Blizzcon Hype

The Blizzcon ticket sales were finally announced yesterday and, for those of you who live in boxes shut off from the world, I’ll let you know know that sales days are May 21 at 10am PST and May 25 at 7pm PST. They’re also 175$. Some find that scandalous. To me, though, after the price of plane tickets out of Canada, 175$ seems like nothing.

Figuring Out What To Do

I’m going to be in Anaheim for Blizzcon for sure. I’ll try for tickets, but I honestly don’t care whether I get any or not. Last year, I had so much fun exploring Orange County that I totally wouldn’t mind spending my days roaming again. But, my mind was effectively blown by the cinematics panel too, and I would enjoy having my mind blown again this year.

So regardless of the outcome of tickets day, I know I’ll be happy.

As for accommodations, I’m squirmy. Last year, a lot of the fun came from staying in an awesome (and awesomely located) hotel with guildies. This year, I have no idea what my guild situation will be like come October, so I’m on my own. While staying with Conquest again this year might have it perks, I’m not sure if I’ll be comfortable around everyone who might be there (I don’t even know who might be there), and I’m not even sure if I’d be welcome to stay with them.

But, as I remind myself, I’m a not-too-hideous-looking girl at a geek convention. Finding a bed can’t be that hard. (I’m joking of course.)

An Excuse for a Trip

I’m going to try to take 2 weeks of my vacation for Blizzcon. 3 would be better, but I only get 3 weeks of vacation and I’d like to save one week for something else, like visiting my family.

Anyway, I’ve always wanted to go on a long train trip and explore the southern (as in geographically southern) US. I love, love, love Arizona and deserts and cacti and rocky sand. And, to my greatest surprise, the Amtrak is dirt cheap.

A 15 day (or 8 segment) pass is only a fraction of what Canada’s VIA Rail would cost. Since this wonderful discovery, the wheels in my head have been turning. There are a few cities I’d really like to see, just to say I’ve been there: Las Vegas, Phoenix (I’ve been before, but wanted to go back as an adult), Santa Fe, Texas (not a city, but still), Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta.

Now, 2 weeks is a very short period of time if you want to cross the US and actually see a few cities. I’m also very restricted by how the different train routes are laid. Going through Chicago to get to New Orleans from LA? A bit much!

In the end, here’s the plan I’m toying with:
1- Fly into Las Vegas
2- Go to Blizzcon in Anaheim, then
3- Go to Flagstaff/Phoenix, then
4- To San Antonio
5- To New Orleans
6- To Atlanta, fly out of Atlanta.

That would be exactly 8 segments and fit snugly into 2 hectic weeks. I’d get to see the US Southern border, taste a sample of the cities and decide which ones I’d like to spend more time in for the future.

Of course, if anyone has suggestions and/or coffee offers, I’m all for it.

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19 Comments on “Blizzcon Hype”

  1. Lunarsoul Says:

    I’m thinking about going too! I live in Sacramento, so I would just drive down for 3-4 days. It’s about an 8-hour drive for me!

    • Ophelie Says:

      I don’t drive so I can’t comment on what driving for 8 hours feels like! Last year I flew for about 8 hours to get to Blizzcon though. I was too excited to sleep, but I got lucky and scored one of those fancy new planes that are super comfortable and have lots of leg room.

      But yeah, I totally recommend going to Blizzcon if you can! It’s a time!

  2. Martin Says:

    Yeah, Via can get expensive eh? My wife has gone Amtrak from San Diego to Vancouver (BC that is). The food wasn’t too good but she said the scenery was absolutely fantastic. I know you’re not going that way but store it away for reference.

    I wanted to take the train Vancouver to Halifax but phew! the price.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I actually did look into flying to Vancouver and start using my Amtrak pass from there. It would save me 100$, but I’ve travelled the West Coast often enough (I did a semester at Humboldt State Uni and have gone back to visit often, and I spent last summer in BC, travelling the coast whenever I could) that I didn’t want to use up vacation days that I could spend elsewhere.

      I’ve wanted to take the cross Canada train too and yeah, the prices are disturbing! I have to make a Québec city- Jasper trip this summer and I looked into taking the train there, and omg! One way was more expensive than a round trip by plane.

      The 21 day pass is a good option if you’re travelling in off-season – 606$ and you can get out and visit a few cities along the way.

  3. Reality Czech Says:

    I’d suggest Tucson over Phoenix for some truly beautiful desert terrain, but unless things have changed the Amtrak schedule through here is pretty wretched.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I had checked out Tucson and the issue was like you said: the train stops there in the middle of the night. I was worried about getting around safely and finding a cheap place to stay that allowed middle of the night check-ins. I know that there is a hostel near the station, though. They don’t take check-ins after midnight, but I could always check for exceptions. I mean, if they boost being next to the station, they should accept people coming in on the train.

  4. Oestrus Says:

    I definitely want to be in the area, but I’m also a planner and I like the idea of having a set destination, rather than “I’ll be around.” If I knew what other things were in the area to do, if you can’t get tickets to the Con, I might be more OK with it.

