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Monday, April 06, 2015

DunDraCon 2015

In my last post, I left out one really big weekend: DunDraCon. This year was extra special because we flew Scott out to join us. We figured that a newly divorced guy should be somewhere fun that had low levels of schmoop on his first single Valentine's day in ages, and we guessed right. Scott had a blast, falling into the world of gaming and being reluctant to get back on the plane to go home on Monday.

Our President's Day weekend began with Erik picking up Scott at the airport on Friday and heading to the San Ramon Marriott. I picked up Athena after work and joined them there. We arrive around 8 p.m., well after most people had already settled in for con. The staff at the Marriott were once again amazing, beginning with the valet who said, "Oh, and since you probably don't want to have to walk too far with her, it's okay if you go around the back and park back there tonight. We keep it blocked off for vendors during the week, but they're all done now and won't be back til you check out, so feel free to park there. I thanked him profusely and felt that special peace of knowing you're somewhere where other people are looking out for you, partly because it's their job, and partly because they're really nice people. The San Ramon Marriott and Disneyland are the two places I can count on this. For this I am extremely grateful.

I got Athena up to our room and got us unpacked, changed Athena into her jammies, then headed down to say hi to the gents. They were playing an L5R game down in Salon B. Athena actually remembers and likes this hotel. She grabbed her balance bike and rode it into the elevator and into the game. Now, neither of us had a camera handy, so you'll have to picture Athena in Frozen jammies with Anna and Elsa on the shirt, plus her pink Minnie Mouse bike helmet, rolling in on her red balance bike. If cute could kill, this would have done it. So there we are in a room full of gamers who are having very serious militaristic conversations that suddenly switch into higher pitches squealing, "Oh my god she's so cute!" She rolls up to someone she knows and says, "I'm looking for my daddy." Erik is hunched over a map looking at troop movements, being officious when his body language changes and he melts back into daddy for hugs and kisses.

The next day is my day for games, doing T & Danielle's game in the morning and Aaron's game in the evening. Scott joined me in both games and had an absolutely fabulous time in T & Danielle's game, being the accountant just wanting to get it all done. Erik took Athena over to the farmer's market, where she insisted that they buy flowers for me and bring them back. Apparently she wanted to carry them behind her back the whole way back so that I would have a surprise. He convinced her that she could hold them in front til we got upstairs. Returning the favor of the night before, Erik and Athena came in and Athena presented me with flowers and I melted from powerful diplomat to mommy. They headed out to go swimming and have a nap.

After that game, we headed out to Baja Fresh with another player who was visiting from New York. He's a Googler, so he plans his trips to Mountain View with an eye to spending the preceding weekend at the game con. In a moment of extreme serendipity, he was looking for someone to hand off the running of a con in Connecticut. Scott and Max exchanged contact info and I really hope Scott is going to be able to help him out this coming year, and maybe take over after that.

On Sunday, Erik did the morning game with Team Volare and Scott joined him. I took Athena across the bay to Clementine's house so that we could all run a game together on Sunday night. I got back in time to have a little time to myself, shopping toddler free for once. I actually tried on clothes! Still, didn't buy much. We grabbed a bite of dinner at Little Madfish (with the super-yummy Boston roll) and did final game prep. We had the craziest list of players with an absolutely ridiculous overflow list. Erik realized he'd wildly misjudged gender balance and was going to have to do some quick switch ups to accommodate all the women signed up. Then Scott, who had never played a LARP before Friday, found himself helping to run our game, and he did great! As our one game review said,"Nepotism works!"

On Monday, we had our annual bacon-fest with the Schluntzes. This is one of my favorite traditions. This year, Sean topped himself making homemade croissants from scratch. So buttery and flakey! Nom! Erik took Scott back to the airport for his 1 p.m. flight and I went to pick up Athena. They were in the park next to Clem's condo and were living the life.
Let's fly away!
With enormous thanks to Kelly and Nicole, I packed up my girl who barely made it home before collapsing in a nap. I unpacked the car and started laundry and got ready for the next week. Scott flew home to mountains of snow. Poor guy. California was being unkind with it's taunting weather. It was 68-72 degrees and sunny all weekend. In February. While Boston was being buried by 10 ft. of snow. Scott said, "All of your friends are really nice." He fell in and found his people instantly and it felt cruel to put him back on that plane. He swears he'll be back next year. We're hoping that works out.