What seems like ages ago but was really only about two weeks from the time I’m posting this… well, I left my tiny island en route to Orlando for the Infinitus 2010 conference – a gathering of, well, nerds. Harry Potter fans, at that. I’m sure by now you know a little bit about me and perhaps that little bit includes the fact that the Harry Potter series kind of runs my life at times, so it only seems natural I’d go to one of these events eventually. They’ve been happening for years and though I intended to go to Terminus last…was it last year? I don’t know, I meant to go, but it was in Chicago and difficult to get to at the time so it just didn’t happen.
My travel buddies were the lovely Joree and Anna – though we didn’t meet up with Anna until we actually got to the hotel. Jo and I left Hudson, NC in the early hours of July 14 and rocketed off towards Florida in Princess Peach the pink(ish) Malibu, which we promptly decked out to declare our intentions:
At this point I have to put in huge thanks to those who helped fund the journey to and from NC – the members of the Vault who contributed to our fundraiser! You guys have no idea how nice it was to be able to just pull up and fill up and not have to worry if we’d have enough money for food when we got there (which, we did. Hooray!) On the way down we also decided to stop in Daytona for a few hours – what a GREAT idea! It was pretty on our way and we wanted to see the beach while we were in FL, and it was just a nice break from the driving. We went swimming for a few hours and got slurpees and enjoyed the sun before hopping in the car to head to the hotel, where we met up with Anna and had dinner at TGI Friday’s. I leave Thursday with this photo from Daytona:
Anyway, the conference itself – Thursday we decided to put on our costumes for a test drive since it was the shortest day of the conference (bar Sunday) and make sure they were, in fact, awesome. As it turns out – they were. So awesome that I decided to wear mine all weekend. Maybe you saw us around? The mexican fare at the feast was great – a little awkward for a wizard gathering, but as a frequent consumer of enchiladas and what not, I was not complaining. We also sat in on the tattoo art and wizarding IP law panels, which were both awesome! That night we were still a little hungry since the feast was at lunchtime, so we decided to go to CiCis (PIZZA BUFFET! WEE!) and played around Wal-Mart for awhile. It was pretty rad.
Friday was pretty much a blast, we went to a heap of programming and spent some time wandering around the conference area. Our favorite panels from the day were some of the last ones – the “Dungeon Bat to Magical Fabio” presentation was hilarious, and as role players we all got a kick out of hearing the overview of swearing in the Harry Potter series. It really never gets old every time someone brings up “Oh in the name of Merlin’s saggy left…” We managed to catch part of Final Battle, but not all of it; after the intermission we went to the common room and made some new friends while we watched the rest of the show from the screen. It was about the same quality as having heard it in the auditorium area, becuase we couldn’t hear/see from where we were anyway – but overall Lena did a fantastic job, the Moaning Myrtle number was absolutely my favorite. Before Final Battle we’d also eaten dinner at the Emeril restaurant there at the resort – I had sushi for about the second time ever (I still refuse to eat seaweed, I only went for it cause I dig undercooked fish.) and just generally had a blast hanging out and, okay, flirting with the waitstaff.
Saturday was JUDGEMENT DAY! You may have noticed that I haven’t had a lot to say up until this point, just that it was fun, we did stuff, blah blah blah. Saturday is where everything went completely awry – okay, and awesome.
We decided to kick off the day by sleeping in. I’m not sure why we’d decided it was a good idea to stay up until, like, five the night before, but it seemed fun at the time and until we were rolling out of bed late on Saturday morning, we really didn’t think much of it. Somehow, we leave way late, becuase we overlooked the fact that our costumes were an absolute pain to put on. Somehow, we pull into the parking lot with 15 minutes to spare before our presentation. Somehow, we get to the door five minutes before we go on.
Overall the workshop went well, we had a handful of really interested people – the only major downside is that the line for the StarKid (you know them from A Very Potter Musical) meet-and-greet was absolutely insane and pretty much everyone was waiting in line instead of going to the programming. This sucked. But the people who DID come to our workshop were extremely interested and enthusiastic, and it was really neat to hear what kind of RP backgrounds different people come from.
A little while later Anna got in the Dreaded StarKid Line (I ‘m going to stop here and thank her SO MUCH for getting our posters signed for us. SERIOUSLY. Anna, you are my hero.) and the rest of us went to find our meetup. I’m pretty sure the meetup would have gone a lot smoother if it weren’t for:
A) The StarKid line wrapping around the entire hotel and everyone waiting in a SECOND StarKid line to actually see the premier of A Very Potter Sequel.
B) Our room was being invaded by people interviewing Christian Coulson and Chris Rankin. Um. What. It sucked that our room wasn’t ready on time and they tried to move us, but holy cow! They were there! We saw Chris Rankin! Really close! Right there! He was nice!
Anyway the meetup was fabulous, we had a small handful of people but they were all super interested, again, and we all sat and chatted about all our favorite role playing topics – our first characters, our favorite characters, our favorite things to RP, things like that. It was really great to have a nice discussion about this stuff with people who were genuinely interested, it was a nice reminder that what I do is actually, um, important to some people.
We decided to go eat at the Islands restaurant after all this becuase we were basically starving, and though the service was pretty awful the food was delicious. I was pleased to see a turkey burger on the menu and it was OMG wonderful. Then, of course, my companions realized they had forgotten their wristbands for the ball that night, so we ended up going back to the hotel to rest and glam up before we went out.
The ball was AWESOME!! We had a complete blast and hung out with tons of new friends – Whitney, Jon, Tabetha – I MISS YOU GUYS. I also won’t lie and say I had a little too much Unicorn Blood and Magical Margarita – the Wizard Cocktails (Potions?) they brewed up were absolutely delicious! The music was great, I really enjoyed the fact that they opened the night with the Pokemon theme. I enjoyed joining the conga line and doing the macarena to songs that were very distinctively not the macarena. I enjoyed seeing Luke Conard and Kristina Horner dancing on stage when someone pulled up “Don’t Unplug Me.” I also enjoyed re-introducing myself to Kristina after I had (so classy) gone into fangirl mode upon seeing her in the vendor hall the day before. Problem solved.
(We’re going to pretend I look better in this photo than I actually do. These guys were the greatest!)
We were absolutely wiped, but the night was wonderful, and probably the highlight of the entire weekend for me.
Sunday we woke up and went to the leaving feast pretty routine – while it was a lot of fun, we were ready to move on to the next part of our adventure, which will have to be another blog post. :)
Overall the conference was great, a few things were a little nervewracking but it was pretty fun for the most part. Anna, Jo and I have plans to attempt to go to LeakyCon next summer, so God willing the ladies of the Vault will be reunited – hopefully with more faces next time!
I had a lot of fun, although that certainly wasn’t the end of my trip. Stay tuned for Part 2 – Theme Parks! Hooray!