I'm not sure exactly what time I finally made it to sleep on Wednesday evening. I know it was very early compared to my normal schedule. I had my alarm set for 6 a.m. and plans to leave as soon after as I could. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. No sleep the night before and I still couldn't sleep a full 8 hours if I tried. It took me a few minutes to wake up, but I was too excited to sleep any longer anyway. I had loaded nearly everything into the car the night before (I came bearing gifts, as Matty says) and so mostly I just had to get myself ready and head off into the sunrise. :) The drive down was rather uneventful. There was a bit of traffic on the Altamont, but it wasn't as bad as I had expected so no stress there. :) I was shooting to arrive by 9 a.m. Ann had said she would be there at round 8 a.m., so I didn't have to worry and to take my time, but I wanted to be there a little closer to 8 so she wasn't there alone. LOL Neither one of us had any idea what to expect. I had a fairly easy time getting to the venue. I did miss one street, but saw it immediately and just had to turn right around and go right back. I saw the Crown Hotel on the corner just past the venue and figured that there might be a parking garage there. I figured correctly. I pulled into the Crown parking lot and cringed when I saw the daily maximum fee was $20, but it was probably worth it not to have to worry about it all day, so I pulled in. I gathered all of the loot, my purse, my camera, etc. and headed towards the venue. I could see the buses parked directly across the street from the Crown. I started a conversation with one the truck drivers. We talked about Trans-Siberian Orchestra, among other things, and how many trucks they had for lighting. He asked me if I had gifts for Relient K (I had forgotten I was wearing a Relient K tee) and I said, "yes", and for Switchfoot and Ruth. There was a young man standing there with a hoodie pulled up around his head. I recognized him. He said, "That pretty much covers everyone" and then he introduced himself as Jon. "I know," I said, "I was just waiting to see if you were going to say anything." We had met once before, although I doubted seriously that he would remember. LOL Then I told him that I had something for him. His response told me that it was exactly the right thing and that started my day off on a very positive note. After they all left, I went back to the front of the venue (still no one there) and looked for Ann. All morning I went back and forth between where the buses were parked and the front of the venue. At around 10 or so, a small group of people arrived at the venue and set up for the long wait. They watched my belongings and spot in line while I made treks to the back. At around 10:30, maybe a little later, not sure the exact time, Ann finally arrived and we greeted each other. She had been waiting at a larger venue across the street for quite a while before realizing she was in the wrong place. (I was to do the same thing in Davis the next day.) She had her younger sister with her, and she was good enough to stay with our things while we watched and waited for RK. Finally, Jon came off the bus but we couldn't see his face for sure, so Ann just hollered "Jon" anyway, and he turned around, came over and talked to us. I gave him his Christmas gifts and we chatted a bit. I showed him the book for Dave, and gave him some UFO/Hovercrafts for fun. He said he was going out for about 1/2 to get a sketchbook and then would be back. Hoopes came over just before Jon left and we talked to him most of the time Jon was away. I gave him the gifts I had for him and he seemed to like them. :) He loved the hot yellow Spongebob Squarepants golf balls. I told him that they would be harder to lose. LOL Now, the order of things gets rather jumbled, because all the time we went back and forth between the venue and the buses and I was still a bit tired, if the truth be told. I know that at one point Jon came back and we talked a bit. We were told that Thiessen & Warne were still sleeping when we first arrived. We saw Dave walk into the building at one point and one of the guys (I think Hoopes) went to get him for us a bit later so we could give him the scrapbook. Jon left to work on the PRS guitar video. I know when Dave came over I had to be grinning like a Chesire cat, and I know from the video I looked rather silly. I handed him the book and it was obvious that he wasn't expecting it. He seemed to really liked the book and we looked at a lot of the pages and talked about them. Contrary to Brittany's belief, he did NOT look at her page and go "WTF". He said the book was elaborate and seemed to love it. He liked the pages I printed from a few of the concerts I'd been to because it's hard to remember them all. We talked about Kilby Court (that means more if you've been there or live in Salt Lake City, he laughed at the pic I had from 2001 of Hoopes (you could see Dave's arm in one of them) and I gave him the other gifts I had for him. We also talked about Dermike a little... and I know the the answer to the mystery of what happened to Dermike ... I think. ;) Dermike and I have never had the pleasure of meeting, though.
John Warne finally came out and we talked to him for a while. I debated off and on whether or not I would actually give him the tee that was an XL and should have been a medium, but in the end I decided to go back to my car and retrieve it. As it turned out, he loved it anyway. We had a good laugh over it, as well (it says, "Once you go Mac, you'll never go back" or something like that. Then I gave him a winter hat, gloves and hand warmers and a Trans-Siberian Orchestra cd. The cd was a last minute thing since I had seen TSO on Tuesday. It was really cool how that worked out. John knew TSO and loved them, so it was perfect!!
Finally John left and we saw Matty get off the bus looking rather sleepy and head into the building. We waited longer and saw him get back on the bus, but he was on the phone so we didn't bother him at all. I still had his gift, the gift for Ruth and for Ethan and Scott. We finally saw Ethan and I was able to give him his gift. He was really very surprised and asked me why I would get him anything. I said, "why not", that I loved his photography and I was on his blog. LOL I gave him the gift for Ruth and Scott and forgot I still had Thiessen's package in my hand. LOL But we finally headed back to the front of the venue to wait. I did finally find someone to take Thiessen's gift to him later on (and he did get it.)
Mostly we just killed time from about 2:30-3 or so on. The time went both slowly and quickly. Ann went across the street and came back with some snacks, and I did eat a few of her banana chips. They were pretty good, too. LOL
I went and stood by will call at one point and visited with a lot of people. I was waiting to get a photo pass for the evening. Once the window opened, I inquired about the pass. They had a list for Switchfoot, but not Relient K (ok, the roller coaster took a little dip there) and I went back and forth trying to get it straightened out. About 5 minutes before the doors opened, I finally was able to get the pass. Yea!!!
Is it showtime yet?
end part 2
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