    Plus, it also makes me sad that immediately after the tickets were announced, a handful of people stated they couldn’t go. I’m still trying to get the Apotheifers to make an appearance, but money seems tight for them. I’m still really torn, overall.

    • Ophelie Says:

      It’s Anaheim! 30 minutes out of LA. It’s tough to get around at night so I’d recommend staying near the convention centre, but during the day, commuting anywhere is pretty easy.

      Right in the immediate vicinity, there’s Disneyland. It’s literally across the street. I could see rollercoasters from my hotel.

      Within a 15 minute busride, there are beaches (less fun in October, but still pretty), museums (the one I visited in Santa Ana was brilliant- I highly recommend it) and some artsy districts.

      If you get up early and head to the city, there’s Hollywood, Santa Monica, downtown LA (Chinatown has sells live animals you can bring home and slaughter yourself! I was very impressed.), farmers markets, Beverly Hills and everything else LA has to offer. The first time I went to LA, I stayed in downtown Santa Monica and love it. Great scenery, good shopping and good food.

      The food in Anaheim is terribad- mostly overpriced, family type restaurants with awful service. Cheesecake Factory was alright though. I ended up eating there most of the time.

      I’m going to try for tickets, so I’ll find out during the last week of May if I’ll be playing tourist or not!

  5. Masscis Says:

    Keep me updated on your time in New Orleans. I’ll be your tour guide, just make sure you bring your appetite. Don’t know what you had in mind for site seeing but the zoo is top notch, the aquarium of the Americas is real nice and the world war 2 museum is supposed to be amazing. I haven’t been yet but I hear they’ve totally revamped it after Katrina.

    We went to San Antonio for our honeymoon, the Alamo is neat for about 5 minutes. There’s not much left of it and not really much to see. The Riverwalk was pretty cool. We spent 2 days at Schlitterbahn water park. It’ll be closed when you make it down there but that place is awesome. I’ve been wanting to go back.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Ooooh! Excellent!!! *Excited*

      I certainly will bring my appetite! Food is, like, my favourite thing in the world. I was actually considering not eating on the way there so I could get the most out of the famed New Orleans gastronomy.

      I’ll have to check with my boss to see how much time I can get off (I won’t know for sure until I start my job in July). If I’m stuck on two week constraints, the most I’ll have in New Orleans is 2-3 days, so short New Orleans culture sample-type thingies would probably be optimal. I do enjoy zoos though. And anything that’s cultural/archectural. I’m really into folklore so I instantly love any place with good stories.

      For San Antonio, it was a toss up between there and Houston for the Texas stops. The train schedule was better for San Antonio and it seemed like a more interesting place to visit. I’d only have a day or two anyway, not enough to get bored!

  6. Fimlys Says:

    Yeah, Blizzcon is really great. The atmosphere and all the people. It’s just amazing. Even just being around the area for the after hours stuff and seeing and meeting all these people that usually you just talk to on twitter or vent is cool.

    Don’t forget about the Twisted Nether party on Friday night of the con! It’s going to be a blast! We’re doing a charity raffle this time to benefit Child’s Play.

    Hope to see you there :)

  7. Mhorgrim Says:

    Hmm at your final stop, you might want to drop a little further East into Savannah, GA. Hit the old Historic side of town and enjoy a drink or two or how ever many down in the port district. It’s a fun relaxing zone and watching the ships come up the river at night while on one of the patio bars is always a decent run.

    • Ophelie Says:

      That sounds very nice! I’m not sure if I’d be able to pull it off with the train and time constraints but I’ll certainly consider it! Thanks!

  8. Lument Says:

    Lived in San Antonio for a total of 8 years, enjoying it as a vibrant city. Touristy stuff ranges greatly depending on what you’re into. If history is your thing, then the Mission Trail is the way to go–it starts at the Alamo but that is the least of it (as Masscis noted above) with the other missions being far more interesting. The McNay museum is great if you’re into modern art and is worthwhile for where its permanent collection is housed if you’re into architecture (it is in a late 19th century Spanish Colonial Revival mansion house with a beautiful central courtyard). Alternately, the SA Museum of Art is a pivotal collection of Latin American art. The Japanese Tea Gardens are nice if you’re into that sort of thing and are close to the zoo which has two cool exhibits where hundreds of Australian Lories live and get cozy on you and the other with thousands of butterflies that will gather on you if you stand still. ‘La Villita’ in downtown SA is worth a visit to experience a Southern Texas take on Mexican open markets–the food is great (though not healthy!) and be sure to get some sweets (pan dulce is a traditional favorite–I like the yellow-top’ed ones, though the different colors don’t taste any different hehe).

    I could go on…if you want to know more, shoot me an email :)

    • Ophelie Says:

      Oh my, those are all things I really like. I definitely won’t have enough for 2 days! Thank you very much for all the tips!

  9. ladyerinia Says:

    I will totally drive the 3 hours to New Orleans to grab some tea and a biscuit!


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