Finally! Here's the first part of the report, guys. Part two should be posted tomorrow shortly.

Day One - Thursday, August 28th

Everyone got up 2:00 AM, and left the house at 4:00 AM. Drove for nine hours… making MULTIPLE stops. Thankfully, I slept most of the way -- a moving car has that effect on me. We arrived at the Red Roof Inn at 1:00 PM. We then proceeded to bring everything up to the room -- including the mutts (can't go anywhere without my two babies). We then headed off to the Hyatt...

We arrive at the Hyatt, and are completely overwhelmed. I then immediately take off like a bat out of hell, trying to find the registration line. I succeed, and we then proceed to get in line:



We were not that far from the door, which surprised me quite a bit. Unfortunately, it's only 1:40 PM, and the doors are not supposed to open until 4:00 PM. Ho hum... time to sit down, and write in my journal.

The doors then open at 3:00 PM (yay!), and we all file in like lambs to the slaughter. Surprisingly enough, we're only second in line for ticketmaster, so we were in-and-out in roughly 10 minutes. Huzzah! I then take advantage of our extra time to go sniffing around the hotels, and at least try to memorize their layouts. And, because I am made of awesome, I succeed in finding everything. Mwahaha! And it only took me a couple of hours to boot!

After everything is all said and done with, we decide to head back to our hotel. We head outside, and BAM! The registration line is wrapped around the entire hotel. It was INSANE!! I almost lost my mother while trying to navigate back to the parking deck -- it was hilarious. She was holding on to my backpack like a small child. XD

Anyway, we succeed in retrieving the car, and heading back to our own hotel. Day one complete.

--------------------

Day Two - Friday, August 28th

We all got up at 4:00 AM, but was forced to wait and eat breakfast at 6:00 AM... We left the hotel at 6:30, and made a beeline over to the Hilton -- arriving at roughly 7:00 AM. I head up to the second floor to get in line for the tickets for James' exclusive dinner party, and it was already pretty long:



I immediately start thinking "Bloody hell... I got here too late. No!" While waiting in line though, I met some of the coolest people on the entire planet -- Steve, Dawn, Chris, Jen -- I'm talking about you guys. Seriously, words cannot describe how awesome these people were. Steve was even going to let me have the final ticket if it came down to it. And his wife, Dawn, said that she was going to let Steve carry me to the dinner if he bought the last two tickets.

How awesome is that?

Anyway, while waiting in this God forsaken line for HOURS, a woman who was behind me suddenly heads up front. I just sit there and say: "What the hell? Where's she going?" As it turns out, this woman jumps to the front of line saying that her friend was buying her tickets, and that she had no previous knowledge of it.

Right... 

Well, this said woman almost causes a revolt when she does this. My mom then grabs my hand and drags me up to the front of the line and confronts the woman along with quite a few other people. The woman gets away with it because she sticks to her story, and her supposed "friend" backs her up. Alright, fine. Whatever. At this point I had all but given up hope on getting my tickets. So, I head back to where I was waiting in line and I start talking to Steve again. After a few more moments, they start selling the tickets. The line starts moving very slowly, and Chris along with the others kept giving us a heads up on how many tickets were left. I get up to the table, and there only four left. I just about died right then and there -- I couldn't believe that I had actually succeeded in getting my tickets. I then head over to the right side of the table where they had beautiful pictures of both James and Gareth. My mom buys a sexy B&W of Gareth, and a photo of James as Captain John Hart. As for me, I buy the same photo of Gareth because it is just simply gorgeous. As for James, I buy a photo of him as himself because I've already got an autographed photo of him as Spike.

I then, while being perfectly composed, throw everything into my backpack and walk off. It wasn't until I was out of earshot of everyone that I squeed and jumped up and down... I then headed over to the D*C store. There, I bought: a shirt, a bag, and a lanyard.

