Tuesday, January 31, 2012

HRM Steampunk Symposium - Part IV - Saturday & Sunday


Let me state for the record, I think it's sacrilegious to have a hotel room without a coffee pot, however, the coffee on the Queen Mary was pretty damn good, so I'll let it slide. Next time I bring an electric tea kettle with me.

I didn't really want the coffee pot for anything but to make hot water, because I brought a long my French Press and some Kona Coffee for consumption in the morning. To say I'm picky about my coffee is a bit of an understatement. ;)

After a really good dinner, a tasty pint of Guinness and a damn good shot of Feckin' Irish Whiskey (something I have now acquired at bottle of), Friday night at The Auld Dubliner we sank into a deep sleep for about 10 hours. The 6:30 am text message was not amusing though.

We rolled out of bed and pulled ourselves together as much as we could sans coffee and began working on some of the unfinished vests that I brought with me. Cindy stitched on buttons while I sewed button holes into the vest. Around 9 am we stopped sewing, got dressed, gathered our things and headed to the vendor room. Once we got everything uncovered and set back up, Cindy went in search of coffee goodness. Just when I was ready to send out a search party for her she returned. See, the problem with being dressed up for an event is that people want to take your photo every 5 feet, not that it's a bad thing but it slows you down a bit, at least the coffee was still hot when she got back. ;)

Most of the day was spent taking to customers, making a few sales and working on those unfinished vests. We were visited by my friend Phineas Sinclair from League of Supremely Evil Revolutionaries and a few of their other members.

We also had a visit from Queen Victoria during her rounds of the vendor area.

6:00 pm came pretty quickly and we headed back to the hotel room to grab the camera and take some photos of ourselves on the ship. Those can be found over in Part I.

We then met up with our friend Trishana for dinner and then sat up giggling until 12:45 am when someone banged on the wall. Whoops!


Sunday found us packing up everything in the hotel room, running our suitcases to the truck and then back to the hotel room to grab the items that we wanted after the event closed down,  dropped those off at the booth and *then* went to grab much needed coffee before the vendor area opened.

The day went by at a fairly good pace and before we knew it 4:00 pm had rolled around and it was time to pack up. We each made our own mad dash to change into more comfortable close and then began breaking things down. In most cases I'm pretty certain on how I want to break things down, pack them up and load them up, but for some reason, my brain decided that it was time to go for a saunter somewhere other than the vendor room and well I stood there trying to figure out where to start. Thankfully Cindy & Noell kicked me in the rear and we got packing.

Of course this lead to utter chaos, especially when I bent down to pick up one of the U-shaped hanging racks for the gridwall, turned around and whacked it squarely into Cindy's knee as she stepped into my path. The exchange ended up something like this:

"Oh my god, Oh my god, Oh my god" ~Cindy
"You ok?" ~me
"Yes, but if I stop to think about it, it's going to hurt like a SOB" ~Cindy

From there we all bust out giggling and then into fits of laughter, then we heard..."I recognize that laugh!" coming from the neighboring booth. Cindy and I suddenly looked like a set of deer in headlights.

"You were in room 128 weren't you?"

"Uh huh"

"You two were so funny! You had us laughing so hard. We had no idea what you were laughing about, but every time you started to giggle and laugh, we busted up laughing. You must have been having a great time!"

Of course all I'm think of at this time is "Oh crap! They were the ones banging on the wall last night. Breath, just breath, where's the closest exit"

"We didn't happen to keep you up did we?" I asked

"What? No! We just thought you two were funny."

Big exhale, "Oh thank god. We though you were the ones that banged on the wall at 12:45 am" said Cindy

"Oh no! We were asleep by then"

Talking about dodging a bullet. Though if you were the ones next to us one the Queen Mary and banged on the wall at 12:45 am because our laughter kept you up, we are so sorry! We didn't realize what time it was.

After I got my scattered brains back together from that exchange we had the pleasure of taking everything down stairs. Now if you heard my tales of load in over here you know the fun we had getting everything upstairs to the vendor room, and by fun I mean "OMGWTF!!! we have to carry our grid wall up how many flights of stairs???" Ya well, we got the enjoyment (/sarcasm) of doing the reverse, in addition we had to compete for the elevator with the cleaning crew of the Queen Mary.

Of course hauling everything down left us with an interesting dilemma. Who was going to watch everything while we packed up? Thankfully our friend Noell stayed afterwards and helped us do just that. She watched everything as Cindy brought it down and I packed the remaining items up and helped some of our neighbors remove zip ties from their grid walls in record time. The trick? A set of wire cutters, cuts through those things in no time.

Of course after the second load was down, Cindy comes back upstairs and informs me that it has started to rain. So we did our final load of tubs and she took it down to Noell and then helped her move everything undercover so it wouldn't get wet and then trekked back upstairs to get the gridwall.

We ended up taking a queue from the guys at Last Wear, we staged three grid wall on either side of us and then Cindy grabbed the front and I grabbed the rear and down the stairs we went. Success! It was much lighter than hauling two or three panels each.

From there I went and grabbed the truck, parked and we made a mad dash to load up in the rain which had abated a bit, but was headed south so we were going to end up driving in what had already passed anyhow.

Loading the truck took about 15-20 minutes and we were off to San Diego! We made it home in about 2 1/2 hours, (that included a stop for food at Jack in the Box) unloaded, Cindy headed home and I went in and got mobbed by my kids who hadn't seen me in 3 days.

I have to say it was a great weekend. I had a lot of fun even though there were some minor issues and things that need to be tweaked for next year, but there is nothing in the world like coming home to your kids and them greeting you with hugs and kisses.

Take care and hope to see you all at the next event!

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