Anime Expo 2009 Day 0 – Arriving in LA

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It is hard to believe that Toronto Airport was packed at 4am and everyone looks like going to US since the line up at American Airlines check in counter was long and slow. I found it funny that I managed to start a conversation about Naruto and Inuyasha with the US custom officer ,who examined my passport , when he asked my reasons to go to US. That’s probably the most painless US custom ever. The plane took off on time at 6:50am.

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It arrived at Dallas International Airpot around 9am local time. I ‘ve never been to Dallas Airport but this airport is huge. It’s really convenience to go from one terminal to the other terminals using Skylink.

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I wonder why we don’t have something similar to Sky Link at Pearson Airport, Toronto. As far as I know it costs more for an airline to land at Canadian airports compare to US airports. Local flights within Canada is always more expensive than theo nes within US.

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Skylink route which covers Terminal A, B, C, D and E. Each terminal is divided into 2 sections. You can walk from one section to the other if you prefer.anime_expo_2009_day0_10

Took couple pictures from inside the monorail on my way to Terminal D. I know I said that this airport is huge earlier but from couple pictures that I took while riding the Skylink, you can see how big the airport is.

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anime_expo_2009_day0_14Enjoying my starbucks Green Tea Latte while waiting for my next flight.

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Plane was getting ready to depart for LA.

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We almost arrived in LA. I was able to see houses and arrived around 11:15 am LA time.

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On my way to pick my luggage.

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Got into a cab to go to Hotel Figuoera where I was staying. I paid $55 + $5 tip for the cab. Such a rip off if it’s converted to CAD$ ^^;;. For those who live in LA, is it normal to pay $60 for a cab from LA airport to downtown ? Is there another way I can get to downtown and viceversa without paying $60 ?

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Getting near to LA Convention Center as I can see a huge Anime Expo 2009 banner displayed.

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As soon as I arrived, I checked in and went to my room to put all my luggage. The hotel is quite unique and it has mexican style of decoration.

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I brought my sub notebook (Lenovo Ideapad s10) with me and it happened to fit perfectly inside my camera bag. It’s too bad that the hotel does not have wireless internet for free but then $7.99/day for wifi was not so bad at all. Internet becomes so important and it’s a necessity for me such that I probably will die if I don’t have internet ^^;;. Does anyone feel the same way ?

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I took a quick break then left to find some food for lunch before I starved to death. They don’t provide food anymore on the airplanes and you have to buy them >.>

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I started walking to the nearest plaza to get some food. Luckily, the receptionist told me that there was a plaza nearby when I checked in and gave me a surrounding area map. 2 thumbs up for the hotel service ^^.

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Not much of choices at the plaza and took my chance with Panda Express. It’s similar to Manchu Wok but tasted better ^^. I ordered Orange Chicken and Beijing Chicken with Fried Rice.The price is decent and I believe it was somewhere around $8 for the whole meal. I felt full and happy after ^^.

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After lunch, I walked around in nearby area and see what kind of places in the area before going to Little Tokyo. It’s mostly filled with skyscrapers.

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Waiting for a bus to go to Little Tokyo. Kinda excited to see what kind of place Little Tokyo is as we don’t really have a Japan town in Toronto. Guess how much the bus costed me ? it was $0.25. I was surprised that it was so cheap compare to what we pay here in Toronto.

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I was not sure if it is because a weekday but Little Tokyo looked pretty quiet too many. It didn’t look like there were much activities there. I saw this Japanese American National Museum but I didn’t enter since I needed to go back and picked up my AX badge.

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I found a small plaza as I wandered around and saw couple japanese restaurants there.

anime_expo_2009_day0_48 Saw this Hello Kitty store which recently opens.

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After an hour or so I decided to go back to my hotel to get some nap time before I had to pick up my badge. That day, only those who had pre-registered could pick-up their badge.

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The hotel I was staying was called Hotel Figueroa which was 5 minutes walk from LA convention centre. From the outside, the hotel may look like it’s about to collapse but inside it’s quite nice and clean.

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I took a nap and overslept so I missed out the badge pick-up time ^^;;. It was between 3 to 8pm and I woke up around 7:55 lol. I got up and ran to the convention centre. For some reasons, I still had the luxury to take some pictures ^^;;.

