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Here it is, as asked - my Gathering Journal.
What I did on my non-Summer Vacation.
Tuesday & Wednesday.
Oh the joys of an early flight and insomnia - being awake since 2 am and then travelling for 36 hours resulted in worse than usual travel sickness. I spent 2 days curled up in a chair at the Auberge sipping water and nibbling bread, reducing all my sightseeing plans to nothing.
I, literally, dragged myself to the hotel where I dozed in the foyer trying to spot Garg fans as they appeared. Some were pretty obvious :). I finally spotted Talyesin (along with other staff) and I got a big twirly hug (I managed to repress my puke reflex). I also met Liz, Taylor and Karlyl who were to be my roomies. Karlyl, Taylor and I lounged in the foyer chairs (so comfy) and waited for Kelly to arrive.
When she finally turned up there was much hugs and hellos and we all went out for food. I didn't eat, since I was still feeling ill, but talking and laughing and just being around fun people made me feel better (The Gathering â" a cure for any ill). We were supposed to go out for tea with the staff, but that got bumped so instead we went to a 24 hour coffee place.
Breakfast was found, DDR wasn't. Kelly and I walked all over Montreal looking for an arcade, only to miss by about 2 blocks.
Instead we decided to get back on time for Registration, where we hung out, volunteered for the Clan Olympics and waited for the staff to appear :)
After registering we hung out a bit then headed out to Con Virgin 101, hosted by Kelly. Not a lot of people showed up and most of those that did were late, so there was some repetition. But it was fun. Kelly did well, I met some new people, we all ate the free lollies.
The hotel pool was fun, but kinda cold. If you are going to heat a pool, please make sure it is at least close to body temperature!
While we were waiting for Opening Ceremonies, Kelly, Kyffin, Ethan and I all practised the skit Kelly had arranged for the Masquerade. It was fun and I almost forgot about the fact that I would have to perform in front of real people.
Opening ceremonies were a blast! Taylor furiously worked on a Green Dragon mascot for our Clan (it was great â" he is a fantastic artist) and it was done just in time for the first event. Abe and Maui hijacked the room and made Kyffin and I scramble for plastic balls so Karlyl could stuff them down Kelly's shirt. Kyffin had the idea of using a blanket to collect a larger number of balls, but I couldn't grab hold of the right corner â" people were shoving us and grabbing all our balls, so we gave up and just did it the same as everyone else. Unfortunately the time wasted meant that we came last, saved by the presence of a bonus ball.
After the commotion died down I got to hear the famous spiel from Greg. It was interesting, but long. By the time it all ended I was hungry and had a headache, so Kelly, Kyffin, Liz, Taylor, Ethan and I all went out to Le Marche.
It was *busy* and noisy. But the food was good, especially the dessert :)
We had to get back to the hotel though â" the second Clan Olympics event was due to begin. We had to wait a while for our turn, so the others actually fell sleep waiting. The second event was easier to play, all we had to do was throw a ball at a target in a darkened room. We got a few points, enough to keep us alive. By that time we were all totally stuffed, so we went back to our room and just crashed.
First event up was more Clan Olympics, trivia this time. We were doing great â" we answered heaps of questions, got to torture a couple of people, had bonus cards that were supposed to save our butts. But, on the last question a member of an eliminated team (who were allowed to interfere in game play) came over and confiscated the one card that would have won us the game. They pretty much decided that we weren't allowed to win and kicked us out. After that our team decided to leave and find some DDR, walking those two extra blocks mentioned earlier.
We got back in time to watch the Radio Play. It was great, the VA's were perfect.
Next was the Banquet, which, while the food was ok, was made all the better by having Greg sit at our table. (Though the moan of disappointment made when we realised we wouldn't have Keith, and Greg's reaction to that, were even more amusing)
I didn't actually say much, I just couldn't think of anything. But it was still cool.
I would have liked to stick around for the Q&A, but we had to go get ready for the Masquerade. One last practise and we were ready (Karlyl was in stitches after we showed it to her). Oh the nervousness ...
All the costumes we saw while waiting were absolutely fabulous, I am in total envy of their imagination and sewing skills :)
We were up first, but I managed not to have a breakdown. The only bit we fluffed was the lighting â" the dimmed lights went unnoticed, and I missed my cue to scream.
Still, it was fun and the costumes I saw were great!
I got a ribbon :D
I would have hung around for the karaoke party afterwards, but that really wasn't my thing, so I went to bed. When everyone came back later, I got out of bed and socialised. Liz wanted to go up to the Con Suite and give Greg the con badge she had drawn him, so we all went up there and talked and watched live action Sailor Moon til 4am.
