At the Expo: Love and Goodbyes
The expo ends on a bittersweet note.
There's something you should know about me: I absolutely hate saying goodbye to people whom I like. I'm the kind of guy who misses my roommate if he's away for a few days, so you can imagine how I felt at the end of the Escapist Expo. After three all-too-short days with old friends from Boston and Baltimore and new friends from as far away as Ireland, I didn't really want the expo to end. I would have much rather stayed for another few days (or weeks). But since all good things must come to an end, at least the expo ended with a bang.
Even the weather knew that we would be heading out soon, as two gorgeous days of sunshine gave way to a wet, cloudy morass that made the ground slick and outdoor activities tough. Inside, the attitude was a little more subdued as well. The staff and the attendees were all a little weary, but still wore big, genuine smiles everywhere they went. If there was only one day left, they were determined to make the most of it.
After a final stint at the RPG signup booth (D&D Next was easily the most popular game at the show, with every single session booked solid hours in advance), I caught the acclaimed Hour of Love panel that involved, among other things, Jim Sterling singing "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" and Yahtzee wearing a pair of telepathic cat ears. If you weren't there, all I can say is that you should carve out an hour to watch it. I hadn't laughed that hard in months.
While many Escapists attended panels involving Gavin from Miracle of Sound and the always-insightful Dr. Mark, others took one last chance to check out the retro arcade, play some tabletop or card games, take part in an RPG, or simply walk the halls with their fellow con-goers, making sure to exchange contact information before they returned to the far corners of the Earth. An exciting League of Legends tournament with a surprise upset victory ran right up until the expo floor closed, and provided some down-to-the-wire excitement.
I stayed as long as I could to help pack up and shared one final dinner with the Escapist crew, but time is a harsh mistress, and she demanded that I get some sleep before my long drive back to New York. Will it really be a whole year before I see all of the wonderful fans, contributors, and staff who made the Escapist Expo such an unforgettable experience?
All I can do now is count down the days until the next one, and say thanks to everyone - both attendees and fans cheering us on at home - who made this event so special.
All I can do now is count down the days until the next one
Okay, let me be the first to jump on this.
"Next one"? Does that mean there'll actually be an Escapist Expo '13?
Because if an introverted, out-of-touch lurker like myself can have such a blast at the Expo, there's no doubt that just about anyone can, and it would be great if there was another opportunity for them to do so!
The mellow hit me hard on Sunday, though only exacerbated by the consequences of having a good time the past three nights. I was doing a lot of yelling and cheering during the D20 Burlesque and Concert on Friday and Saturday night, respectively, and all the while chugging a ton of whiskey down my throat each night of the weekend.
I had no voice on Sunday. Well, actually, I kind of had one in the morning, but by the end of the night I couldn't speak above a whisper. I had one last day to say goodbye to everyone, and I could barely speak. What made it worse was I expected the hotel to be empty on Sunday, but there were actually plenty of folks I could have hung out with. But I just couldn't do it. None of my friends could understand what I was saying even when we were in more quiet surroundings. I wanted to bring down my stack of board games and just ask people if they wanted in, but instead I was left to sit there and drink tea (which I discovered through a Google search on my phone is actually a bad idea when you have a damaged voice).
So I was actually very, very depressed Sunday night. I was hoping to say proper good-byes one last time, and...couldn't say anything at all.
But y'know what? I didn't need to speak at all to sit with my friend and Empire Games to play "I Drank What?", and there's a slim chance (maybe 5%?) that I'll be a card in the expansion known as "Silent Chris". And even if I'm not, it made the game all the more entertaining.
So I understand. I've experienced the melancholy of "oh man, the con is over" so often, but this was the first time that I couldn't even communicate with anyone. But it was still a fantastic weekend, I made some great new friends, and with luck the expo numbers were high enough we'll see another next year, and it'll be a lot more like a reunion.
Sunday was really sad. I didn't want it to end! That, and I had to drive 6+ hours home >.>
I really do hope the Expo grows to rival PAX one day, cause that would be really swell.
Sunday was a sad day for me, and I didn't want to go back to my hotel room since that meant the Expo ended and I didn't want it to end!
Yeah, I was tired, I had little to no voice, and I couldn't create a coherent thought and speak it to save my life, but it was all fun. I met some really awesome people and I felt like I was seeing old friends, even though I've talked to them on the forums.
I really hope that the Expo grows bigger and bigger every year, and I really hope more people go to it next year.
Well, as I´ve said in all the comments I´ve made regarding the Expo, it`s quite the shame i could not join in. As much as I´ve read about what went on there, it really sounded like a lot of fun.
But Sterling sang "Can you feel the love tonight"? Well I´ll be damned, didn`t even recognize it, when i saw the vid. I thought he was randomly making crazy noises.
Everyone seemed to have a really great time.
I sure as hell hope this will continue because getting to an EscapistExpo would be sweet as hell. But because am from where I am it isn't the easiest thing to just jump into a car and drive there.
I really can't wait for next year...I met a bunch of really cool people and got to escape(see what I did there?) from my horrible job for a weekend. There are some things that need to be fixed, but it was over all amazing! Not sure about everyone else's D&D Next group, but we had some good fun.
The Escapist rules! Let's keep turning out for these if we can, I know I want to go in the future.