Ok, so for anyone going to Comic Con, I thought I'd offer some practical advice (which I have shared before but am too lazy to look up the post):
- dress LIGHT - the convention floor is always hot. The air conditioning can't keep up with so many people, so it tends to get pretty warm in there.
- bring a jacket - the convention center is directly on the bay, so that afternoon/evening breeze will chill you to the bone.
- bring band-aids - I prefer the large size (2x3") that can cover the whole heel of your foot. I usually use them as a preventative aid, but extras come in handy. And they're not really heavy to carry, so load your pockets and be thankful when you need one.
- wear comfortable shoes - this seems self-explanatory, but SO MANY people come in costumes or 'cute' outfits with shoes that end up killing them by hour 2. This convention hall holds almost two hundred thousand people. Which means it's BIG. Lots and lots and lots of walking and standing.
- wet wipes - get 'em in the travel size stuff section of Target or Rite Aid for 99 cents. I prefer lemon scent to baby powder, but that's your call. You will always appreciate a cool face wipe in the hot afternoon sun and to get the 'grimey hands feel' off.
- plan what you want to see - again, a stupid suggestion and one that I rarely follow. Which is why I am dead on Sunday afternoon. Grab a convention booklet when you get there and circle what and who you want to see and make an attack plan. Then, when you decide to just go-with-the-flow you will have an idea of where things are.
- wear deodorant - and pack an extra. Believe me, the convention floor stinks bad enough. At least you won't have to.
- bring a towel - or washcloth. Seriously, the Hitchhiker's Guide was right. A damp towel on the back of your neck will make you feel brand new.
- Use the Comic Con buses - This is really the best tip. They are FREE and they go to all points around the downtown area. They usually come about every 5-10 minutes and stop at all the major hotels and downtown points (mall, grocery store, etc.) and will save you a lot of walking. PLUS they run pretty late, so you can get a safe ride back to your hotel after a long night of swapping Con stories at the pub.
There are lots of great 'hideaway' spots around the convention center that offer a nice break area. I love to go to the 2nd level (more stuff to see!) and go outside to the wrap-around patio that overlooks the water. You can even take the stairs down to the bay and walk over to Seaport Village for a snack, or just enjoy the shade under a tree. It's a beautiful view, lots of seating, and isn't usually very busy (most people don't know it's there). If you want to leave the convention center for a while and rest your legs, you can also head next door to the adjoining Marriott hotel. There are 2 lobby bars with giant seating areas. Grab a soda and chill out for a while.
Even though the amount of people is INSANE, the restaurants across the street from the convention center are usually well prepared. During the lunch hour, you might have to wait a bit for a table. Or, if you want to save money, there are lots of sandwich shop options, and even a Ralph's grocery store that has a giant deli and seating area. Further up the street is the mall and there is a food court there, although in my experience, it has always been hectic there and more hassle than it's worth, but if you want to get in some shopping, it's a good spot.
I know there is so much more that I am missing, but I need to charge my camera batteries, cell phone, dye my hair, clean up the living room, and eat dinner. And it's almost midnight! WHAT?