I got out of the house a bit later than planned, at 3:30, and had to make my way through construction at the top of the hill in order to get to the bus stop. Then I had to wait a bit since a bus had passed by as I walked up the hill. It was sunny and warm. I took the Red line to the Silver line, I always forget that the Silver line buses don't have luggage racks, and I ended up near the middle door with my big suitcase. Got stuck in traffic for a bit in the tunnel before Logan, but I got to terminal B just before 5pm for my 6pm flight. There was only one person before me at check in, and I was able to weigh my suitcase before checking it in. It came in at 53lb so I swapped some stuff into my tote-bag and carried my parasol. It was still 50.5lb when I put it on to get tagged but she let me go. I stopped at Dunkin' Donuts to get a bagel to take on the plane, and then grabbed a quick seat before security to unlace my boots and get ready. They were waving me to the millimetre wave scanner, so I opted out and had a nice (and pretty) lady pat me down. She was much gentler than I had it at Heathrow a few years ago, she even asked if anything hurt before patting me down. I grabbed some water and got to my gate at boarding time. All the gate staff were looking at someone, and an older couple talked about someone in line, but I didn't recognise anyone when I looked surreptitiously around. A woman had a small bag with a ball of fur in it, I was hoping that my allergy meds kept working through the direct flight to Vegas. There was no order to the boarding, maybe due to the next gate over not including flight numbers in their boarding announcements. Then they chastised us for taking too long to get seated on the plane. *sigh* Or it could just be that Vegas passengers aren't good at following directions (the long seat belt sign on period was mostly ignored). I read, ate my bagel, had some oj, there was no movie shown at all. I admired the very pretty clouds and light effects as the sun went down, I love these long sunset flight. The tall kid next to me was reading Fellowship of the Ring and didn't encroach on my space at all. The ball of fur wasn't near me, my nose and eyes stayed under control this time.
I was really tired by the time we landed (early), and had a bit of a wait for my suitcase. The shuttle for downtown had just left as I was buying my ticket, and once I got on the next one it stopped at four other hotels first, so it was close to 10pm when I got up to the room Gala had reserved for us. $8.50 for a slow trip was okay, I guess, since I was trying to keep costs down as much as feasible on this vacation. I got a text from Matt (after I posted to FB from the shuttle :) ) that they were at Frankie's Tiki bar (the people at the registration desk at the Four Queens had never heard of it) but others were still at Firefly*. The latter was within walking distance, just up the canopy covered Fremont St, so I decided to head there first. I got there just after the kitchen closed, so no food for hungry me. I got some water and chatted with Jodi, Kat, Jason, Satori, and Barbarella and Dom were also there (from Australia). Once the lounge started closing up around us, Kat gave me a ride to the tiki bar and we caught up with the crowd there - Michelle and Joi, Shannon, Krista and Jeff, Martin and Steph, Trevor, Matt, Carla. Matt, Trevor and Martin were very happy with the rum drinks but I valiantly stuck to water. It was a bit smokey, and I was fried by 1am so I grabbed a cab back with 4 others ($10). Gala was still up so we chatted a bit, I took a quick shower, and then got to bed at around 2am.
Gala and I went up to Kest and Carla's room to change into the swimsuits that we'd brought over with us. We all went back down to the pool and we found Jason, Jodi, Steph, Matt, Krista and Jeff and left our stuff w/them while Kest and I lined up for the waterslide. I was plastered against the wall, trying to find a scrap of shade in the 40C heat as we inched up the stairs. They had a red/green light to meter the rate people could go down the water slide. The slide went through the shark tank in the middle of the pool, but by then I was moving so fast that I didn't see anything. I swam for a bit and gazed into the tank from the shaded side, at one point banging my knee against the ledge underwater when a kid grabbed at my ankle. At first I thought it was Matt and was going to go after him to dunk him back, but soon figured out that it was the water distortion making a teenager look adult sized. It was very hot and dry, my swimsuit practically dried in 5 minutes of sitting on a lounger with the others. We went back to our room at the Queens, after a brief stop at the Nugget Starbucks to get a snack. The clerk was a bit punchy and was trying to guess star signs. Gala and I had some time to chill and then get ready to meet up at 5pm in the lobby of the Nugget to share taxis over to the wedding venue.
