Laura G’s Con Virgin Report - B&B con, San Diego CA 2010

LauraG and Linda Hamilton

This is the chain of consciousness writing I did as soon after the con as I could.

I met my roomies, Linda, Michelle and Suzi, in the airport and felt instantly connected to them - it was easy to spot each other wearing our BatB tshirts! We rode the shuttle to the hotel together with 2 women who weren't part of our con. (Poor Topsiders!) As we pulled up into the hotel we saw a bunch of our group walking down the sidewalk, Vicky among them. We four roomies started squealing and jumping up and down like a bunch of teenie-boppers spotting the Beatles!! As soon as the shuttle stopped we descended into the mob, hugging and laughing and introducing ourselves. The next thing we knew, we turned around to find the two poor Topsider women who happened to share our ride also being hugged and welcomed to the con, much to their surprise and confusion! You wonder what stories they have to tell about their stay in San Diego...

As soon as we all dumped our stuff in the room, we ran right back down and met everyone at the wine and cheese taste. How can you describe meeting people who you've never met, yet you KNOW them?! So many memories: Passing the Raggedy Vinny doll around the group, putting faces with names and promptly forgetting them and having to ask again! I never even felt the earthquake, probably because we were all still bouncing. Going out to dinner and spotting people in BatB shirts and Catherine necklaces on the sidewalk, and just running up to them asking who they are and hugging them! I barely slept that first night even though I'd been awake since 3am - too excited and keyed up! It was worse than being a kid at Christmas!

The next morning my roomies and I pounced on the dealers room like vultures not even waiting for the body to die. There was more treasure in the dealer’s room than in "Fever" and we became nearly catatonic with excitement. JoAnne wandered in after a while and shooed us out of there like a gentle shepherd herding cats - we didn't know we weren't allowed in there yet! We really didn't! We were innocent virgins! How could we know the ways of this wondrous world???

Then the city tour and harbor tour and Shakespeare in Balboa Park. Not even my motion sickness could dampen those! Meeting more people I loved and admired. Then the con on Friday - the deflowering of the virgins and the Tribute to Chan... Cory and Bubba... Trying on Mouse's jacket and Vincent's vest! Then Judy and Linda.... Vicky standing between Krista and me, asking us at least 4 times if we were kidding that it was really Linda Hamilton standing 2 meters in front of her - - as if we'd prank her with something like that?!?!?! I found it hard to look at Linda for much of her interview because the expression on Vicky's face was so much better! It was great meeting Linda and getting her autograph and a picture with her, but that wouldn't have been one tenth the thrill and precious memory that it is for me if it weren't for experiencing it all with my friends.

The costume parade and the talent show - I told myself when I first planned on going to the con that I was going to do everything and go everywhere and experience it all to its very fullest - what if it was the only con I ever got to go to, after all? No way was I going to have one single regret for not doing something! And so, OMG I actually got up and sang something! Badly, I know, but with great enthusiasm! I left my safe places and I’m glad I did! Now I can say: Been there! Done that! Not gonna need to do it again! EVER! ROFL!

Then there was the banquet and charity auction! Pictures with everyone in the Ren gear! Vicky singing with Lee - not a dry eye in the house! Linda was still hanging out, and she stopped by our table just to chat - and apparently, to play with Vicky’s hair! The auction itself! I'd heard that Deb was a hoot as the auctioneer but no description beforehand could have done her justice! Watching Lee Holdridge reduced to tears of laughter as Deb proclaimed we could grow our own Lee Holdrige in a petri dish - and the dozen shades of red Deb turned when it dawned on her that he was right there! The lady-like belly bumps for bids over 'two-fitty'! Bidding on Sleepless in Providence and actually winning it! Reading zines in our jammies, sighing and crying and laughing til it hurt. Carole's lovely voice lulling us with JoAnne's perfectly chosen words... then covering her face in shock and mortification, "Father?!!!!!!!!!!!!" It took a long while to recover from that one! You had to be there....

A table full of us spontaneously breaking into song at random intervals while beading bracelets... decapitated piñata heads in the closet... (I wonder what the maids thought of that!)... hearing stories of people on missions from god... tunnel fairies leaving anonymous surprises left and right... we still don’t know who some of those tunnel fairies were.... the pipes singing about the antics in other rooms.... skyping Lyn in Australia... Nat’s radiant smile and Sandy’s staggering blue eyes… zombies in pajamas walking to the lobby for coffee each morning… trying not to laugh so loudly in the hallways and failing miserably… talking on the phone and webcam at the same time… Michelle and I tying for the very worst Beast Bingo card for about a dozen calls...

The carousel! Being where they filmed one of my favorite eps! Recognizing the horses and calliope! Kathleen busted me crying with happiness and I wasn't the least bit embarrassed! The girl working there had to shoo me out again... I'm sensing a theme... Lunch at Edie's table.... Stiff Vinny at the tunnel... The tunnel!!!! Gross and messy and wet and spider webs in my hair and it was GREAT! A pic of the mad fanfic writer... leaving and reading our messages... voices echoing down the darkness... trying to get the darned cameras to focus on something - what do you mean cameras need light???

Dinner at Krista's - watching eps IN PERSON! Chatting without typing - What a concept! But we all still applauded at the end, and I swear I could see the little skype hearts circling our heads as the eps started! Our littlest fan and budding photographer... such a joy! Lemon snap cookies - the exotic local cuisine!! Then crawling into Krista's trunk with Cyndi to avoid another outrageously overpriced cab fare - who'd've thunk we'd try reenacting that scene from "The Watcher" with such hysterical results?! Have I ever laughed so hard? Has there ever been such polite luggage? It is a memory that I’ll treasure forever, and one that will never fail to make me laugh out loud. How could it not? It was a magical evening spent with women I love like sisters. And Rob. :-)

The zoo - we were all just big kids again rooting for baby flamingos trying to get onto shore and watching polar bears mugging for the camera. We lost a purse but honest people kept it safe til we got back for it. I overcame my fear of heights and enjoyed the ride on the skytram! Horseback riding through bamboo groves and along the beach, watching the sun sink into the Pacific... Janet's horse arguing with mine - then kicking him! But I kept my seat both times! How funny we all walked when we finally got off those horses! My saddle was still sore days later.

Finally, trying to pack all our stuff into suitcases and hoping they wouldn't weigh too much. Not wanting to go to sleep that night because no one wanted it to end... Lingering at the airport, hanging out with Cyndi and Lisa, not wanting to say goodbye…

You know, I went to a couple of Star Trek conventions back when I was in college, but those were just about seeing the TV stars. Believe me when I tell you that had there been no Cory, no Judy and no Linda, the joy and the fun and the love would have been identical. Those who have called this a family reunion are spot-on! I would never go to a BatB con looking for stars and autographs - I’ll go for the friends who are now family, for the Bond that we really do share, for the laughter of people who understand each other’s OPness without exception or explanation, for the hugs from people who really know how to hug! That’s what means the most to me about that week. I would be tickled to travel to Northern Nowhere, Manitoba to spend time with these people - and I’m sure I’d have more fun there with them than I would in Paris or Rio without them!

Back home, I smiled for weeks, and that is no exaggeration. I'm still smiling! I was left with the warmest, fuzziest feeling that anyone has ever had. One of the first things I did when I got home was tell my husband and kid that they shouldn’t plan on me being around the first weekend in July until further notice. I am never missing one of these if it is humanly possible to get me there! This was the best vacation of my life. One of the best experiences of my life. Kind of like a dream, but way, WAY better! Thank you all for making it come true!

To quote our youngest fan: I very love you all!