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Mooncat's Gathering 2005 Journal…Part One
For me it began on the Wednesday before the Gathering, as with little sleep due to constant visitors the two days previous and frantic packing, I got up at 6am which was an hour later than planned. Even though my plane wasn't set to leave till around 1pm, my ride, who was also my house sitter, found out he had to go in to work that day and had to drop me off first, in the early morning, as he was borrowing my car during the week I'd be gone. Wretchedly tired, but running on pre-convention adrenalin, forgoing a morning shower or breakfast and hastily grabbing up my luggage and carryon and purse, we set off for the airport, my friend driving…
And found out it's a good thing we left early as we did because he completely missed the turn off for the airport as he chatted at me. But still, made it to the airport with plenty of time for him to get to work from there. Me and my luggage trundled into the check in area, where no living person was manning the desk for United (Ted), but fortunately I could just stick my credit card in the automated thingy and get my ticket/boarding pass… but darn if it didn't register the fact I had two pieces of luggage to check in! But finally a living person came to the desk, and made the adjustment and checked in my baggage. She offered to put me on an earlier flight to Denver (where I was to change over planes) but would be unable to make any earlier flights from Denver to Las Vegas, so I'd end up sitting in Denver for hours between flights.
I should have taken the earlier flight. As it was, I was so sleep deprived I thought spending time in the relatively quiet and peaceful local airport would be better than a bustling airport like Denver, and declined to make any changes to my flight plans…. STUPID MOVE… If at any time you can leave earlier, even if your connecting flight is supposed to change, DO SO. As it was, my original flight out was DELAYED, making me late for my connecting flight so much so I had to dash from one end of Denver's concourse to the area my connecting flight was to leave from and BARELY made it on board my flight…. Unfortunately as I was to learn later, my LUGGAGE didn't make the transition with me =(
But, I myself made it to Las Vegas pretty much on time, and then operating on only a single egg and cheese biscuit I snagged at my starting airport in the very early morning, and surviving the rest of the day on the tiny bag of pretzels they give out on the air flight, and half cup of beverage, I departed my plane and knew immediately that Vegas was quite a different city the moment I entered their air port. First thing you come across in the airport? SLOT MACHINES, rows and rows of them. Digital, and disappointingly modern and video game like. At the time it seemed a local eccentricity, a quirky thing to tell friends about later when recounting the trip. By the time I was to leave Vegas, I would be heartily sick of the ever present slot machines, because they are EVERYWHERE in that city, just everywhere. Even the little 7/11 quickstops have them. That, and the scent of cigarette smoke seemed ever present in Vegas.
But back to my missing luggage, which after patiently waiting at the luggage claim area, I realized was not forthcoming. I went to the alcove that United has for luggage problems and found out my luggage would be arriving on a later flight from Denver to Las Vegas, and was quickly assured that they could forward my luggage to my hotel. Since I had a dinner date set with my roomies Allaine and Princess Alexandria, (set up on my cell phone when I got off the plane) and I didn't want to keep them waiting, I accepted the United rep's offer to send my luggage along to the hotel and set off to catch the shuttle from the Airport to the Palace Station Hotel. After questioning a few people from the info desks and then the nice policemen on their cute bicycles I found the spot to wait for the shuttle. That part was very easy, and I arrived with my purse and carryon (a nice large over the shoulder bag that unfortunately did not have a spare set of clothes, only my reading materials and such, to find Allaine and Princess at the hotel *^_^* … (to be continued)
"I've been looking for you!"