I put on the Elvis print dress that I'd made and did make-up and made it over to the Nugget just at 5. There were lots of people there but no Axel or Siobhan. I took a few pictures, everyone looked amazing, though Martin was not in his bridesmaid dress yet. Axel came in, wearing a snazzy white suit with red shirt and pocket kerchief, and soon after got us into cabs to head over to the Graceland wedding chapel. Our first taxi stalled out in the driveway and we had to get back in the taxi queue again. Luckily the second one worked well and we arrived to see people hanging out in front.
There was a bit of a wait since another wedding was finishing up in the chapel. Siobhan and BC arrived, Siobhan looked awesome (shiny mini skirt! bowler hat!). First we milled around the parking lot, with me using my parasol to keep the sun off of me, and Matt running off to buy a cane at the shop next door, and then we moved into the courtyard. M changed and after we snapped pictures, he went in to support Siobhan. Eventually they let us in and we crowded onto the short benches in the chapel. You could just fit three people on each one, if you liked the people with whom you were sitting, so we were fine. Another delay as they couldn't find an Elvis; Barbarella asked if we'd checked the toilets and everyone groaned and laughed. I was squeezed into a right hand bench with Amy and Matt. The two Elvis impersonators (one in the white jumpsuit, the other in a gold jacket and black pants) walked Siobhan down the aisle and took turns singing songs. They would get Axel and Sio to sing snippets with them at points. The delay let the last two groups of people arrive in time to catch the ceremony, it was standing room only with about 40 people. I teared up a bit when they said their vows, and everyone struggled to keep a straight face during parts of the traditional vows that didn't apply to this relationship. The minister was cool though, French I think.
The guests were sent back out into the courtyard while they did pictures, and we engulfed a more traditionally dressed wedding party. We piled into cabs and went over to Herbs and Rye for dinner and cocktails. The kitchen was short staffed and there seemed to only be one waiter and one bartender and one bus boy, so service was glacial. They ran out of pork before they served Andi and Siobhan so there was a bit of rearranging. The cocktail list was awesome though, I had a bijou and then an off menu Last Word. Axel and Siobhan called up groups of people to take pictures with them on the stage at the end of the room, the flashes going off were very bright, it was very dark back there. We were split between one long table down the middle, and then two smaller tables up on raised portions to the sides. I got my picture with Axel and Siobhan since Gala jumped in with another group. :) After settling up the bill (everyone threw in enough, though it probably helped that the restaurant comp'd a few things), we moved to the bar area for a while. I was fading fast, I bought Axel a drink, chatted for a bit, and then shared a cab back to the hotel. I packed up for the move to Park City the next day and was in bed by 1am.
We headed back to the hotel, parking in the garage at the Golden Nugget, with no wrong turns this time (the rental agency gave us a sheet with directions to Fremont St). I ran up and grabbed my suitcase, and then joined the group for breakfast at the Golden Nugget cafe again. We got our 6 together (Jodi and Jason, Gala, Cliff) while I scarfed down a waffle, and kest went to bring the truck around. Axel and Kat were packing up their cars too, they took some stuff for us as we realised that three huge suitcases was maxing out the storage space, even with folding down 2/3 of the back seat and cramming Cliff into the space that was left.
Kest drove us out of Las Vegas, with me in shotgun/navigator. Luckily once we got out of Vegas proper, the directions boiled down to "go straight for 374 miles and then turn". We went through the gorgeous Virgin River gorge (kest was distracted by the scenery, but we got through safely :) ) and pulled over for a snack stop at about 2 hours out. We left Vegas just before 11am and lost an hour to mountain time. I drove after the snack stop to the lunch stop in Beaver. We pulled off the highway and added gas (Cliff paid) while waiting to hear from speed demon Axel where we were going to eat. We ended up collecting all three cars at the diner (the waitress had blue in her hair and didn't blink at us), and I had a good turkey sandwich. I was feeling refreshed after that, so I continued to drive. We went straight through to Provo, admiring the landscape as it went from desert into foothills into mountains. We stopped at the 7-11 in Provo where I finally got tea and figured I'd be good to drive the rest of the way since it wasn't going to be much more than an hour. I missed the turn for Park City off of 189 (I was going from my memories of coming into PC from SLC rather than Provo), but everyone was quite excited since we saw a buffalo as I came around at the next exit. We beat the other two cars since someone got a speeding ticket. :) I parked right in front of the Treasure Mountain Inn and got checked in to my room at around 8pm. Kest took charge of the SUV, finding parking for it and arranging to return it in the morning. I unfortunately snapped the arm off of my sunglasses as I leaned in to pop the CD out of the player. :/ We had been trying to get it to synch up with an mp3 player via the USB connection or a laptop via bluetooth, but the latter wouldn't work while the car was in motion, even though I was using the voice commands (so much fun to tell it to shut up, but it only listened to cancel).
