Saturday, June 5, 2010

St. Augustine, Part 1

Thursday morning, my favorite Snarky Writer, myself and Poe Girl loaded up my car with the necessities and began the journey towards St. Augustine and the 4th Biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses. The trip took us about eleven hours, all told, and we only got lost once, which right there was enough to officially declare it a road trip. (By the way, Google Maps sucks terribly.) Lots of laughing, lots of music, lots of swearing at idiotic drivers. SW navigated (and no, it was not her fault we got lost) and PG sat in the back seat and dispensed snacks and drinks and "That's what she said" jokes.

We did arrive, got checked in with little difficulty and made our way up to the reception, where we met up with Dr. Buffy (yes, I am being facetious with his name). As PG put it, there's not much better than drinking free alcohol--in Florida--for work. SW took part in the Not Ready for Prime Time Whedon Conversationalists--Dr. Buffy does a rather interesting and comical impression of Joss Whedon, complete with evil laughter.

We are staying in the dorm here at Flagler College, which is a beautiful campus in the historic district of St. Augustine. Palm trees, Spanish moss, and the combination of Spanish/Moorish architecture all combine, especially at night in the lamplight to create what looks like set pieces from Pirates of the Caribbean. It's also a private college, about 2500 students, and--well, the nicest dorm room I ever spent time in at Eastern was less than half the size of these and much more dilapidated.

After supper Thursday night, we went out to find dinner, which was very tasty, tasty pizza. Then we hit up a bar called Scarlett O'Hara's, which attracted quite a number of Slayage conferencers that evening, and walked back to the dorm in the dark and the almost quiet.

Friday morning, we got up and got breakfast before heading to the keynote speech, which was absolutely fantastic. I wish that I had more background in music, because I might then be able to explain what she talked about better, but it was about musical themes in Buffy and how they build upon one another to create emotion. Very interesting.

After the keynote speech, we had time to spare, and being in St. Augustine and close to a beach...we went to the beach at Anastasia State Park. Swimsuits and towels in hand, we made our way through soft, white sand to the ocean. We frolicked in the waves--which was fantastic--before settling down on the sand. PG swam a bit longer before joining SW and I on the beach--SW read, and I, in a fit of regression, built a sand castle, which I completed just as it began to rain.

Packing back up, we came back to the dorm, by which time it had, of course, finished raining, so after a brief dip in the shower, we went in search of lunch and through some of the shops that had been closed when we were wandering last night. It was much busier, being Friday, and I expect that it will be even busier tonight as the tourists get in for the weekend. We returned to the dorm for a nap--because we were exhausted--and then I gave my presentation, which was considerably less academic than the other two papers on the panel, but went well nonetheless.

A trip to Target (which required a scenic route - read: we got lost again) was then in order, as PG needed a pillow, SW needed some makeup, and I needed some soap that wasn't Bath and Body Works Enchanted Orchid, which while smelling really good, is making me itch like crazy. We also picked up (cheap) dinner, and came back to the room, ate, talked, laughed and finally went to bed--fairly early--because again, we were exhausted.

Which leads us to today! We missed the keynote speech this morning, unfortunately, but exhaustion, the inability to get out of the bed and on PG's part, a malfunctioning alarm clock caused us to hang around here a bit longer. I gave SW a makeover (though she really didn't need makeup for her presentation, she's beautiful the way she is) and now we are waiting to go to her presentation. After that, I'm not sure what our plans are, though I do believe another trip to the shops is in order, and we may go visit the fort. The beach may even be calling us once again, but it depends entirely on the cooperation of the weather. Tomorrow, we will not be leaving as early as we might have liked, but we will head back to Murfreesboro, exhausted and happy--and then we start school Monday.

Personally, I vote that all conferences be in Florida.

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