The Adepticon post is here! And shall return to you shortly after this brief newsflash.
1 week. 0 Smokes. AND no body count.
Amazed? Me too.
Back to business!
Well. I won’t be forgetting that one any time soon. However this tale starts simply, as many of its kin-tales do. With a very bland and unexciting drive to the airport, thankfully at 8am not 4am this time. We arrived at 10, got through the pain in the ass that is security, as I ran over and over my list in my head; ”Passports? Yes. ESTA? Yes. Insurance? Yes. Aaron? Yes.” etc.
And off we hoped to London. Where, much to our disappointment we couldn’t find a Burger King, regardless of it being 10am. So we opted for sandwiches. I then spent a tenner on drinks and suckable sweets out of fear of the nightmare to come. I have never been to America. In fact the longest plane journey I have been on was three hours. This one? This one was three times that and change. Without a smoke. The fear.
However it wasn’t as horrid as I thought it would be. The food was decent, I was much-too-excited-to-be-consider-sane about the little pillow and blanket packet you get, and the headphones and the radio do-da on your arm-rest. It was like being in a sweet shop. But you know, I was having fun. I was still having fun as I watched a movie I cannot recall the name of, that made me sob like a baby and look utterly stupid to everyone else on the plan who couldn’t see my screen or hear my headphone or know that it was a tragically sad moment, because they were watching Fantastic Mister Fox. Like Aaron. I was STILL having fun with my surprisingly yummy sections and pre-packed dinner. Each little thing in it’s own little wrapper. OCD heaven. Butter got a bit runny and sticky though, that wasn’t as fun. Then I tried to have a little snooze. This however, despite blanket and pillow was a lot harder than I thought, and passed very little time. This is about when it got less fun. My lips got dry and I got really thirsty and my three bottle supply was running low. So I watched Fantastic Mister Fox to cheer me up, and honestly? It was good, but I don’t see what all the raving was about.
None the less, over NINE FRIGGING HOURS later, we landed in America-Land. Then came Immigration. Which was. Fun. This guy looks like humor and the resulting smile might break his face and make him shatter into a million pieces. tried to be friendly, as I do, and the glare. Well. I shut up and did what he said and ran away, feeling like a criminal. I do find it amusing however that the American police now have a copy of my fingerprints, but the Local ones don’t and I have lived here all my life. Suckers.
Then we got a taxi, which was stupidly expensive as it was ”After hours” or off-peak or something. I was about to turn around ”Dude, its 7pm here? What? Fare and a half is for like…1am and later.” Not in the states. Then came the real fun, after that long-ass flight, no smokes for over 10 hours. Being up since 7am and your body telling you its pushing 1am while your watch tells you 8pm, we arrived at the hotel to no room. Which result in a crazy dig through my bag for ”That piece of paper with emergency numbers on it” which of course, was at the bottom. Panicked texts and called to all sorts, but thankfully the wonderful Nick Kyme got hold of the wonderful Vince and they made everything better again. By 8.30pm America time, Aaron was unconscious in bed and I was watching T.V in a bid to try and fix my body-clock.
Dudes. You have a lot of adverts. Like…every three seconds. And they are…bizarre.
No one has answered this for me yet, but why do they cut to adverts right before the last line of a show, do the adverts them cut back just to roll credits. WHY?! I SAT AND WATCHED 3 MINUTES OF ADVERTS JUST TO GET THE CREDITS?!
I felt cheated. I went to bed. This is where it gets good however. The next day started good and got better. How is a morning -ever- good you ask? Very simple. When it begins with chocolate and blueberry pancakes, delivered right to your bed. That’s how. We wandered down stairs and found Hank, overlord of Adepticon, and he gave us the tour, and free t-shirts (Thanks Hank!), and most importantly, directions to the ”Mall”. A ”Mall”. Not a shopping Center. Not ”The shops”. A ”Mall”. I think I have made my point.
So spent the morning wandering around this huge shopping center, only to return and find out we went to the tiny one. Guys that place was as big as a village. Kilskeery, the hamlet we reside in, would fit inside it. We then found Vince. I was also under the impression Vince would be this slick biker guy, I do not know why that is the impression we got. But none the less we met Vince and he was not a biker, in fact Vince was utterly lovely, and treated us far too well for the entire lenght of our stay, starting with an amazing dinner on the Thursday night. Full of stories, advice, insights and wisdom. He was great. Aaron bailed after dinner to do some writing. I swallowed my eye-roll and went to help Vince set up the book stall, I like to earn my keep see. Us hardworking Irish folk.