Cliff was crashing on the couch in my room since his room was reserved for the next day. I left him there and asked at the front desk about the nearest grocery store so I could stock the in room kitchen. Turns out that there were none, not even convenience stores, in walking distance, so I ended up taking the free local bus out to Fresh Market. It was relatively easy finding small sizes of the packaged goods I wanted to buy, I got bread and eggs and jam and milk for breakfast, some chicken and rice and supplies for adobo and curry, as well as for black bean burgers. I hauled back groceries for the weekend the same way, luckily only having a shortish wait, and then ending up on an express route back to where I got on. I made chicken adobo and rice at 10:30pm since I was starving. I went down the street to the Noname saloon for a gin and tonic at the pre-gathering, and when Wookie spotted me looking for people, he picked me up and carried me over to them. :) The altitude as already affecting me, walking up the slope of Main St with groceries had me panting like crazy, not to mention the stairs up to my room at TMI, but luckily the extra foot when Wookie picked me up was fine. :) Most people left soon after I got there, but I talked with Gala, Amy, Dot, and Madelyn for a bit. It was a chilly walk back, I was glad I'd grabbed a light jacket on my way out of the room (loved the row of hooks by the door, the open plan closet in the bathroom a bit less so). I showered and was in bed at around 12:30am. Wasn't quite sure what was up with all these early nights, but I was pretty exausted after driving most of the day (I really should have let kest take a shift in the middle, lesson learned).
I heated up some leftover adobo to fill my empty belly, and then went over to Matt and Shannon(?)'s room to talk about French comics. Their room number was only one more than mine, but it was up one floor and at the opposite end of the building. At least the room numbers are unique, you can follow the signs despite the lack of logic to the layout. Matt was willing to educate me about a type of comic book that I'd never read before, and I made quite a few notes for things to look up when I got home. Marianne wasn't able to make it, so it was just us talking. Then I headed down to the courtyard to get my laminate and water jug. :) I used a gold glitter glue pen to put my handle on the jug and filled it up right away so that I oculd stay hydreated. Unfortunately it took me a few sips to realise that the top would close if you didn't bite it, and it nipped at my lips and tongue a bit until I figured out a good technique. I went over to the close by and smaller liquor store w/Axel. It turned out to be nicely stocked, he and I split bottles of vermouth and St Germain, and I got a small bottle of Bombay Saphire for myself.
I changed into a black lace bustier, pink cincher, beigse slip skirt, back button detailed Miz Mooz boots and beige jacket and went down to the courtyard to socialise before the fashion show was due to start at around 6pm. Gala was doing a full song by herself (well, escorted by Josh) for Original Sin, so she primed a few people and intereacted with me and Jason and Andi. Lots of pretty stuff by all the designers, with a wonderful emphasis on bustles. :) After the show was over, I was hungry again and I made curry for moses and myself, and we had a good chat sitting at hte breakfast bar in my room. Then, because it was cooling off, I changed into a wool Victorian walking skirt, striped top, vest, cyberoptix tie, and granny boots and went back outside to the courtyard. I had mixed up a Bohemian cocktail in my metal martini glass (equal parts gin, grapefruit juice, St. Germaine). I did a bit of star gazing w/Jason, running up to my room to get my spy glass and gorilla pod, but we didn't see more than one shooting star (the Perseid's peaked the ngiht before, adn it was honestly too early, we didn't stay up to 3am). Flattening out the chaise lounges in the courtyard provided a great spot to lie and look up at the stars, but the lights on the walls and the trees growing up in the way made it less than ideal viewing conditions anyway. I talked w/Janette for a bit, it was good to catch up. I talked with Ramone and Gala in his room while goth soup was going on in the hot tub, since it was too cool for me to consider getting wet. I danced a bit while the DJs were spinning tunes, but they had to shut down at 10pm. I was showered and in bed at 2am.
