Hi guys! We bailed on today, so our D*C is over. So, I thought I’d do a recap:
Thursday: I went to the gym, showered and ate breakfast, and then drove down to Registration. I left around 9:30am and ran into some massive traffic on 75. There was a major wreck that closed down 3 lanes of traffic. I’m not sure when it happened, but it was a mess at 9:30 and it was still a mess when I drove back by around 1pm! Luckily, I brought up Waze and it directed me around it. Still, it took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to get down there. Normally it’s about 40 or so minutes. It definitely could have been worse, though. Once I got down there, I parked in our usual place, right next to the Sheraton and Westin and walked over. From the time I entered the door of the Registration room (which was right after a short bathroom break) until the time I left the registration room, was approximately 5 minutes. SO easy. Since it was so easy and the past few years they’ve had the blood drive right outside, I went over and did that. I spent about 10 minutes in line there waiting to get my info in the system. Then, once I went into the blood drive room until I got my cookies, it took about 15 minutes. Everyone was super friendly. I definitely had a stellar experience. I was hungry and it was around noon once I finished, so I went over to the Peachtree center for some lunch and then drove back home. This is where I found out that the place we park has REALLY jacked up the prices. It was $20 for up to 2 hours and $40 for an entire day! Unfortunately, most everyone else had jacked their’s up too. And the prices they list online were NOT what they were charging, so the only way to figure out the prices was to drive around. And I’m NOT a good driver when I don’t know exactly where I’m going, so I didn’t even attempt that! The drive back was fine.
Friday: Em had a quiz in her LAST class of the day, of course, and Chris said he didn’t have anything he was dying to see on Friday, so I did something I’ve never done and did D*C solo for a day. I went to Weight Watchers (Yes, I’m still going. No, I can’t seem to get it together.) first and then drove on down. The drive in was PERFECTLY fine. A fair few people were on the road, but no slowdowns at all. I parked at the same place again. (Grrrr!)
- 10am – Arrow: Visit Scenic Nanda Parbat – This was a discussion panel in the AMSF track in the Marriott. It was fairly full, but not packed. In the past, discussion panels have been hit or miss. My experience on THIS track has that the panelists have all acted like they are THE expert on whatever they talk about and the audience members are stupid with their little opinions if they don’t match their’s. However. I’m happy to say that, at least for this panel and the next one, that has changed. It wasn’t an awesome panel, but it was decent.
- 11:30am – Outlander: Home is Where the Heart Is – This was another discussion panel. Same track, same room. Different panelists. How it was run was perfectly fine. It ended up being slightly less interesting than the previous panel, but still not too bad. I ended up leaving early to find lunch.
- 12:30ish – Lunch – I just did Subway because it was the easiest, lower calorie choice I could find that I knew I’d be able to eat. Everything was SLAMMED. The Subway line at least moved fast. I lucked out and found a place to sit right outside the Subway too. A friend was meeting me, so I saved a seat for her and she got there a few minutes later. We ate and caught up and then decided to head to the dealer room, which was opening at 1pm.
- 1pm – Dealer Room – This year, the dealer room moved to America’s Mart Building 2 instead of Building 1 where it was the past two years. In Bldg 1, it was horrible. There was one room on the bottom floor that was fairly tiny and it was always wall to wall people. I’m not talking normal dealer room busy. I mean, you walked in and in 10 minutes maybe moved 10 feet. You eventually gave up and it took about 10 minutes to get back out. It was BAD. The other room was ginormous, but oddly shaped and it was REALLY hard to navigate in an orderly fashion. Generally, you had no idea if you’d seen everything. I’m happy to say that THIS year, it was much better. It was still two room. The top floor was fairly large. The bottom floor was slightly smaller. They were both either rectangle or square and laid out in rows, so it was easy to make it to everything without inadvertently skipping something. There were escalators at the front and back too, so if you got to the back of one room, you could just go up or down and start right on the other without having to backtrack. They also labeled the rows with their booth number so it was easier to find them. The only downside I saw to the layout is that there was an aisle right up the center. So, if you were methodically going down each row, when you cross the center, there was a traffic jam. Every. Single. Time. Still, I’ll take that over the mess the last couple of years. Okay, so my friend and I got there right at 1pm and the line to get in it was already 3 blocks long. No, I’m not joking. It took us 40 minutes to get inside. Once there, we kind of randomly wandered to see the place. Didn’t buy anything.