Next up, we planned to go to the Firefly Q&A with Nathan Fillion, but ultimately decided against it when we saw the line. The Q&A was at 2:30 PM -- it was only 12:00 PM, and people were already lined all the way up the stairs and out the back door. No, thank you. We then decided to head over to the Walk of Fame. We get there at roughly 12:15, and we immediately sit down. The line wasn't too bad at that point, and the doors were supposed to open at 1:00 PM, so we decide to get some lunch. I send my dad off to get some pizza. He comes back, and as soon as we start eating, the line starts moving... I honestly don't think I have ever eaten a slice pizza as fast in my entire life as I did then. I don't even remember what it tasted like. LOL. Anyway, we make our way into the Walk of Fame...

*le gasp*

In a word, this room was HUGE, and... OMG. Once again, I was completely overwhelmed. It didn't take me long to recover though. Here's a list of people that I got to meet:

Virginia Hey - Posed for a pic (no, I will not be posting it), and I chatted with her for just a bit. This woman defines the word lady. And Jesus-flippin-Christ she's tall. She completely towered over me! 

Gigi Edgley - Gah! She was so adorable! I told her that this was my first convention, and she said: "We're poppin' your cherry, in a manner of speaking." LOL! She then asked where I was from, and I told her. She then made a remark about Ben being from around the same area, and the fact that you could sometimes tell it in his accent. She then asks my name, and I tell her. She then says: "Oh, that's a beautiful name!" Gah! She then gives me my photo, I shake her hand, and I make my way over to David's table.



David Franklin - Alright, I'm going to tell you guys right here and now that I've had a MAJOR crush on this guy for years. So, it took quite a bit of courage on my part to go over to his table. I kept thinking "OMFG... It's Braca! What do I do? What do I say?" But I took a deep breath, and decided to just go with the flow. I head over to his table. I walk up and say "Hi." He says "Hi" back, and I then pick out my photo. He asks my name and I tell him. He then says: "Oh, Ashley" twice in what could only be described as the 'Scarlett O'Hara' voice, causing me to wobble a bit. God, did you have to say it like that?! I'm barely keeping my composure as it is, man! And I still haven’t even gone over to Gareth’s table yet! He then asks where I'm from. I tell him. He then asks if I flew or drove down. I told him that we drove for roughly 8 hours, and he then remarks that he's glad that he didn't run into me on Thursday. That's when I said: "Yeah. I was in full-on bitch mode." We then get to talking about the Farscape panels, and he tries to read his badge, but ultimately fails. I offer to help him out. He says sure, and hands the badge over to me. At this point, I'm starting to build my courage up a bit, so I make the remark: "Pfft. I can see that just fine." I then give him the eye. He just looks at me, and says "I used to like you, but now I don't." I then quip: "Oh, that hurts my feelings." We then start talking about small stuff... This guy just would not let me go. It was hilarious. It finally got to the point where I think it was his handler who said: "I think she wants to go collect some other autographs, David." He then says: "Oh, right!" He apologizes, and shakes my hand. I just stand there. After a few more seconds, I say: "I need my photo." He then immediately jumps, and says: "Of course," and then hands it over to me. I giggle at him, and walk off. 



For the next two, I just sort of unintentionally slithered in line (sorry!). My mom had already been waiting for a while, and she told me to just get in line with her. She then immediately asks: "Where the hell have you been? What took so long?" I said it was all David's fault, and I gave her an innocent look. I then ask her just who exactly are we waiting in line for. All she does is point ahead, and I see both Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk. I about died right there on the spot. But by this time, I had already talked to three people whom I've been a fan of for years, so I figured yeah... I can handle Alan and Nathan. No problem.  

Alan Tudyk - Didn’t get to talk very much with the gorgeous Alan. He shook my hand, and asked my name. I then pick out my photo, and I ask if he’ll make it out to Ashley and have it say ‘Happy Birthday’. He says sure, and then signs my photo. He even put “I’m a leaf on the wind,” which is my favorite line from Wash – and I didn’t even tell him that! He also drew an arrow on my picture for some reason… I still haven’t figured that out.

