Saturdays at Dragon*Con are really known for 2 things: The parade on Saturday morning and the parties of Saturday night. We’d be replacing the parties this year with a trip to the Georgia Aquarium for Dragon*Con night and a photo shoot with people from Irrational Games (The company behind the game for our costumes). We were really looking forward to that. Our hotel, The Ellis, has a restaurant with a balcony that overlooks Peachtree street, but it had been booked for 7 months prior to the parade. Yes, this is that big of a deal. So, we got some coffee, and found ourselves a nice spot on the curb right outside the hotel, about an hour before the parade was to start. Even an hour early, it was crowded.
The above is a picture of the biggest douchebag father I’ve seen. Everyone in this area had been there over an hour. The couple behind us had two small boys and the boys had been sitting where douchebag dad is now sitting. As small boys will do, they got up to go see mom for a second, and as they left their spot, Mr. I am the center of the universe, ran in and slid into that spot, taking it from the boys. The parents and everyone around us was shocked and appalled at this, but douchebag dad didn’t notice at all. Now, being the Boy Scout that I am, Melinda and I scooted back just a little to open a spot on the curb and offered it to the boys that douchebag dad had just screwed. The parents were grateful, and we got to set a little bit back right. Moral of the story, DON’T BE A DOUCHEBAG AND TAKE KIDS SEATS AT A PARADE!!!
The rest of the time before the parade started was people glaring at him and talking about what happened and him being completely oblivious to it.
Then the parade started!!
After the parade it was time for breakfast to let the crowds die down a little. Still it was crowded and busy in our hotel. They actually ran out of regular glasses at one point and so my milk arrived like this:
Our waiter apologized, but it struck me as incredibly funny.
We didn’t even try to go to any panels or other events. The people who come in just for Saturday always push the attendance to over the 40K. We did go to people watch for a while though, and wear our other costumes.
After a while we found a good spot to just overlook the anthill of people and I just started taking random shots.
This is the Mayor from Nightmare Before Christmas. The Mayor had two faces that spun around in the movie and this guy caught that in a creative way. He actually used a lamp shade for the mask and would just spin to show one face or the other. Great job.
After this, it was in the upper 90s, no breeze and a lot of people that the heat was causing to be rather rude at times. So we went back to our hotel (got Quiznoes on the way), ate and got ready for the aquarium trip.
We were going to have to drive ourselves there instead of taking one of the con shuttle busses for a couple of reasons. I wasn’t sure how Delta would fit on a bus or survive the trip and the Aquarium had a strict no weapons policy and I was going to take a 3 foot long drill arm. While not a traditional weapon, still a weapon and with the vague no weapons rule, I didn’t know how they would react to it. So I wanted to be able to put it back in the car if they said no. It took a while to get there because of road closures for traffic flow, finding the parking garage ($10 to park there) and then walking all the way around the aquarium to get from the garage to the entrance. Yes you walk the entire perimeter of the aquarium to go from the garage to the entrance and from the aquarium exit back to the garage. Ugh. Once we got to the line to get in, they were doing bag checks of course, and in front of me was a Viking princess with what had to be an 8 foot spear with a metal tip that was covered with just a piece of leather. If they let that in, the drill would have no problem. They didn’t look twice at her, the guys eyes did pop out when he saw me carrying the helmet though. I love that reaction.
When we got in, we were greeted with a scream from Ashley from Irrational Games. She was blown away by our costumes. She had to stay at the entrance, where we were causing a stir getting the helmet on and then tons of pictures being taken, so she called over Sarah, who jumped up and down. Sarah then basically guided us through the aquarium. She and Melinda talked the whole time, I couldn’t really hear anything. Sarah guided us to the Irrational Games photographer and then into the aquarium’s tunnel under the tanks. The photographer wanted some pictures in there. Perfect spot really, but no one told me about the two way moving floor. So as I was standing there posing as the photographer instructed, I was nearly doing a split. This caused some amusement when everyone noticed, and they moved me to the stationary middle section. I’m really looking forward to seeing the pictures when they are published.
After that we made it into the main area, where we had some more pictures taken and met several people that I know from various online forums. That was one of the cool parts. Actually meeting online friends in real life. We were told that the main picture meet up with everyone and Irrational was going to be in the main observation room at 10. We made it in there early again, and just hung out. I was actually starting to feel tired and a little worn down. When 10:00 arrived, there were people and flash bulbs everywhere. Thanks to everyone that came and thanks especially for those that took pictures and posted them online allowing me to get copies.
So far this is my favorite shot from the whole thing. The little girl is dressed as one of the Little Sisters from the game and was just perfect. Only problem is I didn’t know she was standing beside me until she started reciting a nursery rhyme from the game. So I’m standing there and I hear this little voice reciting the creepy rhyme and I totally got chills. Even Irrational’s photographer got creeped out. I could hear him saying “This is really scary”. We did good.
These are a couple of other pictures from Friday night of me and Melinda.
After we got back to the car, we managed to find our way back to the hotel. I was tired and thirsty, so I started drinking a Gator Ade we had brought with us. It didn’t help. I felt worse after, and just kept feeling worse and worse. Sometime around 11:30 or midnight, me and my old friend, the porcelain god, reintroduced ourselves to each other. For the next 13 hours, we were best friends. Con-crud had struck hard. I think my system was still weak from having been sick earlier in the week, and I just couldn’t fight off the germs at Dragon*Con.
We ended up leaving around 3:30 Sunday, two days early. That totally sucked. It took until Thursday before I was able to eat without my stomach hurting and the fever didn’t break until Wednesday morning (spiked at 101).
So we only got to attend one panel, but had some amazing pictures taken, just have to find them now.