The Official Highlander people and the Highlander Clan (if anybody knows where their homepage went to, please email me sponsored the Third Annual Highlander Clan Cruise again this year. If this means nothing to you, clearly y'all should go read my last year's report. :)
With no further ado, on with ze report.
Thursday is not technically a cruiseday. This is like saying Thanksgiving is not technically a weekend 'cuz it's on a Thursday. Practically all of us did our travelling on Thursday, so it effectively counts as a cruise day.
Me, I got to get on an airplane at 1am and fly all night and then have a TEN HOUR LAYOVER in Portland before actually getting anywhere near LA. This is not generally my idea of a good time, since not only does it take an act of God to let me sleep on a plane, very few airports are interesting enough to keep a soul occupied for ten hours. Guh.
However, through graces that are not mine at all, I flew out on TWA, which is now my favorite airline in the ENTIRE WORLD. At least, for flying redeye out of Anchorage it is. They flew a 757 into Portland, so it was an unheard of 3 hour flight (zoom!) and the plane was so empty I actually was able to snag a whole row of 3 seats and sack out for 2 of those three hours. Then I managed to find one terminal or another in Portland, and more or less managed to sleep until 2 in the afternoon, which was indeed a godsend. I won't regale you with the incredibly strange dreams prompted by conversations going on around me and the incessant loudspeaker which came on to announce every fifteen minutes that abandoned luggage would be searched and seized and thank you for keeping PLX a non-smoking airport.
Eventually I got up and I was puttering around trying to find something edible, and I did some writing, and puttered around some more, and out I came from a store. And standing in front of the store was a woman, and I thought, "Gee, that looks a lot like Lydia." Then I noticed the guy crouched between me and the girl who looked like Lydia. Blue hair to the middle of his back.
And yup, Iago turns around and looks up and goes, "Kit!" Turns out he and Fluff and Squire were all going to Portland for AmberCon, and they'd just gotten off the plane. I was absolutely floored. Totally didn't expect to see anyone I knew in Portland, and it'd been two years since I'd seen any of them, so it was a remarkable surprise and totally made my day. They told me some about the games they were running/participating in, and I found myself going, "AmberCon . . . I could go to AmberCon next year . . . BUT I DON'T LIKE AMBER!" So I recovered. :)
Flew in to LA without incident, met Sarah at the airport. She was wearing extremely cool boots which were causing her feet to hurt a lot, 'cuz she'd been walking from one bloody end of LAX to the other, and that is a Damned Big Airport. Uh, she was wearing other stuff, too, but the boots were worthy of remarking on. Right, then.
(Me, I was wearing my 98 Highlander cruise t-shirt and she accused me of being That Guy, which was in fact why I was wearing it, so I'd be That Guy. If you don't know who That Guy is, you need to go watch the movie PCU right away. There were a bunch of us who were That Guy, but I don't know if anybody else knew they were That Guy.)
In theory, we were meeting Christi at the airport, but in reality, Christi's flight had gotten all screwed up, so we had no idea at all when she might be coming in, and she'd told us to go ahead to the hotel where we were supposed to be meeting Vonda and Ronda. (Gnerk. I do not seem to have a picture of the twins together. I'll need to rectify this; if anybody has one they'd be willing to submit to my cruise report, plesae email me!) What was I talking about? Oh, Vonda and Ronda. Right. So they'd left us a package at the hotel, so Sarah could host a PWFC (Peter Wingfield Fan Club) meeting, except of course as plans usually do, it went to hell.
For one, we got to the hotel like an hour later than we'd planned, 'cuz I spent NINETY SEVEN YEARS taxiing around the LAX runways in the United jet. Well, ok, it wasn't more than 20 or 25 minutes, but it FELT like ninety seven years. Then we couldn't find the shuttle, then we missed the shuttle by like six seconds, and then, finally, there was no package for us.
Now look, I ask you: is it too great a stretch of the imagination to think that perhaps if someone gives her name as Catie Murphy, that the package left for Catherine Murphy MIGHT JUST BE the right one? Unfortunately -- and this, I admit, is our fault -- we didn't think to ask for a package under Sarah's name, because V&R and said they'd put it under mine and we didn't think they might've put all our names on it. But STILL. SHEESH. Anyway, the PWFC gathering didn't go off, and I don't even know if people were there to try to make it happen but we were late, or if it actually fell apart before that.
Anyway, there we were, stuck there in the hotel lobby, and it was getting later and later and later. V&R and a jillion other people went to the special showing of A Vampire Reflects, the musical that Anthony DeLongis was doing -- or rather, had done. He arranged a special showing for ADLFC (c'mon, you can guess this one, can't you? Anthony DeLongis Fan Club) members and other people who got to the hotels early enough. We knew they'd gone to the show, but Vonda had anticipated getting back around 11 or 11:30, and it was creeping towards 12:30 and there we were aaaaaaaaaall alone in the hotel lobby. Christi hadn't shown up and we were getting worried about her, and debating trying to find a room of our own but not sure how Christi would find us if we did that, and--
--and then Christi arrived, looking traumatized by the shuttle guy, who had hit on her and bought her a Pepsi and a Snicker's bar and hit on her some more and then gotten lost and hit on her yet some more. Within minutes, the ADL group showed up as well, and Vonda read the guys at the desk the riot act for making us miss our gathering. So that was kinda cool of her. :)
Ultimately, eight of us -- Laurie, who couldn't go on the cruise, but who came through to visit -- Aimee, Vonda, Ronda, Christi, Sarah, Kay, and me -- ended up crashing in V&R's hotel room. It felt like a slumber party. *grin* Enough of us were tired (not me, particularly, not after sleeping all day) that it only took us maybe half an hour to crash and sleep. Maybe an hour. I'm pleased to report nobody snored. (Or, well, if they did, it was me, so I didn't notice!) :)
*LAUGH* Although Christi squeaked nicely. Ronda, who's an early riser, got up around 6am, and went to use the bathroom, but she got the wrong lightswitch, and turned on the lights in the main bedroom, where VondaLaurieChristiAimee were sleeping. It was only for a moment, but Christi went, "Eee! Eee! Eee!" in this teeny tiny sleepy little voice, causing great hilarity. I actually only woke up to the laughter, but the demonstrations everyone did suggest she sounded much like a very small kitten squeaking at being carried by the nape of the neck. Eee! Eee! Eee!
Most of us, I think, woke up pretty thoroughly while Ronda and Kay got ready to go out. None of us were actually willing to admit it, and mostly everyone stayed in bed until at least 7, but then we gave it up and started to get out of bed. Somewhat to my relief, all eight of us didn't find it necessary to bathe that morning, but I think 5 of us did. I called for more towels. :) And oops, this brings us into Friday.