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Thurs, June 21st
I got into Nashville about 7:30 Central Time. I hope Southwest fun flights or whatever they're called connect to Chicago next year, cause it was cheap as hell and best of all there weren't any delays!
I waited around for a couple hours for Kirsten (Babyfey) and Demona Taina, who was on her first trip to the continental US from Puerto Rico. We all flew into Nashville, so we rented a car and drove to Knoxville. For some reason I was surprised that they only had country music stations in Tennesse.
Taina was amazed at how big everything was. Apparently the 3 hour drive was longer than it took to cross Puerto Rico.
Kristen had made reservations for us at a motel outside Knoxville. It was right off the highway, and I was really happy when I saw the the nice looking place with the big banner that read "Free Breakfast". But she had booked us at the seedy motel behind it. The sun never seemed to go down that night (turned out it was the solstice), and considering the kind of place we were in, I kind of felt like we were in a Twilight Zone episode. Somehow I managed to get a good night's sleep on the cardboard mattress.
Fri, June 22nd
We got up early and picked up Kristen's friend at the Knoxville airport, ate pancakes for breakfast, then drove to Pigeon Forge. The place is like Vegas except without all the stuff that "stays in Vegas". Traffic was terrible but we managed get to the hotel eventually.
I hung out in the art room for awhile, then got lunch with some other people (I can't remember for the life me who- I think it was Aaron, Lynati, Jade Griffin and Leo) at this pizza place that they had coupons for in the art room.
Opening ceremonies was fun as always, and it was good to see so many new people had showed up.
We went to the minigolf place down the street after that, and had our asses throughly handed to us by the course. Thank for doing the math for me, cause we would have been there for another hour if I had done it myself.
Then we ran across the street en-mass (felt like we were playing real-life Frogger) and got dinner at the restaurant where we couldn't find the door. They had some great catfish.
Then we ran across the street again, and we hung around in the 2B room. Hudson ranted about random subjects, which was hilarious. I can't remember the guy's name, but man did he do a good Christopher Walkin impression. We tried to have him order pizza in that voice. Mara, Lynati, and yet another person I can't recall know all the words to Rent. All I knew was the words to the Simpsons parody of it. Some people got pizza from the place we'd eaten before (we recommended it and still had some coupons left). The delivery guy ripped us off majorly and the pizza wasn't that great either.
Sat, June 23rd
I got up early, and walked downstairs in a rather zombiefied state, ate some pancakes and went shooting with Flanker, Sarah, Leo, Dtaina, Sadisitc Cow, and some others. It was a lot of fun and Leo is a killing machine. Someone made the mistakes of trying to explain what a gargoyle is to they guy who owned the shooting range.
I went to a few panels after that, then the radio play which was great! Thom Adcox will never live now down "Thailog Smart!"
I went to minigolf with some people who's names I, again, can't remember. That was a mistake. It kicked my ass worse then the night before, and I missed MGT3K, which is my favorite panel at Gatherings.
The Blue Mug was fun, but I'm starting to think that we're running out of 'adult' questions ask (particularly after last year-wow!). And we didn't get kicked out of the room this year- a first for as long I've been going to Gatherings!
Sun, June 24th
I woke up early again and had pancakes (detecting a trend?). I went to a few panels, and then ended up at the banquet, which was very good this year, and there was plenty for 2nds and 3rds this time! Some how I got the impression though, that most of people wait staff there were children of Hotel employees who were being forced into helping. Somehow we started talking about the masquerade, and I ended up being dragged to Walmart to buy stuff for my Severius costume. The Masque was alot of fun- the guy in the full-body gargoyle suit was amazing. I offered Hudson $5 to say "Luke, I am your father" while he was dressed in his full SWAT gear. People kept having my throw my head back and kackle (I have no idea how to spell that and neither does the spellchecker) so they could take pictures. And then there was that other stuff (highlights of the masque!) which I'm sure is now on YouTube.
I ended up talking fanfiction with Lynati in her room (I wish I had the time to be as detail obsessed as she is), and working on the Myst (I don't really know what that it, but it was fun to work on) for somebody's new fanfiction.
Mon, June 25th
I slept in a little, and well, are pancakes the legally mandated breakfast food of Pigeon Forge or something? Seriously.
I wish had rained that night (or that the roof hadn't leaked), because i didn't get a chance to vote on the art show.
I don't recall to much of closing ceremonies (I was too tired). Kristen and I left shortly afterward and drove back to Nashville were caught our flights out.
All in all, even after leaking roof and such, it was still the best gathering I've ever been to.
And I apologize to everyone whose name I forgot. I can never remember people's names when I need to.
Glad you had a good time. Hope we see you in Chicago. And the Blue Mug doesn't have to be blue. It's just that it's okay if it is.