No drinks for me today...OK, maybe some pepto in a shot glass!
So...your intrepid salonnières survived our first DCON experience and have arrived safely home, and no, this HOT BAG tag wasn't placed on my luggage because I was boarding a flight out of the city of Hotlanta...it was unceremoniously slapped on my sorry bags because my sister and I nearly missed our flight home despite the nearly 5 hour gap between the end of our last True Blood panel on Sunday afternoon and check-in time at the airport.
After Sin and Salvation in Bon Temps ended around 3PM we had lunch at one of the convention hotels and slowly wandered back to our home-away-from-home to gather our belongings in advance of our 9PM flight back to The Big Apple. We got so wrapped up in discussing the events of the weekend over happy hour cocktails as we sat in the lobby of the Renaissance Atlanta Downtown Hotel that we barely noticed as late afternoon slipped into evening - still abuzz with the excitement of all we had heard, seen, and experienced, this was our first chance to take stock of it all - and we embraced it! We compared notes! Took notes on our notes! Annotated our notes! Just kidding. Kind of. Well, at least on that last one...
There was so much to process, from our reactions to the panels, our observations about the crowd, our take on the moderator's style, and more that we got lost, riffing off each other's meanderings and picking up a train of thought on new patterns and themes in True Blood and the lives of the characters populating Bon Temps we hadn't noticed before...
...Until the dimming lights and flickering flames of the candles being set out on the bistro tables around us in ornately modern silver holders served as our wake up call that we ought to grab our stuff and book it to the real train up the corner from our hotel if we still wanted to catch our flight! 7:20PM. Oh Boy.
The bellhop told us we could get on the train for $2.50 a piece as opposed the the $16 each it would cost to hire a van and that it would be impossible to mess up our stop since the Atlanta airport was the end of the line...this sounded exceedingly good to us since we were just about tapped out financially by this point. So with luggage in tow, we trudged the half-block to the station, descended from platform to concourse, and were tidily ensconced in a car towards the front of the train by 7:45PM. Uh Oh. Pushin' it.
The ride from station to airport took about 15 minutes, and during that time we completely cracked each other up recalling one of our last sights at Dragon Con - a crazed bouncer outside the ballroom for the panel on Futurama declaring in a booming voice punctuated by sweeping side-to-side arm gestures, "THE PANEL'S MAXED OUT!!! IT'S MAXED OUT!!!"
|worst nightmare for con goers...your panel's MAXED OUT!!!|
...he seemed to be directing his ire at us as, shooting us the eye as we scooted past him into the bathroom. As if we wanted into the Futurama panel! Exiting the bathroom Rebecca had leaned towards me and whispered, "you dare me to go up to him and ask, 'is this panel maxed out?'" If she wanted to have her head ripped off! Hilarious!!! You had to be there. But I digress...I also had time to change out of my strappy sandals and into my breeze-through-airport-security-flip-flops. I knew, as Rebecca did, that we would need every second we could get. 8PM. Whoa.
By the time we got to check-in it was 8:25PM and the ticket agent was dubious that we would be able to board our flight - whether or not our luggage would get on was hit or miss altogether. Rebecca and I had resolved to jet with our without our stuff and go back to Laguardia the next day to pick up our bags if we had to...but we were going home no matter what. We were pooped, out of money, and after all - most importantly - the True Blood events had already taken place.
After a call down to the gate, our bags were tagged with said Hot Bag markers and we were off. If you've ever been to the Atlanta airport you know it's ridiculously huge - to the point that you must take an internal shuttle to reach the gates from baggage claim and vice-versa. It's a good thing the adrenaline of the weekend's events was still thrumming through our veins because I have no doubt it's what propelled us down the endless corridors to gate 24 where, like the Hot Bag tags proclaim, we arrived in the nick of time! Sort of, since 20 more people got on the plane 10 minutes after we were told they were closing the gate...that's a story (gripe) for another time.
That was five days ago...and while blogging in the moment has it's advocates, I'm the type of gal who needs some down time to collect her thoughts and flesh out her reflections before jumping right in. I've had a chance to do that since touching down in NYC and in the next posts you will be treated to words and images selected to best convey our experiences of the city of Atlanta, Dragon Con, the True Blood panels (we were both able to attend all three, ask questions, and take copious notes), and meeting the stars!