I only just realised this yesterday... in a weeks time, I'll be embarking on my annual American adventure. I was thinking I had an extra week. But no. I only have 7 days, not 14.
I don't have a lot to do beforehand... but it is always nerve-wracking.
This year it has been confirmed that I will be the only Australian I know of, that will be going to BotCon (the official annual Transformers Convention).
That isn't something new for me though, as most of my early BotCons (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004) were without any fellow Australian interaction. The ones I went to in 2001 & 2002 had locals I knew, to hang with, and other years I've had the company of American friends.
The new thing for me will be having a room to myself for the entire time there... something that hasn't happened for me since 2002 I think. Up until that point, I wasn't there for more than 4 or 5 nights, and the hotels were fairly affordable. As the trips got longer, and the hotels more expensive, it was necessary to split the cost with others... as well as having the company to share each other's thoughts and experiences on this once-a-year event for dedicated Transformers Fans.
Other things that have me a little anxious or off about this years...
- The hotel is nowhere near any toy sources, and I won't have a car this year to go for some retail shopping/savings.
- Not a lot of the Fast Food places I like are nearby either.
- Dallas Texas is so boring, in terms of Touristy things to do. As such, I cut the stay short by one day, because I couldn't find anything else worth doing.
- A couple serious storms (tornadoes & a hurricane) have already been through Texas in the last couple months, and neighbouring states are getting quite a few tornadoes in recent weeks too. I'm not worrying about being caught in a tornado/storm, I'm worried about one hitting when I'm travelling in or out of Dallas to impact on my travel itinerary.
- The pre-Con tour I had to sign up for (because I missed out on the Customising Class YET AGAIN), is gonna get me all sunburnt a day before the convention starts... because I burn so easily, no matter how much clothing and sunscreen I use. The tour includes a stop at a ranch for a few hours, so am expecting a dry, dusty, hot day.
Things I'm looking forward to...
- A steak place I found thanks to the Man-Vs-Food TV show. And it's within walking distance.
- The Book Depository is the only famous place in Dallas, so that should be another talking point when I get back home. (the steak place will be the other talking point if I end up eating enough :p )
- Listening to the Voice Actor of Blaster from the original series (hope he can still pull off the voice).
- Finding more American foods to eat or bring back home (if they aren't prohibited by Customs)
- The direct flight home is a bonus. To be able to hop on at Dallas and hop off at Brisbane, means no need to get off or change planes at all. No extra travel time, no waiting around in airports for up to 18 hours (like I did in 2010), no struggling with luggage if you have to collect it between flights, and less chance for the luggage to get lost. I should be able to check in, hop on the plane, hop off at Brisbane, go through Customs and hail a Cab home. After an exhausting week, it is the best return flight schedule I think I've ever had.
T-Minus 7 days, and counting...