And you'll notice I've started tagging the photos with my name...if there are any you want to use for icons, etc. please let me know first! Thank you!
Wednesday after getting off from work, I headed home to finalize my packing so I could drive up to meet Marcie (dlgr) to drive to the airport! Of course, I forget my battery charger and 1 of my 2 batteries, so I bought a charger at the Best Buy in Fredericksburg and will return it when I get home heh.
Marcie and I left to go to the airport - her mom drove us and I get to leave my car at her house, whee! Saves me $60! We went through security fairly quickly actually, and had time to grab a bite to eat. I got a really good PB&J sandwich that was toasted. Yum.
So, we exchanged money there, all that good stuff, and then went to wait. We got to meet charly2004's friend who happened to be on the same flight as us, and then boarded. The flight is actually fairly empty, so it's nice and quiet (except for the stupid kid who occasionally cries...grrr). Marcie has actually been able to move into the row in front of mine that is empty so we both have plenty of space to spread out to get some sleep after dinner. HAHA I kept joking they should move us up to business class. After we took off, we got dinner - Marcie got the vegetarian dinner (which yay! I was surprised they would actually be able to get that for her) and I got the ravioli pasta. And, of course, we had tea to complete the dinner. Yum.
So...now I'm writing this up and am going to read to get tired and try to get some sleep. England here we come!
It was really hard to get any sleep on the plane - uncomfortable seats! Even though Marcie moved to the seat in front of mine so we could both get 2 seats, we were still rolling around for most of the flight. When we landed, we got through customs fairly quickly and Marcie left with her friend Chris, and I found charly2004! And we were off to Stratford-Upon-Avon to see David Tennant in Love's Labours Lost.
We got to the hotel, which is a bit of a ways away but it's nice and quaint and next to farms with sheep and a deer reservation park and a HUGE house that a queen used to reside in, and then we explored Statford some. I couldn't live here, but it's SO SO quaint and cute and ye-olde-everything (haha I always think of David Tennant and his video diaries for the Shakespeare Code episode in S3). This is Shakespeare's birthplace and has many historic sites that relate to him, his gardens and where he was raised. We explored the park that was across from the Courtyard Theater and then wound up down at the Stratford Church, which was really, really neat. Very cool old architecture and graveyard, but unfortunately we couldn't get in.
We also walked down some of what I assume is the downtown area. Lots of old areas and very English cottage types of houses. Most of the things were closed, but we got to look around. It's so hard for me to explain what England is like to me, but it's so green and lush and just untouched by time, especially this town.
Then was the play! HOORAY! We were in the 2nd row of the 1st balcony and they were great seats, a bit to the left center side of the stage. The stage itself was very pretty with the tree and hanging shiny things hanging down that were used as props (HAHA the bushes he was hiding behind). And then the 4 lords came out one by one, and David was the 3rd to come out...he laid down on the stage and placed a straw hat on his head.
Heh, the woman beside me snapped at me for taking photos - before the play actually started - but at this point of time, EVERYONE was taking photos! We were actually some of the first to stop. And I was not using my flash and covered up my orange light.
So, the play started, and I admit I was a bit lost with what was going on at first because I've never read this play or seen any adaptation of it to my knowledge, and it seemed to be a play specifically written that played with Shakespeare's use of language and the wit of puns and double entendres. SO TOUGH to follow! Sheesh! But it was VERY funny! I LOVED the last bit of the end of Act 1 where David's character is sitting in the tree watching the other 3 lords declare their love and then gets all on their case and purposely makes them feel bad about breaking their oaths while he has not (when he really has.) and then his note arrives and David quickly tears it up and begins to shove the entire thing in his mouth like a goat! HAHA It was so funny! All 4 of them together I thought acted so well together, playing off each other, and with some funny facial reactions. It was a great ensemble cast working together. I LOVED the guy who came up with the huge book and inside was a guitar!
