Reservations were made, bags were packed, transportation was secured. And just like that I’m off to Boston. I spent the past weekend and some change in Beantown for the Penny Arcade Expo. Normally a west coast gathering of geek, this was the first year PAX took place on the other side of the Mississippi. Considering my role within the Talking About Games community and my proximity to the event, it seemed like a no-brainer that I would attend. I’ll spare the part where I say that the me from two years ago would never consider doing something like this (wait…I did it again) and just cut to the good parts.
This post is a basic recap, I have some more detailed thoughts about the Geek and the Diabetes parts of the trip that deserve their own day to shine.
Early on in the planning phase of this trip I had sold myself on taking a train up to Boston. When I saw the layout of everything in relation to my hotel – 3 blocks from the Bay Back station, 1 block from the Hynes Convention Center – I knew that Amtrak was going to be my new best friend. I had never been on a train before, so I figured I could cross that off my never-have-I-ever list and be concerned with more important details. Total travel time on rails was less than 8 hours. Sure, driving would have been faster and flying would have been a breeze, but I wanted to maintain my zen before the show. With the number of podcasts I was trying to organize and the amount of stuff I was hoping to see, I figured a train would help keep me at peace. Overall that assumption was accurate, save for the child who couldn’t sit still or keep quiet or the kind gentleman with a distinct odor from New York to Philadelphia. And with outlets next to each seat I was able to keep my ridiculously high twitter posting count up and keep my computer charged while I edited podcasts on the way home. Overall the train was a success.
The hotel arrangements were also made when I purchased tickets to the PAX event itself and bought my Amtrak tickets. With my year on the road with my job, the whole process of staying at a hotel is practically second nature to me. Spell out my last name…S-N-I-D-E-R, Picture ID, Credit Card, Thank you, Have a nice day. A lot of the Talking About Games crew decided to share a room and thus spend less money during the weekend. Personally, I had no problem with the full cost on my own. For as much work as I was doing, this was also a mini-vacation and I wanted to treat it as such. All this meant a non-smoking (of course) room with a king size bed was for me, myself, and I. (King size beds are HUGE) The room was nice, the bed was big, the pillows were many and I swooped a Colonnade rubber ducky for the effort. Don’t tell anyone.
When I made my reservations for all of this I knew I was going to hang out with Jake, one of my roommates from college during my free day. He lives about an hour or so outside of the city so I gave him enough lead time to make it in and give me a brief tour of the area. Charles river, MIT and Harvard (from a distance) and most importantly Fenway Park were on our hit-list. Being a baseball fan, Fenway is a landmark. The same thing goes for (old) Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field. True baseball fans respect the history, even if you hate the team. I’m already making preliminary plans to go back and see a game (from inside the stadium). Road trip anyone?
I realized as we were walking around and he was talking about various locations that I couldn’t do the same thing in Washington D.C. It’s not like Herndon is THAT far outside of the District, but outside of the buildings that everyone recognizes, I couldn’t give a basic tour of the area. Considering how long I’ve lived here, it’s a little embarrassing.
Anywho, I took a lot of photos. You can see them here.
As the rest of these posts will detail, I had a blast. Meeting people that I have only heard over skype or on podcasts is always a trip. You’re SugarFree??? I’m already looking forward to my next meetup with the Talking About Games community…possibly in LA?