As I recall, despite a sizable sleep deficit I got up early Sunday at Origins and waddled my way down to breakfast. The general plan for the day was to check out of the hotel and cram all of my stuff back onto the wagon and move it to the hotel's bag check.
There had been a possibility that John was going to hitch a ride with me back to Jersey, but it seemed unlikely at that point. He had come with some other PFS Officers and had been hoping to get back earlier than they were planning to. That had sort of fit in with my initial plans since I didn't really see much holding me in Columbus the last day when the trip began but that had changed. I figured I had to at least wait until the exhibit hall closed and John's other friends would be on the road by then. We bid our farewells and I went back up to the room to clean myself up and pack.
Does anyone else tip hotel maids? If so, how much? I'm inconsistent on the topic but I feel bad about not leaving something, especially since I tend to be pretty messy overall. I mean, I'm not pooping on the floors or anything, but I do tend to leave a lot of things just lying about and the sheets and whatnot on the bed are always a disheveled mess. I'm sure there's some sort of Miss Manners simple rule for room tipping, a couple dollars per day of stay or something but I've never latched on to anything consistent. There's also the weird feeling that giving nothing might be better than not giving enough. Anyway, I left a little something and proceeded to drag all my stuff downstairs.
As you might expect, Sunday was pretty tame at the Exhibit Hall. Since the booth wasn't exactly bustling at the moment, I was given some time to wander and also to cast my votes for the Board Game Geek awards. I've never actually bothered to participate in any of the game voting in all the previous years I've gone to either Gencon or Origins. I didn't even know BGG ran its own little contest of sorts until Curt or Andrew had mentioned it. To make voting as obnoxious as possible, you had to go to the BGG booth in the main hall and request a ballot. Then you took the code they have you and had to go online to enter it on the site to cast your actual ballot. It seemed sort of roundabout and fiddly to me, especially since anyone could request as many ballots as they want throughout the con. It's not even like they holepunched your badge or anything to keep out ballot stuffers. In the end, I think Dead Last came in 6th or 8th in the voting, which isn't bad at all given that it was likely driven almost entirely by positive word of mouth.
Since there was plenty of time, I ended up walking around some other parts of the halls, just sightseeing and also taking care of some errands I wanted to run. I discovered that there was a Rick and Morty game just coming out with a spiffy poster advertising it.
I also had to stop at the Mayfair booth to trade in the last resource ribbons I had saved over from the previous year. Since Mayfair sold off Catan, they would have to have an all new promotion the next year and the ribbons would be worthless. All the people who had stockpiled them for years were now cashing in everything.
Vince had even stopped by the S&D booth to show be all the raffle tickets he had picked up when he had turned in all his ribbons. Basically him and his wife spend every single Origins mostly in the Mayfair area playing and wheeling and dealing when it comes to those ribbons. At the start of the con, he had a stack of them around 6 inches thick. Over the course of a few days, he had managed to get everything cashed in, though they started to refuse to give him any more 50% off coupons. Not that he needed them, considering he pretty much has every single game in their product catalog already.
I had been planning to stop by the raffle on Sunday with my single lone ticket, but couldn't find the time to get away. I found out after the fact that Vince ended up winning around 25% of all the prizes that were available.
When I went over to get my single raffle ticket and 50% off coupon, I found that they also had a little freebe prize to go along with it. You could either choose a variant Catan map or a little plush Catan resource. They were all out of sheep and so I went with the wood.
In my travels I once again passed that Furry erotic card game booth and...I did it. I actually spent $40 on it and pulled the trigger. It might be the most wasteful $40 I've ever spent in my life, but I'm sure it'll make for a spiffy gag gift. I also made sure to pay for it in cash since I'm on enough FBI watch lists and I certainly don't need to add this little bit of information to my credit history.
When I was trying to decide which of the box sets to go for, I asked the woman at the booth what the differences were. She told me that the ones on the left were explicit while the ones on the right were more explicit. Well, there's an easy choice. I mean, if you're going to spend $40 on an erotic furry art card game, you want the biggest, throbbing fox-person wang you can get, right? It sort of defeats the purpose otherwise. Hell, if she describes her two product lines in those terms, I'm shocked she sells any of the former at all. I mean, whether you're buying it to shock or for your own personal 'use', you probably want the real HubbaHubba.
By this point, I had spent more time on my feet over 4 days than anything in recent memory. It'd probably been years since I had actually stood around this much and it was causing my leg to swell up like a water balloon.
