What a weekend!
Brianna and I left on Wednesday at about noon, and just in two-and-a-half hours, we were on the other edge of the freakin' continent! (Air travel never ceases to amaze me. Just a hundred years ago, that journey would have taken the better part of a week! But I digress.)
When we landed in Orlando, and stepped out into the hot, wet air, I felt like I was stepping into the Bird House at the Detroit Zoo. Even so, it was a welcome change from Michigan's perpetually-overcast skies. The sun was shining every day, all day long, with only a few clouds, and one brief thunderstorm. But it stayed hot all the time; the night brought only a little relief form the heat, and it was just as humid as daytime.
But the heat is irrelevant if you've got an air-conditioned fourth-story room with a view! Our hotel, the Portofino, was a sprawling complex of faux-Italian architecture, based on the real-life Italian town of the same name, which was a popular destination in the 1950s for Hollywood royalty. Our hotel was so posh, it had three pools, one of which had its own beach! Real sand and everything! It was incredible.
The first day of Infinitus 2010 began at 10am on Thursday, when the Common Room opened. I didn't buy anything from the vendors, though I did try on some robes and sweaters, and Brianna considered buying a wand.
After that came the Live Wizard Chess Demonstration, which was half chess-game, half witty banter, and half swordplay (in total,150% nerdy). Every time one "chess piece" tried to capture another, they would have a choreographed sword fight to see who won. There was a lot of back-stabbing, double-crossing, and gratuitous spanking (courtesy of Fred and George, visited upon Umbridge).
At the Welcome Feast, they served Mexican, buffet-style, and everybody ate way too much. After lunch, they held the 141st Merlin's Cup Quidditch match. I watched for a bit, but the brutal humidity drove me inside before the end.
Form 3pm to 5pm, we attended formal programming: speeches and lectures given by really smart people. Brianna and I saw "Casting Your Patronus: Representations of Psychological Processes in Harry Potter" (by David Martin), and "Our Own Rita Skeeter: Muggle Media Mishandles HP" (by Connie Neal). The "Rita Skeeter" one talked about how so much empahsis is placed on Christians who still object to Harry Potter, despite the fact that they are a tiny, tiny minority among American Christians, and that several major Chrisitian publications (including Christianity Today) have already publicly stated their support for the moral lessons contained in the Harry Potter saga.
Then, we attended the "Classic Wrock Show" (stronge to think that the genre is already old enough to be divided into "new" and "Classic"), featuring The Butterbeer Experience (Brianna's friend, Lena Gabrielle, who also directed/wrote The Final Battle [more on that in the next post!]), The Moaning Myrtles, Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugar-Quills, The Whomping Willows, and The Remus Lupins.
So that's Day One. I'll have more later, but right now I gotta get to work. 'Bye!
(P.S. Brianna and I even got a lot of work done on our respective novels! I added more than ten pages to mine, over the course of two flights.)