August 7th, 2011
I woke up this morning around 5:45 am, after around 5+ hours of sleep. I didn't feel all that bad this morning, and was looking forward to breakfast at Le Peep with danicia and any others who might show up. When spross woke up because of the noise of the air conditioner, I went into the shower and then took care of the morning ablutions while he did some more packing up, and then I did my final packing (I thought), minus the toiletries, while he showered. We went downstairs to the Omni lobby to pay the hotel bill, since I wanted to take care of this before it became busier later on, and I tried to use my credit card again but it wouldn't accept it yet again, so spross made the final payment of the bill. Thus we were checked out, per sé, but didn't have to vacate the room until 3:00 pm. We also made the arrangements for the cab limo/town car to the airport for around 4:30 pm. We then went back upstairs to drop off some of the stuff we had taken down with us and the paperwork, and then caught a cab to Le Peep; while the restaurant was only 4 to 6 blocks away from the Omni, it was impossible for me to walk the distance with my back in the shape I was in, as I was hurting pretty badly in my back and hip, and didn't want to tempt fate walking. Besides, I still wanted to go to the Exhibit Hall to say goodbye to friends old and new alike, so...
spross and I got to Le Peep around 8:45 am or so, and went inside and got a large table so as to accommodate us an any others that danicia brought with her or that I had invited. The restaurant was quite nice, with tastefully decorated, spacious room for dining, and while empty before we ate, filled up very fast as the morning went on. By 9:30 am, danicia hadn't arrived and nobody else that I invited showed up, so spross and I decided to eat breakfast as we were both starved by then. (I later learned that danicia had missed brekkie as she had slept in and forgotten to set up a wake-up call. Her loss.) The menu at Le Peep was...stunning, to say the least. While their signature dishes are their omelettes, I had been eating them for breakfast most of the week, and wanted a treat this day. So I had their fabulous pancakes with sugar-free syrup and a bit of fruit, plus coffee. Fabulous food, and very enjoyable. Definitely have to eat at Le Peep again if I ever do the GenCon thing again.
spross and I taxied back to the Omni Severin, and after finishing the morning ablutions off, we finished packing and spent a few minutes just relaxing a bit, and letting the food from Le Peep digest. We then headed off for the Exhibit Hall to say goodbye to folks and check out the place one more time, and started off in McClellan Hall in the Omni in the hopes of seeing some of the Cubicle 7 folks and gaming crew. I saw Boomer and James Holman in the room, and was able to say farewell to them both and thank James again for his help with the stuff with the games the day before. From there, spross and I headed for the Exhibit Hall proper, and found the halls of the convention centre were very busiy for the Sunday morning. I got detoured by a trip to the washroom, where I had to wait for a stall for a good ten minutes (anxiously, I might add), and by the time I got out of there there was no sign of spross :(, so I made my own way to the Exhibit Hall proper.
I started off wandering around the far east end of the Hall, and looked around at a few dealers there. I found another pair of t-shirts that I liked and bought them (bringing my t-shirt haul to 7), and then went by the Triple Ace Games booth, and said goodbye to Wiggy and Robin Elliott. I caved in and bought another copy of the All For One: Régime Diabolique rulebook, and got both Robin and Wiggy to sign it for me. I then went over to the Atomic Overmind Press booth, and was able to say my goodbyes to Nicole Vega. Unfortunately, Jason Soles wasn't there. I took a quick stop over at the Entrepreneur's Avenue, and saw some good stuff. Transneptune Games was selling Becoming Heroes by Austin Bookheimer and John LeBoeuf-Little, a game about epic heroes, that looked really good, but I was done buying stuff (and was hoping that a certain other game would be for sale elsewhere!). Over at the IPR booth, they had copies of Kingdom of Nothing by Jeff Himmelman, a game about homeless people who have lost their memories. Looked interesting, and while checking it out, decided it would be a future purchase down the road.
I made my way back to the area where the Exile Games was, and said goodbye to lena_of_fargo, Nestor, Shawn, Sechin, and Jeff, but when I got to the Cubicle 7 booth, I found that I had missed Dom, Sarah, corone, and some of the other C7 folks. Nuts! :( I had really wanted to be able to say goodbye to them before we left, as I owed them all big-time for the week, but such was not to be. I wandered over to say my goodbyes to Gareth-Michael and Laura Skarka, but the latter wasn't around either. I asked GMS whether Dom had managed to put away a copy for me of Airship Pirates. He didn't know, so called Laura on his mobile, and I heard him finish off the conversation with Laura in such a way that I was convinced there was no copy of the book for me there. Imagine my surprise when GMS reached under the table counter and pulled out a copy of the hardcover of Airship Pirates book for me! Woot! spross, who thought that it wouldn't be there for me, had a look on his face that was priceless; he was quite annoyed that I'd got a copy of it, since *he* had wanted one. I snagged the copy of the book in my hands, and also bought Ruined Empires, the first adventure for the game as well. I just want to thank Dom of C7 for putting away the copy of Airship Pirates for me, as I know how many of them they had at the convention. Really grateful for this!
