of the first people inside? Or do you just want to get inside at a reasonable time? At 8:30 there will probably be a few hundred people in line ahead of you, based on my experience from earlier years, but you'll still get in at a decent time. Still, every year the early birds seem to get earlier... last year certain venues were saying they'd turn away liners-up before a set time, but I haven't seen any notes to that effect this year.

    To sum up: 8:30 is definitely not too early. There will definitely be a lot of people already in line. Two years ago I showed up at 8:45 and there were already over a thousand people ahead of me (I think?) so it varies. A lot.

    Buttoneer, Brigadeer, and Keeper of the Book of Wil Wheaton.
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  • ChichenChichen Registered User
    Hmm maybe I'll wake up around 6am every day and be there by 7:30-7:45 ish.

    What time do you personally show up to get in line?

  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    I don't actually even try to be an early bird for the expo hall anymore. Too much stress for a few (admittedly awesome) t-shirts. Maybe someday I'll have a friend who wants to go swag hunting early with me, but lately I just stick to panels and peruse the expo hall later, at my leisure. (Also I do the Triwizard, so usually I'm still a little drunk at 6am on Friday. Sometimes I'm not even in my room yet. One time I ended up playing drunken Munchkin until we realized the sun was coming up. I almost missed the keynote, that year.)

    For the keynote or popular panels (Acquisitions Incorporated, Wil, etc), I'll show up 2+ hours early. In some cases they won't let you line up yet, and if the nice enforcer tells you to go away and come back later, go away and come back later. If I were to try to get to the expo hall fairly early, 7:30 sounds about right.

    Cultural Geek Girl on
    Buttoneer, Brigadeer, and Keeper of the Book of Wil Wheaton.
    Triwizard Drinking Tournament - '09 !Hufflepuff unofficial conscript, '10 !Gryffindor
    Nerd blog at culturalgeekgirl.com
  • hiddenllamahiddenllama Registered User
    Initialdor wrote:
    Fast Food Map

    I've slapped together a map of downtown's fast food spots for those with a mind for economy and speed. There's actually not a whole lot of the big chain places downtown (except for Subway). This was lazily put together from what I remember about downtown and a few pointers around the forums; I'm just trying to help. Cheap, greasy help, but still... :)

    I left out the two convention center Subways and other in-house food spots; don't need a map for those. I have also left out Capitol Hill. Lots of good stuff up there, but this map is strictly downtown; designed for the walker that does not want to hike that hill just for lunch.
    Xsko5.jpg

    Legend:
    Red dots are the venues.
    Yellow dots are restaurant-level places (slower, sit-down style).
    Green dots are fast food.

    Addendum:
    -Of the green dots, I recommend Chipotle and Jimmy Johns the most, but there's a trick to that Jimmy Johns: Use the door at the corner where I put the dot... automated maps point to the opposite corner of that building, but the actual Jimmy John's is just inside the door where the dot is. (I hope it's still there; last verified one year ago.)

    -Pike Place Market is Seattle's go-to tourist spot; many of the food stands down there are actually pretty fast as I recall, but I just dropped a bunch of yellow dots because I haven't been there in years.

    -Pacific Place has changed so much since I was last in there... that's why the generic label. Anyway, Pacific Place is higher-class; great food if you have folding money.

    -The three green dots just north of PF Changs are Westlake Center; standard mall food court. The "Thai and Teriyaki" label is just generic... there's three or four mall-ish pan-Asian places in there; not bad.

    -I have not yet tried Mod Pizza, but I hear nothing but good things about it. I hear Union Square right near there has some great lunch spots too... but I know nothing of that enclave, so no dots. You can actually reach Mod Pizza and Union Square through the walking paths in Freeway Park (unless there's some construction I don't know about).

    There is also a Qdoba practically across the street from the Chipotle.

  • vmg15vmg15 Registered User
    I apologise if this has been asked and answered before, but once the expo hall has opened for the day, do you generally have to wait in line to get in or no? If so, how bad is the line, usually?

