Oh, while I was feeling fine at the airport before the flight, I decided to eat (can't eat when I'm not fine, so I have to take these opportunities). Pot Belly sandwiches. Yum. And guess who was at the table next to us? Mink Stole. The man was upset that I recognized her and he didn't. Once I told him, he totally recognized her, though. She was on our flight too.
I hate the Atlanta airport. I'm sure it's easy to find your way around if you know the place, but we kept following signs to things that seemed to lead us in a circle. I was glad to just get the hell out of there, get on the train and get to Peachtree Center where I found some tasty coffee and some sanity. From there, we made our way through a series of walkways and hallways to the Marriott and then to the Hilton. Check-in was quick and easy and friendly, but karma intervened and we got stuck in a smoking room. They said it's not, but it clearly is (or was until recently). It's the same floor as last year (couple doors down from last year's room in fact) and last year this was a smoking floor. Anyway, it's fine because I still like the smell of cigarettes.
We spent a couple minutes in the room before heading off to the Sheraton to pickup our badges. We'd heard rumors at Peachtree Center that badge pick-up was running about four hours. WTF? It was bad enough last year wen it took 2 1/2 hours. I thought for sure Dragon*Con would've re-evaluated their incredibly inefficient system for badge distribution and made some improvements. Nope. The line was about a block longer than when we got in it last year. And someone walked by saying we had a six hour wait ahead of us. WTfrakkinF?! I discounted that as lies, though, and it was. It took about 3 1/2 hours to get badges. At least everyone is cheery and chatty in line, which helps the time go by easier.
After badges, we wandered about finding where our first couple panels for Friday were located so we'd be able to get quickly from one to another. There was nothing more to do after that, so we checked out out the bars at the Hilton. Down in the basement, Trader Vic's was way too loud so we defaulted to the quiet lounge off the lobby instead. We took a seat at the bar and discovered we were sitting next to Morena Baccarin and Sean Maher. Cool. We resisted the urge to intrude since they were having conversation with friends, but the man got a little hello nod from Sean Mahrer.
When they left, some fans at another table got up to talk to them in the lobby. There were pictures and excitement for several minutes. When we were done our beers, we chit-chatted with the fans who'd gotten pictures. They were fun and really nice. Since I was wearing some TSCC stickers and buttons, we talked TSCC too and exchanged twitter info. I think we'll end up hanging with them again.