After saying our final farewells, spross and I headed back to the Omni, as I needed to finish packing for the trip home, as I had these new rpg books and t-shirts to add to the suitcase and carry-on luggage. On our way back to the room, we stopped off at McClellan Hall once more to see if any of our C7 friends were around, but none were. I got into a bit of a conversation with a nice lady there, and managed to get spross to take a photo of the room (it's above, and you can see me against the wall talking with the nice woman), as I had spent a good deal of time in this room, and then she agreed to take a photo of spross and me (which you can see below).
After returning to the hotel room, I made sure that everything was well and truly packed, as I had to readjust the way that some of the stuff was packed to accommodate the hardcover books and stuff. By the time spross and I were finished our respective packing, it was time for some lunch. We got down to the Omni lobby too late for the 40 West Coffee Café, which had closed at 2:00, so we settled on a meal in the Omni dining room again. I had a turkey sandwich on crustini with a side of vegetables and some water. The meal was all right, but I'd eaten a better version of that same meal with soup at the 40 West two days before. It was well after 3:00 pm by this time, so we went back up to the room, re-checked the packing and made sure that we'd left nothing behind in the hotel room's nooks and crannies. We called down for a porter to take the suitcases and carry-on luggage to the lobby. I could barely lift my own suitcase onto the trolley, due to the sheer pain in my hip and leg, so the porter was a blessing. We sat in the lobby of the Omni Severin for about half an hour, during which I was able to recover my strength somewhat.
Around 4:35, the town car cab arrived to take us to the Indianapolis airport. The trip to the airport was uneventful, and made for a very pleasant, nicely cushioned ride. Once at the airport, we didn't have to check in at the indoor Delta Airlines counter, which had a very long queue, but were checked in and the luggage weighed at the outdoor check-in. Everything was pretty much a breeze, and spross and I made our way to the gate for the Indy-Detroit flight. I had a bit of a problem at the security checkpoint, when the Desolation Style Chips that I'd gotten from Jamie triggered the sensor because of their density, as did the eggtimer that I had received from lena_of_fargo, but I was gratified to see that several other passengers who'd obviously been at GenCon were getting the same deal as I was, over poker chips and Style Chips. *sigh* I was a bit mortified when I had to take my pants' belt off at the checkpoint and needed spross's help to put it back on, as the pain in the hip prevented me from turning to feed the belt though the loops of the pants. Once through the checkpoint, we relaxed in the airport and then around 6:00 pm or so, went to the Harry & Izzy's restaurant that was nearby, and had an evening meal; I had a meal consisting of some chicken noodle soup and a turkey sandwich on crustini (a basic repeat of lunch, except that this time the pickle was actually crunchy!). Good, light fare before the flight to Detroit.
The plane trip to Detroit was quite good and comfortable, a 120-passenger plane with plenty of leg room and room to store the larger carry-on case above the seat. The flight was marred by the fact that the fellow sitting across from me and ahead of me actually put his carry-on stuff (two of them!) in the rack above our seats, and spross had to stow my carry-on some ten rows behind us and then had to retrieve it when we reached Detroit. We had about an hour and a half before the flight from Detroit to Ottawa, so after finding our gate and settling in, we were both feeling a bit peckish. There was an Einstein Bros. Bagels concession near the gate we were at, so after checking out what they had, spross braved the line there and got us a couple of sesame seed bagels with cream cheese. Absolutely delicious! I swallowed a couple of painkillers with the bagel, and got ready for the flight to Ottawa. The plane was somewhat late, but it made up for that on the flight. It was a very small plane, like we had flown on for both legs of the trip to Indy, so spross was very discomfited, and I felt crammed into the seat with my legs pushed up a bit.
Fortunately, we arrived in Ottawa around 11:42 pm, a few minutes earlier than expected, and were home (well, at least in the Ottawa airport). There was a bit of a snafu at Canadian Customs due to a misunderstanding about something on the declaration form, but nothing that took too long. spross and I gathered up our luggage, but he found that the concealable handle for his suitcase had snapped somehow during this leg of the trip, and was forced to lug the suitcase until we could get a couple of trolleys for ourselves. When we emerged into the main concourse, spross's mom was there waiting for us, and she took us out of the terminal to where his father had come to pick us up in the Cadillac that he had recently purchased. Nice car, but I was too tired to care, although grateful of the ride home.
When they took me to my place, I found that my mother was waiting at the house, though it was well after midnight. I thanked spross's mom and dad, gave his mom the Indianapolis mug that I had bought for her, and then they left. By the time my mother left and I managed to crawl between the sheets of my bed without unpacking anything, it was around 1:20 am. And that, as they say, is that!
There you have it, another relatively long entry, though I hope you all enjoyed it. The Sunday of GenCon 2011 was a pretty busy, long day between the convention and the trip back to Ottawa, but it didn't hit me until some time after 8:00, by which time we were readying for the final leg home from Detroit to Ottawa. Not even going to talk about the back and hip and leg pain at that point.
In any event, I'll be writing just one more post about this year's GenCon, a retrospective of sorts, some thoughts on the convention, and a pair of photos of my loot from the convention. As always, thoughts and comments are much appreciated.