So...here we go again.
CEII was amazing. It was, in fact, probably one of the best experiences of my life. I rode a 5 day high of delight and excitement that I swear I have not experienced since I was a whole lot younger than my current jaded old self. Trying to figure out why this was exactly I go off on all sorts of tangents and really it's like trying to explain the meaning of life to a rock...or something.
I think the combination of meeting extraordinary people who all share the common love of Star Wars and geeky stuff along with the fact that it was a HUGE event plus some rather extraordinarily unexpected wonders that happened which made it special. I'm going to leave it at that.
|packed and ready to go!|
Having spent the day before packing and sewing I wanted to get on the go early. This did not happen as we had last minute shopping stuff to do and Himself needed a hair cut. We left the house around 1 ish and off we went to Essen. I grumbled a bit because I wanted to be there a bit earlier but no matter. The trip down was easy. We missed all the staus and the bad weather. It was fun getting Facebook pms as updates from our friend Claus and before we knew it we were at our hotel. The Ruhr Hotel Essen.
|almost there...not quite...|
This is a smallish ( around 40 rooms) family run hotel around 15 minutes walk from the convention centre. Checking in was funny because the first thing that was commented on was that we were the people who couldn't decide how long we wanted to stay for. Ha ha. 1st we'd only booked Friday Saturday, the weekend, then we added Sunday night then realized on Wednesday that we'd forgotten about staying on Thursday, luckily for us they had room still open for Thursday night. They made sure we got the same room all the way through in spite of the 3 x we booked. Super friendly doesn't begin to cover it. The room we had was spacious and in the back of the hotel. #23. All the while this is going on people we know are also showing up. It was a huge reunion in the hotel lobby much to the amusement of the staff.
After all the back and forth, the walking to find the convention centre we headed out, wearing the appropriate t-shirts ( a must) to the brauerei pub where the meet and greet was to take place. This pub, as a nice as it was, needed serious lessons from a Munich beer garden. The service was pretty abysmal, they were totally under staffed and they, even though they had been warned, had no idea how to cope with the mass of people that showed up. Dudes, the 501st and the Rebel Legion + friends are huge. But this was the case, it turned out, for pretty well the whole area around the Messe. No one expected the 501st, the RL the droid builders etc... we are legion and far too many for all the local eateries.
The meet and greet was great. So many familiar faces and a lot of new ones. I stepped way out of my shy zone and bounced about like Tigger on uppers. I was so hyper and excited. It was fun and silly and I got to talk to new people, meet new people and probably scared new people who were wondering who was the crazy red head and why is she talking to me....But really it was cool to actually get up the nerve to openly say Hi I'm Fiona who are you... and start from there. I saw people who really didn't know many people and they looked a bit lost. I know and remember what that feels like. For me, at least, this was a great way to meet new friends. You can usually tell after a few seconds if people don't want to engage and then you say nice to meet you and move along.
|the meet and greet!|
The pub just couldn't handle people standing around and not sitting at the table. They stopped giving bar service because ..well I don't know why actually.... and would only serve you if you were attached to a table. We managed to get 1 beer order in and then given the state of the service added a second one which much to Marcus' chagrin came fairly quickly so he was left holding two beers as I still had not finished my first one. This was okay tho because it meant when our friend Jasmine arrived and was sad-panda-face because she wanted a cold drink and it was impossible I could gladly give her the beer meant for me. We rescued her with beer...this is a good German tradition I think. Anything for a squad mate! After a few hours of non-existent service and only1 beer we skipped across the street to a very nice Italian place and ate with our Swiss Garrison Friends. This was one of the only places ( also the sushi place) that did not run out of food and still managed to serve it in a decent time frame.) After food we went back to the pub and just mingled.
All 4 of my Tusken husbands were there so we took a silly picture.
|Tusken husbands #1,#2,#3,and #4|
Cards were traded, patches were swapped, stories were told and the excitement ramped up a notch for the big day tomorrow. I think we wandered off at around midnight-ish, because it was very warm and we were kind of tired and tomorrow was going to be pretty busy.
Back at the hotel we settled in to sleep but not before I set up the fan we'd brought with us...a trick we had stolen from the people sleeping in the room across from us at DW20 and boy were we glad I had done this. Essen was in full on heat wave and the lovely hotel did not have A/C.
Day 2: TBC....