I later returned to the room to find Aaron, paper and pen sprawled in disarray across the bed sleeping like a rock. Good job too as we started at 9 the next morning. Fueled heavily by coffee. This is the bit that is hard to explain or re-tell in any way that does it justice. So I’ll be brief, Aaron signed book, colored in cover pages and dark his weight in coffee. I too drank far too much caffeine and helped Vince sell books, while we talked and mingled with the folks at the stall. We did get to meet Commissar Ploss, AKA David. Who is a giant. I mean, Aaron, who is 6ft thought he was tall. I felt like a midget, at 5ft3. David however is lovely. Him and Aaron spend a good deal of the day in tears with laughter, while me and Vince looked on like disapproving parents. It was great.
Then that night 40k radio invited us out to dinner with their bunch, at this awesome place called Rock Bottom. Which did black Nacho’s. Excellent food, music and company, couldn’t as for more. I spent a good deal of time getting broody as Nathan retold tales of his beautiful twins and oggling over pictures. After which we all returned to their hotel room. I don’t know how many of you listen to 40k radio but I quote:
”Dude that tiny little red-head drank you under the table!”
”Yeah but’s she’s Irish!”
Love and cuddles to Spencer and Chiply, I’m still constantly surprised anyone remembers my name let alone anything else so when I heard that, well, the squeal brought Aaron running into the room, fear on his face. But no, much beer was drank and in my cake, vodka. At this stage I want to point out that the main thought I brought him from America was: ”I knew there was a reason I don’t drink Vodka anymore.”
I usually drink Magners, Strongbow, etc. Cider. Now I can drink as much of that as I like and be 100% fine. However. In America-land, they don’t have alcoholic cider, you have to ask for ‘Hard-Cider’, two reason’s this didn’t work, Cider is the same strength as beer, I would have feel like a FOOL asking for -hard- cider. Secondly, when I did work up the guts, they didn’t have it. So. With my very limited tastes and no in the mood for wine. I resorted to Vodka, which was fine on Friday night. I was up at 9am on Saturday and ready to go! Aaron however was not. And in such, though some odd mishap I still don’t quite understand, in his napping absence the Gamer’s Lounge Podcast guys shocked me, by one, knowing who I was, secondly, by reading this, and thirdly by actually having looked at my photography. Words would not come, and in such times they roped me into doing a podcast in Aarons absence. I jest. Bill and Jay were lovely, terrified as I was, they were really very, very cool, and I was so flattered and chuffed the wanted to talk to me. It was these dudes that took us out to Hooters that night, and got wings. After buying Peeps in Target earlier that day, by the time we got to Hooters I felt like I had ‘Done America.’
Which says only one thing about me. Too many sitcoms.
It was great fun, it was also great fun watching Erin hammer Jay as he taught her to play and I picked up a fair bit of it myself. Oh! I missed something. Saturday morning. I wandered around to see Nathan play Blood Bowl. This was mostly due to him havnig showed me his army the night before and I wanted to see how his Orc boyz with their Ash and Pikachu markers would fare. Hey guess what?
It was really fun!
So a big thank you to both Nathan and his opponent for letting me tag along, I am determined I can at least get a blood bowl army on the go before next time we meet. Because, frankly, I want to kick orc-boy-butt at football too.
After ooters, we bailed back to our room with a few of these wonderful gents. Now. I had said to myself I’d just have half the bottle. but somewhere between opening it and getting to halfway, reasonable thought went out the window and I damn near topped the whole bottle off. So, needless to say, and to help save Spencer’s Reputation a little bit, it was me who spend a good deal of Sunday in bed. Not 15 hours, but, it wasn’t pretty. So there you go, even the best of us fall.
Thankfully, this disappeared before Monday. Because really? I didn’t fancy eight hours in a air less box while hungover. We got into the taxi at the Hotel at noon on Monday, American time. We arrived home at noon on Tuesday, our time. We also arrived home to 5 inched of snow.
What the fuck? We leave for a week and you break the weather?
Regardless of the craziness of foot deep snow in April, it was not a high priority at the time, what was, was bed. And it was good.
All in all, it was a totally amazing weekend, and it kept us ladies at work entertained over coffee for days. I had an fantastic time. Everyone was amazingly friendly and welcoming. Thank you all so much for having us it was truly an honor to meet you all.However;
”Honey, stop scaring the Americans.”
I might never live this down.