Dragons, unicorns, angels and more – Dragon*Con 2013 Part 1

Entering Atlanta

Coming into Atlanta on Wednesday

The Dragon*Con weekend sadly ended yesterday. For AH, JP and myself, it was a six day road trip with ups and downs but thankfully more of the former than the latter.  The regular pre-Con shop was exhausting and the cooler we had taken with us did not fit all the food we bought, which was interesting, but thankfully the hard plastic insert meant that when we finally got on the road on the Wednesday, we had all our food for the journey that needed to be packed in ice.

The drive to Atlanta from Eufaula wasn’t too bad on the way in. We made good time and that was even after stopping a couple of times for the obligatory toilet breaks.  Atlanta traffic, as always was a nightmare, but we’ve kinda come to accept that it is always going to be the case and the convention is worth the hassle.  Our first hotel of the weekend was the Holiday Inn just down the road from the convention. I cannot say enough good things about this hotel (with the exception of the slower than humanly possible lifts).  The room was clean and comfortable. The beds a little small but damn were they good to sleep on and the staff made sure we had the fridge and microwave we had been told we’d have. And if they had been out of microwaves for the room we could still have used the guest microwave in the lobby.  The staff were all friendly and helpful and we spent our Wednesday night just relaxing and watching TV.

Thursday we were up and out down in the Dragon*Con registration queue by 9:30am. It was already wrapping round the block and it wasn’t until we saw the fifth volunteer (I was around the block with the girls) that I was told I could have just walked into disability services and waited.  So I said goodbye to the girls and headed back around the block.  The folks at disability services were extremely helpful and organised and I cannot stress how quickly they got everyone sorted out.  I spent some time talking to a lovely lady called Lillith who is mid transition and a couple of older women who happily kept me company after Lillith  disappeared off with her friends.

Meanwhile AH and JP were in the queue with a lovely girl called Ava who ended up having brunch with us at a diner on the outside of the mall.  The brunch conversation was lively and interesting and the food was good.  The only downside to the diner was the amount of stairs inside.  It was split level and highly laughable that the ladies’ room was wheelchair accessible when you couldn’t have gotten a wheelchair to it if you had tried.

Next up we met KH at Froggy’s photos in the Marriott to get photo ops sorted and paid for. One member of their staff, a tattooed man with white hair and beard was, quite frankly the rudest most annoying person I have ever had to deal with in my global con-going experience. His answer to the fact we’d been stood for a good 35-45 minutes without actually moving in the queue and this was making my knees seize was to tell me to sit on the thinly carpeted concrete floor and let the others get the photo op for me.  KH came with me and grabbed a chair, went back into the queue and AH came and sat with me (she also ran down to disability services to complain).  We did book the photo op eventually though and it was set for Friday.

AH, JP and I went over to the Americas Mart after that and helped RG and TG set up their stall in the vendor’s area.  It was so good to see them both and talk and meet Alexandra, who TG and been telling me I needed to meet when we were at LFCC. Alexandra runs the Doctor Who shop in London.  TG and I plotted on Thursday to surprise AH on Monday and we succeeded. But more on that later. What I will say for now is, AH had no idea what was coming and when I told JP she managed to keep the secret for the entire weekend.  Lots of high fives were had behind AH’s back.

Emory Tower

The view from our room at the Marriott

Thursday night involved another microwave dinner and a lot of TV as Friday morning we were moving to the Marriott hotel.  What a debacle the move was! In order to get there we needed directions and the OnStar rep insisted that we were too close for the usual download to the car so she stayed on to talk us through it and got rather pissy because we were stuck in traffic. She really did not want to be on the call with us. That was obvious. We get to the hotel and find out that the parking is full. The girls unloaded me and the luggage and I sat in the lobby waiting for them whilst they went to park in the Sun Trust building.  I was getting panicky because I had to be at the photo op area for 10, they had a near miss with a jerk of an Atlanta driver and we were all pretty stressed out by the time they got back to check into the room.  I left AH and JP to check in and headed off to my photo op.

I can’t stress enough how much I hope Dragon*Con have a different photographer next year. Whilst KH and I ended up with an awesome photo with Teryl and Froggy’s seem to have listened on the crappy backgrounds and lighting, the service from the staff was less than stellar and the man I mentioned earlier was just plain rude continuously.  I got to the photo op early enough that we had time to watch the actors doing various random things like laying on the floor together and participated in the “Teryl you need to sort your hair out.” conversation. She had a sticking up patch at the back bless her.  The energy in the room from the actors was good and lively and it was fun to see all three of them (Teryl, Chris and Richard) so early in the con.  We also saw Lindsey Wagner whilst waiting and I’d like to say that she is even more beautiful in real life.

KH Teryl and Me

KH, Teryl and me. Not looking too bad for first thing on a morning.

Jaime Murray

Jaime Murray autograph

The rest of the day was spent getting autographs from various celebrities, AH, JP and I were completely and utterly overwhelmed by the amount of people already in the Walk of Fame and I have to admit that I’m glad that we chose to go Friday and not Saturday, Saturday looked like it was insane. We had been planning to go in but the amount of people just in the queue was crazy.  Friday’s first autograph was from the beautiful and amazing Jaime Murray. She was an absolute delight and so very very sweet.  I told her that we were all hoping that Stahma hasn’t actually killed Kenya and she pulled what came across as a comedic pout but at the end of it her eyes smirked and twinkled as she added “Well no one is really dead in sci-fi.” I think she’s desperate to tell fans what’s happening but she just can’t. It must be torture to be an actor and know what’s happening and not being able to tell.  As River Song would say “Spoilers, Sweetie.”  Sadly there were no Warehouse 13 photos on the table at the time but that changed later in the weekend and I went back to surprise AH with the photo she desperately wanted.

And for now, due to con crud this post will stop here, hopefully with more to follow shortly.

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