- 2:30pm – Battlestar Galactica – Michael Trucco, Aaron Douglas, Tricia Helfer, and Jaime Bamber – Marriott Atrium Ballroom – In the past several years, I’ve skipped the BSG panels. I LOVE Aaron Douglas, but he’s only really been at the Con as a regular guest and not doing panels. Also, it’s been a lot of EJO and Mary MacDonnel. And while I like them, I don’t really want to see them over and over again. All these guests had been there before, but Helfer hadn’t been since the show started forever ago. The room was about half full, I think. The panel was great and they were all entertaining and had lots of good stories to tell.
- 4pm – Q & A with Felicia Day – Marriott Capitol Ballroom – I think that’s the correct room name. It’s the one down a level or two from the Atrium on the opposite side. I hate this room. It’s oddly shaped and hard to see in. The line has several parts. There’s a queue right in front of the room, done with tape on the ground. When I got there, that queue, of course, was full. I asked the person at the front where the end of the line was, and he pointed a few feet away. It snaked by the stairwells, down the hall, and back around. Not long at ALL. So I was pretty excited. We finally started moving in, while all these people kept going down the hall to nothing where the line bent. Those people tried to merge in in front of us, but everyone yelled at them and didn’t let them in. We got up to the part with the tape on the floor queue and right before we made the last turn, they were at capacity. Okay, that room is annoying, but it’s WAY larger than that. Turns out, the second part of the line was somewhere downstairs. So people that knew that, joined the end and skipped the part we were in. Fuck you door volunteer person. Never mind the fact that Felicia Day should NOT have been in such a small room. Maybe not the Atrium Ballroom, but at least the Hyatt Centennial, Sheraton Grand Ballroom, or Peachtree in the Sheraton. She JUST had a book come out and has SO much geek cred. So, yeah. Instead, I headed back to the dealer room. The line was slightly shorter than it was earlier, but it only took about 15 minutes to get in this time. People were steadily going in, but crossing the street was stopping people. I went by Sparkle, my favorite, and got a super cute ribbon, wrap bracelet with a metal tag on it that says, “After all this time? Always.” I also got a super cute necklace that says something like, “I always imagined paradise would be kind of like a library.” I also got two con tees, one for Chris and I and one for Em. Then, I headed down to dinner.
- 5:30pm – Alma Cocina – I got there about 15 minutes early, but my friend joined me after a few minutes and we were seated. Her husband and son joined us soon and Chris and Em came in a bit later. While we were waiting, we noticed Veronica Belmont (Vaginal Fantasy, Sword & Laser). Later she was joined by Tom Merritt (Sword & Laser). So, that was neat. We didn’t bother then…just stared a tiny bit. :-P Dinner was yummy. We got a guac and salsa sample platter. I had steak tacos for dinner. Em got a chile relleno that wasn’t filled with cheese and she was super disappointed. It had a little cheese, but mostly was filled with quinoa. It was tasty, but really not what she wanted. Also, the stuff around it was SUPER spicy. She got a churro (with cinnamon ice cream) so she was okay. :) Chris dropped me off at my car (he’d parked at Alma where they validated) and we drove home separately.
All day Thursday, I was EXHAUSTED. I don’t know why. By dinner, I was a little sniffly and by the time we got home, I could barely keep my eyes open and was sniffing a lot. Em played some Disney Infinity and then went to bed. Chris and I watched some tv and then I went to bed. I went to sleep at like 9:30 and slept until 8am the next day.
Saturday: I luckily felt much better the next day. We got ready and drove in. The drive was perfectly fine until we got to Williams where the traffic getting off on Courtland stopped everyone. We finally were able to exit on Courtland and parked at the horribly expensive place.
- 10am – Dealer room – We all went to the dealer room and Em mirrored my purchase. The got a ribbon wrap bracelet and the metal tag says “Jedi.” She also got a necklace that says “Girl on Fire.” This day, we only had a short wait to cross the street and went right in.
