John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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GenCon 2017, Day -2 Report

As promised, here is the first of my GenCon 2017 reports. I don't know how long these will be, but I plan to write one for each day based on Twitter posts that I took about the convention and all, enhanced somewhat, so these are likely to be long posts. Additionally, there will be one or two retrospective posts with my thoughts about the convention overall. So enjoy.

August 15th, 2017

I woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am. I say ungodly, because I've retired from work so don't really have to get up this early any longer, but such is life when you're heading for Indianapolis and GenCon 2017. I was a little bit groggy and tired when I woke, though I'd had about five hours of shut-eye. I was also a little bit stressed as, to be honest, I was concerned about all manner of stuff - notably having to take the insulin and all the damnbloody medications down with me to the convention. I did my morning exercises for the shoulder, showered and shaved, and continued with the packing for the trip, since all I really had left to pack were the meds and some of the toiletries. My shoulder started to bother me a lot during that process.

spross and his mother arrived around 7:30 am as we had to be at the airport for 8:00 am, and putting all the stuff in the car and everything went pretty smoothly. My mother came with us to the airport to see me off, and I could see she was worried about stuff, but didn't have the chance to pursue the matter with her. The drive to the airport was uneventful, and we talked about various things. I had this funny feeling as we were driving to the airport that I'd forgotten something, but couldn't figure out or remember what it was. Check-in at the airport was relatively easy, though we had to handle it at the actual Air Canada desk, as for some reason the automated system wouldn't accept SteveR's name when he tried to check-in. I think it had something to do with him buying the tickets, so his ticket stuff had to be handled first. I was pleased to learn that my check-in suitcase was well under the limit for the weight allowance. Yay! :) Once we were checked in for the flight, we learned that we'd go through U.S. security and customs in Toronto, but wouldn't have to deal with the check-in luggage. That was fine, since it meant less carrying stuff and my shoulder was hurting quite a bit. Naturally, when we went through Canadian Security, they had to check that my insulin was actually what I claimed it to be, so opened the freezer bag to check the gel packs of ice and the insulin itself. *sigh*

Once we got near the gate where the plane was going to take off from, we went in search of somewhere to eat breakfast. We settled on the Byward Taps restaurant for the meal, and that's when I discovered what I'd forgotten - my little pill container with the morning's medications! Damn it! I ordered breakfast, my usual consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast with some coffee. The meal was, to put it mildly, pretty disgusting. I've never seen bacon dripping with so much fat, and the eggs were scrambled without any salt or pepper and were...they just didn't taste right. Hmm.

Sitting in Byward Taps waiting for breakfast

Back to the gate we went, and the boarding for the flight to Toronto went pretty smoothly. The flight was less than an hour, and was quite smooth as well, with a bit of turbulence along the way, but nothing unusual. In Toronto itself, we didn't have a lot of time to get to the gate and do lunch, as we had to go through U.S. Security and Customs. That was not a pleasant experience, to be honest, as we had to wait in the Customs Clearance line for some 75 minutes, and I actually thought we weren't going to make the flight. Naturally, U.S. Security also decided they had to check the insulin out and opened the freezer bag as well. (I was told that I was a randomly selected passenger for search.) Given that both flights had a beverage service on them (biscuits and ginger ale on the Ottawa-Toronto flight, pretzels and coke on the Toronto-Indianapolis flight) and I didn't eat any food during the 6 or so hours that we had to deal with after breakfast, I was hungry by the time we got to Indy. Little did I know that I would pay the price for this in a big way on Wednesday...

We arrived in Indianapolis without incident, and collected our luggage and then hopped in a tax for the drive downtown to the Westin Indianapolis. We checked into the hotel, which was quite nice, without problem and got all the luggage up to the hotel room. The room appeared comfortable, and I was pleased to see there was a built-in fridge. Very nice! The bathroom was a bit strange, as it was a handicap room, so there was a sitting bench and two railings in the shower which couldn't be used as a bathtub. (Wish I had taken a photo of that.)

The hotel room at the Westin

SteveR and I went back down to the lobby, wanting to go to Marsh's to do the shopping we needed, but it turned out that the chain of stores had closed and the nearest grocery was Kroeger's. I was a bit concerned about that, given what I'd heard about Kroeger's but needn't have been. We took a cab to the grocery store, picked up the footstuffs and pharmacy items that we needed for the most part and then cabbed our way back to the hotel. SteveR and I dropped the stuff off at the room, and then he went over to the local CVS to find what we were still lacking (he needed vitamins and I was in need of some Gold Bond Diabetes lotion and a pill container) while I started unpacking and tried to do my shoulder exercises again.

By the time SteveR returned, minus the pill container and the Gold Bond, but having found pretty much everything else, we relaxed for a bit longer. I went back down to the hotel lobby to give him a bit of time on his own, and saw that people were starting to arrive at the hotel for the convention.

Two views of the Westin Indianapolis lobby

SteveR joined me down in the lobby for a bit, and then we went up to Shula's and had a lovely, if expensive, meal. Let's just say they know how to make steak. We went back upstairs to the room for a bit after sitting a bit longer in the lobby, and then we changed into bathing suits and went down in search of the hot tub. The swimming pool, contrary to the advertising, was unheated, but the hot tub was just what my poor shoulder needed. Marvelously relaxing, and the pain went completely away. We returned to the room, and after taking my insulin shot and snarfing down some Cheerios, we crashed for the night. We were both very tired.

I remember thinking that I hoped to see some friends, both those known to me and those still virtual, but I had no firm plans for the day other than getting my badge and registration stuff for the convention. Besides, I don't really know all that many people at GenCon, so... I just wanted to have a good night's sleep and relax before the start of the convention.

Take the convention one day at a time, and just have some fun.

And there you have it folks, the first day of the Indy and GenCon trip for 2017. Somewhat long, yes, I know, but I trust it was enjoyable reading. The next entry will deal with GenCon Day -1, the 16th of August.
Tags: convention, gaming hut, gencon, personal, photos, report, rpg hut

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