A busy week here in Ice Cream Land. While Matt was off galavanting across the country, we here in Southern California again made our annual trip down to San Diego for Comic-con.
Being our fourth time heading to the huge pop culture phenomenon, we pretty much knew what we were in store for. This year, we did it bigger than ever, giving away over 2000 free ice creams in just over two days.
We were planning on meeting up with Curtis from Curty Wurty Pops to get a bunch of donated pops down in San Diego, but beforehand we had to grab a few hundred ice creams in Long Beach — you can’t come to Comic-con with free ice cream and not have some Batman, Spider-Man and TMNT pops. After hightailing it out of Long Beach and lumbering down the highway with Bessie, we stopped by the Clairemont YMCA skate park. Dozens of kids were there busting moves and were blown away when the truck “from Rob & Big” rolled into their parking lot. After unloading a bunch of ice cream on some now sugar highed up kids, we took off to the Westfield Shoppingtown to stop by the PacSun store there.
With our photographer Stephen already set up in the store, the people there were ready for some free ice cream as soon as I walked in the door. They were excited since they had heard about the Ice Cream Man stopping by PacSun stores around the country and had figured we’d never come to San Diego. Good news for them! We hung around the store for a little while, making sure everybody there was sufficiently cooled off, then did a little shopping. I found a nice pair of Vurt shorts for 50% off! Score!
Finally, we were able to check into our hotel and enjoy our pool and some beers. After that drive, there is nothing better than lounging poolside with a drink in hand. We waited for the rest of the crew to arrive and prepared ourselves for a crazy weekend.
Friday morning we got the truck moving and were luckily able to find a spot on super busy 5th street after having to move the truck twice from previous locations. Good thing too, since there was an estimated 150,000 people in and near the Convention Center at any given day and most of them walk aimlessly up 5th looking for something to ease the hot summer sun. As Phil and I checked out the convention floor, talking to kids dressed up as bananas, Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai and creating our own hero at the City of Heroes booth, the crew was out on the street rocking the truck, giving away a bunch of Curty Wurty pops that were graciously donated to us. We were even able to drop off a few cases by the Playboy ice cream truck headed up by Sweet Treats in SD. Two trucks giving away free ice cream a couple blocks away from each other. You lucked out San Diego! Despite giving away so much ice cream, we decided to cut it short around 6pm to get some dinner and get ready for Saturday.
Once we got going Saturday, we tried to get down to sling at Tim & Eric’s Awesomecon. Unfortunately there was no place to park and didn’t want to risk getting a ticket by stopping in the red zone or ramping the truck up onto the park grass (although that would’ve been awesome). So while I checked out the Awesomecon, the crew took off again for 5th street to clear out the thousand or so ice creams we had. For those familiar with Tim & Eric’s Awesome Show, Great Job, the scene at Awesomecon was, well, awesome. Many of the show’s regulars were there including Sam Proof, aka, Raz, who we ended up hanging out with for most of the time. We confused some fans when, after they got their picture taken with Raz, we jumped in and had Raz take a picture of us with the fan. I even got one fan’s autograph. Confusion abounds! While we were rocking out there, the rest of the crew was once again cleaning up on 5th. This time they got even closer to the Convention Center and were getting so much attention that they nearly ran out of ice cream by lunch time. After packing up for lunch and taking a break at the hotel pool again, everybody took what ice cream we had left to the Sony Online Entertainment party a few miles north. The people there loved us, as usual, and the rest of the ice cream went in a heartbeat. Cleaning house gave some of the crew enough time to break out the skateboard and roll down the hill by our hotel. After two straight nights of going out at night, we figured it’d be best to stay inside and drink some beers.
The long three days done, we set off Sunday morning back home to Long Beach. Thousands of ice cream given away.
Many thanks to Curtis from Curty Wurty Pops, Chris with Sweet Treats, all of our crew, the City of San Diego, the good folks at Comic-Con and everybody who helped make this a success!
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