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Gathering Journal Part 2
Saturday - Sleep is for Wimps
Unfortunately, it's also necessary for cognitive processes. I'm sort of blurry on the day part of Saturday. I know I talked to a bunch of people and had a good time doing it. I also know that I went poolside long enough to read for a little while until the game of koosh catch turned into a cannon ball contest and I got all soggy. (Remember this, it turns into a running gag on Monday).
Eventually it was time for the Radio Play. Greg's players did an excellent job and we got to "see" an episode of Team Atlantis that had a strangely coincidental tie in to Gargoyles. As an extra bonus, since this episode had been voice acted by the professional cast we got to hear their version too.
Lunch was a Mickey Dee's run. Then we tracked down an ATM at a 7/11. Hey, sometimes a little mundane is a good thing. But I wished we had been tipped that the banquet menu was hotdogs and hamburgers, I might have had something else for lunch. C'EST la vie. (or something) And hey! Karine explained what Sacre Blu! means.
After the banquet and a great Q and A with Greg and Greg, it was time to get ready for the Masquerade. I sat out this year. I actually thought about a costume for five or six minutes, but I opted for minimal baggage instead. That's okay. I put on a length of batique fabric and my sunglasses and went as "Lilo and Stitch extra # 37 which, since it included bare feet, meant I was comfy as we wore out another night with pizza and a marathon gabfest. Unfortunately, this meant that I was engaging in yet another Gathering Tradition: the loss of my voice.
Sunday or This May Be the Home Stretch for the Convention, but I've Got Two More Days
Yes, we did actually get to bed before dawn, but not by much. Saturday became Sunday while we talked and laughed and generally got silly. I was smart enough to put my stuff out before going out for the evening, so getting to bed was a minimal hassle. Again, it was a good thing my roomies are heavy sleepers because this was definitely a night owl weekend.
I was late for the Starship Troopers panel - I'm not sure why. I spaced and lost about half an hour during breakfast. It was a good discussion though, and there was some interesting insight into the mind of Sony execs and their marketing staff. I hope they release everything they have stuck in the vaults, because the videos have been really good so. Afterward was the post mortem on Team Atlantis which will be coming to video after a fashion to a retailer near you. Buy that too and show Disney that they've been shortsighted.
I was definitely starting to feel the last couple of days so though I popped in briefly for the Voice Acting Workshop (Suggestion to next year's staff - schedule that before tryouts - Please?) I mostly concentrated on setting up our next after-hours event - A dinner at a restaurant that didn't serve pancakes or waffles and a trip to the Yorktown Ghostwalk.
I slept through Closing Ceremonies so somebody else will have to report on that, but did wake up in time to round up all of our party of ten and head out of the convention.
The hotel recommended the restaurant whose name I think was the Whaling Company ( I was still having a godawful time hanging on to details by that point). The food was good, the company excellent and we made it out of the restaurant in time to make our bus at the Yorktown Visitor Center. Btw, this was my only blind panic moment of the evening, I was sure for several seconds that I'd misunderstood the guy on the phone and taken ten people to the wrong place. I was more than a little relieved when the person I asked for information turned out to be our tour coordinator.
The cruise was dorky. I didn't realize they were just going around in a big circle otherwise I would have hauled everybody above decks. But it was a chance for some of our party to catch a quick nap. By the time the boat landed and we were segregated out for another bus ride we had gained some more Gathering folk. We ended up a party of fourteen and when our tour guide Rita asked if we were some kind of a fraternity having an initiation ritual (Not sure but I'm sure it had to do with Kyt on a leash that was sending her thoughts that direction) I replied no we were all part of a family reunion, which really wasn't too far from the truth.
It was a pleasant night. The company was fine and the fireflies were pretty. We lost part of our group on the walk back to the car because they were gawking at the twinkly lights.
We got back to the hotel in time to catch a portion of the Dead Dog Party, but the conversation wasn't really in keeping with the mellow evening we'd already enjoyed so it was back to my room for more conversation and later after the party broke up, girly time with Jen and Mandi. So ended Sunday or rather Monday morning.
Monday - Or Look! Kathy's All Wet!
The official after Gathering event was a trip to Busch Gardens. We assembled in the lobby and jockeyed for car space and soon we were underway. Hats off and Happy Birthday to Jubilee for organizing so many people. We all made it to the park and remembered where we parked. (Germany 2) bought tickets and went inside.
The core of our group was Lanny and Derek, Greg, Jubilee and me. Kellie Fay, Torrey, Sapphire, Winterwolf and Dreamie made periodic appearances as did Denis, Scott, Mandi and others who I'm afraid I can't recall anymore (I'm sorry!)
Greg and I rode the Loch Ness Monster. Kellie became the official keeper of stuff for the first part of the day, since she both caught some kind of funky cold from the hotels ventilation system (Honestly, nice people, really nice people (did I mention how great they were?) but they need to change the filters and clean their AC system.) We couldn't help notice the number of ads that popped up during the day for Chiropractic Services. It seemed to be some kind of omen, though thankfully, it was meant for someone else!
Anyway, since Greg's quote of the day was 'Sure, whatever' and mine was "I'm in". We made the rounds stopping at roller coasters and water rides along the way. It was my day to be soggy. Pompeii, this odd ride that involved live flame and water was my first soaking. Not bad, kind of nice after the inferno that was the first part of the trip, but I got doused pretty good, which resulted in Lanny complementing me on my new spiky 'do and a wet tank top.
The pleasant sogginess was soon to be a thing of the past. Shortly thereafter most of us got on the white water ride. Huge fun. But, this time I didn't get a little wet, I got completely soaked. Wet denim does not equal comfy. So I squished my way out of the company of my friends for a few minutes to buy a pair of shorts and change clothes. Now I was "sporty" and only semi soggy. A vast improvement for as long as it lasted.
I avoided a couple of rides that seemed like a sure fire trip to vertigo land, but Greg and I rode nearly all the Deathcoasters except for Alpinefest, fright, whatever. I took one look at that and said "A big no." despite multiple promptings from Jubilee.
We saw the Irish dance show. The dancers stomped their feet off, but may I just say, Damn you, Michael Flatley? I much preferred the Swing show that provided our dinner entertainment and Imaginique that closed the evening and I still can't believe Greg slept through nearly all of it. I gawked totally awed. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We still had to ride the Flume. (A word that Greg was strangely enamored with.) And to no one's surprise, I was all soggy again by the time it was over even though Greg obligingly acted as human shield.
There were bumper cars and the Autobahn and an amazingly entertaining interlude at the German area when Derek graciously paid so that we could all flip frogs. I will express some relief that he didn't win the giant stuffed flamingo, but I like the little walrus that became mine by the end of the night. (Thank you!)
Oh! And Busch Gardens is known for its critters! I got to play with the Lorikeets and see wolves and bald eagles and of course, the famous Clydesdales.
We closed the park, stopping for ice cream along the way. Well, some of us had ice cream. Greg, "Did I mention I like to eat?" Weisman had this absurd banana split in a waffle cone. He entertained us thoroughly as he tried to eat this thing while maintaining his dignity. A perfect final act to a great day.
But all good things eventually end. We drove back to the hotel and said many goodbyes. And so ended Gathering 2002.
I don't just like to eat. I'm damn good at it.
Of course, the disadvantage of reading these things two years after the fact is that it doesn't create any opportunity for dialogue...
But the ADvantage is that it's fun to be reminded and relive all these great memories. 'Sgetting me 'Syched for Montreal!