I went with the long brown tiered mesh shirt, pink waist cincher again, over a beige/gold camisole, and my white long lace coat. I checked in at the vendors room and chatted with Gala a bit and bought a steam punky Sigh Co. t-shirt. It was just before 3pm and I thought that the room was going to close soon so I whipped around the rest of the vendors, poked my head into the art room and then took myself back to my room. Turned out they ran until 6pm, oops. I was fading a bit, so I made myself a cup of tea, did my nails on my balcony, and then grabbed my book and headed to the courtyard to relax in the shade, and see who came by. I felt a tiny bit awkward because someone else was sitting out on their porch and reading as well, but the trees/plants gave us each a bit of privacy. Axel and Siobhan and Shannon went out to get food, but I was close to the end of my book and not quite hungry, so asked them to text me when they found a place. By the time I was done, they were almost finished, so I think I just played around online for a bit. When they reappeared in the courtyard, offering Shannon a taste of the St. Germaine morphed into a small cocktail party in my room, with Jodi, Jason, Axel and Shannon coming up for a cocktail. I think I kicked them out at around 7:30, since I wanted to have some time to get ready.
I changed into my saloon girl outfit, the one I'd spent so long sewing, and then realised that I couldn't quite get at the tie at the back of my neck. I threw a shawl on over it and went down the hall to knock on Jodi and Jason's door. Luckily they hadn't left yet, and Jodi was able to help me out. We walked over to Star Bar together, with a short stop to take pictures with some non-Convergers who were fascinated by our outfits. Madelyn was standing outside since it turned out that the doors weren't quite ready to be open yet. Jason had to run back to his room to get his laminate in any case, I think he came back just before they let us in. Down some semi-treacherous stairs (I was wearing the 3 inch heeled boots again) and we claimed a booth near the bar and the stage, score! It was awesome to hear gothic music in a club, I danced a bit and then ended up right in front of the stage when Tragic Black started their set. The lead singer, Derrick, was a pocket-deathrock-goth, but man he could move and sing. He grabbed my hand at one point and pulled me toward the stage, and kept urging people to come closer. I loved the music and had a lot of fun, though I had to move around a bit to avoid getting engulfed by one woman's skirt. Later, when my cocktail glass was emptied of it's Manhatten, Derrek came by and drunkenly poured some of his PBR into my glass. I mimed taking a drink, but avoided having to actually take a sip. :) Riverhead was up next, a last minute replacement. Despite looking very mainstream they did a solid Peter Murphy-esque set. The RaZor Skyline (a net.goth band!) was great as well, and Mishka powered through her throat/mouth being incredibly dry.
Gala caught me to take pictures of my outfit, and Axel dove into one shot. :) I think Jodi was getting a bit hungry or I was, and the room was clearing out after the last band, so we headed back across the street to the hotel. It was getting chilly again, so I swapped out my saloon girl top for a t-shirt and jacket and then settled in the courtyard to try and coalese the after party. :) It was just starting to work, talking with Dan and Dragon, when a group of drunk non-Convergerers tried to get into the closed hot tub. I sighed and went over to tell them that it was closed as of 1am by the hotel management. That was a mistake, as then the two topless guys started trying to talk to me, though at least naked girl in a towel wandered off soon after. I didn't realise it at the time, but Axel had passed by and seen me and Dragon with the two guys and sent Siobhan down for backup. Then a guy who I'd seen lurking around the courtyard and reading across from my room joined in the conversation as well. The topless guys kept trying to touch Siobhan, on the pretense of reading her t-shirt, and then one went running after Derrick and his female friend yelling "Ladies!". *sigh* I tried to shut down the persistent one by giving him my age and profession and not my name, and he finally seemed to get the message. Axel had come back down at this point and dragged us all up to a room party. I dragged Jason, lurker dude, with me and introduced him around after we started talking about books. He was a big fan of Edgar Allen Poe and I told him about seeing the one man play, Nevermore, in Montreal. Gala broke out the crack dip and I sipped on a martini that I'd made myself. This time I stayed up to a non-respectable hour and got back onto a Convergence style time table. :)
I kicked everyone out at about 7:30 so I could do a bit of packing and get ready for the evening, Jodi offering to escort again. :) The light blue dress + black waist cincher was easy to get into on my own, I put on silver striped stockings and a crinolined skirt underneath to give it some volume. I threw on my velvet choker and my mini feathered head band and I was soon knocking on their door, ready to head down to Flanagan's on Main. Wookie was outside smoking with some other pople and I tried to wave at him as we went by, but it was intercepted by some guy I didn't know. It was industrial night, I had on my dancing boots, and we grabbed a high table right next to the DJ's table. Jodi and I spent a fair amount of time on the dance floor, often with Sky as well. Actually, it was mostly women on the dance floor, and never very many of us at once. Axel and Siobhan showed up in their wedding finery, and many pictures were taken. This time Wookie dove the photo that Gala tried to take of me. :) There was only one band this night, Carphax Files, and I had so much fun dancing to the djs and bands. Turns out that the guy I inadvertently waved at was the lead singer of the band, ooops. Everyone liked the dress, I was a bit surprised, but it was a lot of fun to dance in as it had a huge skirt. I had a gin and tonic, then a Hendrick's and soda water with a splash of Midori. It wasn't great, it was better when the bartender added more soda water to cut the Midori. I talked with Shannon and Amy a bit, but it was pretty loud. We ended up leaving as the last DJ was going on, as I was hungry and my stuff was still mostly unpacked.
