dragon con op-ed

YHS Dragon-Chronicles Pt. 5- Snacks! (Bring ‘Em)

Welcome back to another installment of my Top Ten Hottest Dragon Con Tips, y’all! It’s time for tip number five so crack open a can of something carbonated and fix yourself a little something sweet and or salty because this tip is all about edibles. Not those edibles (although Dragon Con is a great place for those too), I’m talking about snacks and beverages! That’s right, Tip Number 5 is basically don’t forget toDragon Con Snacks! eat. I don’t want to start quoting Snickers commercials here, I think you all get the jist.

Honestly this advice is pretty self explanatory. You’re a human being. You’re body is comprised of 900% water. My personal body composition is also made up of 80% Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, 50% peanut butter, and 75% salad. My math is accurate. That’s what doctors have told me. (Just kidding, I haven’t seen a doctor in forever! I go to Dragon Con every year, remember?) Although I don’t have time or money for doctors, I do have a ton of experience with the crash and burn related to exhaustion, fatigue, and low blood sugar levels that is nearly unavoidable at busy conventions like Dragon Con.

The best way that I’ve learned to combat the inevitable midday crankies that can creep up and nip your ankles while waiting in long lines for panels, long lines for photo opps, long lines for autographs, or even long lines for food (yes it’s okay to snack while in line for food, I’ve done it). I’ve mentioned this before but I’ll say it again, Dragon Con is not unlike spending a weekend at a crowded theme park. With nearly 85,000 human beings in attendance, believe me when when I tell you- THERE WILL BE LINES. You will get hungry and probably cranky too. You’re human. It’s okay. I’ve been there too, friend. In an earlier series I wrote about Star Wars Celebration and I shared a story about losing my cool while getting coffee at the food court inside the convention center.

The backstory goes as follows. I had just turned down a Felicity Jones photo opp that was being hawked at a deeply discounted price by a nice dude circling the long lines, trying to make a buck. I had to turn the offer down because I was currently in an endless line to get Alan Tudyk’s autograph. I would be lying if I said that the lines at Dragon Con were worse than those at Star Wars Celebration. Celebrations lines are thicc people. I saw friends reduced to actual tears over line-chaos and photo-opp drama.

As someone who’s attended a ton of conventions over the last decade, I can tell you that a lot of conventions play out like this. The sheer Cat takes on Dragon Connumber of other people who are also into the exact same thing as you can actually prevent you from getting to do all the things you want in a timely fashion. Sometimes it doesn’t feel fair. It’s important during these times that you check in with yourself emotionally and physically. How long have you been on your feet? Maybe sit down criss-cross-applesauce right there in line and crack open your current read. How long has it been since you’ve eaten anything?

It had been a long time since I’d had breakfast the day of my ill-fated coffee incident. I remember walking up to the coffee stand inside the Orlando convention center where Celebration 2016 was held. I was hungry, decaffeinated, and ready to strike. Long story short the place was out of creamer and I was out of patience. I hope that the baristas are reading this post, because I still feel bad.

In retrospect I could have packed a snack in my BACKPACK to gnosh while in line or even made time to run and grab something while a friend held my spot in line. This is probably a good time to mention how valuable a line-buddy can be, not only for conversation to pass the time but also to allow for bathroom break rotations. My advice is make new friends everywhere at con, but especially while in lines. Hey maybe you can share some of the snacks you packed with them? Wow that’s some great advice, huh?

Gypsy Dragon Con 2014
Gypsy gets it.

I’ve mentioned before that Dragon Con is EXPENSIVE and that’s important to cut costs where you can. My final piece of advice to you on the subject of sustenance is this- pack some groceries in a cooler (plus beverages of all kinds) with you and keep it in your room (if you’re staying at a hotel). 2014 was the first year I packed a hefty load of groceries with me. I also packed my cat, Gypsy. Looking back through the years and the memories, this was far and away my best Dragon Con. I don’t want to say it was all due to having a mini convenience store under the TV in our room, but having those snacks on hand helped me stay nourished and feel better prepared for the hectic pace of con-life.

It’s become a pre-con tradition for me to cash all my change in at the Coinstar inside my local Kroger. I love to squeeze out that all -important last $30 to blow on Cliff bars, Diet Coke, peanut butter, pretzels, peanut butter pretzels, and one single bottle of grenadine which I always say I’ll take shots out of but haven’t yet. Maybe this is my year? Yes. 2018 is the year I’m going to order a gosh darn shot of grenadine at The Pulse bar, swill it back, and take the con with incredible sugar-force. You know what else? I’m not going to yell at any employees this year. Why? Because this is my Ten-Year and I’m taking my own advice. I’m going to pack a snack, and I hope you do too.

Thanks again for tuning in to my Dragon Chronicles folks, see you all in two days!! If you’d like to start from the beginning check out Part 1  here and remember, Stay Stressed my Con-fam!

Abigail Gardner
@Splash_Mommy – IG

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