Flew out on Thursday (August 20, 2009), arrived at Burbank airport around 5pm and took a shuttle to the hotel. First thing I noticed was how close the hotel was to the airport — the ride was only about 10 minutes. Certainly better than when I took a shuttle from LAX in 2006 which lasted at least two hours. Checked in, went to my room on the eleventh floor and opened the curtains to reveal Universal Studios. Seeing the gray metal globe spinning from my hotel room window was pretty cool.
Got word that everyone was haning out on the 24th floor and headed up. It was good to see friends again. Hugs all around and then envy as the view from the 24th let you see even more of Universal Studios. You could even see right into the WaterWorld spectacular which just so happened to be going on at the time. Watching fireballs and flaming planes from above.
Once we hit the magic number of 17 we decided dinner was in order and headed out to eat. Never before had I been to City Walk. What a trip. It was like Disney World and a mall combined together. We went to an Italian place that served up very large portions. Good food, good conversation, although one needed a bullhorn to communicate from one side of the table to the other. Available pens and a blank back to our paper placemats gave Mara a chance to draw. That was fun, to a point.
After dinner we went back to the hotel, checked out the rooms we’d be using for the con, then I crashed for the night.