I made my way back to my room, and did most of my packing (loved the big suitcase for just being able to throw everything in) whiel eating some heated up left over curry. Then I took the leftover vermouth, gin, st germain, and grapefruit juice down toward the Crescent Room where the official after party was supposed to be held. As I was crossing the courtyard, Jodi and Jason intercepted me and said that the room was closed, so I settled into one of the lounges and tried again to coalese a party. :) It worked a bit better this time, probably because I had booze to offer. :) The Sigh Co. guy (Brian? Gwen was coming down w/something) and Jason and I took turns bringing down stuff so that there was always someone in the courtyard. I grabbed salsa and put on my hoodie and took off the waist cincher so I was more comfortable. I had some more Bohemians, the mix getting more loose the more I made. :) Jason and I figured out that rum mixes well with cranberry-raspberry juice. Gala and Siobhan arrived with crack dip and a crowd formed quickly after that. :) I Heard the other Jason's patio door open and lured him out into the crowd. When I complained about my frozen eggs, I got two fresh eggs from the keyboardist of Carphax Files (he was local and raised chickens). As things were winding down a bit, and Madelyn was trying to keep things down to a dull roar, I took a walk with other-Jason to find darker skies. We meandered over to the road to Deer Valley, away from the downtown street lights, and saw so many shooting stars and long lightning strikes on the horizon. Only two cars passed us, I was almost surprised that they didn't stop as we were sheildign our eyes and looking at the sky, trying not to lose our night adapatation :) The horizon was starting to get light and the streaks were petering off, so we called it a night. The courtyard was deserted as I walked across it, guess I didn't miss much more of the official after party. I got to bed just before the sun came up, at around 5am. I set my alarm for 9am so I would be up in time for the airport shuttle pick up at 10am.
My suitcase was a titch over 50lbs again, but checking in at first class, they let it pass again, sweet. Going through security was a bit painful, there were lots of people cutting the line with wheelchairs, so I wanted to head over to the first class line once I spotted it. But this was after they'd checked my id, so they directed me back in front of people. The goth behind me had quick zips on her boots, envy. :) We got off the gate fairly quickly, I did the whole first class reading while the back of the plane boarded thing. :) Then they announced that there was a problem with the radar, but they fixed it just off the active runway (rebooted?) and we were only a bit delayed. For food, I had warm salty non allergenic nuts, poached salmon on greek salad, and turned down the warm cookie since I was full. I ended up napping a bit and woke up to a hand written note from the first class fligth attendant giving me my connecting gate information.
Once we set down in Dallas, it turned out that the gate info I was given was for an earlier Boston flight, but mine was leaving from same gate an hour later anyway. I ate my Park City leftover apple, and tried refilling my water bottle from the fountain, but the water tasted funky. Boarded first again, this time there was a bit of a brouhaha about luggage behind me from the poeple sitting in the bulkhead row, the flight attendant ended up putting a purse on top of my parasol. :/ This time the food was a good cheese ravioli, shrimp (jumbo) cocktail, greek salad, tea, and I turned down the bread that was on offer. I did give in and have the caramel brownie w/ice cream, though I left most of the brownie since I was so stuffed.
My suitcase ended up making it on the earlier flight, it took me a while
to spot it in it's holding area. No one checked my bag claim when I went
to liberate it. :/ I decided that, since Cris was going to be leaving
early the next day for a business trip, I'd get home as quickly as
possible, so I went out to the taxi line. The business suit guy in front
of me went ballistic when a cab was blocking the exit of the taxi stand,
and the attendant snapped at me when I tried to be helpful - way to go
guy, you poisoned so many people's nights, and the taxi would have loaded
faster if you'd stopped yelling at them. I had about an hour before Cris
had to go to bed for his early morning flight the next day, it was good to
see him again, however briefly.