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    vmg15 wrote:
    I apologise if this has been asked and answered before, but once the expo hall has opened for the day, do you generally have to wait in line to get in or no? If so, how bad is the line, usually?

    Once the expo hall has opened, you do not have to wait in line to get in to the expo hall. However, each popular booth will likely have an individual line.

  • tsrblketsrblke Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote:
    vmg15 wrote:
    I apologise if this has been asked and answered before, but once the expo hall has opened for the day, do you generally have to wait in line to get in or no? If so, how bad is the line, usually?

    Once the expo hall has opened, you do not have to wait in line to get in to the expo hall. However, each popular booth will likely have an individual line.

    It does sound though like they're expecting some backup to get into HaloFest though based on what I heard on the interview in Major Nelson's Podcast. (Specifically that they opted for the street enterence to the Annex to prevent backups into the WotC area.) But this may just be precaution (or it may be because of how they plan on letting people in, dunno.)

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    tsrblke wrote:
    zerzhul wrote:
    vmg15 wrote:
    I apologise if this has been asked and answered before, but once the expo hall has opened for the day, do you generally have to wait in line to get in or no? If so, how bad is the line, usually?
    Once the expo hall has opened, you do not have to wait in line to get in to the expo hall. However, each popular booth will likely have an individual line.
    It does sound though like they're expecting some backup to get into HaloFest though based on what I heard on the interview in Major Nelson's Podcast. (Specifically that they opted for the street enterence to the Annex to prevent backups into the WotC area.) But this may just be precaution (or it may be because of how they plan on letting people in, dunno.)
    Halofest isn't part of the expo hall though, so it shouldn't affect it directly. If anything it may pull people away from the expo hall for portions of time.

  • tsrblketsrblke Registered User regular
    Agreed, I just wanted to throw that out there for people to know, so that no one is surprised!

  • Sorceress SamSorceress Sam Registered User regular
    Sleep. Get some of it. I was so wired the night before East 2011 that I barely got any sleep and was nodding off at panels. I even missed the Friday night concert because I knew if I didn't rest I'd feel like crap for the rest of the con.

    I would recommend (if you have enough vaca time) to take the day after PAX off. That way you'll have the day to play with all the cool toys you got at the Expo Hall, and your body has the chance to recover and maybe give you more of a chance to fight off illness.

    XBox Gamertag: Sorceress Sam
  • ok someone might have already asked this but I probably missed it so Ill ask again. There is a panel I want to go to at 2:30(Wil Wheatons panel) but the Gamescoop panel I will be in before it gets done at 2:30 am I SOL to get in to the other panel since I didnt wait in line or should I be able to get in??? this is my first pax btw

  • savagehartsavagehart Registered User regular
    ok someone might have already asked this but I probably missed it so Ill ask again. There is a panel I want to go to at 2:30(Wil Wheatons panel) but the Gamescoop panel I will be in before it gets done at 2:30 am I SOL to get in to the other panel since I didnt wait in line or should I be able to get in??? this is my first pax btw

    Can't say that you'll be SOL, but yeah, that's the way the smart money bets. This is my 2nd PAX and I learned in the 1st one that it's impossible to see everything you want to see at a single PAX.

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  • trickycooljtrickycoolj Registered User regular
    I don't want to be the debbie downer here, but I do want to remind folks that aren't accustomed to urban areas to use common sense and avoid provoking or making eye contact with anyone on the street that seems unsavory or unstable and stick to groups. The general vicinity around the WSCC is safe and will be full of fellow PAXers but as you move away from the WSCC remember that you are mixing with the usual downtown crowds. I've worked downtown for 4 years and tend to keep my guard up when out and about. At Seafair when my family was visiting, one of those unstable individuals started following us around Seattle Center because one person in my group laughed when this guy pushed through the crowd reciting a coleslaw recipe (it's best with green peppers and onions apparently). We ducked into a gift shop to shake the guy but it was very creepy. Be mindful of your gadgets as well.

