Photos from the San Diego Fandom Polar Den Party (22-Oct-2005) are now online, as are the photos from the Anime Picnic in Escondido (23-Oct-2005). Click on the picture of darrelx and Alison Stern to see the Polar Den pix.
Saturday library_lynn had to work. So we decided that I would head out to the party under my own power, and she'd drive down after her shift at work. I loaded the cooler with sodas per usual, put it in the back of her car, and headed down to the office to get some animelosangeles flyers to bring along. I turned around and made it to the Anaheim Amtrak station about half an hour before the train, so everything was fine. Did you know they've changed your policy, the AAA discount is only available if you buy your tickets 3 days in advance? Ooops, not knowing that cost me a dollar or two. And did you know that there's an Amtrak station at Anaheim Stadium? Lynn didn't... The Amtrak stations in northern Orange County are Fullerton, Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Irvine/Tustin.(There's also a couple of Metrolink-only stations, and of course there are stations at San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente.) The Irvine/Tustin station is on Edinger, near the old Tustin Marine Corps helicopter/blimp station -- not far from the office. But I didn't want to leave the truck there and make Lynn have to drive me all the way back there. I'm glad I made that decision, because by Sunday night we were both wiped out.
At the station and on the ride down, I called San Diego Transit and worked out my route to get to the party. I didn't want to be a burden to the people at the party, although as it turns out I hadn't thought part of that all the way through. The train's due into San Diego at 3:10 pm (the morning trains stop at Old Town but the afternoon train I was on didn't), so I'd take the San Diego Trolley to get to Lemon Grove. But I wanted to stop by the Doubletree Club in Mission Valley to check in -- library_lynn and I were cashing in some of my Hilton points to stay the night -- so that we'd have the room key in pocket when we were at the party, and not worry about them giving away our room because we'd get there late.
So, I'd take the Trolley to Old Town, then the Route 6 bus to Hotel Circle, which runs every half hour; I'd get off at the hotel, that would just take a few minutes, wait for the next bus to take me onto the Fashion Valley trolley station, and then out to the transfer point and down to Lemon Grove. Allowing for the hour I'd lose in Mission Valley, I'd get into Lemon Grove depot in about 2 hours. That would be the limit of my one-way trolley/bus ticket; I'd need a second ticket (or to have purchased a day pass) to get onto the 856 bus to get me closer in, towards glittercat13 and darrelx's house.
But it would simplify matters if someone could leave the party at about 5:00 pm, pick me up at Lemon Grove Depot and bring me back to the house... so I called up darrelx on my cell phone to ask if that might be possible. He told me that he was picking up Alison Stern at the train station a little after 3 o'clock, and he offered to pick me up as well. He called back Alison, told her I was downstairs in Car 4, we worked out that he'd be able to stop by the hotel for me, and we'd be on our way. We did all that, he was waiting at the end of the platform and we were back at the house before 3:45. Thanks, Darrel! The party had a listed start time of 4:00; so Darrel was a lot more willing to meet a 3 o'clock train that he would be to go out and meet a 5 o'clock bus. Had I realized the implications of this, I would have just planned for an earlier train ride, or asked him for the pick-up in the first place...
Kris missed the party -- she was up at lasfs. I learned earlier in the week that "Masoncon/Octoberfeast" would be at the club; true to Michael Mason's tradition in life, his birthday event was publicized mostly by word of mouth at the clubhouse, and I hadn't heard it would be happening that weekend until too late for me to change my plans to include it. Kris and a number of other people from the L.A. area went to that, and not the Polar Den party.
There were other events competing for that weekend as well, so it was a small turnout. I saw caprine and duckflambe, of course, and got some photos. (Of course.) It was a gloomy day, but the firepit was cheery and we barbecued meats on the bbq. library_lynn got turned around trying to get from the freeway to the house, but Darrel navigated her in, and she joined us sometime between 8 and 9.
Allison (L.) serenaded us around the campfire for a while. Alison (S.) left to go to another party in San Diego, a filk thing. We had some s'mores, and talked about whether toasted marshmallows were really edible. At the end of the evening -- which for us was 10-ish -- we headed back to the hotel, had a good night's sleep and a fair breakfast, and went to our second engagement that weekend.
It was drizzly in the morning, in Mission Valley. We stopped by the Food4Less at Hazard Center to fill out the soda selection in the cooler, and went up to Escondido where some young anime fans (some active on Cosplay.com Forums) had organized a picnic. Well, "organized" may be too strong a word; they'd scheduled one, and there were a bunch of people already there when we arrived. I saw Anna-chan, Yesenia, Kitsune, Angel Tifa, and Starlet Flower, who I'd seen at the Belmont Park thing in San Diego during the summer. And a number of other people I knew, such as Jack Kim (down all the way from Lancaster!) and Kokuu and Gainax Boy (who'd taken Amtrak down from Oxnard). Lisa ("Kokuu") was wearing her Padme Nightgown -- the Star Wars dress with the funny straps, and pearls to match her smile. I have everyone's name down in my little notebook, I'll be updating the caption real soon now in my copious.
It was sunny in Escondido. The picnic was billed as starting at 1:00 pm, we got there at 1:30 pm. They'd announced their set-up starting at 11:00 am. So I was surprised to hear that they didn't have anything to barbecue. I really don't know what they did between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm -- apparently grocery shopping wasn't on the schedule. And they didn't have the need to get to the park early to claim a good space, because they'd reserved the picnic site. They got the charcoal and the burgers organized before 4 o'clock, and at that point the picnic site was practically deserted. The folks in costumes had all gone to a more photogenic place to shoot pictures of each other. We were wondering whether they'd be coming back any time, when Jack and the other guy cooking burgers said that the first of the hamburgers were ready... and when we got up to get a hamburger, in a matter of moments the entire crowd had come back. Just in time for dinner. Coincidence? Radar? Teenage instincts? Not sure.
By 5 o'clock things were getting gloomy again, and things were winding down and wrapping up. We said our goodbyes, and headed out. Lynn had done most of the driving to Escondido, and she did most of the run up to Temecula for a stop at Richie's. We usually make that our dinner stop -- lunch had been so late, or we'd had an early dinner, or however you look at it library_lynn didn't have much of an appetite for her BLT. But I tucked into my chicken pot pie and swiped the bacon out of the second half of her sandwich, and I drove us home. Lynn was really tired, she got a fair nap on the drive back to our driveway... which is when I remembered where the truck was. Back to Anaheim Station... home again...
We're not going to do that again. That is, when Lynn has to work a full day on Saturday, we're not going to have her drive two hours to a party in San Diego. It wasn't that bad at Conjecture, when she drove down on Saturday and had to go to work on Sunday, and it was just a tedious traffic-full drive to meet me in Woodland Hills for the birthday party last weekend. But a full day plus the longer drive, nope, not going to happen.