Whew! Well, what do I say about my first Dragon*Con? It was insane, overwhelming, fun, crazy, amazing, awesome, exhausting, silly, and I don’t even know! I guess I’ll just go day by day because I don’t know how else to go about explaining the enormity of the convention.
We [Nick, Jess, Kevin, Dale, and I] road-tripped from Chicago to Elizabethtown. I was immediately a cat and passed out in the sun after a hearty breakfast. We finally ate at Shoney’s and the guys got their fudgey cake.
We magically connected with Dawn and Brad, who had started their journey from Chicago much later, and got to eat breakfast with them. Eventually, we all made it to Atlanta and our hotel at the Aloft in the late afternoon. We quickly and thankfully acquired badges (so glad I pre-reg’d, despite my friends’ horror stories about the badge line).
The rest of the evening was spent running around and finding most of our friends, complete with much flailing and excitement. I was still taking the scene in because the atmosphere was more like a Saturday night for a regular convention–and it was only Thursday! Craziness!
Jay of Cosplay4UsAll and I as the Ninth Doctor and Rose
Brad, Dawn, and I had our Game of Thrones photoshoot that morning at the Hilton. There were SO many people, it was crazy! Everyone just shouted out various groups that they wanted to photograph until we were all too tired and hungry to continue. After food was acquired, we did some more wandering and found more Game of Thrones peeps to take photos with.
Never enough wine for Cersei!
Eventually, my giant wig was starting to hurt my neck (it is SO heavy!), so I went back and changed into my new costume: Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy! Yay! Nick put Starlord on and we ran around the Marriott for a while. Our friend Jerry made Nick “that guy’s leg” from the film (completely out of the blue because he’s awesome), so that was the coolest prop to have as prison Rocket! We were very popular and people kept shouting, “I need that guy’s leg!” at us. PS: Nick has the best Starlord helmet thanks to WMArmory.
Nick as Starlord and me as Rocket!
One interesting encounter was having Rocket fangirls. As in pre-teen girls who treated me like a rockstar. It was really cute/bizarre. They–for lack of a better word–glomped me and all took a photo with me. Nick and I had similar experiences with little kids in the food court. They were so excited to see Starlord and Rocket! Yay!
The rest of the night was spent at the Pulse Loft, naturally. We headed back to the hotel around 2AM since we had to get up early (like 7AM EARLY UGH) the next morning for the parade.
This happened at some point on Friday night once I was no longer a raccoon.
I was wearing my new costume Merrill from Dragon Age for the parade, but had quite a lot of complications. A lot of the prep I had done to make putting everything together easier was failing me. Thankfully, Jess was able to do my Dalish elf face tattoos. Unfortunately, my leg guards aka platypi, which granted were held together with hot glue and elastic, broke the moment we stepped outside the hotel, so I had to carry them. Ugh. (Velcro will be used next time, yes. I have learned my lesson, but hey those were the first armor thingies I’ve ever made!)
Graceface as Inquisitor, me as Merrill, Kevin as Alistair, and Nick as Sebastian from Dragon Age
We met up with our Dragon Age group and had some silly times in the sweltering garage. Hey, at least it was shaded! Then, the parade began a.k.a. the long death march, according to Nick. It was warm and sunny, but not as bad as I had feared. It was cool to walk in a huge group of like-costumed folks and hear people in the crowd cheer and snap photos. It was a very interesting experience. My only regret is having to carry the platypi the whole time, ha.
I found this photo somewhere, but I don’t remember. So, photo credit to SOMEONE.
After the parade came WATER and a group photoshoot. Good times. (Thanks to all the awesome people in the Dragon Age @ Dragon Con group for doing all the heavy lifting and organizing! It was my first year doing it all and it was fun times!) Nick, Grace, and I headed out after that because we were in desperate need of sitting and more water and air conditioning.
Nick and I soon headed off to be celebrity hos, as we do. We met Ron Glass from Firefly/Agents of SHIELD! He was silly and nice and shook our hands. And Nick now has 8/9 cast member signatures on his Firefly poster. Soon, Gina Torres, soon… (I just like to piggyback off of all of his Firefly meetings. Mwahahaha.)
