Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Last day of the Con

Monday morning I woke up just before 6am and quickly showered to head down to the con. I stopped once again at Famima for breakfast, where I got an English muffin sandwich, a banana and some “Naked juice”, which has lots of vitamins in it. I’m still fighting a cold.

I ended up being the 4th person in the line, which was good…because today was all about coins. I had it all planned out. I’d go into the con, get a seat at the collector’s panel to get the final handout (the Vader coin), then I’d trade my extra Vader, along with my Luke and Tusken Raider coins for the remaining 3 I needed (Han, Chewie and Death Squad trooper). I ended up finding someone in the line to trade Luke for Chewie, so at that point; I only needed two more besides the Vader.
I played some Game Boy, made some line friends, and scoped the con floor a bit on my way to the bathroom…all of which helped pass the time. Around 9am, I get this call from a 213 number asking for me.

“Is this Josh?” they said.

“Do you have my wife’s cell phone?” I asked.

“How did you know?” the mystery person said.

I explained that we knew it was gone, I figured the number calling might have found it and the only thing I didn’t know is where it was. Oddly enough someone had returned it to the Marriott. It was waiting there at the desk for us. This was really strange, because we never went there, so I can only assume that either it got lost at the con and some con-goer took it back to their hotel.

The other possibilities include the taxi-driver driving it all the way back from Hollywood to one of the convention hotels, or someone from the MR party bringing it back there. Any way you slice it, there was a good Samaritan and I have no idea who they were or how they did it. If by chance somehow you found your way to this page by searching for "Celebration 4, Lost Cell Phone" or something....thank you!

Heather arrived sometime after 9:30, followed by Jim. They joined me in line and agreed to help with my “master plan”. What was this plan? Well, if the Vader coin wasn't handed out at the first panel, I'd have someone already in line for the second one so I'd be guaranteed to get it. Heather and I hit the first panel, Jim got in the line…but luckily, it turned out the first one was the Vader coin panel. I now had 12 coins. Getting them was the hard part and now it was time to trade.

I had to trade a Tusken and a Vader for a Han and a Death Squad Trooper. Not the easiest trade in the world (no one wanted my Tusken at the time)…so I ended up hanging onto them until Noon…when they had a gathering to help collector’s complete sets. They asked everyone who only needed one to complete a set to stand up, so both Heather and I each stood up. They gave each one of us one of the two I needed, and boom…I had a set. This will be my favorite souvenir for the trip by far.

After the last panel, Heather and I hit the exhibit hall, where we made one last pass. I bought some poker chips, then we saw the Vader helmet exhibit with Matt from Jedidefender. After that, we met up with Lisa and walked around the fan hall, which had an incredible Endor diorama I hadn’t even seen yet. I took a ton of pictures, but none that captured it’s amazing scale.

After the exhibition hall, we met up with Adam from the VA boards and said our goodbyes before taking one last picture at the con and leaving for lunch. It was finally over.

The mall food court was closed, so we got some Subway and ate in our room. We packed up the armor, jumped in a cab and delivered it to Lisa who was ready and waiting for us so she could leave. We helped pack her up, said our thank yous and goodbyes…and headed back to the Sheraton.

On the way to the Sheraton, Julie called and said she had already arrived, so we said that we’d be there in another few minutes. Somehow, on the way there we skipped our street and ended up walking a few blocks into one of the less than great neighborhoods. I knew that we were going the wrong way and ended up turning around. Turns out we had walked right past our hotel somehow.

We got into the car with Julie and headed out to see Teresa in Valencia. The drive was quick and we were there in about 30 minutes. Got to see Teresa’s new house, Michael made a really nice dinner and we ate it outside on their patio. Afterwards, we hung out inside talking and everyone took turns holding their new baby. We left around 10 and were home just as quickly as we had arrived.

Packed up everything that wasn’t a Star Wars collectible and by the time I went to sleep last night it was after midnight. I’m typing this one from my hotel room, still not used to not waking up early yet. We leave in a couple of hours. This has been one awesome trip.

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