Got up, packed, and out pretty much on time. Some very low intellect very religious people were on the shuttle. Airport was a breeze, as usual - I love that self check-in thing, saves LOTS of time. First flight done with, had a longer layover than I thought. Luckily, there was a pub next to my gate, so I had a bit of lunch and a couple beers. Inadequate, but necessary. $20. Ugh. Landed in Cincy, and realized that I forgot to write down which hotel it was in. I headed down to transportation, and stared at the big board 'o hotels there. Saw one that looked familiar, so I called them to verify that they were the correct hotel - they were, and get the shuttle on the way.
Took the shuttle, the driver was friendly and opinionated, if not too bright. Walked into the hotel, and saw no one... Waited around a bit, finally saw a few familiar faces.... Finally hooked up with Hayama so I could store my luggage, since Goofy wasn't visible. Ran into Beltsama, who informed us of the change in plans - I was in their room instead. Dropped my bag there, and went to find Goofy. Wandered around, helped some Dealers get situated, watched the delivery of the DDR machine, etc... Borrowed Goofy's TransMets to catch up on the story.
Finally, we got to dinner late - decided to stick to the hotel, since we were there. Dinner was fun, but the service and food was awful and completely overpriced - another $22 or so. The tea had lemon already in it, which I dislike greatly. The prime rib special was mostly fat. Our drinks got refilled once. People kept wandering in and out, so it was fun to have everyone there, even if only briefly... More arranging things and such, helped set up the DDR machine, played a bit.. Chatted with people, and ended up talking to Fio for quite awhile - sharing experiences in Japan, with mobile phones, and such... Fio kept saying they needed to get to bed... for a few hours, in fact... Also spoke with the fanboy security guard, which was amusing.
Hot tub with Goofy, Scudder, Fio, Gavv, and a few others was great. Switched to pool, and sauna, then back to hot tub... Fun times. We finally called it about 4am, I think.
Friday, October 18
Slept in. There was just no way I was gonna be up and such early, even if Beltsama was up at like 6:30... and kept coming in and out making noise for a couple hours, making it hard to sleep. Got up and showered and out by 10-something. Got my Staff badge. Wandered. Hit con suite for food. Saw JF and JC and that whole crew.... Spent quite a bit of time in ConOps, idling, chatting, and helping out. Did the Beginner's DDR thing.
Eventually realized it was dinnertime - I really wanted to get out to the Chinese place Oz and I had gone last year... Scudder was all for that, and wanted Capt Dave and S to join in.. However, neither of us had a car. I finally found JF and arranged to go with them... Scudder backed out. So JF, JC, J, and I went out. JF thought they knew how to get to Meijer, but we spent 45 minutes driving around before finding it. Saw the Chinese place I wanted to go to, but was vetoed. Went to some buffet that had Chinese, American, Salad, Sushi, and Mongolian. Strange mix, it was okay.. very cheap, though. Then on to Meijer to get squishy bears. Headed back to the con.
Wandered a bit, got into Hell for a bit, but wasn't into it... Went to ConOps to hang for a bit, then closed the DDR room for Staff only, and played for the next 5 or so hours. Was exhausted by the time I closed the room down and left. Showered, crashed. 4am or so.
Saturday, October 19
Slept in. This time, Beltsama was out early and didn't come back. Took my time showering and getting ready, then headed out to Con Suite for food. Had some doughnuts, vegged in ConOps. Alternately wandered and got food from Con Suite and hung out in ConOps most of the day. Ran the DDR tournament.
Relaxed and chatted and such 'til late, took a catnap in ConOps. Fio ordered pizza for ConOps, which I don't eat. Scudder scored some beer. Goofy and Miki ran out with Capt Dave and S to get married. When they got back, Capt Dave got the champagne out. I had a sip to toast, then went to Con Suite for what I called a "Mimosa Conversion Kit." Had some really really bad beer that Capt Dave brought - I was slightly queasy the whole night after that.
Went and kicked everyone out of the DDR room, and played staff only for 5 or so hours. Then, the fanboy security guard opened the hot tub area for staff only, so closed the room down and went for that about 3:30. Fio, L, Scudder, J, N, Goofy, MH, and the security head were there - good time. I left there around 4:45 or so to get back and shower, dress, and pack my stuff up.
Sunday, October 20
Headed to the airport, got to the counter and realized a) there wasn't a self check-in. b) no one was working c) there was already a line of people sleeping and such. Tried to stay awake, finally gave in and slept a bit on the floor. Finally, they opened, and I got my boarding pass. Went to the cafe and got a $2 bagel... Went thru security and they made me put my bagel through the scanner >_< and then they didn't know what my cig case or digicam were, so they did a manual inspection. Sat down at the gate and slept a bit. Called Ankh to chat briefly. Tried to stay awake.
Finally boarded the plane, got into my seat, and.... Woke up as we landed. I had been completely out the entire flight. Got to the gate in Chitown, and of course I had to walk 999 miles to get to my other flight... stopped in the bathroom and admired the condom-like automatic seat cover.. stood staring at the monitors in front of the gate until I could board. got to my seat, and waited for the inevitable people to have to go past me... once both were in, I crashed.
Slept off and on throughout the flight, landed at home, got on the crowded bus with my luggage on my lap to get to my car, and managed to drive home without falling asleep. Got home, did a few things, then passed out.