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When I got the registration booth, it was already closed ^^;;. I missed it by 10 minutes. ORZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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On my way back from the convention centre, I passed this place called Staples Center (which is located right beside the hotel I was staying). Staples Center is the home arena for LA Lakers, LA Clippers , LA Kings and LA Sparks. In addition, if you guys follow the recent news about Michael Jackson, Staples Center is the place where public memorial service will be held for Michael Jackson on July 7th.

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Just as I was about to cross the street to my hotel, I saw these huge posters of FFXIII on the hotel’s building. They look awesome ^^. Are you looking forward and excited about FFXIII or it is too much overhype? Personally, I am more looking forward to FFXIV than FFXIII.

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I arrived the hotel around 8:30 pm , took a shower then prepared my gears (my  trusty Nikon D40 DSLR, Canon Ixus 860 IS backup digital camera and Sony HRD-CX100 handycam)  for tomorrow. After making sure that they all are ready, I went to bed.

AX 2009 Day 1 post will follow soon ^^.

  • http://theinfernoproject.com T.I.P.

    Great photos, I’ll definitely look forward to your coverage of AX2009. Personally I haven’t been to Dallas International before so I’m not sure how big it is. As a matter of fact, Pearson International does offer free transport between Terminal 1 and 3 with their Link Train. ^^

    “Hotels” usually charge for internet, that’s why I usually stay at “Inns” (i.e. Holiday Inn) which always offer free internet. I would say $8/day is quite expensive, but that’s just me and my value. :P

    You didn’t consider renting a car? Might’ve been cheaper than $60.
    .-= T.I.P.´s last blog ..Tokyo =-.

  • http://www.sakuafk.com Saku

    @T.I.P. : Oh wow, I really didn’t know that Pearson has it. Was it recently just added because this is the first time I heard it.

    I couldn’t get a room at Holiday Inn because it’s fully booked but learned my lesson so I can be better prepared for next time ^^. $8 can be either expensive, cheap or average depending on the person but if I can save $8 per day, why not right ? ^^

    Originally, I was thinking of renting a car but then my hotel was near the convention so I didn’t think it would be worth it unless I planned to go sightseeing around LA.

    Honestly, I need to plan my trip better next time so I can cut down some expenses.

  • http://gndynames.wordpress.com GNdynames

    It’s been a rather long while since I’ve been at Pearson (and on a plane).

    Everything looks great, although I must say it’s not all so much better than the good parts of Toronto ^^; I’m looking forward to your coverages.

    Also, who said we don’t have a Japanese town here. J-Town is behind Thee Asian Kitchen, it consists of like 2 stores. Hardly a “town”

  • http://trixoptics.com/ trixoptics

    I do want those FFXIII banners. Do you miss LA?

  • http://www.sakuafk.com Saku

    @GNdynames: Well we do have a j-town but it’s like 2 stores as you said XD that’s why we don’t really have a Japan Town ^^;;. If I remember correctly, there is a Japan Town in Vancouver since there are more japanese living there.

    LA is not much different than Toronto except food court/plaza closed at 7pm compare to 9pm here in Toronto during weekdays. It’s kinda annoying to find something to eat to dinner and food at the convention was a rip off.

    @trixoptics: Nah not really. I still like Toronto (or Canada) in general.

  • http://lightningsabre.blogspot.com lightningsabre

    Man… I wish I could’ve gone too >_<

    Hmm… I guess $8/day for internet isn’t too bad. When I was in Boston for the anime con, I didn’t have any internet at all except when I brought my computer to the convention center itself that had free wi-fi XD
    .-= lightningsabre´s last blog ..Yuri Mania 15 =-.

  • http://www.sakuafk.com Saku

    @lightingsabre: The convention centre had free wifi ? that’s pretty nice because wifi was only accessible exhibitors/dealers/staffs only at AX :S

  • http://theinfernoproject.com T.I.P.

    @Saku I’m not sure when the link train was built, but I’ve seen it since 2007. I think they built it when they were renovating Terminal 1 a couple years back.
    .-= T.I.P.´s last blog ..Dakimakura Temptation =-.

  • http://www.sakuafk.com Saku

    @T.I.P I think you are right. I knew they were renovating Terminal 1 a couple years back and I guess they built back then. Hmmm hard to believe that I didn’t notice it until you mentioned it >.<