Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day One at Charmed! - Arrivals

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday, you bitch of a day. Nothing good ever happened on a Thursday, just ask Arthur Dent, who has reason to know. (Thursday was actually fine; uneventful * even.)

But my Thursday actually started at 2 AM, which automatically bumps it into bitch territory. You see, I live an hour and a half away from the airport. And the flight I’d chosen, for what seemed like excellent reasons at the time, ** left at 5:25 AM. So at 2 I loaded the car and set off for Portland.

Other than both of my flights being packed to the gills, my travel was uneventful. I had packed the cookies into a $6 Goodwill suitcase to check (with the reasoning that if it didn’t make it all the way to Baltimore, I wouldn’t be that offended) which had put me in the interesting position of having to load my computer bag is if it were another suitcase; it still wasn’t as big as some of the backpacks that people are now shoving under their seats, but man was it heavy!

Now for people keeping track of other recaps, both here and on Fetlife, you might remember that there has been some chatter about the hotel, much of it negative. I also have things to say, but in an effort to be entertaining, I have decided to take a slightly different approach to everyone else…

The Mystery of the Haunted Hotel Part One

Noelle fished the charging cable for her phone out of the depths of her computer bag and plugged it into the nearest available outlet. The people in the know in the Charmed! group on Fetlife had recommended calling the hotel and scheduling a shuttle pick up in advance, but when she’d called the day before they’d chuckled at her and said “Oh just call us when you arrive.” It seemed too good to be true, but when she’d finally gotten her phone to turn back on and called, the woman at the hotel had cheerfully said, “Go to Door 15 and wait by the green shuttle sign, I’ll send the driver right over.”

Thankfully the all-important cookie suitcase had made it to Baltimore, so Noelle had to juggle a little bit to get both suitcases and her over-sized computer bag balanced for the 20 foot trek to Door 15. Upon arriving, she discovered a shivering young man with an exasperated look on his face: “What hotel are you waiting for?” he asked. “I’ve been standing here for 45 minutes!”

“I’m at the Ramada” Noelle replied.

“Oh,” said the shivering man, turning his attention back to the different shuttles that whizzed past.

Noelle pulled out her phone and checked the time; it had been about 10 minutes. She looked up and was surprised to see the shuttle for her hotel already approaching. “Good luck!” she wished the shivering man, and, having handed off her suitcases to the shuttle driver, clambered into the passenger seat of the white van.

“So are you with that big group that’s coming in?” asked the shuttle driver.

“Yep, I’m a little bit early though. How’s the food in the hotel restaurant?”

“Oh, the restaurant’s great, at least that’s what I’ve heard. And there are plenty of other good places to go to that are pretty near.”

The driver was friendly and personable and the drive to the hotel zoomed by in what felt like moments.

“Thanks!” Noelle smiled as the driver rolled her suitcases up to the front desk for her. So far, her arrival had been smooth as silk. She quickly paid for the hotel room, although she was a little bit taken aback when she was told that they were having to all their charge transactions by phone. And there was a mix up about which room had been reserved, but Noelle was happy with the substitution that was made and snagged the room key and headed up to see about having a nap.

The elevator groaned as she stepped into it. Literally let out a sound like an animal that had been trod on, and continued to rumble all the way up to the 7th floor. “Old mechanism I guess” she thought to herself. Other than the noise, the elevator worked fine, and soon Noelle was trundling her suitcases down the hallway to room 710.

The keycard worked on the first try; the door swung open; and Noelle was hit by a wave of icy air the seemed to swirl like a snow cloud around her as she entered the room. “That…seems colder than it ought to be.” she said aloud, moving to crank up the room’s heater. “I hope it won’t take too long for it to heat up.”

–to be continued–

So after settling into the room a little bit, unpacking and the like, I checked in with my various friends for when they would be arriving: @zanythoughts and @hypnokinkwithmrdream around 730, @tennfan2 around 8, @theleeallure and @hypnosubdude around 11, with @hypno-sandwich just after that, @carneggyblog and @kittykatkatja at nearly 1 AM, and @hypnokittencalico the next morning. There had been some talk of early arrivals helping with set up, so I headed over to Miss Isis’s room and got to talk a little bit about the local hypno scene until eventually someone showed up with all the papers and things and I got to stuff envelopes.

It turns out that stuffing envelopes after being awake for nearly 24 hours is much much harder than it sounds, so after about an hour of that, I went back to my room to partake of that wonderful invention, the nap. The room had warmed up a little bit, and the bed was quite comfy, and I had no trouble at all getting to sleep. When I woke up, I checked in with people again, and found out that Zany and Dream were at a local seafood restaurant, and Tennfan was just leaving the airport with his rental car, so we made plans to have dinner together after he arrived.

We went to Chik-fil-A and I am not ashamed.

We went to Chik-fil-A and had tasty food and better conversation. He and I are both of the mindset that we stand with one foot in the kink community and one foot in the more vanilla hypno community (him more than me to be fair), and neither of us have gotten over the sheer amazeballs feeling of “Holy shit, how did this happen to us?” Hopefully we never will!

Due to a room reservation mix-up, the room that I was sharing with Carneggy and Kat had ended up being on the party floor. I decided to embrace that fact, and Thursday night was the first night of an open door policy for us that worked out marvelously. I was certainly much more social than usual, and got to meet a lot more people because of it. Do I remember all these people? Well…not all of them no, but I am after all a work in progress. Slowly people began to trickle into the room, as they arrived from the airport or dinner or whatnot, and shortly I had a small crowd just hanging out with me. Then someone pointed out that @h-sleepingirl and @cckitten78 had arrived, and we all went down to the lobby to lie in wait for them.

Much greeting and hugging was had, and soon LeeAllure and Hypnosubdude arrived, with Hypno-Sandwich right on their heels. So more greeting and hugging ensued, then everyone dispersed to take care of unpacking etc, but eventually we all ended up back in my room to wait for Carneggy and Kat so that we could hand out Sekrit Projekts.

I have been wanting to design a tarot deck for years, and after WEEHU I had the idea to do a hypnosis themed tarot with my friends as models/inspiration for the various cards. Someday I hope to have the whole deck done, but I’m not going to rush it because I want to find the right person to fit each card. Which is why I didn’t have a card for Hypnosubdude, who I had met a couple of times but didn’t really know.***

I knew he was going to be there for the handing out though, and didn’t want him to feel left out…and had been given a white elephant gift at christmas that seemed liked the perfect fit…namely an Indominus Rex Chia Pet. I am <ahem> pretty sure he liked it.****

Then I handed out the Sekrit Projekts, trying really, really hard to be gracious and not a writhing ball of anxiety. I mostly succeeded. And everyone liked what they were given, and the projekt can continue!*****

Eventually people wandered back to their own rooms to sleep, and we three that remained prepared to do the same, but not before noticing that it was just turning 630 AM in England…

…which is why we skype-called @lizzidoll whilst she was still in bed to wake her up and make her open her own sekrit projekt, which she’d been waiting to open since the Monday previous. Because we love her and are generous like that.

And then we went to sleep…

*because the event hadn’t started yet, geddit?

**there was a small miscommunication about when classes would be starting, so a lot of ended up arriving on Thursday - I came extra early so that I would be able to nap.

***I know him now! And there is a card in the works. Just so’s you know.

****everyone should give gifts to Hypnosubdude - he is extremely enthusiastic when he is happy, it’s very gratifying

*****I, because I am clever like this, failed to take decent pictures of the cards. I am hoping that people will post pics of them, so that I can describe what I was going for with each card, although some people might not want to. We’ll see what happens.

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