Yikes. Well the titles tells it all, I’m back and I’m Fraking BEAT. But I wouldn’t trade the trip for all the world.

So sit back as I tell the fateful tale of my sojourn to San Diego, California to finally make my pilgrimage to nerd mecca (AKA San Diego Comic Con):

Monday, July 20th, we fly out to San Diego, early in the morning. We arrive to beautiful weather and beautiful people (for real, its nuts). We check our bags at our hotel and begin to wander. We find a place that’s open for breakfast (surprisingly difficult to do) and I have myself a Peanut Butter Burger (peanut butter, cheddar cheese, and bacon) and it was PHENOMENAL. Here I figured, hell I’m on vacation, might as well eat weird food, right? Also for the record peanut butter is also awesome on fries…

So after that, we decided to take a trek down to the Natural History Museum, that was fun times although their museum is miniature compared to ours, although they have several museums right near each other which while we didn’t go to those, I would assume combine into a much larger museum experience. Anyways, this museum had one of the neatest fossil exhibits I’ve ever seen. They have a bunch of statues of Dinosaurs and other extinct and not so extinct creatures where on the back side, its cut open and you can see their bone structure. Unfortunately, the museum didn’t have much else to offer but it was good enough to kill the time until we could check into our resort.

After unpacking and unwinding a bit, we went to dinner at RA’s, a sushi joint for happy hour and half price sushi and appetizers. It was excellent and dirt cheap, gotta love it. We packed it in early for tomorrow’s big trip to Disneyland.

Tuesday morning, we took the Amtrak up to Anaheim from San Diego, it was an excellent trip up the coast which I totally recommend. Disneyland was fun, being my first time there in twenty-three years. The place was packed but not overcrowded. We were able to get on most rides with a minimum of waiting, and those fast passes are a wonderful thing. We had lunch at the Blue Bayeux as we were recommended the Monte Cristo sandwhich which we’ve been told is the only food at the park that Disney is contractually not allowed to change the recipe for. It was expensive and worth every penny and artery clogged.

In all it was a great trip, I got to ride Star Tours twice, I finally got to check out the fantastic Indiana Jones ride (and got to walk by Peter Jackson as he was ushered through the out line). I got to torture my friend Matt for calling me on my cell while I was on Its A Small World (yeah I can be pretty cruel).

Wednesday, Matt and Steve came into town and we mostly chilled and then went to the Legion Preview Night dinner at the Greek Islands Cafe.

Thursday, Matt, Steve, and I sat in line to get our tickets for what felt like an eternity. Once we finally got in, I bee lined straight to the Star Wars Pavilion to check out the setup and new wares. I was floored by the Museum Replicas booth and their film quality costumes that will be coming soon. Hasbro had a lot of their upcoming lines on display, including my holy grail of Star Wars collecting, Wedge Antilles and his Red 2 X-wing!

The best though, was the big screen that they were showing trailers for the movies of the saga and other nice clips, but every couple hours they’d play the trailer for The Old Republic and everyone would amass, ooh and ahh, and cheer their heads off at the end. It was powerful stuff. They also were giving out tshirts and I managed to snag one.

Thursday night was the Legion Mixer. Carrie and I attended and had a blast. We got to meet members from various areas of the country, participate in the induction of Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Gos as a Friend of the Legion and Denise Vasquez as an Honorary Member. I also managed to snag one of Tom Hodges ISO prints as well. Unfortunately, I needed to bolt a little early because I had heard of a Tron 2 related “event” that I wanted to attend, and apparently I missed out on a few goodies but it was worth it.

I had heard about this viral marketing thing for Tron 2 (now called Tron: Legacy) called Flynn Lives. Apparently part of the premise of the movie is that Kevin Flynn, the hero of the original movie has been missing for some time, but there’s this group that believes he’s alive. Anyways, they had posted this cryptic message with a location and a time and I wasn’t about to miss out for anything. I got there, and they were getting people together for a scavenger hunt. They gave everyone a grid, a map, a hand-held blacklight, and token for Flynn’s Arcade. The idea was to find, in a small area, three different Flynn Lives posters, and find the codes hidden on the map in blacklight ink. Once you find all the codes, it plots out on the grid and when placed over the map, it leads you to… a replica facade of Flynn’s Arcade from the movie.