  • recycledairrecycledair Registered User regular
    I don't want to be the debbie downer here, but I do want to remind folks that aren't accustomed to urban areas to use common sense and avoid provoking or making eye contact with anyone on the street that seems unsavory or unstable and stick to groups. The general vicinity around the WSCC is safe and will be full of fellow PAXers but as you move away from the WSCC remember that you are mixing with the usual downtown crowds. I've worked downtown for 4 years and tend to keep my guard up when out and about. At Seafair when my family was visiting, one of those unstable individuals started following us around Seattle Center because one person in my group laughed when this guy pushed through the crowd reciting a coleslaw recipe (it's best with green peppers and onions apparently). We ducked into a gift shop to shake the guy but it was very creepy. Be mindful of your gadgets as well.

    Yep, this is the truth. Also be careful in the area on Pine between 2nd and 3rd (so if you're walking to Pike Place)... You can get some interesting people around there. Just be mindful of yourself. For the mostpart though downtown is pretty a-okay, you just hit some really odd areas with some sketchy people. (I also work in downtown and do a lot of walking around the city/make trips to Pike Place.)

  • LigerLiger Registered User regular
    Make sure you have plenty of cash for the weekend, or that you know ahead of time where a nearby bank branch with ATM can be found. The convention center has a few ATMs on the 1st floor, but 1) they charge a fee upwards of $3-5, and 2) They'll run out of money before the weekend is over.

    Cash also helps when eating in large groups. Some restaurants in Seattle are cash only, or won't split the check, or both. It sucks to be the one person paying with plastic and everyone reimburses you with crumpled pocket bills.

    And speaking of restaurants, FOR THE LOVE OF MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS, please tip well. It's a pain in the goose for one server to wait on a table of 15 nerds. Go easy on them, and tip well enough (at least 20% if they started in a good mood) that they won't hate the next group of 15 that sits down. If you find yourself in a group like that, don't be the silly goose who throws down $10 when you owe $11.95+tax+tip. There's always one generous soul who makes up for your lazy cheapness and they shouldn't have to.

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  • Xenocide GeekXenocide Geek Registered User regular
    I don't want to be the debbie downer here, but I do want to remind folks that aren't accustomed to urban areas to use common sense and avoid provoking or making eye contact with anyone on the street that seems unsavory or unstable and stick to groups. The general vicinity around the WSCC is safe and will be full of fellow PAXers but as you move away from the WSCC remember that you are mixing with the usual downtown crowds. I've worked downtown for 4 years and tend to keep my guard up when out and about. At Seafair when my family was visiting, one of those unstable individuals started following us around Seattle Center because one person in my group laughed when this guy pushed through the crowd reciting a coleslaw recipe (it's best with green peppers and onions apparently). We ducked into a gift shop to shake the guy but it was very creepy. Be mindful of your gadgets as well.

    Yep, this is the truth. Also be careful in the area on Pine between 2nd and 3rd (so if you're walking to Pike Place)... You can get some interesting people around there. Just be mindful of yourself. For the mostpart though downtown is pretty a-okay, you just hit some really odd areas with some sketchy people. (I also work in downtown and do a lot of walking around the city/make trips to Pike Place.)

    truf

    people laugh whenever i talk about some of the more sketchy parts of downtown (out of towners), but they don't understand that when walking down towards the market, it goes from being a perfectly acceptable place to watch-out-for-bums-who-will-stab-you, for a block or two, and then back to being decently normal.

    so, heed this advice!

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  • DreamwriterDreamwriter Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    I lived just a couple blocks from the convention center for two years (walking distance to PAX was *awesome*), and did plenty of walking in downtown all the time, even in the middle of the night (Gameworks is open until midnight, and I'd occasionally go see midnight showings of new movies). It's all perfectly safe, there is no "watch-out-for-bums-who-will-stab-you" area. If you're really worried, there's only one area to avoid, and that only at night - Pine road, the block beyond the Westlake center mall towards the waterfront. That's the highest crime-rate part of downtown, mainly because it's got the biggest bus stops so lots of varied people gathering in one spot.

