Sakura-con Logo

A fairly routine start to the journey to Sakura-con. Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary & even customs was a breeze out of Calgary. There was one agent who commented on my Fortune Cat shirt from J-List. Dude couldn’t stop laughing as I made my way through the line at the security check point.

The wi-fi at Calgary International is finally free. Nice to see the airport stop nickle & diming people on stuff that should be free. Not much else to say. I dread going through US customs (as I always do) but otherwise a smooth start. Vancouver was also uneventful. I really don’t like going through US customs as they look at you like you’re some sort of criminal but I survived the process and made my plane to Seattle after walking all the way from one side of Vancouver International to the other.

Once in Seattle I picked up my  bag (no 11 hour wait this time) and made my way to my hotel where I had an appointment over the phone to complete before I could head to the convention center for pre-registration. While waiting for a phone call I took a picture of the view outside of my room.

View from my hotel room

After that was done I met my fellow JPH!P members and hit the Washington State Convention Center and the long line up for pre-registration.

Pre-registration lineup

The line up moved quickly into the main registration area after 30 minutes but then started to grind to a halt as one dude who was controlling part of the line I was in didn’t use the bar code scanner & instead was keying in registrations manually.

This slowed things down significantly. After I got my registration sticker I went to another line to get my sticker put on a badge and then proceeded line to get my bag of swag for the con. After that off to the 2nd  floor of the convention center to get my press information & badge. The press package contained some bad news (which I will not mention here) but it wasn’t what I was expecting but whatever. At least I’m here.

After spending way more time than needed in line & having procured the press package I headed out with my fellow H!Psters to meet other members at the Nike Store. We pressured one dude to sell his soul & buy a few items of Nike swag including shoes, a t-shirt & a hat.

Then a bit of hanging out watching Law & Order while waiting for a few Japanese wota to join in for the Mariners vs. A’s baseball game.

Sakura-con 2011 Poster

Having never been to a MLB game I was excited to see if it was different from the watching it on TV. Once all attendees were confirmed we made our way to Safeco Field by transit. Seattle has an interesting underground transit system used by both buses and the train system. It’s much more organized than the half-assed transit system I’m used to.

All the sports arenas in Seattle are next to each other and it makes for convenience.

Quest Field

On the street to the arenas there are many street vendors selling hot dogs, tacos and all sorts of foods that are cheaper than the in stadium food stands. Not wanting to devour food before getting into Safeco we decided to pay the crazy stadium food prices after finding our seats. We had a really good view of the outfield and were on the side that Ichiro plays on. The Japanese wota that we were with were having a rocking good time at the game and they were extremely fun to hang out with.

Safeco Field

Safeco Field

Baseball is not as boring as it is on TV and goes by really fast. But I was hanging with a  lot of interesting people so having our own form of commentary also made things much better. Safeco field is also huge and it was nice to be at the site of Wrestlemania 19.

There are 2 more parts for the baseball game portion of day 0 and I am waiting for them to upload from my phone so check back for parts 2 and 3 later.

When the game ended the long walk back to my hotel where everyone parted ways. I ended up forming a plan of attack to get my autograph ticket with another JPH!P member before finishing the day with this recap.

Overall, a fun start to the convention.