They let a handful of people in at a time, and it was full of classic arcade games, Space Paranoid cabinets (the tank game from the original movie), worn out neon signs, Journey, and a sole Tron cabinet. Having heard the outline of the Tron 2 clip shown at the Disney panel I missed, I had a good feeling of what would happen, and it did. After about ten minutes of playing free arcade games and gawking at the cool sights, the lights flicker and go out and the Tron Cabinet and part of the back wall swing open to reveal a dark room with Daft Punk playing over the speakers (DP is scoring the movie), production art on flat screens adorning the walls, leading to full size, light up Lightcycle. Totally, a sight to behold. After that, they gave everyone tshirts and a copy of one of the Flynn Lives posters we were sent to look for.

Friday morning, was Star Wars Day at SDCC. We started off early at the Fan Club Breakfast, we received our goodies and got to watch the show, a few presentations from some LFL people, including Dave Filoni, director of Clone Wars the series, and raffle prizes including one of the most sought after prizes, a Droids A-Wing, mint in a pristine box.

Luckily, or unluckily, I managed to not only predict, but win a set of four Star Wars mimobot USB drives in the Raffle. Its unlucky because, well I dislike those things with a passion because they’re ridiculously overpriced in my opinion and I got to have them presented to me by Dave Filoni and my picture with him graces the Star Wars Blog entry covering the event. God, I wish I wouldn’t have just rolled out of bed to go… Anyways, I walked away with two Vaders, a Captain Rex, and a Darth Maul, all 2gig drives.

After running back to the hotel to drop off my swag, I got back to the convention center to check out the Star Wars panels. I attended the Hasbro panel (with lots of neat info on whats coming out into early next year,) the Art of the Clone Wars (which was interesting but not too much new info), the Voices of the Clone Wars (which was awesome just to watch the various voice actors do their thing, especially Dee Bradly Baker showing off how can have a conversation with himself in different clone voices), and the Bioware TOR panel (which was nothing new). After that, I got myself some water and made the trip out to the line for Hall H to get in and eventually see the Star Wars Spectacular, which wasn’t very spectacular.

I won’t bore you on the details since everyone is already aware of what was (and wasn’t) announced, but after a day full of panels and days before of hints, it was pretty disappointing that we didn’t get a real announcement for Celebration V. I mean, its great and all that we got confirmation that its happening and a general idea of when, but I think its a failure that they didn’t have a full announcement ready for it. And really the whole panel was a dissapointment for the sheer fact that, there was really nothing worth televising it and forcing people to have to withstand the sheer retardation (sorry retarded people, comparing them to you is pretty harsh) of the hosts of Attack Of The Show.

Afterwards, I headed home and met up with my friends and we bought tickets to go see Repo: The Genetic Opera: The Shadowcast (for those of you who don’t understand the term, its basically like what you’d get at Rocky Horror Picture Show with people making fun of the movie while actors in costume act out the movie while the movie is playing). It was lots of fun, but exceptionally interesting since the Director and several of the mail cast were in attendance and had a Q&A after the show along with birthday cake for a couple of the actors. Definitely a near experience, and damn am I hooked on that movie.

Saturday and Sunday were mostly a wash, by then I was so aggravated with dealing with throngs of people and lines that I basically just scrounged for whatever swag I could get my hands on, and checking over the dealers for deals, which were few and far between.

Monday, we got up and packed. Checked our bags and proceeded to waste time until our flight. That wasting of time came in the form of the USS Midway Museum, a converted, decommissioned, Aircraft Carrier. That was probably one of the most interesting touristy thing I’ve ever done. Its neat to see why they call these ships, “cities on the sea”. Its also neat to see the parallels of life on an aircraft carrier to life as presented in Battlestar Galactica. The best part had to be the collection of fighter jets and helicopters on the deck though. And my chance to do the unthinkable, hug a F-14 Tomcat, my personal favorite fighter jet. Unfortunately, I don’t have that picture yet because Carrie has been a slacker.

So that’s the gist of my adventures at SDCC. Its only taken me a week to finish this damn post. Chicago Comic-Con (aka Wizard World Chicago) recap coming next week (hopefully).