    Dreamwriter on
  • DreamwriterDreamwriter Registered User regular
    ok someone might have already asked this but I probably missed it so Ill ask again. There is a panel I want to go to at 2:30(Wil Wheatons panel) but the Gamescoop panel I will be in before it gets done at 2:30 am I SOL to get in to the other panel since I didnt wait in line or should I be able to get in??? this is my first pax btw
    I'd say you're guaranteed SOL. His panels are one of the most popular ones of PAX, I doubt anyone will get into his without waiting in line. If you go to the Gamescoop panel I wouldn't plan on the Wil Wheaton panel.

  • jukkakhanjukkakhan Registered User regular
    Spent some time reading through all the posts in this thread, so thank you everyone for the great advice! Looking forward to making my first PAX a blast!

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  • TraitoriousTraitorious Registered User regular
    What's the sizing of the apparel like from the official merch booth (like what brands are comparable in size to the stuff sold)? I would like to make sure I get the correct sizes at first than try to return something too big/small.

  • cloneboy17cloneboy17 Registered User
    Jurgman wrote:
    I'll be shooting a lot of 3D photos and 3D video (40 min is 32GB) and filling up my SD cards. Im 'that' camera guy at cons.

    Are there any pcs at the con that I could use a couple times a day to offload the SD cards to my usb external hard drive? Where would be the best bet?

    (I dont have a notebook and understand the virus issue involved)

    The Pc Freeplay Room might be a good place to do this. I dont remember for sure from last year if the computers up there had card readers or not but that might work.

  • SmallLadySmallLady Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    What's the sizing of the apparel like from the official merch booth (like what brands are comparable in size to the stuff sold)? I would like to make sure I get the correct sizes at first than try to return something too big/small.



    PA merch shirts are all Gildan brand

    SmallLady on
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  • TraitoriousTraitorious Registered User regular
    SmallLady wrote:
    PA merch shirts are all Gildan brand
    Thanks!

  • SaxicideSaxicide Registered User regular
    I lived just a couple blocks from the convention center for two years (walking distance to PAX was *awesome*), and did plenty of walking in downtown all the time, even in the middle of the night (Gameworks is open until midnight, and I'd occasionally go see midnight showings of new movies). It's all perfectly safe, there is no "watch-out-for-bums-who-will-stab-you" area. If you're really worried, there's only one area to avoid, and that only at night - Pine road, the block beyond the Westlake center mall towards the waterfront. That's the highest crime-rate part of downtown, mainly because it's got the biggest bus stops so lots of varied people gathering in one spot.

    I agree, I never feel like I'mma- be-stabbed. But her point about ignoring the crazy people stands. In Seattle, we're kind of weird and almost never talk to strangers on the street, bus stop, whatever. I asked my native Seattlite (born and raised) roommate why this was and she looked at me like I had just asked why water was wet. "Because only crazy people try to talk to you at the bus stop!" There are some sketch people downtown, but if you ignore them they will almost always ignore you.

  • Bohica69Bohica69 Registered User
    Looks like it will be a nice weekend. Predicted highs are mid 70's to the low 80's.

  • jumpman-jrjumpman-jr Registered User regular
    Saxicide wrote:
    I agree, I never feel like I'mma- be-stabbed. But her point about ignoring the crazy people stands. In Seattle, we're kind of weird and almost never talk to strangers on the street, bus stop, whatever. I asked my native Seattlite (born and raised) roommate why this was and she looked at me like I had just asked why water was wet. "Because only crazy people try to talk to you at the bus stop!" There are some sketch people downtown, but if you ignore them they will almost always ignore you.

    I disagree (a little). Yes, I too generally feel safe in all parts downtown, but maybe that's because I'm familiar with the area. But the other poster said "It's all perfectly safe" except for Pine beyond Westlake at night. Things can happen at all hours of the day and people should be alert be at day or night.

    Not to be Mr. Scary, but here's a recent event that took place around 3pm on a Saturday at 3rd and Pine:

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/komo/article/Man-stabbed-by-stranger-during-visit-to-downtown-2135174.php

    From the reports the victim was ignoring the suspect before the stabbing.

