Although my family always accompanies me to cons such as WisCon and Chicon, they never actually join the convention. C2E2 was the first one they attended. It was also the first con (at least in a long time) that I attended as a fan, not a writer. (I did leave bookmarks in the fan area, but I don't know if people took them or if they were thrown away.)
Alex had no school Friday, so I took the day off. We took the train into Chicago and taxied to McCormick Place. We tramped all over before finding the Midwest Garrison table—even though it was close to our entrance. We got into costume for a while, but Alex had problems with his mask, and we had to take a break to fix it. Eugene joined us later in the afternoon, and while he went around with Alex, I checked out the show floor. We all suited up to get one of Alex’s books signed by Jeffrey Brown. (See photo.) We were also lucky enough to get an ARC of his forthcoming book about Stone Age kids. I walked so much on Friday I set a personal Fitbit best—over 21,000 steps! Needless to say, I was sore the rest of the weekend and scaled back on walking around.
Since we didn’t have a hotel room, we drove back and forth every day. This meant we got up much earlier than normal both days, but we were lucky enough to get good parking even with the crowds. Saturday morning, we shopped first, but we took too long and wound up missing the Star Wars group shot. In the afternoon, I went on a droid hunt. The Midwest Garrison handed out special badges, and I and other hunters went around, finding the people who were wearing them and giving them raffle tickets. As you can see, I managed to collect badges despite the poor vision I have in costume. At the end of the day, Eugene and Alex helped with the raffle drawing.
Alex and I suited up briefly Sunday morning, but we didn't troop very long. Eugene got into costume so kids could blast him with Nerf darts for Blast a Trooper, a fundraising event put on by the Midwest Garrison. Alex helped with that by collecting used darts and reloading guns. I spent the time at a self-publishing panel for comic book writers. (They face many of the same issues book writers do, but they have it tougher with print costs and distribution.) We walked around the main floor again before heading downstairs to hang out with the Midwest Garrison until the end.
There were lots of great costumes: many Reys from The Force Awakens, Disney princesses, Spiderman, a group as the characters from Inside Out, and many more I didn't recognize. Surprisingly, even with all the other wonderful costumes on display, Alex and I gained a lot of attention when we were Jawas. (I just followed stated costume requirements for the 501st Legion, but apparently I make a very good Jawa. Must be the lack of height.) Lots of people took pictures of us; in fact, whenever we stopped to let someone pose with us, we'd get other people taking pictures too. We made the highlight video of Day 1 (we're posing with R2-D2), and I was even interviewed about comics.
It's getting late, so I won't discuss all the loot we bought or considered buying. Although it was an exhausting weekend, with little writing, it was still a lot of fun. We're already planning to attend next year--and this time we'll probably stay at a hotel to make things easier.