After months of swinging back and forth between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to the trip, we somehow managed to get out of door at 3.45 Wednesday morning to get to the airport. Of course, I remained very dubious even once we were on our way, and did consider stopping and heading back home at several points.
However, I am writing this from our hotel room in Los Angeles, so we actually managed to get through the whole trip. ;)
The first flight, Gothenburg to Amsterdam, wasn’t too bad. Pretty short, and a breakfasty snack was served to help pass the time. Of course, it was then followed by 5 hours of waiting at Schipol in Amsterdam. Sleeping, leeching off someone’s wifi and hunting for moisturizer samples to smuggle onto the plane (to beat those darn restrictions from drying my skin out completely) in a piece of candy wrapper helped pass some of the time, but it was still pretty darn boring. Which meant I had plenty of time to worry about the next flight, and once we were in the security check line for that one, I was feeling extremely nervous.
Once we got onto the plane, I was approaching the ‘scream and run away’ stage, but I managed to stay put in my seat and once we had taken off and flown for a while I started to relax a bit. Of course, then I started thinking about being stuck in that darn plane for 11 hours. ;P Which turned out to be pretty much just as dreadfully boring as expected, but I guess that’s better than eventful when it comes to flights. We ate airplane food, slept, watched a shortened version of King Kong and saw some glaciers on Greenland. It’ll definitely take a long while before I get persuaded to do this again, I strongly suspect.
Once in LA, getting through customs wasn’t as bad as expected, though I would have loved to strangle someone after watching that little informative video on the plane about why we have to fill out silly forms (what terrorist would check the ‘yes, I’m a terrorist’ box? or who checks the ‘sure, I commit genocides every friday’ box) and getting fingerprinted. Homeland Security up my ***. Still, not too bad, and the bag-sniffing doggy was cute.
As we got through a bit earlier than expected, we knew it might be a while before we could get picked up by Erik (Blackfyre Heir). Thanks to Elio’s not so great organizational skills (okay, okay, and the fact that text messages is the most we can do on our cell phone, considering the cost of using it here in the US), it turned out to take a bit longer than a while. And then there was LA traffic. I’ve never experienced anything like it, and even if I might get dragged to the US again in the future, LA is off the list of places to visit for good. The air (or what passes for air, rather) would kill me in a week, anyway.
We did, however, survive to get to the hotel, and once we had freshened up a bit, we went to check out the parties at the Hilton. Nice, balmy evening weather made me feel a lot better, as did meeting everyone. I guess my doubts about the trip had kept people wondering if I would indeed show up, judging from people’s reactions. Of course, knowing myself, I had very serious doubts about showing up too. ;) Butit was definitely great fun catching up with everyone we met in Glasgow last year, and adding a ton of new faces to remember as well. I am, btw, very bad with these things, so I’ll be doing a lot of glancing at badges for the rest of the con.
Since neither of us have great stamina for late night parties, plus we had barely slept for the last 30 hours or so, we only managed to stay awake until around midnight. Still, it gave us a chance to meet a fair number of the BwB.
Additional from Elio: We ran into many, many people, including finally getting to meet Lodey. So many people have been working hard to make this a brilliant event, and the list of all of them is simply too long. You know who you are! We visited the various parties, and hung out with George at the Kansas City party being regaled with yarns of the Human Turd (a fellow who costumed himself by covering his body in peanut butter, which led to a rule the following year that peanut butter would not be allowed as a costume item due to the horrible mess he made tramping around) and other events of past cons. Good fun!