It kinda reminded me of seeing Jensen how we chuckled when he said "Sam" and "sonofabitch" in AFGM and just how his character blended with the one in the play. Well, David had some "Weellllllll..." moments and just some eye quirks and eyebrow raises that were so Doctor to me! He did a fantastic job...that must be so hard to memorize, especially when playing Hamlet at the same time. But he was just hilarious. And him jumping on the tree when the Princess comes up to him! HEE! And I loved in the 2nd Act when they were the Russians and had these HORRIBLE Russian accents and it was just hilarious! David said "feces" HAHA
After the actors all took their bows, Charly and I booked it out there to try and get to the Stage Door in hopes of getting an autograph from David. We were like...3rd row or so, and literally the moment we got back there, David came out - VERY quickly, not long at all, and signed a bunch of autographs going from one side to the other. Luckily, we are both tall and have long arms, so we just kinda stretched our programs out and above others and got it signed! WHEEEEE! And he was adorable and just....OMG pretty and so normal joe looking. I think its the not-as-ruffled-up-hair and the lack of sideburns and suit that make him look so unlike the Doctor. David probably only signed for all of 5 minutes before going back in, so we were very lucky to get autographs at all.
It was totally worth my skinned knee, which happened when my heel got caught and I fell trying to run and catch up to Charly. Totally worth it for getting to see David and get an auto! (edited to add later: and OMG my knee is just tore up. I can't bend it since I skinned it RIGHT where I bend my knee, and it only started drying out and scabbing over on Sunday. Yep, from Thurs-Sun, it was just gross.)
We came back to the room and are planning on getting up early tomorrow to head onto Northampton for The Hub! I can't wait to meet John and Naoko, but getting an autograph from David Tennant was a WONDERFUL unexpected bonus! I'm so glad we were able to work the timing out so we could go to the play as well!
Today we woke up and had some delicious English breakfast. It was buffet style and we had eggs, toast, potatoes, and tea, of course. It was very delicious! Then we left the Charleconte Pheasant Hotel and went back to the train station to head to Northampton. We had to change trains in Birmingham, and that went well...just a short walk. When we got to Northampton, we walked (the long way around everything) to the Park Inn Hotel. It's very close. It's also undergoing renovation, so there was pounding on the side of the hotel next to our room since we are on the end. How annoying, especially since so many people got moved to another hotel. I mean, how can they NOT be aware of this going on just 4 days before a huge convention?
Registration opened at 2 and we were some of the first in line. Yay! We got a cool t-shirt that I am totally wearing on Tuesday, a coffee mug, and a packet that has 8x10 photos of everyone who is here to get signed tomorrow or Sunday. And confusion? Start now. HAHA we wanted extra autograph tickets but they weren't ready or something, so we had to come back at 6.
First we waited for the Dealer's room to open up at 5 and went in to get some photos. I bought 4 8x10 TW and Who photos and 3 mini-posters of the Doctor and the TW cast and John. Marcie suggested I start putting posters on my ceiling, which I just might do when I get back home, and have that corner above my dresser be the TW/DW corner. Since I am completely out of room on my 4 walls. I also got a Torchwood keychain and want to go back and get some Who merch. (which I actually wound up not doing once I realized that I would want to spend some money in the airport and that I want to get a ticket for The Hub II)
When we came back to try to get autograph tickets, it was still backed up, but I got extra autograph tickets for John and Naoko...since I want John to sign like 3 extra things (his autobiography, the photo that James signed at DragonCon, and the 10x10 poster I got at Asylum) and have Naoko sign the duo photo with Anthony as well as my big cast poster.
We hung around and waited and then the opening ceremony was supposed to start at 7. It was a bit behind, but not too much. They are letting us in in groups of 30 people, so Charly and I are in the 2nd group - and I think this system should work pretty well for the weekend. For once, there is NO NEED TO QUEUE! Whatever will the British do?! HAHAHA oh the need to queue is strong here. They call 1-30, let all them in, and then 31-60 and let us all in, and so on. So no one can cut through early to get a better seat. Tonight Charly and I were on the inside end of the 3rd row...which really, was perfect. And best news of all? This weekend we will be able to keep our seats for the Q&A panels! I hope I can get those seats tomorrow.
So the first person out was Gareth! He is adorable! He was dressed in this short sleeved red button-up t-shirt (which he later changed for a blue flannel button down). He joked that this wasn't working, it was a fun weekend! And then Naoko came out, and I LOVE HER. She was just kinda shocked standing up there (since this is her first real "con" as far as show-specific conventions), and she was just....EEEE Adorable! She was dressed super cute too! AND THEN JOHN BARROWMAN walked down the aisle! In a cute leather jacket and looking oh-so handsome! He was joking around right from the start, and suggestively rubbed Gareth's calf and then licked Naoko's toes. HAHA but the 3 seemed excited to be here and ready to get started. They said thanks for coming, and I just want to say "thank YOU for coming!" because up until we were on the plane, I kept having bad thoughts that John would have to cancel. But he is here, that's all that matters.
