Saturday, August 23, 2014

GenCon 2014 - Part I, Prelude

It's been almost a week since our exhausted return from the Nerdvana that is GenCon. It was a long, strange trip this year from the Monday prior right through to Sunday evening.

For those that don't know, on the Monday before GenCon, riding my bicycle home from my son's football practice, I slammed on my brakes to avoid a situation. My front brakes worked wonderfully. Unfortunately, my rear brakes failed completely. This sent me over the handle bars and on to the pavement. For my troubles, I ended up in the emergency room with a mild concussion and a jacked up right hand, wrist, and shoulder.

I was lucky in that I did not break anything - just a lot of soft tissue damage and pain. Unfortunately, there was no way I could drive from our abode in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago to the Indianapolis.  Heck, I didn't even know how I was going to get all of our stuff in the van now that I was in a sling. But I have an awesome wife who, despite hating driving in that kind of traffic, took on the pilot role.  I'm not sure who was more anxious...

But  with the kids' help and my wife's will, we made it down to Indy...only to be standing on the street with nowhere to sleep. I'm not getting into details, but I am fortunate to be able to stay in a condo just up the street from the convention. Problem was, the keys to that lair were in a closed UPS store just of Monument Circle. Apparently the delay in our departure (due in no small part to the slow packing because of my injury) and the one hour time difference placed us outside the UPS store 55 minutes after it closed.

Now, we were fortunate in that we had a spare key for the condo itself. Problem was we could not get into the building. The security system into which one can punch a code and gain access was in the process of being repaired; a fact we found out later. all we faced is a sign that read something like "Temporary - Access only through garage 8/13-8/14" Now the only way in was using a special key fob and going through the parking garage...a key fob we did not have because it was on the key chain sitting in the UPS store.

After waiting around a while (with part of the contents of our vehicle on the curb) to see if someone would come out or go in (thus opening the door to the building) a worker from the restaurant  in the adjoining building - which uses the same lobby/basement - took pity on us and used his access to allow us to gain entry. Finally we were in! We then had to play a kind of relay game to unload the vehicle - with me playing the part of door stop, for which I'm eminently qualified...and not just because my injury limited my carrying capacity.

We had expected to arrive at about 2:00 PM, relax for a while, eat some dinner, then go to a party that is a Wednesday night tradition. Instead, we arrived at 8:00 PM (local time), scrambled to get ready, then headed to the party sans children; if we all went, we wouldn't be able to get back in the building!

We were already pretty exhausted...and the  convention hadn't even started yet...

1 comment:

  1. Ouch. I'm sorry to hear it was such a rocky start to the con, Jim. Hopefully things went only up from there!