 

Nathan Fillion – Another person that I didn’t get to chat with for very long – both he and Alan were being rushed because of the fact that they both had a panel to go to. I walk up to his table, and I tell his handler that I don’t have change. His handler then remarks: “That’s fine. Nathan asked me earlier to bring change because he knew you were coming.” I then quip: “Yeah, cause Nathan is such a gentleman.” His handler then looks over to Nathan and says: “Isn’t that right, Nathan?” Nathan then replies: “Yeah, cause Ashley NEVER has change when she comes.” I just blink and say: “Dude. I thought you were a nice guy!” Nathan just grins at me and wishes me a happy birthday. I then shake his hand, and move on to the TAPS table.

 

Grant Wilson – I make my way over to the TAPS table, and I only have to wait in line for roughly five minutes. I walk up, and there’s Grant’s wife. I ask about a shirt for my brother – he needed a large size. She then says hold on, and immediately starts digging through the boxes behind her. And she finds one! She then opens it up to make sure that it’s the right size for me, and it was. I then pick out a shirt for myself, along with two photos. I slide down to the part of the table where Grant’s sitting, and the first thing I ask him to do is sign an autograph for my brother because he’s a HUGE fan. Grant then says something to the effect of: “Yeah, but you’re not?” I say: “Oh, yeah! I’m quite the fan too!” He then says: “But not as big of a fan as him?” All I can say is: “Well…” He then grins at me, and says: “And yet you’re the one down here.” I then laugh at him, and nod while saying: “Yep. You’ve got a point there.” He laughs, and starts signing my brother’s photo. While he’s doing that, I look at him and say: “Hey, Grant, there’s a question I’ve been dying to ask you…” He says: “What is it?” I give him a dead serious look, and say: “What’s your favorite anime?” He then says: “Oh, gosh…” and puts his hands on his face saying: “There’s so many! I like Bleach, Death Note…” He thinks for a moment, and that’s when I tell him a few of my favorites and I ask if he’s seen them. He says: “No, but I’ve heard of them.” We basically continue this conversation on for roughly 10-15 minutes. He then finally makes the remark: “I’m thinking about dressing up as an ANBU, and heading down to the dealers later.” I chuckle at him, and say: “Oh my, God… that would be fantastic!” At this point, Tango gets interested in the conversation, and asks “What’s an ANBU?” I look at him, and tell him that an ANBU is a super elite ninja. He just gives me this blank look. That’s when Grant says that they’re from the anime series, Naruto. Grant then looks at me and says: “I’ve been trying to get him into it.” I then look over at Tango, and say: “You should totally watch it man. It’s awesome.” Grant then nods, signs my photo, and then, out of the blue, he picks up one of the shirts I bought and asks who’s it for. I tell him that it’s for my brother, and he then immediately signs it for him. No questions asked. I thank him, and I tell him that my brother’s going to LOVE it. He says no problem, and shakes my hand.

 

Basically, Grant is one of the coolest and most down-to-earth guys that I’ve ever met. He was fantastic.

 

Dave Tango – I slide down to the part of the table where Tango’s sitting, I pick out my photo, and I ask him to make it out to Ashley. I also ask if he’ll have it say ‘Happy Birthday’. He says sure, and signs my photo. While standing there, I pull my money out of my bag, and I notice that Tango’s dad is sitting beside him at the table. I immediately say: “Oh my gosh… You’re Papa Tango!” He smiles, and shakes my hand while saying: “Hi, I’m Bruce.” I say: “Hi, I’m Ashley. It’s a pleasure to meet you!” It was at this point that Dave goes all ‘bug-eyed’ and says: “This is for you? You’re Ashley? Oh my God, Happy Birthday!” I just simply nod, smile, and say: “Thank you very much. I’m actually turning 24.” He replies with: “You’re older than me. I turn 24 in March.” I was like: “Wow. I’m older than you?!” He says: “Yep. Cause I’m 23 now.” I then simply replied with: “Cool!” I shake his hand, leave the table, and go in search of my mom.

 

As it turns out, my mother was waiting in line for Edward James Olmos’ autograph. I walk over to her, and I tell her about the conversation I had with Grant. I then look for my camera, and I discover that it’s missing. I panicked. I ran back over to the TAPS table, and as it turns out, Papa Tango had found my camera and pulled it off to the side. I immediately thank him, and tell him that he’s a lifesaver. Then, I rush back off to where my mom is.