    Again, Seattle is generally a very safe place, but don't let that draw you into a false sense of security.

  • recycledairrecycledair Registered User regular
    jumpman-jr wrote:
    Saxicide wrote:
    I agree, I never feel like I'mma- be-stabbed. But her point about ignoring the crazy people stands. In Seattle, we're kind of weird and almost never talk to strangers on the street, bus stop, whatever. I asked my native Seattlite (born and raised) roommate why this was and she looked at me like I had just asked why water was wet. "Because only crazy people try to talk to you at the bus stop!" There are some sketch people downtown, but if you ignore them they will almost always ignore you.

    I disagree (a little). Yes, I too generally feel safe in all parts downtown, but maybe that's because I'm familiar with the area. But the other poster said "It's all perfectly safe" except for Pine beyond Westlake at night. Things can happen at all hours of the day and people should be alert be at day or night.

    Not to be Mr. Scary, but here's a recent event that took place around 3pm on a Saturday at 3rd and Pine:

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/komo/article/Man-stabbed-by-stranger-during-visit-to-downtown-2135174.php

    From the reports the victim was ignoring the suspect before the stabbing.

    Again, Seattle is generally a very safe place, but don't let that draw you into a false sense of security.

    Funny, I almost linked to this article after someone said the whole part about being stabbed. It DOES happen, though rarely. I think we're all just saying be smart and be aware of your surroundings. You don't need to be looking over your shoulder constantly or anything, but you just need to be self-aware is all. :)

  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    I naturally look over my shoulder constantly. I used to have to walk a mile to the bus stop in downtown Cleveland at 11pm every night. Seattle is pretty tame in comparison, even with random people getting stabbed.

    E6LkoFK.png

  • MarySueMarySue Registered User
    Dude, if someone was harassing me, had poured beer on me while I was riding the bus, then followed me off the bus, my phone would be out calling 911 faster than you can say, "What is the nature of your emergency?" And since it was 3pm and stores were opened, I would have gone inside one right quick.

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  • jumpman-jrjumpman-jr Registered User regular
    MarySue wrote:
    Dude, if someone was harassing me, had poured beer on me while I was riding the bus, then followed me off the bus, my phone would be out calling 911 faster than you can say, "What is the nature of your emergency?" And since it was 3pm and stores were opened, I would have gone inside one right quick.

    Keep in mind that the victim was with his mother and other family members. Would you have quickly gone inside a store by yourself? Would you have protected your family to ensure that they were all safe?

    Btw, if people really want to geek out on seeing locations of recent police reports, check out http://web5.seattle.gov/mnm/policereports.aspx (put in 800 Convention Place to center on the WSCTC.)

  • MarySueMarySue Registered User
    edited August 2011
    jumpman-jr wrote:
    Keep in mind that the victim was with his mother and other family members. Would you have quickly gone inside a store by yourself? Would you have protected your family to ensure that they we

    My mom would have been the one hustling me inside the store hissing between her teeth, "Get your phone out and call the cops RIGHT NOW". 'Acouse, if my abuelita was there, she might have hit the dude with her purse when the beer spilled and gotten us all kicked off the bus...

    Anyway, moral of the story, situational awareness is your friend. And since we're going to be in a big, touristy area, with big signs letting people know there are tourists in town for a convention, know where your valuables are at all times.

    MarySue on
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  • koconutmonkeykoconutmonkey Registered User
    What time do people usually get there in the morning on friday? I am planning on hitting the main store first off.

    Time to roll the dice.
  • tokyodovetokyodove Perth, WARegistered User regular
    i know its a little late for advice, but i just got off 20 hours worth of flights to get here and i have to say- if you're stopping through LAX, make sure you give yourself at least 3 hours stopover time. 4 would be even better. i got there after a 14 hour flight from sydney and had to wait in a queue for another 2.5 hours, before missing my connecting flight and having to wait yet another 2 hours for the next one. the immigration line was chockers and just went soooo slow...

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