Another DragonCon has come and gone. It was a great time overall, but as the theme song to enterprise goes, it’s been a long road getting from there to here. This DragonCon was a series of ups and downs for me, but what great weekend doesn’t have some kinks in the road. Let’s take a look at my weekend at DragonCon.
It started on Wednesday. I decided to start the journey at 6AM as I didn’t want to get into Atlanta during rush hour. This was a great decision as I made great time. even with a few small stops and breaks I made it to Atlanta around 3:30PM and easily got to my hotel and situated. This was quickly followed by the first in a series of downs that accompanied several of the ups. When I went to setup my space of the room, my air mattress had decided to give up on me. Third year at DragonCon and my second time of this happening. I chuck the thing out and went to the plan I executed year one: I slept on the couch cushions since they weren’t needed when the couch was in bed mode.
Thursday was a fairly successful day. Since press badge pickup wasn’t until 2PM I had some time to kill. I headed down to the bottom level of the Hyatt and went for the blood donor line. I got there right as they opened at 10 and made it through about a half hour wait. This was one of the tasks to conquer during the weekend as it was an epic failure last year. Three times I tried and was disqualified all three times due to slightly elevated temperature or pulse reading. This year, I wouldn’t be denied. I made it through the screening and into the room to donate. It took a couple nurses and a little poking to find a good vein (an issue for me when I get blood tests done for diabetes maintenance) but eventually I was hooked up and they got my blood. I was able to make my first successful blood donation. Something I had been trying to do outside of DragonCon for a few years. By the time I was done, one of my room mates attempted to get in line but the standby line was reaching a two hour wait at that point. After some lunch I went back down as media relations was across the hall from the blood drive and I got my badge. The day went pretty smooth from there. I took a few laps around the hotels and got the lay of the land as well as getting a gauge on what settings I would need for my camera. That night was The Finest meet and greet. The Finest is a GIJoe costume group and it was great to get to see my friends in this group. It was a fairly quiet night. I was going to try to go to the Bunny Hutch party but got distracted by some other friends and had just as good of a time.
Friday was the most chill day of the convention. I didn’t have a costume that day and it was hanging out with friends and taking photos. This was a lot of time between the Hyatt and the Marriott, which are great places to hang around if you want pictures of your costumes. Having a chill day at DragonCon is usually a good idea to wind down from the hustle and bustle of panels, photoshoots and other fun stuff. The only issue I had was in getting a lanyard. I need one to hang my badge on. I tried going to the DragonCon store at the Marriott but they were out. I did get my shirt and ,y pins so there was an up for the down. I tried the dealers area but the line on day one was insane. I settled for the sports memorabilia shop in the Peachtree center and grabbed a Gators lanyard.The down was having to fake my way through people asking me about the game on Saturday. But, I had my lanyard and chilled on Friday. I hung out with a friend that afternoon and we headed over to the Westin, which I had never been to. We saw the music act Mikey Mason and it was a very fun show.
Saturday was an up and down day. I started the day wearing my Scoop cosplay in the GIJoe group for the parade. My second year in the parade and the weather was very pleasant for the costume I chose. The parade went great but I forgot my GoPro as I was gonna get some footage for the vlog. I did manage to get some fun photos while in the parade. Including some of our Snake-Eyes fighting a Klingon warrior from the Star Trek group ahead of us. After the parade, my weekend took a down as I also took a down. I tripped and went down. Landed on my hand and had a stiff arm for the rest of the weekend. We suffer for conventions. After the parade, I changed into my MegaVolt costume and headed for the Disney shoot. It was a fun shoot. After the shoot, I was able to meet Adam The Woo who was near by. I checked his videos but didn’t see myself. He interviewed a guy dressed as Walt Disney and I saw the sleeve of my jumpsuit make the frame but that was it. It was right after that I saw him and recognized him. He was very nice and chatted for a minute and I got a selfie with him. After a shower I hung out with some more friends then was able to get to one of my highlights for this years convention. After missing out last year due to them being unable to leave Canada, I was able to see the Cybertronic Spree in person. They’r the band that dresses as Transformers characters. It was an awesome show full of energy and I was singing along with all the songs the Transformers: The Movie soundtrack. So glad that was part of my weekend.
Sunday the hits kept coming. I woke up sore but managed to get ready for the GIJoe shoot only yo have a major piece of my costume break on me. I called an audible and just dressed in regular clothes and went down to the shoot anyway with camera in hand. Got some great shots. So I was happy there. I went about my day and spent some time in the artist alley which was near the panel room where one of the ribbon trading events was held. I didn’t do a lot of ribbon collecting this year but managed to get 47 ribbons on my badge. The Star Trek fan in my is happy with the 47 reference. It was a pretty quiet day after that as I just enjoyed being at DragonCon and getting some last photos in.
Monday was luckily uneventful. I drove home with no issues and am already looking forward to another year of DragonCon. I’ve learned a few more things that will help me for future DragonCons and I’m really comfortable there now. I’m far from the expert that many regular DragoNCon attendees are but I feel I can hold my own and can definitely start to get more out of my DragonCon experience.