As everyone is well aware, I had plans to go to the Gallifrey One convention in Los Angeles this year. Well, according to plan, I am there!
My morning started at about 4:30 a.m. when I woke up and started getting dressed and ready to tackle the nearly two-hour drive to the Memphis airport. Fortunately, the drive went by smoothly, thanks to Big Finish Productions’ 8th Doctor adventures and the GPS helped me find the parking lot (Avistar) where I had chosen to park (a lot cheaper than the airport parking and the service was friendlier, too). In Memphis, I still had to wait in line, although I had already checked in and printed out my boarding passes AND paid for my one checked baggage, so I thought that was all kind of redundant, but oh, well.
Also, the TSA agents at the Memphis airport are lazy. EVERYONE has to go through the body scanners. I cringed because if you know me, I am 110% against those things, but I was freakin’ too tired to do much about it. So count me as one of those lazy American sheep. And upon retrospect, I bet if I had asked for a patdown, those agents were so lazy, they probably would have just had me go through the metal detector instead.
So after getting strip searched via machine and then herded into the terminal, I grabbed some an over-priced yogurt from Starbucks and fired up my Google Chrome OS notebook. I get 100 MB of Verizon data free every month for the next few years as part of the beta test, so I figured I should use it. Soon enough, though, the flight attendant was announcing that the plane was pulling into the gate and that if we had to go, we better do it now.
So I went to the bathroom, as he had suggested, and boarded the plane.
It was an uneventful flight, which I passed with an episode of Being Human (UK). I arrived in Houston and immediately began searching for food. However, before I had a chance to find sustenance, I saw a girl wearing a long multi-colored scarf sitting with some other folks and the magic word “gally” got my attention. I stopped and turned around and met up with a few other con-goers. But I was still hungry and after I decided that Texas barbecue smelled gross (not at all like that yummy smell of Memphis barbecue that makes your mouth water) and that Tex Mex (at least at the airport) was a joke, I decided on pseudo-cajun and had an over-priced catfish sandwich.
I ate and took the belt buckles photo because I felt that was the epitome of being in Texas. Tacky belt buckles. Although I really wanted to get a t-shirt that says “Don’t mess with Texas” for the heck of it. Fortunately, I changed my mind and met up with the girl I had met previously. We chatted the time away and when it was time to board, we both checked the row on our tickets. It was 25. In an odd turn of events, we literally were only one seat apart on the flight.
Now I just have to say something about Continental (soon to be United) airlines. This was by far the most pleasant flying experience I have had in some time. The flight attendants were fantastic (I’m thinking that like Christopher Eccleston would say it) and the service was far better than other airlines I’ve flown in a long time. Remember back when flying felt like a privilege? That’s what it was almost like. I am hoping that my European flight in the fall is on Continental. I think I would be willing to pay a few extra hundred dollars to fly with them, if that is an option then. I was also impressed with the interior of the plane. It didn’t look like the dingy interior of many planes I’ve been on, those that are so old they still have the ash trays.
We arrived in Los Angeles and got our luggage and caught the hotel shuttle. Pretty uneventful there, too. I met up with Rachel here and we got our room and moved on in. I was hungry, so we hit the bar and had a drink each and some nachos and I kept staring at this guy in there that looked like Chief from Battlestar Galactica. But being as I was a little on the toasted side, I didn’t say anything. Just stared. But he looked EXACTLY like that guy. And of course, I was thinking that Jane Espensen (one of BSG’s writers) is here, so why WOULDN’T he be here? It’s possible. But again… that could have been the tequila talking. Mmmmm…. I like margaritas.
After dinner, we were both exhausted. The time diference isn’t a great one for me, but I have been up since 4:30 a.m. and it’s already my bedtime by home standards. So I am sitting in the room typing this after a nice, long hot bath and trying to see if I can’t at least make it until 9 p.m. before crashing. Rachel is already out cold in the other bed.
So it has been a long exhausting day, but so much fun. I enjoy arriving at the hotel and being around some of the friendliest people I have ever come across. At Gallifrey, no one is ever a stranger (and I could be really cheesy and say that they’re just friends we haven’t met yet… hehe).
Of course, it’s still bugging me… was that really Chief from Battlestar Galactica?
Or is it the tequila?
We may never know.
Good night, world. I’m going to watch some more Being Human (UK) on my phone and attempt to not go to sleep TOO early.