After some lunch and a short nap in Cosplay4UsAll‘s hotel room (in which Nick pinched my nose to wake me up, the big jerkface), we went back to the Walk of Fame so I could meet Michael Hogan aka Saul Tigh/Captain Bailey, partly for me and partly for my bff Lauren. He signed my autograph to both me and Lauren and I got a photo with him, weeee! We then asked if he would say a line from BSG and without asking, he said, “IT’S IN THE FRAKKIN’ SHIP!” So, that was epic.
Yay Michael Hogan!
Nick and I then found Grace and Brad and went adventuring! We attempted to go to the cosplay chill spot (my official name for it), but it was closed (after we spent an hour just trying to get up there…) and instead hung out on the 9th floor for a while, observing the masses.
View from the 9th Floor
As we waited for an elevator to go back down, an older guy was also waiting and complaining about the wait. There was something familiar about him and after having a mental conversation with Nick, he asked, “Are you John Ratzenberger?” And, yes, of course, it was! So, we chatted to him about how he wanted to get some dinner and didn’t know what city he was in. (“This is Atlanta, right?”) And then rode with him in the elevator. Totally random!
…And then I was swept away into a Deadpool conga line, never to be seen again.
Evening came, as did the usual Pulse Loft hangouts and drink acquisitions. I got a rum bucket, which was extremely tasty. But our ill-timed lunch and exhaustion proved to be too much for me and I was not feeling all that great for the majority of the night. Thankfully, we found an air conditioned spot in the Loft, which made things a bit more bearable. But I think I just got overwhelmed by the amount of people and my tiredness and my feet soreness and holy moly, it was intense. But I still really enjoyed spending the evening with Nick, Grace, Brad, Cosplay4UsAll, random new and old friends, and the Asari ladies.
Me, Grace, and Nick at Pulse Loft!
I finally got a sort of normal amount of sleep (normal for a con, anyway), so I was feeling MUCH better. Since it was Agents of SHIELD cosplay day, I put on my Skye costume and joined Nick as Fitz and Missy as Simmons.
Skye and FitzSimmons from Agents of SHIELD!
We went to the Agents of W.H.E.D.O.N. panel, which featured J. August Richards, Amy Acker, and Ron Glass. It was lovely and full of great little Angel and Firefly tidbits, as well as some fun AoS stories.
Look! A blurry photo of a panel! Ron Glass, Amy Acker, J. August Richards.
Missy, Nick, and I then spent the rest of the day confiscating things with our badges from people and various Marvel characters. We went out to dinner with Cosplay4UsAll, Kevin, Dawn, Dale, and Brad and had some yummy food and drinks. I was feeling pretty silly thanks to said drinks and was ready and rarin’ for a Pulse Loft night. Unfortunately, some people were throwing glass, bottles, and powder down from the upper floors of the Marriott, so they closed the Loft down just as we arrived.
Dangit, now we gotta TAHITI Coulson again!
But no matter! The Agents of SHIELD shenanigans continued. We acquired a Coulson and ran around the con harassing Thors, Lokis, other SHIELD agents. It was glorious and hilarious. And definitely the most fun day of the con for me. Being well rested sure makes a difference, huh?
It was time to leave Atlanta. But not until Jess, Nick, and I had some car troubles! But the Aloft maintenance guy helped us (twice), so we owe him much gratitude! After finding as many of our lovely friends as we could and squeezing them (we triple squeezed Grace, of course), we hit the road.
We spent the night in Indiana at Cosplay4UsAll’s cat menagerie. Pizza and laughs were had. It was a nice, relaxing end to the convention insanity before we went home on Tuesday.
Phew! I’m sure I forgot some things, but SO much happened that it would likely bore you to read more. I hope you enjoyed the recap. Even though I was totally exhausted and my feet felt like they were going to fall off, I can’t WAIT to go back next year. I will be better prepared and am already planning some cooler costumes to wear for evening party times at Pulse Loft!
See ya’ll next year at Dragon Con, old friends and new friends!