Okay, since I feel a little better, I can start with my con report...
So on Day 0, I picked up my friend from LAX and then went off to Hollywood & Highland to kill some time before AX badge pickup was open. We had lunch at Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store in hopes of collecting another Wilderness Explorer badge by ordering the special sundae that is inspired by Up. However, they ran out of Wilderness Explorer badges, so I ordered a pin collector sundae instead (goes great with chocolate coke, but the sugar rush is terrible on your digestive system):
We spent a little time hanging around Hollywood & Highland paying respects to Michael Jackson at his star near Grauman's Chinese Theatre:
When a celebrity dies, there is the compulsory profiteering by people selling MJ t-shirts, buttons, and photos.
On the way back to the car, I did figure out the extent of AX advertising was beyond bus ads and movie trailers:
The plan after picking up badges was to buy some matching shoes to complete my friend's Clannad costume that I ordered for her. However, I did not expect a two hour wait for my badge:
I also didn't expect to see any cosplay, but since I was too hot to take more pics, I didn't bother, thinking I will see them again.