Well...this weekend was...eventful. Let me just start from the drive to Austin and we'll see how the story goes from there.
Thursday: I'm driving to Austin, borrowing my dad's tablet as a GPS. I get several hours down the road, maybe halfway there, when suddenly I can't see the screen anymore. It was the result of a combination of the super dim screen and the sun shining directly on it. So I pull over and call my dad to ask him how to brighten it. He tells me, and then suggests I stop by a Walmart along the way to get a USB car charger, which I do.
I make it to Austin and find the convention center. I proceed to look for a place to park. I spot the entrance to a garage that is labeled "Guest Parking." My brilliant, travel-weary mind thinks, "That must mean convention center guests. I'll park there." I pull in, grab the ticket, and find a space to park. The thing that weird me out a little is that this garage is underground, while the ones I remembered climbed upward. After I leave my car, I look around for the elevator. The signs painted on the wall declare: TO HOTEL with arrows. And I find myself thinking, "Oh crap...what have I done?" I get in the elevator and ride up to the lobby of the Hilton Hotel. Yeah. I just parked at the Hilton. Wondermous. Well, too late to do anything about it now. So I walk over to the convention center and get registered for RTX in under five minutes. Fantastic! This was way faster than last year! :D
I take a few minutes to rest, as I don't need to be at K1 Speedway for several hours still. However, my car needs gas and I am infamous for my paranoia of being late, so I snag the center's wifi and get my next location, which is about twenty minutes away. I return to my car, having spent less than ten minutes parked there. Shell out fifteen bucks upon leaving. Fifteen bucks. For ten minutes. GRUMP. But I continue on my merry way, heading toward K1. About the time I find the interstate exit that I need to take, the plugged in tablet dies. Freak out mode activated. I do happen to remember the exit I need to take, and there is a gas station there as well. So I pull up to the pump and once again call my father. The tablet refuses to turn on, and it does not seem to be charging. My car appears to be doing nothing at all for it. So after filling up, he gives me directions the rest of the way to K1, where I sit down for the next several hours and let the silly tablet charge up.
I get a soft pretzel with some hot cheese and a DDP from the K1 snack bar, and aside from a bag of Starbursts, this is my only meal all day. After a while, more people obviously here for the AH charity show up and are registering, so I join them. It's quick nearly painless. My wallet started to cry, but it had yet to see anything. We're supposed to get two races with this event, and my first comes up fairly quickly. Meh. It's not the best car, but after a rough collision I find myself happy that they make us wear helmets. By the time I'm done with my race, @jack, @joel, and @caiti have arrived. The place is also starting to get crowded. The shindig isn't even supposed to start for at least one more hour.
The rest of the night goes well enough except that my second race wasn't until nearly midnight. By this point the constant noise and crowds have put me in a rather reclusive mood, so I'm sitting in an out of the way spot near a wall outlet, playing Sudoku on the silly tablet. My second race was even more meh than the first. They literally assigned me the slowest car. Oh well, such is life.
After that, I had a short scare where my wallet was missing, but thankfully it had been recovered by the K1 crew and nothing was missing. They were also kind enough to take pity on me and give me the private wifi password so that I could find my way to College Station that night. I get there at about 2 in the morning, with my amazing best friend there to guide me to her dormitory, where I promptly pass out.
Friday: I get up in the morning, take a shower, and head out, the GPS working its magic for me. Along the way, I see at least a dozen people all pulled over. Funsies. I'm on the toll road heading into Austin when suddenly, the GPS randomly decides that it doesn't want to work anymore. "Google Maps has stopped responding." >.> Well, time to call the father again. He guides me to the CC, and I locate a garage that is actually meant for CC parking, though it's a different one from what I'd used last year. This one is over on Second Street. Walking around for a few minutes, I've become very confused as to which building is supposed to be the center. The idea of following the people around doesn't necessarily help as it is sort of an early lunchtime, so some are headed away in order to find better munchies than the overpriced stuff at the center itself. (Seriously, does a guy named Beedle work there?) So it takes me a good ten minutes to actually get in the building, rather than the standard 2-3.
Inside, I pretty much immediately set out for the RWBY panel. Last year it was pretty typical to start the line around 2 hours early to get a good seat. Not the case this year. 11:30ish and the room is already nearly packed. Makes me glad that I'm attending by myself. Empty seats are easier to come by when you're just seating one person. The panel was amazing, of course, but sadly I didn't make it to the microphone, so I couldn't give the gifts I'd made in person. I hope you got them, @Lindsay, @kara, @arryn, and @Barbara. They were the ceramic rectangles with the RWBY symbols carved out of them. I've posted a picture in the past.
I had been hoping to go to the RTAA panel, but at this point, it was only an hour until it started, and if that line was anything like the last one, I might not even be able to make it in. Also, I am completely starving at this point, so I decide instead to go for food, so I head downstairs. Once again, I am struck by the sheer number of people there. (To be continued.)