Double Mini Article: Traveling with Friends and U.S. Nationals Tips

by Pikkdogs ~ June 15th, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with a two part article for you.  The first part of the article will be about traveling for Pokemon, and the second part will have some tips for U.S. Nationals.  I know it’s a weird combination, but I am a weird person, so it all works out.  Before we get going, let’s throw it over to my sidekick Pedro for some news.  How you doing Pedro?

 Oh doing well.

What do you got us today?

Well today is the anniversary of the resignation of the office of Secretary of State in 1915 by William Jennings Bryant.  He resigned because he thought that President Woodrow Wilson was leading the nation into the war that we would come to know as World War I.  Do you like the William Jennings Bryant Pikkdogs?

Oh yeah, love the William Jennigns Bryant.  He isn’t my favorite politician, but he is up there.  He was cool because he fought for democratic principles and he was against war.  He seemed like he really cared about people.  In fact his nickname was the Great Commoner.

That’s outrageous, a politician who cares about people?  That’s ridiculous, that’s like a Kardashian that cares about hair removal. 

Yes it does sound weird.

Bryant was a supporter for prohibition, do you like the prohibition?

No, he was probably wrong there.  I don’t think you should take liberties away from people……….and I like Whiskey.

Though we should probably stop talking about William Jennings Bryant, it has been done to death on Pokemon sites.  Just last week Pokemon Dan was talking on and on about William Jennings Bryant and Populism, we should do something different. 

I guess.  We hear was too much about William Jennings Bryant on Six Prizes already, let’s just get onto the article.

Traveling for Pokemon

I’m  not really sure how I want to frame this part of the article.  I want to talk about traveling with other people to Pokemon events, but I don’t really have a format in mind.  I guess I will just talk about my experience and go from there.

Having a reliable means of transportation is important, whether you ride a chopper, drive a Camry, or an 82 Buick; it doesn’t really matter.  The only thing that matters is that you can legally make it to the tournament.  If you do not have a vehicle, it is very important for you to travel with others.  Whether you have a car or not, traveling with friends to events is important.

When you travel with friends to events you usually can hit up more events then you could by yourself.  This is because most Pokemon players usually have some kind of budgetary restraints.  If a couple people can come together can pool their money together they can find a way to hit up more tournaments, and more tournaments mean more chances at winning and becoming a better player.  I  am originally from a rural area of the U.S. and where I come from teams of card players form for the purpose of traveling together, because tournaments are usually very far away.  Traveling with friends is nice because it  gives you time to talk more about your deck and do more testing, and that always is a good thing. However, there are challenges that comes with traveling in a group.

One challenging thing about traveling with a group of players is that there is always a good chance that somebody will top cut.  If you are not the guy who is top cutting, you could be standing around for hours waiting for your partner to finish.

Something you know a lot about Pikkdogs.

Ahhh, I see what you did there.  Anyway, another challenging thing is that it is very hard to equally share gas money.  Usually the person who is driving ends up paying the greatest share for gas, which doesn’t seem right since they are providing the vehicle.  There are other challenges that can arise when traveling with other players, but as long as you only travel with friends you should be okay.

Even though there are bad parts to traveling with other players, I personally do think that it is a very good thing.  Originally when I started the game I always traveled alone.  As I began to meet more people and make more friends, I started to travel more with friends.  I find that for the most part it makes Pokémon tournaments more enjoyable.  It is especially more enjoyable when a bunch of players can travel far and get a motel room.  This leads to a lot more testing and usually some good delivery pizza.  One good rule of thumb when traveling with a group is if you go to a motel, never sleep in a bath tub.  Although it may seem cool and comfortable, it is inevitable that sometime during the night somebody will turn the facet on and get you wet, which is not as fun as it sounds.

That is really all I can say about traveling for Pokemon.  It is is usually a good thing to travel with others, so if you haven’t done it, you should.  I know you guys out there have some good traveling stories, so please leave those in the comment section, it should be fun to read those.

