THE DRAGON*CON CHRONICLES 2012, EPISODE 1 – PREPARATIONS AND DAY #0

This is the first in a series of articles in which I’ll tell about my experiences in Dragon*Con 2012. Dragon*Con is a U.S.A. based multi-genre convention. It was founded in 1987 and takes place once each year in Atlanta, Georgia usually on Labor Day weekend. Due to the growth of the event through the years, the convention takes places in five hotels the Hilton Atlanta, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, the Marriott Marquis Atlanta, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel and the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel.

My first Dragon*Con was in 1995 and you can read about that trip by clicking this link. After that year and due mostly to financial reasons, I didn’t step into a plane until 17 years later. I made the decision of going around the end of February 2012. To put it in layman’s terms I had a moment of clarity. I realized that I had postponed going back to traveling for pleasure long enough. I realized that I had the means to do the trip and that time waits for no one, the longer I waited the closer the possibility that I’d never do it.

The plane ticket, hotel reservation and 4-day convention pass were all taken care of during the first week of March thanks to the internet. Transactions that in the old days would take longer were done in minutes. Since all the five hosting hotels were full at the moment of my transactions I got a room at one of the overflow hotels, the Holiday Inn Atlanta Capitol Conference Center. That hotel was about 3.5 miles away from the convention area and I meant that I would have to allocate a part of my budget for transportation money between hotels and also reconsider attending the late night events on account of possible lack of taxis at late hours in the morning. By Monday August 27 I had already bought all the things necessary for this journey.

My plane left San Juan at about 9 AM on the Thursday August 30 before day #1 of Dragon*Con and touched down in Atlanta by 12:40 PM, by 2:00 PM I was already checked at my Hotel and got my first bit of good news. The hotel’s private shuttle would be taking the guests that were convention goers to the Dragon*Con hosting hotels. That service would be available from 7:00 AM to 10:30 PM. I would only have to make a decision about what late night events I was going to miss. Thanks to the shuttle I was at the Sheraton by 2:30 PM for registration and getting the all-important Convention Badge and since I did pre-registration by Internet I was out with by badge and my souvenir program in 3 minutes.

Registration area at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.

I proceeded to get the lay of the land and went to locate the other 4 hotels. The Hilton, The Marriot and The Hyatt were all one behind the other and interconnected with sky bridges. The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel was about three blocks from the Hyatt. The Peachtree Shopping Center was right beside the Hyatt and offered alternatives for less expensive meals. Around 4 PM I was getting dizzy from hunger since I haven’t eaten anything since 5:30 AM so I went to Subway bought me a Steak and Cheese with a soda. That hit the spot. After eating I went to check out the Hyatt and the other two interconnected hotels. To my surprise there were already people doing cosplay at the lobbies.

I took some photos with my phone and hanged around a little bit and afterwards returned to my hotel to get ready for day #1. And what a day it was going to be.

I wish to dedicate this 5 part DRAGON*CON CHRONICLES to the amazing Jessica Paulding. The best Starbuck cosplayer I have had the good luck to meet. Live Long and Prosper Jessica.

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