- 11:30am – Battlebots – Sheraton Grand Ballroom – I didn’t have anything at this time and Chris found this one on the schedule. We thought it was supposed to just be a couple of the creators, but it turns out that the full (or almost full) teams from Overhaul and Witch Doctor were there, in addiction to people from Nightmare, Hypershock, and Icewave were also there. It was a really good panel except the sound was screwed up and earsplitting when they showed a couple of vids. Em loved this one. She even asked a question and got applause. :)
- 1pm – Game of Thrones – Kristian Nairn (Hodor), Finn Jones (Sir Loras), and Julian Glover (Grand Maester Pycelle) – Marriott Atrium – The line for this was VERY manageable. The room was only about 1/3 full. This was on my sched because I didn’t have anything else at this time period. I kinda wanted to see them, but they weren’t high on my list. Turns out, it was a good panel. They were all interesting. Finn Jones is obviously a superfan. He had all sorts of theories about everything and had totally read all the books.
- 2:30pm – Flash – Candice Patton (Iris), Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin), Robbie Amell (Ronnie), and John Wesley Shipp (Henry) – Marriott Atrium – The Line for this was SUPER long. We’d left the previous panel 5 minutes early to avoid the crush of people leaving. We exited the back of the building and went around to join the back of the Flash line. When we got in line, we knew we’d get in, but it would be the back. And sure enough, we were in the back 1/4 of the room. This was a good panel too. They were all very funny and entertaining. Em donned her headphones and played her DS.
- 4pm – Once Upon a Time – Merrin Dungey (Ursula), Kristin Bauer van Straten (Maleficent), and Victoria Smurfit (Cruella) – Marriott Atrium – Once again, we left the previous panel 5 minutes early to avoid the crush. The line for this, predictably, was super short. It was outside, but just barely. I’ve NO IDEA whey they put them in this room. It was less than 1/4 full. They were all very entertaining. The content wasn’t really what it should have been for this show. It’s weird that the GoT panel was way more kid-friendly than the Once panel was, huh? They were all hilarious though. There was lots of dancing and singing.
- 5:30pm – What We’re Reading – Young Adult track – Marriott – I love this panel and try to make it to it every year. Ran into another friend there too. Chris went off and did his own thing here. I have a giant list of book recs. If someone’s interested, just comment and I’ll make a post of them. The people on the panel were friendly and did a good job. I’d only read a few of their recs, so I got lots of new stuff. And the recs ranged from middle grades all the way up to a few adult books. Oh, and they always give away stuff at this panel too and I won a free book! It was some mystery…not YA…so I’m not sure why they were giving it away, but whatever: Free book!
- 6:45pm – Truva – Em and I totally went the wrong way out of the Marriott to get to dinner and had to stop and consult my map. Then, to make it back, it was SO HARD to get through all the people, so we were a few minutes late. Truva is a Turkish place we’ve been to for the past several years. We LOVE it. There’s belly dancing, which most of us don’t particularly care for. But this year, the dancer got Em to get up and dance with her, so that was fun. The food, as always, was super yum. The company was also fab.
No one seemed to be heading to gaming this night, so we just headed home. This is the day my D*C app started frakking up too. It kept freezing. Then, it wouldn’t load the full thing. Once we got home, it worked fine, but for most of the day, I couldn’t use it. Luckily, Chris’s still worked and he did most of the day with us, so it was alright, but annoying none-the-less. Luckily, I’d stuck the pocket programs in our bags for backups, so I used that when I got “lost.”
Sunday: Yesterday we left at 8:30am and got there around 9:10 and parked at the same expensive place. Chris thought we were leaving WAY too early. Since we didn’t really have anything planned, we got in line for John Barrowman.
- 10am – John Barrowman – Sheraton Grand Ballroom – When we got in line, it was wrapped around around 2 corners of the building and half-way to the next corner. Seriously. We didn’t start moving until after 10am…which makes no sense because there was nothing in there before us. We got to the last inside queue (about 30 people in front of us) when they hit capacity. Yeah. So Em and I headed over to get in line for Arrow since we had nothing else going on.
