John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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GenCon 2015, Day -2 Report

As promised, here is the first of my GenCon 2015 reports. I don't know how long these will be, but I plan to write one for each day based on the (lack of) notes that I took about the convention and all, so these are likely not to be long posts. Additionally, there will be one or two retrospective posts with my thoughts about the convention overall. So enjoy.

July 28th, 2015

I woke up this morning just after 5 am, the alarm going off and scaring the bejeesus out of me. I felt groggy and tired after a somewhat sleepless and worry filled night, and my head was just spinning with stuff - notably concerns over what I was going to eat in Indy, how I was going to keep the insulin intact, and other stuff that...well, never let it be said that my mind is dull or that I'm not prone to some stress about these things.

spross and his mother showed up very early after they overestimated the travel time coming in to Ottawa and the time we'd need to get to the airport. I managed to shave, shower, and get dressed before heading upstairs for breakfast. I decided to re-organise a couple of the things in the packing, and prepared to depart the house for the airport after a few more trials and tribulations.

The trip to the airport was pretty uneventful, and while it looked like it might rain a bit, there was no precipitation. Checking in for the Air Canada first leg of the trip to Toronto was a breeze, and everything went smoothly. I had to pay the luggage fee on the check-in bag of $25, but my suitcase weighed in at 11.3 kilos (25 lbs.), and the carry-on overnight bag and the carry-on hand luggage weighed in at around 6.4 kilos (14 lbs.) each. This was good, as it will allow me to bring back a few books and other gaming goodies from GenCon Indy. spross and I learned from the ticket agent that U.S. Customs would be handled through an automated system in Toronto. After a quick pit stop, we headed the length of the airport towards the gate for the flight and went through basic Canadian security. I didn't have any problems, other than the security guard on duty making me open the freezer bag with the insulin to check that it was really insulin. Dumb ass.

We boarded the flight to Toronto, and things went relatively smoothly. It was an Airbus C319 or some such (spross can tell you more about it than I can), so a decent-sized plane, and there were a few gamers on the flight. I actually chatted with several of them in the gate lounge waiting for the flight. In Toronto, we headed for the gate where the flight to Indianapolis was scheduled to depart from. I realised that I was going to have problems with the carry-on luggage; the carry-on bag with the meds and insulin was larger width-wise than the overnight carry-on bag, and kept trying to fall off it to the front. This was to plague me every plane trip we made.

We passed through U.S. Customs with no problems or hassles at all, and there was no difficulty with the insulin (see above). We saw from one of the departure boards that the flight to Indy was delayed by almost thirty-five minutes, and then when we arrived at the gate area, the flight was delayed again by another twenty minutes. Since the flight was late, and it was around 1:30 pm by this time, spross and I decided to have some lunch before the flight. We went over to grab some food at the Great Canadian Bagel concession, and I had a lovely California turkey bagel with cream cheese. It was pretty good, and raised the blood sugar a bit (which was a tad low), though I didn't have enough water/liquid during the day.

Suffice to say, the trip from Toronto to Indianapolis was a nightmare for me. It was a 60-seat plane that couldn't accommodate the overnight luggage bags (that had to go into cargo, instead of the overhead bins), and I got crammed into the rearmost seat by the window with the toilet right behind me and the jet engines seemingly right underneath me. I felt enclosed, and had a claustrophobic meltdown from the warmth, tightness, crammed space, the noise and vibrations of the engines going through my back, and this rendered me pretty brain-dead and out of it for the majority of the flight. I did manage to take a photo of myself during this period, though I don't remember doing so.

Crammed into the seat at the rear of the plane

I don't remember much of the flight. Judging from the folks waiting to catch the plane to Indy at the Toronto airport, there were a lot of GenCon gamers on board. I did manage to chat with some of them at the gate lounge before the flight, but can't remember much of what was said. There was a lot of turbulence during the landing in Indianapolis (due to the thermals from what was a very hot day), and the landing was quite rough and bumpy. At one point, the plane dropped 30 feet and spross joked/commented that it was a good thing we'd eaten some two hours earlier.

After arriving in Indianapolis airport, we went in search of our baggage, and I had forgotten that we had to walk the length of the Indy airport, through the Food Court, to go to the baggage claim area. After that, it was a terrible walk to find the rental car area of the airport. At the Hertz desk, spross rented the car, a Honda Accord, with GPS capability, though it cost an extra $16 per day. (This proved to be a good idea and investment, as it made the driving each day much easier.) The car was supposed to be a Ford Focus, but to get the GPS we had to take the Accord. The walk to get to the car was an endurance test for me, given that I was dehydrated, my sugar was low, and my legs were killing me by this time. The drive to the Indianapolis Marriott North hotel was quite restful and relaxing, and I started to get back to my normal self, and the area near the hotel is very nice and quite picturesque. There were lots of stores and restaurants in the area, and I realised I could be quite happy just staying around the hotel, wandering around, and seeing the sights here...but that's not why we came to Indy.

Checking in at the hotel was a piece of cake, though they had not put the fridge in the room as yet, though we'd arrived around 5:00 pm. I was worried about the insulin. We took the luggage up to the room, and did a bit of unpacking and while doing so, the fridge was brought in, but it would still be several hours before it was cold enough. Placed an order for extra sets of towels for each day, and then discovered that the pillows on the bed were feather/down, so I went down to lobby and talked to the concierge about this, and then we headed out. spross and I went over to the local Marsh, and did some grocery and hygiene products shopping, and I actually managed to find some Gold Bond Diabetic lotion. Yay!

We returned to the hotel with the groceries and other stuff to find that the fridge wasn't really cold yet, and I got really worried about the insulin, so turned the temperature in the fridge down. Unloaded the groceries and stowed the hygiene stuff away. I found that the staff had not changed the pillows from feathers/down to foam, and also discovered that the comforter on the bed was also feathers/down! So I had to call down and get that changed right away. We ran out of towels after taking sitz baths, as the hotel housekeepers had not restocked the towels that I had asked for, and since we were heading downstairs for supper, talked to the concierge about that as well.

We headed for the main restaurant of the Indianapolis Marriott North, Bistro 33, and had a really good, though late, dinner of steak, mashed potatoes, side salad, and brussel sprouts (which were a bit undercooked for my taste). I had lots of water with the meal, something I worried that I might regret later. It was, as mentioned, a late supper, and I was still feeling ill from not having had enough liquids and food during the day.

By the time we got back up to the room, it was quite late, so I did my blood test before the insulin injection, took my injection, and then had some Cheerios and milk with a bit of a green apple. It had been a long, trying day in many ways, and both spross were exhausted, so we called it a day and crashed for the night. My main aim for the night was to get a good, restful night's sleep.

And there you have it folks, the first day of the Indy and GenCon trip for 2015. Somewhat long, yes, I know, but I trust it was enjoyable reading. The next entry will deal with GenCon Day -1, the 29th of July.
Tags: convention, gaming hut, gencon, personal, report, rpg hut

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