 

Once she collects Olmos’ autograph -- while I'm stealing a few glances of Callis, Douglas and Penikett -- we then decide to head to the back of the room just to see if James and/or Gareth have arrived yet. They had, and I PROMPTLY jump in line for Gareth with my mom doing the same. At this point, she whips out her camera and tries to get a picture of James. While she’s doing this, she’s completely oblivious to everything else around her – so oblivious that she doesn’t even notice someone stumbling over her foot. I just stand there, wondering if the guy was alright. I didn’t know who it was at the time because his back was turned. He then slides in front of me – Gareth’s line was a little tight – and it was at that moment that I realized exactly who it was… It was Walter Koenig. I just blink for a second, and immediately started laughing my ass off. My mom comes rushing over saying: “What? What are you laughing at?” At this point, I can hardly breathe. I just look at her and say: “Dwanny… You just tripped Chekov.” She gets this horrified expression on her face, which ultimately causes me to laugh even harder.

 

That’s pretty damn good – this was our first convention, and on the first day my mom trips a TV legend. Anyway, moving on…

 

Gareth David-Lloyd – So, I finally make it up to Gareth’s table. I pick out a photo for my dear friend, Anna, and I pay Gareth’s handler for the photo and two autographs. I slide down to the part of the table where Gareth’s sitting and my heart jumps into my throat. I look at him, and politely ask: “Will you sign my Torchwood box, and can you make the autograph out to my friend, Anna?” He says: “A double-n a?” I say: “Yeah, that’s right.” I didn’t stop to think to get him to sign my own photo that I had bought earlier that morning because his handler had told us then that he and James would sign our photos at the dinner. My mother asks her again to reaffirm this, and she then says that they WON’T be signing any photos at the dinner. I looked at the woman, and said: “What? But I thought you said that they were going to be signing them?” We then get to talking about it, and I look over to Gareth and I apologize for the fact that it may seem as if I was ignoring him, which I wasn't. He just gives me a funny look, and completely clams up. He hardly said a word to me after that – even when I asked to take a picture.





(Yes, Anna, that's YOUR picture on the table.)

 


It wasn’t until much later that I realized exactly what I had said… I tried to be so kind, polite, and courteous to this guy that I’m a HUGE fan of, and all I do is ultimately insult him. Argh! I fail at life! Someone tar and feather me! I deserve it… And what’s so bad is the fact that this wasn’t the only time I did it. It still doesn't match what he said to my mother, and her friend Dawn at the dinner though. That takes the cake... I actually found it somewhat humorous at first, but now... I'm actually rather insulted. God only knows how my mom and Dawn felt.

 

Anyway, time for the final autograph of the day.

 

James Marsters – So, I go over to get in line for James’ table. It’s finally my turn, and I step up. I hand James my Torchwood box, and he immediately says: “Oh! Is this the second season?!" I say: “Yep. Sure is.” He then says: “I have got to get me this! Is it available here in America?” I say: “No… I cheated.” He then replies with: “Awesome!” He then signs my box for me, and shakes my hand saying that it was a pleasure meeting me. I say the same, and then I say: “See you at the dinner tomorrow.” His face lights up and he says: “Fantastic!”







And I thought that I was in love with this guy before... He was just simply amazing!

 

My mother and I then decide to head down to the dealers. I buy three shirts – 2 featuring Daleks, and 1 featuring a small portion of the cast from Heroes. I also buy three badges – 1 Torchwood Institute, 1 TARDIS license, and 1 TARDIS boarding pass. We then decide to FINALLY head back to the hotel. Day two complete.



And that concludes Part One. Phew… I didn’t think I would ever get this thing finished. Next up is Part Two.  Highlights include: the Saturday Torchwood panel, James singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me, getting to pose with both James and Gareth for a picture, me insulting Gareth… again.
 
Keep an eye out, and I’ll see you guys later. ♥
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