Well, I’m back from my 5 day vacation to Atlanta for our yearly visit to Dragon*Con. It’s a trip some old friends of mine have been doing for a few years now. It first started out as what we liked to label as Guys Weekend back in 1996 (I believe that was the year). It was a weekend each year that some core friends of mine, living in different states and cities, would meet in a city that no one lived at for hanging out and catching up. In 2003, when some of us got too lazy to plan, we started making the trip to Dragon*Con for our Guys Weekend trip in which, I have noticed, we no longer call Guys Weekend. But the result is somewhat the same, we all meet in Atlanta to hang out and at the same time participate in the convention.
This year will probably be my last year at the convention. Aside from having a good time hanging out with friends, the convention itself was not a pleasant experience. Here are a list of my complaints:
– I never buy my ticket in advance, I buy at the convention registration area. In past years there has never been a problem. The longest I have ever had to wait in the past was 20 minutes; this year I waited 2 hours. Pathetic!
– This years attendance had to have broken a record. It seemed to me that there were at least five thousand more people this year than last. And five thousand may be a generous number. Due to this increase in attendance may be a factor in my annoyances this year.
– The queues to some of the popular star panel sessions were some of the longest I have ever seen. Seeing these long lines were a deterrent for me. I wanted to see stars like Nichele Nichols from Star Trek: TOS, Ron Glass from Firefly and Serenity, and James Marsters and Juliet Landau from Buffy the Vampire Slayer but their lines were some of the longest and possibly a wait of at least 45 minutes, there was no way I was going to waste my time. If you know me, I am not a patient man at all.
– Most of the security personnel at the hotels were some of the most unkind and unfriendly people I have ever met. Their attitude was completely unnecessary.
– The Walk of Fame room, the room where all the stars sit for autograph sessions with their fans, was completely unorganized and chaotic. But, this seemed to be a running theme at this years convention, disorganization.
But aside from all of the convention grumbles, I had a good time hanging out with all of my friends from the entire trip.
I first traveled to Tallahassee on Thursday to stay the night with my good friend, Shag. He and I decided to car pool together so I stayed over so that we could make a early departure on Friday morning. While in town, I decided to catch up with some old high school and college friends. We met at TGI Friday’s for dinner and reflection on some good times. It was another good memory to store up in the old noggin.
The other nights in Atlanta, while at the convention, were the best times while at the convention. A group of us would make an effort each night to meet for diner and hanging out at the hotel lobby playing games.
Despite the bad experiences at the convention itself, I have no regrets on the visit itself. It was good to hang out and catch up with old friends. It’s times like this that are priceless.