I arrive in Atlanta for Dragon Con after easy sailing in air transportation… and that should be my first clue that trouble lurks. I am greeted upon arrival by a text saying that my accommodations (an apartment rented on booking.com) have fallen through because of some problem with payment. Not to worry, though! The property owner has arranged for me to rent a different apartment (a much nicer one! in a better location!) for the same price, from a friend of hers. Er, okay. I guess. Except I have to cut through seventeen layers of red tape to get a refund on the one, and pay for the other on a different platform—all on my phone, while standing in the hot sun and waiting for a Lyft into the city. We eat problems for breakfast, though, and I do eventually get it straightened out (and it is a nice apartment!), but it takes most of the afternoon. By the time I get to the con, I am exhausted.
But then I get to meet long-time fan Chad and his wife from Illinois, and my second-cousin-somehow-removed, Kitty (whom I last saw at a family reunion about twenty years ago). Fun! They are lovely people and part of my street team, the unstoppable Starstream Troupers, and they are ready to get out there and spread my flyers and coasters. Yay! That gets me back on track.
I go to register. The line for registration seems very long—out of the hotel and down a hill and around a long block. (I learn better about lines on Day 3, but that’s getting ahead of my story.) The line moves fast, and if it weren’t for the guy ahead of me wearing a Speedo plus a few scraps—and this guy does not look good in a Speedo, not remotely, and it is an image I am trying to forget—it would seem even faster. (It’s possible I’m being overly generous when I describe it as a Speedo. It looks more like lady’s underwear.) There are many other costumes in evidence, though; better costumes.
The rest of that evening is spent in figuring out the lay of the land. This con is spread over something like five very large hotels, with complicated layouts. Eventually I go to catch a Lyft “home,” a fifteen-minute ride, without hiccups.
Did I say hiccups? The Lyft driver is new on the job. I’ve chosen a shared ride to save a few bucks, and he can’t figure out how to find the other passengers. He had enough trouble finding me. Round and round we drive, looking for his passengers. Finally he says, “You should get out and call Uber.” “Um, no. I only have Lyft, and I can’t cancel the ride in my app.” Repeat conversation. Finally he leaves the other passengers wondering, and takes me home. I hope his next day on the job is better.
No food or drink in the apartment, and the only place open is a gas-station convenience store. Fortunately they have beer, including a local IPA. A long time since beer tasted so good. Tomorrow’s another day. I hope.