- 11:30am – Arrow – Steven Amell (Oliver), Katie Cassidy (Laurell), John Barrowman (Malcolm), & Matt Nable (Rahs) – Marriott Atrium – We left immediately from the Sheraton and walked to the back of the Atrium line. We were about halfway down the first full block. I’d been MUCH farther in this line before and gotten in, so I wasn’t worried about that. The only annoyance was these people in line behind us. The guy was vaping and his…vapor was blowing in everyone’s face. He acted like he was high. The girl was a giant bitch. You know how if you’re talking in line, people generally join in to make comments? You know, make new line friends? If you want to keep to yourself, you just don’t talk terribly loud. Well, she was talked at a moderate volume, so I tried to make convo a few times. She kept giving me bitch face. So, yeah. It’s not like I was going off on a tirade or treating her like my new BFF. Jeez! Then, they both left the line a few times and I got to listen to her berating the dude about getting back to the line because OMGWE’REMOVINGNOWHURRYTHEFUCKUP! Gah. Luckily, when we got into the panel, they were split off and we didn’t have to sit next to them. The room, I think filled up. We were in the back 1/4, but right in front of a giant screen, so all was good. This was an excellent panel. They were all hilarious and the moderator was good.
- 1pm – Buffy Guests – Clare Kramer (Glory), Amber Benson (Tara), and James Leary (Clem) – Westin Peachtree – Once again, we left the previous panel 5 minutes early to trek up to the Westin. When we got there, the line was SUPER short. The panel was barely 1/4 full. It was a good one though. Kramer was SUPER nice and engaging. Leary was hilarious, as always. Benson was nice, but she’s way more subdued…a lot like Tara actually. This was a pretty good panel.
- 2:30pm – Lost Girl – Paul Amos (Vex), Kris Holden-Reid (Dyson), Zoie Palmer (Lauren), Anna Silk (Bo), Rachel Skarsten (Tamsin), Ksenia Solo (Kenzi) – Westin Peachtree – We left the Buffy panel and the Lost Girl line had gone upstairs. So we joined it. Chris joined us later. They didn’t load it until REALLY close to the panel time, which was weird since the Buffy panel was super small and couldn’t have taken that long to empty. We got decent seats. Holy crap, guys, this is practically the entire cast. The only main person I missed was Trick (Richard Howland) and Hale (KC Collins). Wow! They were so funny. It was a really great panel. My only complaint is that the sound was kind of jacked up, so it was hard to hear sometimes. Still, it was great.
- 3:30pm – Dealer Room – No line. It was SUPER crowded this time. We rarely did more than shuffle. I didn’t enjoy it at all and we found nothing.
- 5pm – Hard Rock Cafe – We had no plans to meet people for dinner and got finished at the dealer area early, so we wandered to the Hard Rock just before 5 and only had a 10 minute or so wait. Em was looking a little drained at that point. We all had yummy food and we embarrassed her by singing along to the songs playing. Especially Bohemian Rhapsody. Hey, everyone else there was singing it too. So, really, she was in the minority. :-P
- 5:45ish – We finished up dinner and had nothing really going, so we thought we’d try and make the Karen Gillian panel at 7pm. Technically, the lines aren’t supposed to start until an hour before the panel. At 5:45, 15 minutes before the line was supposed to start, the line was down the long side of the building, and almost to the end of the short end in the back. I’ve been in that line at that last corner it passed and barely got in. So, forget that, we headed on the Sheraton to wait for the Battlebots panel at 7pm.
- 6:45pm – Battlebots – Sheraton Grand Ballroom – We got there around 6 and they wouldn’t let us make an official line. I mean, it was just a handful of nerds, but mostly we wanted to somewhere to park our stuff and sit down on the floor, ya know? They let us line up at 6:20. At I thought this was just going to be showing vids, but I was wrong. At 6:40 or so, they let us go in and just went ahead and started at 6:45, 15 minutes early! They were showing pics, but mostly it was another Q&A. Most of the same team was there as before, except Overdrive. Em got to ask another question, so she was happy.
- 8pm – After Battlebots we stopped by the car and got our games and headed down to the basement of the Westin. Our friends had luckily found a table. We were joined by a bunch of other friends soon after that. We’d bought an xpac for Castle Panic, so I watched while a few people played that. Some other friends played Forbidden Island. Our group on CP, so that was fun. After, they played Tsuro. Mostly I read during this. I’m not SUPER into the games, but they’re okay. But the atmosphere down there is just not conducive to my enjoyment. It’s REALLY loud and cold…which is weird considering how many bodies are packed down there. We left around 10:20 or so. On our way home we decided we didn’t care much about coming back, so we stayed home today.