Gen Con 2013: Day 0 – Will Call and Exploration

I always call the Wednesday of Gen Con week Day 0, because there are still things going on, but the convention doesn’t technically start until Thursday.  Day 0 is the day we use to pick up our badges, have our annual lunch at The Ram, and get our rest in before the walk-a-thon that the next few days brings. At least that’s how it’s been in the past. This year was a bit different in that we didn’t use it as our day of rest. Instead, we kicked the walk-a-thon off early and then hoped that it didn’t haunt us the rest of the weekend.

The night before we decided that if we got up earlier we’d try to find a couple of local geocaches.  I was awake an hour before the alarm, and I woke Jon up too (poor guy). We grabbed breakfast, an event which showcased my first time ever using a waffle iron at a continental breakfast. It was kind of cool and tasted okay. Unfortunately, it fell short of protein, but it was also early and my stomach wasn’t up for a big meal.
Over the next hour, we found five geocaches. They were all park and grabs, but it was fun finding them! We were able to give our trackable a new home, and we found the tiniest cache yet on our adventures.
So tiny...only a small slip of paper fit in there.
So tiny…only a small slip of paper fit in there.
Writing on the tiny paper in there was a challenge, but I did it!
After the fifth one, we decided to head to the convention center. One-way streets in downtown Indy make me nervous, but we finally found parking. The walk from the parking garage to the convention center seemed much shorter this year, probably due to the distinct lack of rest stops I had to take. We hung out and met up with Terry and Erica (our trip mates who gave me permission to use their names in the blog…the mystery is solved). We got in line a little before 11 for will call with the hope that it might open early. It did, but only by about 10 minutes. The line was fast though. I think we only waited for about 15 minutes from the time the line opened to the time we got our badges.
From there, we walked to The Ram for our annual lunch. We were seated right away, and service was super fast. As we were sitting down,  Jon said, “Hey, turn around and look at the booth behind you.” I figured he was showing me a cool decoration or someone in costume. Turns out, Wil Wheaton was sitting in one of the booths behind us. I managed to keep the fan-girling to a minimum. The guy was eating lunch and I don’t want to be one of those people who hound and bother cool, well-known people in the wrong setting. So I just basked in the excitement of being near a celebrity and did nothing more than send a casual Tweet about it.
The food was delicious. Sticking with my goals of keeping it healthy this week, I got a side salad and a cup of fruit to go with my burger.
2013-08-14 12.44.48
The vinaigrette on that salad was so good. I didn’t feel like I was forcing myself to eat the healthy stuff either. I was actually craving a salad and I always love fruit, so this wasn’t a hardship at all.
Jon and I got some down time while Terry and Erica were in the VIG orientation, so we people-watched and found a good 3G spot to check the internet on our phone. Once they were done, we headed toward their hotel room. The original plan at that point was to head to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. After talking about it though, we decided it would be a pain to pay parking and then pay again to come back to the area for some evening stuff. We talked about taking a cab, but by the time we got there, we would have only had a couple hours to walk through the museum.
Instead, we opted to stay in the area and walk to the Indiana State Museum which was close to their hotel. We dropped some stuff at their room and headed over.  Jon and I got to make use of our Flint Hills Discovery Center membership perks. We talked about doing the Star Wars exhibit but decided against the 20 dollar per person cost. Instead, we walked around the regular exhibits and took a ton of pictures. I will note that it was about this time that I started losing steam. However, this was about 3 in the afternoon. That was a long period of sustained steam.
Erica got a game in her VIG swag bag, so we decided to go back to their hotel and play. We ended up sitting in the lounge area of the JW Marriott for a few hours. We met another con-goer who we invited to play. Since the game was only for four players, I sat out and just enjoyed the ambience of the area. The staff was super friendly, I got to people-watch and check the internet again, and later I had some really tasty coffee while sitting in a chair that was more like a comfy throne.
Jon and I eventually headed out to find some food and hit a MtG party at one of the local bars. We were going to check out some food trucks but ended up getting Steak and Shake. It was cheap, we didn’t have to wait long, and I love their food. Not so healthy this time…I had the fries and enjoyed every minute of them. Still managed to avoid soda, though I was craving a coke. I might have had one too, but I didn’t feel like dealing with the side effects.
We didn’t stay at the bar party long. We were both tired and bars aren’t really my thing. I did have a little bit of social anxiety, but I think it was due to the claustrophobia. There were a lot of people, and at one point, I didn’t have a way out. However, we both got hand drawn tokens from Eric Klug.
From there, it was back to the parking garage and back to the hotel room.
So much walking, but so much fun, and that was all before the convention even started…a successful kick-off.
A.
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