We got back last night, a bit later than expected, but nowhere near the horror stories we heard from others (Mildred & Birdie ended up spending the night in RDU--eep!). Kipper was very glad to see us and cried a lot.
It all went by so fast! We arrived a bit late (theme, eh?) on Thursday, but not too late for Susan's lasagne (mmmm). After stuffing ourselves silly, we kicked back and glued our eyes to the enormous new tv screen. Just when we were about comatose, Susan brought out the chocolate mousse pie, and then we were truly catatonic.
Friday we were off to the Hilton. We managed to get adjoining rooms for our group and so we stashed our stuff and headed down to registration. There are always a few technical bugs to work out, but we had tables and boxes of donations awaiting us for the charity auction. With practised ease, that was all soon sorted, but of course throughout the next two days, more and more donations came in -- but there was still only an hour and half for the auction.
Five o'clock we had a rather ragged rehearsal for the play; at six was a lively comics panel featuring Gene. Then at eight was Meet the Guests. When the play finally went on at ten, the audience was rather small, but the cast was enthusiastic and hilarious, so all went well, Yes, we ought to have taped it, but maybe next year. Thanks to the superbly game folks who made it a success: Susan, Ron, Mildred, Birdie, Laura, Van, Lee and, of course (as always) Gene.
Saturday I had a panel on the writer as social crtitic which went rather well. Gene won at Jeopardy! As we packed things up for the auction, Gene had to head off for a panel on the dark side of superheroes, although he returned in time to act as another of our tireless auctioneers (and crack up the audience a lot, not to mention the other auctioneers). I got to be a Vanna and show items to the audience while Susan wrangled people and prizes and Mildred and Birdie kept all the chaos in order. Another successful fundraiser for the Wake County Literacy Council.
We had a late dinner and were tired and fairly punchy when we got back to the rooms. Perhaps that had something to do with the silly pictures we took of poor Ron who foolishly fell asleep first -- and our fits of giggling as we thought up new photo ops. A bit unfair, considering how generous he had been (unknowingly) to us!
Things began to wind down on Sunday. Whatever it was that was floating in the air in the Hilton and making my sinuses react was not getting better (but my sinuses did once we got out of there); unfortunately, my reading was on Sunday -- and Gene and I both had panels to go to. Despite the respiratory issues, the reading went well. I played a kantele (Holda) while Laura read from her new novel, but set it aside while I read. The new story seemed to go over well, so I need to finish it...
Another lunch at the SkyBox bar (full of obnoxious tv screens, but thankfully, not all on high volume), then when everybody was done, headed back to Susan's to relax a little, then go to Mi Barrio (mmmmm) for dinner (with leftovers for most of us). We played with the cats and watched Skeleton Key which Gene and I had seen, then enjoyed our annual tradition, watching The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra -- "Science!"
It was hard to drag ourselves away from the comforts of Susan's home -- we keep threatening not to leave ("we took a poll -- we're not leaving, we're never leaving!"). After all, with cats to play with and leftover lasagne and Mexican food, why would we want to leave?
Time to start the countdown to Trinoc-con 2007...