So. Wednesday, we leave home to pick up the Ariel Ambulance in Vegas, a small matter of an 800-mile round trip. Get to Vegas all right, check in to the Excalibur, eat (the buffet was meh; I liked it okay, but the Hubby didn't--and the weird thing is that he's not as picky as I am), wander around, find the Shark Bay at Mandalay Bay (which is WELL worth the price), yadda yadda. Not too bad coming down. We did have to stop in St. George and get the tires on the Willys balanced, because something happened and the poor thing was wobbling all over the place. Hubby wonders if the tires are out of round. He may be right.
Also, rain. Not in Vegas, but during the trip. Rain is BAD for driving the Willys in. The wiper on the driver's side is *cough* unreliable, and the defroster sucks. Also, the windshield leaks.
Next morning, we head over to Cameron's house to pick up the Ambulance and only get lost once. Naturally, it wasn't ready to go when we got there, and we futzed around for about an hour and a half getting the tail section loaded and stuff. Vegas apparently has a dearth of dedicated Browncoats, and only one other person was there to help. Cameron threw his back out, poor guy, but managed to be all right by the time we left.
He wasn't planning on coming down with the Ambulance because of money issues, but we offered him our spare bedroom, and he eagerly accepted. He would follow us later that night. In his Delorean. How cool is that???
On our way out of Vegas, we got stopped in a massive traffic jam. Ten miles ahead of where we stopped, there was a fatal accident in which an eighteen-wheeler burned to the ground. This delayed us another hour-and-a-half, possibly two hours. Dude.
The Ambulance actually hauls pretty well. It's aerodynamic enough, and the Willys was actually quieter coming up to Salt Lake than going down to Vegas because of the better airflow. However, by the time we got into mid-Utah, it was getting dark and starting to rain. Yeah, remember what I said about driving the Willys in the rain? It's worse in the dark. The air shocks are kind of iffy anymore, so when we're hauling a load, the headlights point UP instead of at the road. We decided that discretion was the better part of valor and stopped in Payson for the night.
We got on the road at sunup the next morning. Cameron had managed to find us at the hotel and was parked behind the Ambulance when we got up; he followed us into town. In the rain. Yayness.
The Con, there at the start, was extremely disorganized. Apparently, they had several last-minute cancellations, and so they had to re-do the entire schedule. My panel was still scheduled for noon (one of the first ones of the day, whee!), and it went well. I did actually manage to get through my entire presentation--and I met a couple of people who want to put together a local writer's group.
I also got to meet a couple of local authors, really nice guys, who can actually write. One of them, Ken Rand, writes fantasy westerns(!) that are really awesome, and the other Eric James Stone, has actually won a Writers of the Future ... thing. Yeah. He read us a short story about time-travel where he had two competing timelines--one of which was a timeline where Lincoln didn't get assassinated. Cool stuff.
Oh, there were celebs, too. Richard Hatch, Walter Koenig, and Craig Richard Nelson were all there. I didn't really interact with any of them except to smile and say hi, except for Walter, who came over to the author's table and talked dogs with us for a bit. *grin* He has a Puli.
There were the requisite people in costumes. Star Trek, Star Wars, and BSG, for the most part, but there was also a family in "Incredibles" regalia, which the mom in the family made herself. THAT was made of awesome. Cameron had a Ghostbusters outfit made by the actual guy who designed the costumes for the movie.
I sat at the Ambulance table most of the time, chatting with people about Firefly and the Ambulance, but I also got to chat with Ken quite a bit, and I scored some swag. After a rough beginning, I felt that the Con went pretty well. Cameron went back to Vegas, and the Ambulance is sitting in my driveway; we're going to (probably, weather permitting) take it back on Thursday.
I also finished (well, almost finished; I still have to incorporate some of the Hubby's suggestions) the friend_fic. It even has a title.
And, since I know everyone's dying to see what the Ambulance looks like behind the Willys, there's a pic: