A few days ago, I blogged to everyone on the convention facebook group: What do expect, how to buy tickets, logical stuff. But I didn't share any of the fun! So today I'm gonna show what I did in for my first three days of spring break, as well as a little bit from Minneapolis last September. The only people who really know my experiences were my mom, Mike, the kids from my public speaking class, and of course everyone I hung out with in the 2 cities. So. Read on!
After leaving Minneapolis on Labor Day weekend, I knew I wanted to go to another convention because I had enjoyed myself SO much and met a lot of people...but I hadn't been prepared, and I had gotten there without knowing anyone, which turned my first day into a bit of a drag...lots of standing in corners waiting for people to talk to me. I forgot half my clothes at home and my hair straightener broke, so I looked horrible in one of my photo ops that I paid for...I wanted a do-over where I could fix the things that didn't go so well the first time.
Mostly, I paid for it with my financial aid overage, selling my flute on Craigslist, and some Christmas money.
I got my tickets for Minneapolis as a gift from family members and I also sold things at a garage sale.
Now, on to the trip. The 24 hour bus ride from Moorhead to Nashville was uneventful as it could be. (Though I was incredibly happy to find out the Greyhound buses had free wireless internet!) We were a little late, but nothing major. The hotel was already reserved for us. All we had to do was check in.
The next morning, we all got up early to get ready and head over to Opryland. That hotel was HUGE and possibly the most beautiful building (inside) I've ever seen. I'd never seen any place with real trees and water on the inside before. The fake river even had fish in it!
I had my e-friend Brianna waiting for me at the hotel. We met through the convention's Facebook group a few months before and we had been IMing and Skyping almost daily ever since. I was expecting some super-awkward introduction, but after a few minutes, it was like we had been real-life friends for a long time. We kinda dressed up together. ^_^
Not really planned, it just kinda...happened. I liked getting to go on more shopping trips and buy stuff I wouldn't normally wear. My only mistake was the shoes. You have no idea. I was in pain for 75% of the weekend. Thank God for flip flops that fit in my purse!
The line for registration was REALLY long. Guess who was behind me? Three women who had also been in Minneapolis! We talked about how grateful we were to be away from the snow, and how weird our accents probably sounded to everyone else. Once we were registered, I got my seat (E26), only a few seats away from a guy who had come dressed up as Luigi. He introduced himself to me in an Italian accent and everything. Mike was convinced he was there to crash the con, but I think he was a genuine fan because he had been to one of the other tours in North Carolina and had gotten lots of the actors to sign his green hat.
Friday's guests were Leah Gibson and Nikki Reed.They were both SO sweet and not puffed up with a big ego AT ALL. They were so...normal. That's one thing I had learned about celebrities from attending conventions. They're no different than anyone else. They just have different talents and a lot of luck. I had met Nikki once before (previously mentioned bad picture? yep...) I got another photo op with her, that turned out better but still incredibly awkward. I guess that's fate. XD When I went to get it signed, she smiled at me and said, "HEY! How are you? I know I've seen you before!" I told her I was in Minneapolis that September and she said, "Yep! That's what I thought!" ...I had a bit of a fangirl moment when I got out of the autograph line. I knew her far before the Twilight movies. She co-wrote and starred in Thirteen, which was my favorite movie throughout high school.
Karaoke was also on Friday night. I liked it better when my twitter-friend Candace sang (And Mike Welch too! He was hilarious), but sadly, she couldn't make it to Nashville this year.
(Me & Candace in Minneapolis. She is super cool. :) )
Leah sang instead. I was impressed. Brianna and I put in our song request, but Leah had left by the time our names were drawn, so I didn't get to talk to her much. I was off-key and terrified, not to mention a little unsteady on my feet under those hot stage lights, but I finished the song and no one booed! Our other Skype-friend, Sam, put in a request for a song all 3 of us could do together, but we hadn't practiced AT ALL. I didn't know the song, so I stood in the back mouthing the words as best as I could. Towards the end of the song, Brianna threw down her notecards and said "I'm sorry, I can't do this," quoting a South Park episode, and we got offstage as fast as we could.
Mike's mom got lost for something like 7 hours that day, trying to come pick me up, so I took a cab back to the EconoLodge. I think I got about 4 hours of sleep that night. Saturday morning between 9 and 10, I took another cab back to Opryland. I must have looked odd, carrying a garbage bag and a cheap backpack into this fancy hotel...to save money, Brianna and her aunt let me stay in their room so I wouldn't have to take any more cabs.
Saturday was the day I was looking forward to most! I was sooo excited to meet Jodelle Ferland. My friend James and I watched every episode of Kingdom Hospital a couple years ago, and she was in it. Such a creepy little kid. Now she's in high school and not so creepy anymore. XD The picture I got with her actually turned out okay, though I felt like a giant because I was already 5'6" without heels and she must have not been more than 5'2". I wish I could have talked to her more, but the fact that I got to meet her at all (she cancelled MPLS last-minute) was AWESOME. :D Saturday's other guests were Leah (again), Charlie Bewley, Gil Birmingham, and Patrick Brennan. I got a pic with Charlie too. He's so pretty. :D
When I went to get Gil's autograph, I was super hyper from not ingesting anything but an energy drink and some string cheese all day. I was bouncing. He asked me, "What's the song in your head?" I told him I didn't have a song in my head, I just had a lot of energy. He asked, "So if I just sit here and stare, will you keep bouncing?" I tried to stop bouncing because I felt stupid. He laughed and stared harder and said "Oh no! She's gonna explode!" ...I kinda wanted to. Holding in that sugar rush was HARD!
...Speaking of exploding, I think that's what my blog is gonna do if I write any more! I wanted to fit the whole weekend into one post, but I think I may have to split it halfway because there are just too many things to talk about. Tomorrow I will be back to share part 2 - Saturday night & Sunday. STAY TUNED! ^_^