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As requested, here is most of my Gathering report.
Thursday, July 29th:
Despite trying to sleep in, all three of us got up early. After eating, we packed up our small bags that we were taking up before folding the CD covers. Once we had everything ready, we packed up the cars. I was taking mine, while Arno rode in Beedoo's (since six of us were coming back from Las Vegas).
After filling up my gas tank and getting some ice, there was a mix up and I ended up hitting the road before they did. We met up at a rest area and then got moving again. About ten miles out from Kingman, we ran into a lovely thunderstorm that was pretty decent in size.
About an hour later, we stopped at the Hoover Dam. After taking a few pictures, we hit the road again for the last bit of the drive into Las Vegas. One thing I did notice on the drive was despite being close to the exit for the hotel, it sure seemed to take forever. Finding our exit, we discovered that we had to get over four lanes to make the turn into the parking lot.
We got over two, but missed the turn. I think we went another three or four blocks before turning around and pulling in. We checked in, found the room and a few minutes later, was greeting by another thunderstorm that included hail. It must have followed us up.
At some point, we brought all of our stuff in and discovered Dubble, Jade Griffin and somebody else's name that escapes me.
After storing stuff in the room, we hit the buffet for dinner. After getting back, we noticed my room key didn't work. Ooops. I think around midnight or a little after, we called it a night.
Friday, July 30th:
The lot of us in Beedoo's room started waking up around 8 am or so and started taking our showers. By 10:45, we wandered downstairs to get breakfast. Of course, we got there at the tail end, so we got charged for breakfast, but got to sit down for lunch. Ooops.
After our food, we started to pick up our packets and then Beedoo and I went to get the keys fixed since two worked and the other two didn't. After that, I think we found Rob and put his stuff in our room. Once that was solved, I think we wandered for a bit before I ended up tagging along and watching the first Clan Olympics event. They tried to draft me, but I was just going to watch.
It was pretty funny and after that, I believe I ran into Mandolin and we went to a writing panel for a little while. Later on, I ran into Countess downstairs just after she ran her toe over with her luggage. Took her up to the room so she could deposit her stuff.
More wondering around and then we had dinner at Subway or the buffet. I can't remember which. Attended opening ceremonies, where I never get tired of everything Greg presents, even if it is the same year after year. After it was over, I did my pre-registration for next year.
The rest of the night is a blur, though at we saw Abram Wintersmith and later on, Maui showed up. I conked out early and woke up at some point to say hi for a few minutes before passing back out.
Saturday, July 31st:
Once again, getting up took the lot of us quiet a while, even though we tried to all meet at 9 for breakfast. We got downstairs around 10 to discover that it was brunch and rather pricey. We then went to the café and had breakfast there.
From there, I tagged along and watched another part of Clan Olympics, the Trivia Torture. I then hit the art show for a little while, though I didn't view all of it. After talking with Siryn and a couple others for a little while, I tried to find out if there was a nearby art store so I could pick up a sketchbook. Digging out the yellow pages, I found out there was one about a mile up the road.
Finding the place was no small task since it was buried in the back of this fairly decent sized plaza. After picking a couple up, I stopped at the Vons that was in the same center for some more bottled water since running out earlier in the day.
After dropping things off, I met up with Norcumi and Quindar so we could make a dinner run. I think it might become a tradition for the three of us. I drove us to the TGI Friday's where we talked about the insane construction projects going on at our college campuses among other things. Once we got back, we ended up watching the poker tournament.
That was a fun game to watch. I ended up chatting with Silver for a while as she drew and inked one of my gargoyle characters, Eagle. I think we called it a night just after midnight.
Sunday, August 1st:
Unlike everybody else in the room, I woke up around 11am. I guess I really needed the sleep. I ended up getting Subway for breakfast/ lunch. I ended up talking to Tigrse for a little while. From there, I went up to the dealers' room where I found Silver and she finished color the Eagle picture.
Jade Griffin drew it next, followed by Liz while I voted in the art show. I also got dragged into helping meet part of the scavenger hunt by saying something along with a few others and then running down to my car with Rob so they could use my ice scrapper.
Moved my car a little closer since I had to park farther out after the dinner run the night before heading back inside to then pass the book over to the Kythera. She drew and colored a naked version of Gadget who looked like she was stalking Chaos off screen for some, uh, adult fun.
And the last person to draw in there was Dreamie, who did another sketch of Chaos. Then the art show started closed up, so I tried to hunt down the rest of the Arcadia clan that wanted to hit the Rainforest Café. Sadly, I didn't find them, so I watched Law and Order in the room while relaxing. I fetched subway for dinner, since I didn't have the money for the banquet until a few days before the Gathering started.
Countess swung by the room and I chocked on my food that I tried to scarf down so I could see the masquerade. After getting there, I tried to get a picture of Flanker, only to find out my batteries were dead (and they were supposed to be new). Ran back up, got some new ones that worked and make it back down with a couple minutes to spare.
Once that was over, I pretty much hung out and talked with Thom and Flanker for a while before watching a few others throwing balls at various circles with points on them in another room. After watching for a little while, I called it a night.
Monday, August 2nd:
Got up early and started packing all of my things around 8 am. Around 9:30, we got breakfast. While a few went back to finish packing, I ran into the art room to pick up the art I had bid on. From there, we loaded up both of the cars and finishing, realized me missed the shuttle out to the strip.
A trip on the shuttle, followed by one on the monorail, we hit the Star Trek Experience. The first ride some of us went on was the Klingon one. It was quite cheesy, but we had fun and laughed how part of Las Vegas surely got wrecked. Near the end, I yelled out "Vegas will never be the same again!" which got a few laughs.
Realizing we lost part of the group, we waited around for a bit before doing the Borg 4D. I would have to say that was cheesier than the other one. Of course, one of the probes nailed me right in the spine and the 3D glasses didn't fit very well over my regular glasses.
After that, it was dinner at Quark's Bar. The Klingon guy ruled. At one point, he came by and said, "Six girls for two guys. You are true warriors." Later on, he asked which one of us was the leader. Sadly, all good things come to an end. Rob, Beedoo, Arno, Countess, Delfine and myself said goodbye to Dubble and somebody else (who were staying the night) before we headed back to start the drive home.
The drive was pretty decent and we were treated to a nice light show from a thunderstorm. About 20 miles out from Kingman, I had to pullover and stop for a couple minutes because the rain had gotten so bad, I couldn't see more than 3 feet in front of me. And I think Rob chewed up about half of his battery power trying to take pictures of the lightning. I don't remember what time we got in, but about ten to fifteen minutes, we were all asleep.
All in all, I had fun at the Gathering and look forward to next year.
"Farewell, my enemies!"