---disclaimer - this isn't chock full of witty and funny quips, laying that to the side for just a sec.
That I would say was the one thing I hands down successfully accomplished this weekend, I made some new friends. The energy that these people had was nothing short of amazing. I have come to the conclusion that the reason I have a hard time making friends is because I have a hard time meeting real people that have good intentions. I have been around too many fake people with irrelevant agendas. I got it right this time, not sure how I managed to get there and which steps led to which parts but I am glad because I was at the right place at the right time. Taking a look around online the days after I saw that they had also enjoyed my company, and their sweet messages were so nice that I literally cried at being lucky enough to now know them.
Tiny bit of background - the paranormal group was how I knew of the event, and we had decided to be a sponsor this year and have a vendor table. The group was lucky enough to host an investigation with Ben Hansen (Syfy's Fact or Faked show). I donated some passenger vans to get everyone to and from and the night went off with nary an issue.
The guest lineup for this event is always so amazing, there are too many to list. This year was no exception. One new guest that I hadn't seen before was Travis Walton, the man that Fire in the Sky was based on. Brett had mentioned that the movie had really jacked him up as a child, so a few weeks before the event we watched it (thank you Netflix) just for good measure.
Some of the panels that I had door duty for were also wonderful. I enjoyed seeing Chris Moon and Paulette Huff (some of the most heartfelt tarot readings I have ever seen). Chip Coffey's panel was both hilarious and mind boggling, as he is such a funny man. Before I describe the next panel that I was scheduled for I would like to say that I actually agreed to be volunteer staff just days prior to this guest confirming. Not that that matters, but that guest was the icing on the cake. Some time ago around the time of this post - I started watching a show with my paranormal peeps. It came on right after our beloved Ghost Hunters. Destination Truth. They went to amazing places, and they showcased how hairy travel can really get. Obviously Josh Gates makes for a hilarious and perfect host. So a few days after I had started prepping in my head for what sort of stuff would need to be done before the event (and I had just thrown my bestie Amanda under the bus for volunteering her full time as well) what are friends for right?! Then it was announced that Josh would in fact be a guest speaker, and I almost fell in the floor. I thought in my head "I wonder if I can get his autograph sometime over the weekend?!" Hahahaha oh boy I hadn't a clue.
Long story short? fast forward to about 9:00ish p.m. last Saturday night and we are hanging out with Josh and Travis in the Sundial, looking out at the lights of Atlanta. I was laughing on the inside at the sheer craziness of it all. That is where the pic is from, and I have no idea why we all look possessed, but the waitress didn't take any other pictures so I'll roll with it. A few things to note - regardless of what your stance is on what Travis's story implies he is one cool guy. He was a mix of my dad and my father in law, very quiet and to himself, but there is a sense of humor in there somewhere you just gotta dig a little. I started asking him about grand babies and in no time we were buddies and he was showing me pictures of his little crew like any proud grandpa would. Fast forward some more and we are all hanging out at the hotel bar exchanging stories and drinking beers (Travis had water with lemon and turned in soon after). We sauntered in and out of the karaoke room and back to the bar, and so forth. While in the karaoke room we saw a group of people take off running and some yelling so we followed suit, we followed up into the lobby where we learned that a man was trying to steal a purse. One of the guest speakers, Larry Flaxman actually chased him down and took him out! You can see the news video about it here. We watched as the guy got sat on by 3 security guards and I just turned to Josh and said "Welcome to Atlanta!". Back to the karaoke room, back to the bar, etc etc. The night ended around 3:30am with the hotel staff closing down the bar and putting the chairs up all around us. Amanda and I stumbled back to the room and just giggled, I just turned to her and said that did just happen, didn't it?