I spent my weekend ensconced in pop culture goodness at C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo). Held at McCormick Place, C2E2 is full of celebrities, artists, authors doing signings, photo ops, panels and more.
Debuting in 2010, the first C2E2 drew an estimated 25,000 attendees. This year, more than 100,000 people are expected. With attendees coming from all over the country, nearby hotels filled quickly, especially the nearby Hyatt Regency and Marriott Marquis. Founded in 2006, C2E2 organizer ReedPOP also runs 30 other events worldwide, including Comic Con Seoul, the Star Wars Celebration and New York Comic Con.
Legendary horror host Svengoolie (Rich Koz) has entertained people for more than 40 years. Koz has won multiple Emmy awards since he became the hand-picked successor to the original Svengoolie. Svengoolie is always a hit at C2E2 and anywhere else he appears. Sven and his Executive Producer Jim Roche work extremely hard at accommodating all fans, who range in age from youngsters to the elderly.
Chicago native and wrestler-turned-actor CM Punk was a huge hit with fans. Usually private, he enjoyed his hometown crowd. He talked to me about his burgeoning acting career, his love of comic books and travel. Outside of work travel obligations, he prefers discovering interesting places in Chicago.
Two other of the nicest celebrities were actresses Kara Eberle and Barbara Dunkelman. Each expressed an appreciation for Chicago, wishing they had time to dine at more legendary restaurants.
Hundreds of creators filled Artist Alley. This is always the area of most interest to me. These folks produce such beautiful and original work, much of which we have seen throughout pop culture without knowing its maker. These are the underrated folks who are the lifeline of the industry.
Local artist Ali Cantarella surprised me with a fun caricature of me. Ali is more known for her animal caricatures, but anything she creates is awesome. My caricature will be hung soon in my place with other artwork I have gotten previously at C2E2. The interview my friend Joey Roth an I did with Ali can be found here.
Cosplay (costume playing) has become a huge part of C2E2. It started with attendees dressing in character for fun to having a whole section of the convention floor dedicated to the thousands of folks in elaborate costumes.
C2E2 also gives back to the community through the Power Up to Read program. Students from participating schools have the ability to earn a weekend pass by reading eight books from the school’s library. The Power Up to Read program rewards students for reading while also adding a younger vibe to the event.
I reconnected with so many friends, both in and out of the industry. In many ways, C2E2 is like a big reunion. That is truly one of the best parts for me.
— John Wroblewski, online writer
One thing surprising about the Prince Edward Island capital is its abundance of shops specializing in affordable, fashion-forward jewelry rendered in sterling silver, vermeil, 14K gold and semi-precious stones. Whether you prefer delicate pieces or bold wearable art, you can be assured the pieces for sale are inspired by the maritime island setting and, therefore, specific to the place where they are created. Here are a few shining, woman-owned examples:
IHG Hotels & Resorts is thrilled to announce the launch of a new mobile product feature for members: IHG Wi-Fi Auto Connect. This feature is now available exclusively in the IHG One Rewards mobile app for both iOS and Android users and will automatically connect IHG One Rewards members to WiFi upon arrival at more than 5,000 IHG hotels worldwide — no separate passwords or log-ins needed. This is in addition to the exciting benefits of being an IHG Business Edge member. IHG Business Edge provides small- and medium-sized businesses access to a user-friendly portal that displays comprehensive spending and savings data while providing the convenience of direct booking with a guaranteed discount.
Norway, a haven for visionary artists, architects and designers, showcases an exceptionally diverse array of cultural attractions. This year, the country commemorates exciting milestones and unveilings captivating enthusiasts of the arts, from iconic scenic routes to new museums to gallery openings. Up Norway features these new offerings in personalized itineraries catered to aesthetes.
As a peripatetic traveler, I am always trying to balance the pleasures of dining well with a life-long challenge to control my weight. It’s not always easy, because I consider tasting typical, authentic regional dishes among the highlights of most journeys, and those foods are rarely known for “healthful” rankings! So, I started staying at spas way back in the 1980s — before they were ubiquitous — because meals were assured to be pure, clean and wholesome.
The Islands of Tahiti offer a range of captivating activities for travelers with diverse interests, from hiking to breathtaking waterfalls, riding horses on secluded beaches; swimming with sharks; or immersing in Polynesian culture through traditional dance, music and art. For watersports enthusiasts, the crystal-clear lagoons offer exhilarating experiences like surfing, kiteboarding and paddleboarding. And if you’re looking to relax, the pristine beaches, overwater bungalows and tropical sun offer the perfect setting. With 118 islands and atolls to explore, island hopping is an excellent way to experience the full diversity of The Islands of Tahiti. With its blend of adventure, culture and relaxation, The Islands of Tahiti offer a truly unique travel experience.
Flying to the paradise of Turks & Caicos has never been easier thanks to many new, non-stop flights across three airlines to the destination. Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways all announced new flights, allowing travelers to visit this dreamy destination.
With the rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday over, many of us still wrack our brains on what to buy friends and family this holiday season. For the traveler in your life, finding the perfect gift can go a long way. Here are some top-quality products sure to impress loved ones this season:
Experience the life-changing destination of Greece by exploring its island gems in the Ionian Sea. Scattered off the western coastline of Central Greece, to the south of Peloponnese, the Ionian Islands are an island group comprising large and small islands.
PHOTO: © VADYM LAVRA | DREAMSTIME.COM