The running joke of the weekend is that Barrowman must be in the center seat :P So Gareth moved.
John suggestively stroking Gareth's calf. HAHA and that was probably the tamest thing of the weekend! :P
For anyone saying why did they sit so far apart? Don't worry...they got a LOT closer on Saturday!
After the opening ceremony, the gold ticket holders moved out to the bar area to have the wine reception. Gareth, Naoko, John, his agent Gavin, and then Kai Owen came out and basically moved around the area greeting and chatting with us fans. We got to meet Kai first, who is just adorable! EEEEE I love his accent and his laugh and his charm. He seems nice. And it looks like he has lost a LOT of weight. He looks great. I'd totally take him as my boyfriend. Then we floated around and waited for John to make his way over to us. UM. OMG. SOOOO handsome in public! And he looks great! And he's not that much taller than me (I thought he was a few inches taller than he actually is, like Jensen's height, but I think just a bit shorter). He talked about his new puppy and said he looked forward to getting to hang with us all this weekend.
I took an illegal photo. HAHA oops
Then purplepheonix03 walked us over to meet Gareth since we missed him when he was going the opposite way and we moved around to the other side of the room. And he REMEMBERED ME! He said "Hello again! Nice to see you again" and haha was already a bit buzzed. And he said "So you came all the way over here just for this?" and was kinda surprised. But he is adorable. I don't even know what else to say. I want him to talk to me allllll day long.
And then we hunted down Naoko since she was the last one we hadn't met yet. We had to wait for her to talk to 3 other groups before us, and then she came over to us...and we were a small group of just the 4 of us (Andy who I had met at the first Asylum who worked for the staff there). She came over and was talking about nervous she is, and how she's just shocked about the turn out and amount of people. And she said something like "You know when you're really nervous and your upper lip get stuck to your teeth? That's what's happening!" And then proceeded to show us, heh!
We told her that we came from the US, and was excited and surprised to hear that. She told us that she grew up in "New York" (as in, when she says "New York" she really meant "New Jersey") when she was a kid. So she loved that Marcie is from DC and I'm south of that. Marcie started telling her about how the government was being picky about letting her come to England (since we're trying to come back in January to see Hamlet), and Naoko was bothered and shocked and just completely upset for her! She's so cute! We told her than we are from the US and she was just "REALLY?!" and so shocked that we came over here JUST for this convention...flew out here for the convention and are leaving the day after the con is over, and that we watch Torchwood in the US.
Then, right before Naoko was going to leave, I just wanted to tell her than I really appreciated her taking a role in this cool world and that she is Asian and that we in the US just don't have that strong a representation of strong Asian women (yes, it's a thing I'm stuck on...I can't help it. It's true. I have Sandra Oh to look up to and that's about it - along with the Lost Korean actress). She said she thought it was decent in the US, and I said no and mentioned the EW article rating the demographic percentages and Asian and Indian are like dead last. She asked me what my heritage is (which...I LOVE. Not "what are you?" or "are you Chinese" like I always hear) and told her that I'm Korean, adopted, but still very opinionated about racial roles on our TV shows. Naoko seemed truly touched that it meant so much to me, and she said that she is a character actor and takes roles that are flawed and troubled, and she likes that in Torchwood "it doesn't matter...it just fits in the real world" and I just said that I appreciate getting to have that on TV and thought it brought so much to Torchwood. I know it's corny, but to me it's completely true...I love getting to see strong, flawed, messed up Asian character actors in the real world (which is why I LOVE Sandra Oh so much), and this was the one thing I wanted to tell Naoko while I had some one-on-one time before things got started up. I think I basically sounded like a rambling idiot!
So after that, we wandered back out of the area since it was starting to open up for the Friday night party. Marcie and I went to McDonalds to get some late food and to use their Internet for a while.
GO AMERICA! HAHA (another running joke of the weekend)
Now I'm sitting in the lobby typing this up, so I can make sure I don't leave anything out. Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we have photo ops with Kai and Gareth and early autos with John. Stage talks start at 2 and go for the rest of the afternoon, including one with all of them!
Coming up next...the insanity that was Saturday! OH JOHN!