My head is still boggling over that.
Today was a lazy day. We all just hung out in the dealers room and talked. I was still there when Keith David came in for his Mug a Guest, so stayed and listened to him talk.
I love his voice..
Closing Ceremonies were good â" I finally caught up with Hecate and Venus! I gave them monkies.
When pre-Reg fro next year opened I ran out to the only ATM that I knew would give me money so I could sign up. Yup, that's right â" I'm off to Vegas next year.
While in line I chatted with Venus some more and got to meet Pixlz. I really regret not catching them earlier, but at least for next year I'll know what they look like :)
Since Keith was still signing autographs I stood in line again and got him to sign the menu from Saturday night. I have my very first celebrity autograph, I'm so proud ^_^
After getting some food we went up to the con suite for the party (Mara showed off her cool new art), then went room hopping, playing video games â" I won a game! That never happens to me, so I think the celebratory dance was warranted ^_^
I went off with Kyt to collect the art I bought from her, so I also got to see more gaming and to say goodbye to others that were leaving in the morning.
We tried to be good and sleep early so we could get up in time for La Ronde, but silliness seems to be inherent in all the friends I make, so we were up late doing the sort of things that are only funny at 1am in the morning ^_^
La Ronde! I hadn't been to an amusment park in a veeery long time, so I was really looking forward to it. I had promised to go on the coasters, but I had to get them to force me- I'm afraid of things like that. We waited in line, then waited some more, it took an hour, but then I was finally strapped in (second from front!) and then the fear set in.
It was fun ride, but I was freaking out *before* it started. The only coherent words I made during the ride were âOH MY GOD!!â repeated frequently and loudly.
I had fun.
The other rides were good, but having to wait in line for an hour for each really sucked. I didn't want to go on the Vampire with the others, so I got to sit in the shade and relax while they boiled in the sun :)
Finally, at 8pm we decided to go back to the hotel. A teary farewell was had for Ian, then we went out for tea, once again ending up at the 24 hour coffee place. Damn they got a lot of business from us that weekend.
Once again, we tried to sleep early, but that was a futile hope. Finally sometime past 1 sleep claimed us all.
Kelly woke up early, but my brain refused to engage properly, so I just lay there and tried to get both my eyes open at the same time. Eventually everyone was up and packing. It was sad, because it meant that goodbyes were coming.
I hate goodbyes.
Kelly left with much sadness by all. Liz decided to stalk Keith David one last time and buy souvenirs and I checked back into the hotel for a few more days.
Finally Liz and Taylor left too, so Karlyl and I went out to find some lunch in the city. We had a nice walk and bought some stuff in Chinatown, then it was time for Karlyl to go too.
Now I was lonely. The new room was nice (they gave me free chocolate) but it would have been better if my friends were here. So I ate chocolate and watched Scooby Doo 2.
My new room included free breakfast an internet access, so off I went upstairs to indulge. Afterwards I went for walk into the city and ended up back in Chinatown again. On the way back I made sure to pass by some buildings that caught our eye the day before. Karlyl â" remember that creepy restaurant with the rotting dummies? Well, it was actually open, and the dummies *were* whispering as you walk past.
I had tea in the hotel restaurant then went back to the room and watched Van Helsing. Tomorrow was the day I had to leave, so I decided to sleep.
Time to leave. I packed and checked out then had a nice ride out to the airport. I got to see the rest of the city in daylight. Dorval airport sucks, very disorganised and kinda cruddy. Plus my plane was delayed, but they didn't tell us. Vancouver airport is better, but still chaotic. I like travelling by plane, I just hate airports.
I saw the Rockies by air. They are magnificent.
I also finished reading the Phoenix Gate Anthology on the plane. There are some fantastic stories and artwork in it, 'Dust and Ashes' made me cry.
Didn't exist for me. Huzzah for the International Date Line.
Home, finally. Mum and Dad picked my up from the airport in Melbourne and we drove straight home, stopping only for a quick lunch. I hung around their place till I had the energy to drive home, then I got on the net and tried to catch up with my LJ backlog. I gave up around 11.30, seeing as how I had been awake (save for occasional naps) for 48 hours, and went to bed.
And here ends my very first Gathering Adventure.
(I came all the way from Australia to meet you, and I barely said 2 words. Go figure)
But I remember you!! And you spoke more in Vegas.
I always appreciate those fans who travel the VERY long distances to get to the cons.