Although I got out of bed on time (a pretty big feat for me with how busy and stressed I've been lately) and got lucky in terms of traffic, by the time I arrived in Chattanooga, checked into my hotel, and changed into my Andrea (Walking Dead) costume, it was already well after 3 PM. Add to that the fact that they'd moved registration to the host hotel, which was at least a ten minute walk from where I was staying, and sadly I missed the 4 PM writing panel I'd planned to attend.
No worries, though! Once we had our badges it was time for drink refills, dealer room wanderings, and then a 5 PM panel about "Creating Great Characters". I took a lot of notes and the speaker gave out some great worksheets! Though this particular panel wasn't on my 'top choices' list, it was still good and I'm glad that I went. Immediately after, we also stopped by one of the author readings - though I was a bit late because I wanted another drink refill ;) (Thankfully my hotel was RIGHT across the street from the convention center) This particular reading was definitely an interesting experience, but one of my friends did buy a couple of the books that we heard snippets of, and I'll probably check them out as well when I have some more free time for reading.
And after that, well...first things first, pictures for Andrea and The Gov!
Second things second, a stop at the room for some snacks, drink refills (again), costume changes...and then off to the host hotel for some nightlife - Drunk Big Wheel Racing (for charity!), a bit of karaoke, and some general wandering around.
But not before I attended the "World Building in Fiction" panel! This one wasn't quite what I'd hoped it would be - I think the main issue was that there were far too many panelists (6? maybe 7? I can't remember). Again, though, I took plenty of notes and got some good tips, so it was still worth attending, for sure.
And once that was over, there was a quick stop at the bar and then the walk across the hotel grounds to the Drunk Big Wheel Racing...I even ran into some other BSG cosplayers on the way there!
We were a bit late for the racing, but did arrive in time to witness the tail end of one round - and for my buddies to get into the last race. I was shocked that there weren't more people there, because honestly this whole thing was just hilariously, over-the-top ridiculous. Basically, you chug a beer, drive a lap, chug a beer, drive a lap, chug a beer, drive a lap (or something along those lines; I can't remember if it was 2 beers, 3 laps, or 3 beers, 3 laps). I didn't participate but it was more than enough fun to spectate.
*And* both my friends won trophies! (3rd place...and Best Crash. Haha)
After that we just hopped back and forth between the hotel bar and karaoke, meeting new people, drinking plenty of beer, and just generally having a blast. Around one in the morning we realized that we'd never eaten a proper dinner, though, so at this point we headed out to The Honest Pint, a downtown Chattanooga pub that serves amazing food...until 2 AM! (No seriously though, good beer selection and delicious food that late at night? This place was an awesome, awesome find.)
Bedtime came far too late considering I wanted to make an 11 AM writing workshop the next morning...but day two of Con Nooga is another story for another time, so I'll continue writing about my adventures later!