First, I’d like to take a moment to announce the unveiling of enigmalea.com and my other blog All Your Crafts Are Belong To Us. The website is a simple, one-stop shop that links to my most used social networking websites. The other blog focuses on crafts and DIY projects that don’t really fit in this blog. That’s not to say they won’t be nerdy, they’re just going to end up be more on the domestic bliss side of things. I blame Pinterest for that one.
Now onto the point of this post: I’m already excited for Dragon*Con. We’re still seven months out, and I’m going into that hyper planning mode, already. I do have my membership, and I managed to book my hotel in October. That… was insanity. I’d planned to stay at the Marriott host hotel, which didn’t start taking reservations until October 10th at 9am EST. On October 10th, about 15 minutes early, I pulled up DragonCon.org to get the secret access code, and I hit refresh just before 9am to get it.
All hell broke loose.
I’m not sure whether it was the D*C servers or my crappy ISP or my laptop or the fact that EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER WAS TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING or some combination of the above… but I couldn’t get anything to load. Ish and I were both trying desperately to get the SUPER SEEKRIT RESERVATION CODE and once we had that in hand we were both trying (on multiple devices) to actually get in to make our reservation. I actually had my eyes on a room. I entered my payment information and….
… it was booked out from underneath me.
So then began the frantic search for a nearby hotel which wasn’t charging an arm and a leg and was still in walking distance of the convention. At this time, the overflow hotel information hadn’t really been updated, and all I could do was use a combination of travel websites and Google maps to figure out the best location for the best price. I’d find a place and it would be gone. It was insane! For an hour and 20 minutes, I searched frantically, desperation rising to the point I actually considered paying $420 a night for a Holiday Inn Express! (Oh yes, the prices were going up exponentially.) But FINALLY, I found a good deal at Twelve Centennial Hotel. It’s about 5 – 10 minutes from the convention and was nowhere near the $420.
That challenge conquered, I’ve been researching travel options for the past few months and finally decided on a good ol’ fashioned bus trip. The city I live in does have an airport, but it’s expensive to fly out of here. In fact, it’s about $100 – $200 more expensive to fly from here than say… Washington DC or Greensboro or Charlotte. Looking at those other options, we’d then have to take into account a trip down to the airport – which would include at the very least gas (potentially parking) and possibly a car rental. That brought the cost of travel to around $600 per person both ways. Amtrak was almost exactly the same price. In fact, Amtrak tickets cost one dollar more per person and we’d still have to drive a couple of hours to get to the nearest Amtrak station, which left us with the same hassle as flying.
Greyhound, however, leaves directly from our city and can get us there and back for $148 a piece. The only downside to the bus trip is the fact it takes between 9 and 12 hours (depending on how long we stop in Knoxville). The upside is the fact we don’t have to drive ourselves (YAY NO ATLANTA TRAFFIC ON LABOR DAY WEEKEND!!!!) and we can all sleep during the trek if we don’t want to stay awake.
Those problems solved I now have to tackle a bigger problem: who am I going to cosplay as?!?! I’m thinking this year will be a max of two costumes, both of which will likely be simplistic. Between now and August, I will have started a new job (I’m in training right now) and likely bought my first house and moved, so whatever costumes I come up with will have to be fairly simple. The problem with simple cosplay is that it may not be automatically recognizable as a costume character. I’ve considered dressing as characters from Warehouse 13 and Once Upon A Time and even Supernatural, but none of them would be guaranteed recognizable… and none of them struck a chord with me.
So I’m currently seeking inspiration and calling out to the internet for help. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any costumes they’d like to see coming up this year at DragonCon?