My Dragon*Con 2014 Experience – Thursday

I’ve never really documented my experiences at conventions before because I usually remember them quite well and take a plethora of photos which I certainly did this year.  However, I couldn’t help but get the writer’s urge (that’s a thing, right?) to write about a lot of the personal details I want to remember for the rest of my life and look back on this post to remind myself just how great of a time I had. For those of you looking for exceptional cosplay photos or details on D*con celebrities or panels- sorry, but these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.  I’m going to be talking about my own experiences, family, friends, and what we did during our labor day weekend to have the best time… until next time, perhaps?

Thursday I awoke at about 4:30am to make a flight out of Boston Logan airport at 6:05 am.  I had been suffering from some pretty bad insomnia coming up on a month then, so it wasn’t difficult to wake up for that or anything, but I was definitely too tired to feel nervous or anxious about missing my flight.  The Boston airport is so small, you enter and walk to your gate in about 20 minutes’ time no matter what day it is.

Sleep-deprived airport selfie.

Sleep-deprived airport selfie.

After getting in, I took MARTAto the Brookhaven stop off of the Doraville train line.  There are only two lines on MARTA in Atlanta:  East/West, and North/South.  But the trains going North from the airport split off into two directions: North Springs (closer to my parent’s house) and Doraville (closer to my brother’s new apartment).  So I headed there to be picked up by my brother.  I was tired, but quite hungry, so he was nice enough to treat me to breakfast/brunch at a Flying Biscuit, a pretty well-known breakfast/brunch chain in Atlanta, in his apartment… area.

I think I had some kind of breakfast omlette... I really don't remember.  But it was delicious.  Look how tired I am; I can barely keep my eyes open.

I think I had some kind of breakfast omlette… I really don’t remember. But it was delicious. Look how tired I am; I can barely keep my eyes open.

After getting stuffed with eggs, biscuits, fruit, and milk, we went to his apartment to kill time until Colin’s flight landed.  My brother had just recently moved into his new apartment, so there were still a few unpacked boxes (sorry to mention it, Danny! haha) but it was a lovely new apartment complex and I longed to jump into the pool even though I hadn’t packed a swimsuit. 😦

An entire summer gone and not once did I enter a body of water. ;_;

An entire summer gone and not once did I enter a body of water. ;_;

Once we got inside, I told him I was very keen on taking a nap until Colin arrived.  As I was falling asleep, I just heard my brother saying something like “did you break the glass?” and I was like, “huh?”.  He said, “sorry, Payday.” and I said, “oh.”  Then I drifted off as I heard him rambling about people being noobs and not declaring ECM runs unless they knew how to do it lol. Anyway, my point is, it was the most comfortable sofa I’d ever slept on in my life and I never wanted to get up from it.  The sleep was refreshing, but it was a double-edged sword because once I got up and got ready, we were running a little late to pick Colin up from Peachtree Center to go and get our D*con tickets early so we could skip that process on Friday!

My brother, Colin, and I once we were parked and heading to the ticket line.

My brother, Colin, and I once we were parked and heading to the ticket line.

I had been following Dragon Con on twitter and they kept re-tweeting other peoples’ comments about the line, or the lack thereof.  I kept telling my brother and Colin that the line was expected to be less than five minutes long… something we were not emotionally or mentally prepared for.  In previous years, getting your ticket, even if you had pre-registered (which everyone else and their grandmother does), takes HOURS.  I wasn’t going to believe it until I saw it.  Well, we got to the Sheraton Hotel where tickets are always distributed and literally got up to the registration booths to acquire our tickets in less than 5 minutes.  It was such a cathartic feeling after all of those years of standing outside in the blistering heat, melting among other sweaty nerds.

The merch line was where it was really at. But we weren't tired. We were TROOPERS.

The merch line was where it was really at. But we weren’t tired. We were TROOPERS.

After grabbing our badges, we decided, heck, if we didn’t have to wait in line for that at all, we might as well wait in line to buy our tickets for next year now.  It’s funny, because the line for the merch booth/where you buy next years’ ticket was a significant wait as opposed to picking up the badges. We stood in line for somewhere around 30 to 40 minutes.  I don’t really remember because we were too busy being wrapped up in our excitement looking over the guest descriptions in the Dragon Con guide and discussing our plans.

Since I can never make it back down to Atlanta the same month for AWA anymore, I had to get the most anime picture I could in front of this standee. lol

Since I can never make it back down to Atlanta the same month for AWA anymore, I had to get the most anime picture I could in front of this standee. lol

After getting our tickets for next year, we decided we needed to rest our feet, have a good sit, and clear our street passes on our Nintendo DSs. We found a nice little secluded area with a sofa and did that for 20 minutes or so before deciding our parking was about to run out!  We made it to the car and out of the lot just in the nick of time to avoid the additional 10 dollar fee.

The drive home brought a lot of nostalgia for me, not that it had been long since I last visited, but just a feeling I get when I’m in Atlanta or near college again.

Not on the way home, but I forgot to include it here, so here is a picture of my favorite exits on GA-400.

Not on the way home, but I forgot to include it here, so here is a picture of my favorite exits on GA-400.

Once we made it home, we were able to relax for an hour or so before heading out to dinner. Colin humored me and let me show him a lot of relics from my childhood that were still in my closet in the, now, guest bedroom. There was still a lot of stuff in there I wanted, but have no room for in my current place of living in Boston.  I swore that someday I would have my collection shipped to me so that I could be reunited with all of my beloved books/toys once again.

My parents planned to take us out to a sushi dinner at one of our favorite establishments- Sushi Nami. Before we went though, I asked Colin if he could take a family photo of us all because, you know, we rarely do, and I feel like if I wasn’t the one to make it happen, we would go years without taking a proper family photo.  That kind of thing means a lot to me, I suppose.  Colin made us all crack up by taking like 30 sequential photos, but it certainly worked and we got some gems out of them.

Colin's theory was: after so many photos, the real smiles start to come out, if not due to the sheer ridiculousness of the photographer, then the subjects letting go of their "photo" faces and showing real happiness.

Colin’s theory was: after so many photos, the real smiles start to come out, if not due to the sheer ridiculousness of the photographer, then the subjects letting go of their “photo” faces and showing real happiness.

I must thank Colin again for taking such great photos of all of us.  I will treasure those for the rest of my life.  Anyway, we went to dinner at Sushi and had an amazing array of food there.  I completely stuffed myself with everything from seaweed salad to scallops, lobster, sweet potato sticks, soba noodle, and sake.

eating6 eating5 eating4 eating3 eating2 eating1

Dinner was incredible, to say in the least. We all went home stuffed and happy. Colin and I may have played a game of Magic… I can’t really remember lol.  What I do remember is that we went to bed very early that night because we had to leave with my mother very, VERY early (5:45?) the next morning to go downtown with her and make our way to Dragon*Con via public transportation.  Oh, I almost forgot!  My mom had made a “healthy” chocolate cake which was absolutely phenomenal and also purchased some scratch-off tickets for us to do just for kicks. I laughed at the thought, because it’s something my mom would do (which I totally appreciate, mom. :)), but the part that was even better was… I actually won $15!  Ha ha!  I rarely win anything, so I was very excited.  Colin and I walked a couple of blocks down to the Publix to retrieve my winnings and pick up a few supplies/snacks for Dragon Con weekend.

This is why they call me E$

This is why they call me E$

Stay tuned for my future, overly-personalized posts about the rest of my Dragon*Con experience. I’m just gettin’ started, here!

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