Nationals Tips

Believe it or not,  Nationals is just under 2 weeks away.  Although I have only been to Nationals once, I do have some tips about Nats for you first timers.  So let’s start those


Of course the most important part of any event is the food.  While you will be on your own for Breakfast and Dinner, you will need to find your lunch downtown during the event.  There are a lot of places downtown that are good for lunch, but it can be hard to find a place if you don’t know what is around.  You usually have about an hour for lunch, so you do have some time to take a walk around and find some places outside of the convention center.  My first tip is to stay away from anything sit-down.  There are a lot of fancy restaurants downtown that are really expensive, so stay with something more fast food like.  There is a Steak and Shake next door, but unless you are lucky you will have to wait in line for a long time since it is very busy.  Last year Ed liked to hit the bagel shop (it was an Einstein’s I think) just a couple blocks away, it was actually a fairly decent place for lunch.  But, the best place to go for lunch is the food court in the mall.  If you walk around the streets just outside the convention center you should see signs for a mall, just follow those signs and you will eventually find a mall and a food court (I believe it is on like the 3rd floor).  Last year I enjoyed getting some Chinese food and some Root Beer from A&W.  There are a lot of places to choose from, so everyone in your group can choose what they want.  You should be able to take your time eating at the mall, and still make it back to the convention center in plenty of time.


Whenever you have an event in an urban area parking will be a bitch, it is just a fact of life.  It is actually not too  bad in Indy.  There are several parking garages in the area, some for the mall and others just for general downtown use.  Most of those will charge you at least 10 bucks a day for parking.  Last year the best place for parking was next door at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Yes, the house that Peyton built is where you wanna be.  I don’t know what it will be this year, but last year they only charged us 5 bucks a day for parking.  Security wasn’t a huge problem either, they seemed to have people watching the lot.  I wouldn’t leave my gold bars in the back window, but it seemed fairly safe.


Of course it is best to be at a hotel downtown.  You normally can find a decent deal on a hotel room that is connected to the convention center.  This saves you a lot of worries, because you don’t have to deal with driving back and forth to and from downtown each day.  You still may have to worry about paying for parking, but at least you don’t have to move your car each day.  But, I still think that the best deal is a cheap hotel room on the outskirts of town.  Even though you will have to drive in each day, it is still a heck of a lot cheaper than paying for a hotel room downtown.   If you book early you can sometimes get a decent room for 40 bucks a night!  And no the room won’t be that great, but this is Pokemon, you shouldn’t expect to be living the high life.  Cheap hotel rooms are usually where they are at.  Last year I loved our room because we got free biscuits and gravy, I sometimes still wake up and fantasize about biscuits and gravy.

Are “biscuits and gravy” what you call your testicles?

Of course.

Miscellaneous Tips

The first miscellaneous tip is to bring snacks and water to the convention center.  Snacks and Drinks at the convention center are usually marked up about 300%, so you might not want to waste your money.  Make sure to bring a small bag and stick some drinks and snacks in there, you will surely need it later.  A second tip is to wear comfy shoes.  Nationals will give you about 8 straight hours where you are on your feet.  Sure you do sit down when you are playing, but most of the time you will be waiting for the next rounds parings to be put up.  And while you are waiting you are likely to be walking around the convention center looking at everything that is going on.  One bad thing about the convention center being so big is that it takes a lot of energy to move around.  At the end of the day last year I was really tired and my feet hurt really bad.  I didn’t have the best shoes on, but they were fairly comfortable, yet my feet were still killing me.  So make sure to make sure to prepare for a long day on your feet.

And finally, make sure you guys make it to the Unofficial Pokemon Nationals Afterparty.  It is at 1850 S. East Street in Indianapolis at 7:30 on Friday.  The concert will have performances by Good Luck Varsity, Rival Summers, and PK Fire.  So after you go 6-0 in the Swiss Rounds on Friday, head over to see some of the coolest Indy Rock bands in the Midwest play in Indy.  It will be a good time, so make sure to plan your schedule ahead of time.

That’s all I really got for Nationals tips.  I hope you guys will be able to make it, and I know that you guys will have a fun time.  What kinda stuff do you got for us to end the article Pedro?

Well, is reporting that a jar of anti-freckle cream has been found on the island of Nikumarroro in the South Pacific, which is a clue that Amelia Earhardt might have crashed there on her last flight.

We all know that she was not left on a deserted island, we all know from Star Trek: Voyager that she was abducted by aliens and then put in stasis and taken to the Delta Quadrant. 

No. The only thing we learned from Star Trek: Voyager was that putting Jerri Ryan in a tight jumpsuit will give you three extra seasons.  That was a great jumpsuit, can we see a picture of it?

Nice. You know you’ve been showing a lot of pictures of boobs lately.

Yeah that is kinda what I do.

Well, I have a picture of you with a lot of wieners for payback.  Show the pictures of Pikkdogs with a lot of wieners. 

That was one of my favorite days, so many wieners.  Good night everybody.

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