I'll po YOUR lite! (algeh) wrote,
I'll po YOUR lite!
algeh

Trying to decide on Consonance

Argh. Consonance pre-reg closes Saturday, so I need to make up my stupid mind if I'm going to the Bay Area or not. I really, really want to go, but the logistics are getting annoying. Right now, the plan looks something like the following, assuming that various people are free exactly when I'm assuming they are, the bus system works the way I think it does, and magic ponies come flying out my ass to fix my life:



Thursday afternoonish (I forget the exact time): Get on Amtrak in Portland. (This part is not hard - I can get a bus from my apartment to downtown easily and I've been to Union Station often enough that it would take a special act of stupid for me to get irretrievably lost on the way.)

Friday at about 10 am: Get off Amtrak in San Jose. Locate correct bus to get to Fremont BART station. (The internet tells me that this is one bus with no transfers involved, it runs every half an hour at that time of day, and that it costs $4, which is roughly twice what it would cost in Portland.) I'm assuming that the BART station will be pretty obvious when I get there, so with luck this part will also work out ok.

Friday whenever I get there: take hotel shuttle from Fremont BART station to the hotel (to do at a reasonable hour this week: call hotel and find out if I need to *book* the shuttle in advance or *call for* the shuttle when I arrive, and confirm that this is the best way to get to the hotel from the train station, foolishly hoping that they also run a shuttle there directly and just haven't mentioned it for some reason)

Friday somewhat later: arrive at hotel. Check in. Grab convention schedule and hopefully a short nap lying down in a real bed depending on how long I have until programming starts.

Friday-Sunday: Con. This will involve staying up late, waking up late, and not going far from the hotel, so I'm not too worried about how to plan this. There isn't any kind of program grid online yet, but I'm assuming it'll be roughly similar in structure to Conflikt and have concerts and such in the afternoon/evening and then open filk pretty much all night.

Monday: Check out of hotel. Somehow haul self and luggage to San Francisco from Newark (this appears to involve the hotel shuttle, two BART trains, and about $5.60) and then tourist around for the day. I could really use some suggestions on this part, mostly on luggage-storage. Right now, I have no idea how to stash my luggage somewhere while I play tourist, and that seems kind of problematic if I want to actually do anything other than wander the streets, like go into shops or tourist attractions. It seems really stupid (and expensive) to rent a car for the day just so I'll have somewhere to put my stuff while trying to tourist around a city that isn't exactly easy to drive in. I'm ending the day at friend's house up in Marin county somewhere, so it's not like it makes sense to either leave my stuff at the hotel in Newark or at their house on the other side of an expensive-to-cross body of water. I'm pretty sure I can get my clothes all in just my backpack (I can do some minor laundry at the hotel on Sunday if I have to), but I'd like to take my tripod to put my Zoom H2 on during the con, and I'd also kind of like to take some food and books along on the trip generally, and the idea of lugging two bags and a tripod all around on foot for a day sounds pretty unpleasant if I actually want to see stuff. If I have to, I can get it down to just the backpack (train-food can go in a shopping bag and be gone before Monday and new train-food bought on Tuesday for the trip back, and I can just play a game on my DS or listen to MP3s on the Zoom the whole 40-ish hours I'm on the train, I guess, but that kind of sounds terrible when I type it out like that so I think I need at least one book along, probably more). Tripods cost less than $20 for a crappy one, so if I can't find a way to store my crap for less than that I suppose I can just buy a cheap one and abandon it, or suck it up and put the Zoom on the floor instead. I'm pretty sure that lugging a big backpack around while trying to be a tourist will also suck, though. Is there any way to rent a locker for a day somewhere? What kind of place would I look? All I can think of is ice rinks, and I don't think they'd appreciate me ditching my stuff there and leaving for the day. This is the shakiest part of the plan, really.

Monday night: Visit giapet. I need to flesh out exactly how and where we'll meet up, which is in flux until I figure out the rest of my Monday. This may involve taking a ferry.

Tuesday: Either more touristing around, or visiting lucca1, depending on her schedule. Ideally, I then crash at lucca1's place that night and head back to PDX Wednesday. If that doesn't work out, I get an Epic Transit Adventure all the way from somewhere in Marin county back to San Jose to catch the train, which leaves about 8:30 at night. I welcome advice on alternate Amtrak stations I should consider for my return trip. I just don't know the area well enough to figure out what would be the most sensible station to actually get my train at, so the default is to book a simple round-trip ticket rather than mess with it. I am not clear on where lucca1 actually lives, but my guess is that it will be no less convenient to the San Jose train station than the north bay is, and with luck with be notably more convenient.

Either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the above: Arrive in Portland again. Take a bus home, fall over, order a pizza delivered, and otherwise refuse to talk to anyone or leave my apartment for about a week.

This adventure looks like it would cost about $500-$600, which is stupid cheap for a week's vacation including travel costs but still a lot of money to me right now. I should really see if I can get a roomshare for the con, because that'd help lower the expenses. (I'm including the costs of train, hotel, con registration, known mass transit costs, and cheap food (about $20/day except train days, when I should eat packed food from home or grocery food bought before leaving) in this, but not including costs of actually doing anything touristy in San Francisco that costs money, nice meals involving sit-down restaurants and/or booze, or buying CDs at the con. My guess is that I won't be able to get the total cost under $600 with those thing taken into account, but I'd like to get the pre-planned cost under $500 if I can.


Main point I'd like advice on (for those who skipped the cut): Is there some way to store luggage while touristing around San Fransisco? I'd also welcome advice on things to do while touristing around San Francisco, but I may be pretty sharply limited in what I can actually do if I can't lick the luggage problem.

Subsidiary point: If anyone is attending Consonance and looking for a roomshare, I'd like to get in on one for Friday-Sunday, if possible. (This will also be posted in relevant lj communities, as I don't think many people on my friendslist are going.)

Finally, if anyone else is in the bay area and would like a visit, feel free to speak up in the comments. It's been ten years since the last time I made it down there, and it may well be another ten years before I go back again, particularly if I turn out to hate the train ride.
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