I survived! Yes, I made it to Dragon Con and back in one piece. Didn’t have to break out my taser even once. Mom was good the whole time (even though Place K did call me at 3 AM the morning after I got home, to let me know she had had a nosebleed. Thank heavens for that timing!). I can’t begin to say what a great time was had. It still surprises me, somehow, to know I can come and go as I please, eat what I want when I want it, set out with one plan in mind and then change on the fly if something else comes up. It surprises me even more to know that, and then to actually DO it. That sounds weird, I guess, but there it is; it’s been a long time since I had that kind of freedom.
The hotel in Atlanta was great, not fancy, but very nice and clean. It had an excellent kitchen, small but very well appointed.
Isn't that precious? Better yet, a grocery store is right next door. Once I got checked in, I took a stroll over there and picked up a few things, milk and juice and snacks. The hotel’s ‘continental breakfast’ was packaged muffins and coffee, so I knew I’d need some extras. Besides, I took bread and peanut butter, so buying lunch wasn’t a necessity. Easy to toss a sandwich and a couple of granola bars in my tote bag or backpack and save both money and time.
Atlanta’s train system is just terrific. I’m sure there are things about it that drive the locals nuts, but hey, when all I had to do was drive to the mall half a mile or so from my hotel, swipe a fare card (a gift from a knitting friend, which I loaded when I got there) and hop on the right train, how could I not love it? No worries about navigating, or finding parking; just kick back and go over the schedule of panels and events for the day while I rode downtown.
Oh, and affix my co-pilot to my shoulder.
Three large safety pins through my shirt and bra strap, and he was set! No risk of losing him at all. I was so glad I went that route instead of the other less secure ones I had thought of. Yes, Tiny Tony rode shotgun the whole time, and let me tell you, he was a star! If one person stopped me to see him, or take his picture, or get their picture taken with him, I bet a hundred did. I usually went with his helmet on and mask down, as you see him in this photo. When people spoke, I’d greet them, and then go ‘I think he’s getting warm in there, let me get his mask up’. I’d slide it up and people would squeal, because they had no reason to expect that. Then, of course, if they stuck around, I had to take it that last step and say ‘well, actually he wants the helmet off now’. When I pulled it off and they saw his sweet little face and mop of unruly hair, people just melted, I’m serious!
Other than that, I didn’t cosplay, mostly because, who or what would I dress up as that I even vaguely resembled? Well, that, and I was not riding on a train in cosgear. If I were staying downtown and could just walk downstairs, maybe, just maybe, once. Otherwise, nope. Keeping up with my purse and tote bag and badge and sidekick was quite enough. There were more than enough amazing costumes to make up for it though. Here are a few!
The Winter Soldier from the MCU movies, looking way too attractive to be the most dangerous guy in the world, hehe.
Not sure what this costume was, but it was so gorgeous I had to take a pic.
This dark angel’s wings actually moved!
Many characters had multiple incarnations in attendance. I saw a good dozen Captain Americas and about that many versions of Iron Man/Tony Stark (because Tony’s a lot easier to cosplay than Iron Man, lol. Think about it: t-shirt, jeans, and a small glowing thing on your chest, versus a suit of armor. Nuff said, as the great Stan Lee would put it.). There was at least one of almost every Disney princess and every regeneration of Doctor Who, and a bunch of Spidermen…
Some of whom, uh, hung together. (ouch, sorry, couldn’t resist, hehe). Lots of anime characters, who I didn’t recognize. And a couple dozen iterations of Black Panther. Here was one of the best, dressed in full Wakandan royal robes. His bearing was so regal, I couldn't resist saying 'thank you your majesty' and dropping a little curtsy after taking his picture. :) (BTW, yes, one does always ask permission before taking a pic of a cosplayer, and always say thank you afterwards.)
To give you some idea of the crowds, here was a smallish line for a panel.
And the typical view on Saturday, the busiest day. I was told 100,000 tickets or passes had been sold for that day, what with the parade, the most panels, the costume contests, art show, live music and so forth. Five hotels, plus the convention center, of which four floors were taken up with vendors and artists.
Oh! One other thing before I sign off for now. Remember I said I was meeting the swag and swap group from facebook, and taking the little goodies I crocheted? Something like 300 people showed up! I took pictures, but they came out blurry, so you'll just have to take my word for it. :D
I took the takochus and tsum tsums I made to share, but at the last minute I got an idea. I broke out my bag of weird fuzzy yarns and whacked out 8 or 10 tiny furry balls, labeled them as pygmy puffs (for the Harry Potter fans) or tribbles (for Star Trek fans). Everything was gone in half an hour, though, and instead I had a bag of stickers, buttons, glow sticks, snacks, jewelry, beads and more. Some I kept and some I passed on in turn to people who didn't get to come to the swap. It was great fun. Next year, assuming I recover by then, I’m taking a bag of just takochus and pygmy-bbles (LOL)—they worked up super fast and people seemed to dig them as much as the more complicated and detailed teenies.
More pix next time! I’ll share a little more detail about some of the things I got up to: panels, shopping, meeting people, food. You know, the really important stuff. Also Dragon Con lore, like the legend of the Marriott Carpet, and which celeb stuck somebody's phone down his pants and took a picture.