This problem was no doubt exacerbated by the recent bout with cellulitis in which my leg had also done its Macy's parade balloon float impression. What likely happen is that even had forced all the connective tissue and fat and everything in the leg apart as it filled up with fluid. That ends up making it easier for the leg to swell up in the future as there's less to impeded the fluid buildup.
I was also pretty tired and getting loopy from the lack of sleep built up over the past several days. I only really noticed this as I was limping my way to the Gorilla Games booth to say hi to Rob, Amber, and Cordia. I stopped by another booth that had a bowl of candy out and snagged a butterscotch, popping it in my mouth and staggering my way around I found myself singing an impromptu butterscotch song. It went something like, 'Butterscotch, butterscotch, I've got a butterstoch....' all sung to the tune of The Chordettes' Lollypop.
All of this done, I eventually tromped my way back to the booth and got work. There weren't many people interested in demos by this point on Sunday though a lot were coming around again to make their final purchases. There were brisk sales of games and quite a few of the old legacy games got sold, including around a half dozen copies of Shoot 'n Ladders. Curt seemed happy about the pace of things and it looks like Origins will become a yearly thing for S&D again.
At some point during the day, Mel must've brushed against the shelves and one of the price stickers affixed itself to her hair.
Of course I went over and took a picture of it, posting it to facebook suggesting that she was part of our Everything Must Go Sunday firesale at Origins.
As the day was winding down, we managed to all gather and had someone take a group photo of us at the booth.
I've never actually been in an exhibit hall before during teardown and it's pretty remarkable at just how quickly everything is disassembled and stored away. I guess it's no surprise that everyone should have everything down to a science by now considering how many times a year the go through the same process. I couldn't help but be sort of impressed with the people rolling up the carpets and how straight they managed to keep things. I was only of modest help during all of this as I spent most of my time doing my beached whale impression.
When everything was finally all packed up, I took a final picture of my with the exhibit hall as a backdrop.
I had that Semisonic song 'Closing Time' running through my head the entire time.
The plan had been to get on the road as soon as the hall closed but everyone else minus Andrew was going to head to a taco place for dinner that they had gone to earlier in the week and said was amazing. At this point, I already figured I wasn't going to make the drive in one go no matter what. I was way too sleep deprived and beat up and I figured I would drive for a few hours and then find a motel somewhere to crash for the night so what did it matter if I started out a bit later than expected.
I hitched a ride with Curt to Condado which was f-ing amazing. They basically allow you to make your own tacos with a ridiculous number of choices.
Hell, I don't know what I've been eating all my damn life if these are tacos because they had little to no relationship with what I had known as tacos. As you might imagine, I'm not some great connoisseur of Mexican food, being more familiar with Taco Bell than anything else, but these were great. I tried the scattershot method, trying three different tacos, all of with the goal of them sharing nothing in common so I could sample the most number of ingredients. It was pretty damn spiffy in the end and the ghost pepper steak had a pretty big kick.
At this point, I don't know if it was the tacos, the booster dose of opiates I took before the meal or the fact that I drank most of a pitcher of margaritas, but I was feeling pretty mellow at happy at this point. We sat around chatting for hours about various things, none of which I recall off the top of my head. I think it was past 9 pm when Curt finally left to start his journey home and I gave up on my ludicrous idea to head home as well. Jon and Mel dropped me off back at the Hampton and I checked back in, moving all of 30 horizontal and 20 vertical feet to another room.
I flopped into bed after getting all of my stuff out of bag check and that was pretty much in for the night. Around noon the next day I got all of my crap back into my little red wagon and towed it down highstreet until I got to my car and piled all of my stuff inside. The drive back wasn't anything interesting and I got home somewhere around 8:30pm. The plus side is that while I still wasn't able to get my bluetooth working in the car, I did have my headphones ready and out this time and I was able to listen to Brandon Sanderson's The Final Empire for most of the trip back which made it more tolerable.
And so that was pretty much origins in a nutshell. It was a ton of fun overall and a much better time than I was expecting thanks to the S&D crew. I spent the next few days after getting back in bed to get teh swelling on the leg to go down and it seems I dodged a bullet there. Some parts of the leg were hot and tender to the touch, indicating some sort of infection going on but it looks like I got off of it in time and it never crossed over into runaway cellulitis. It definitely taught me that the next time I do something like this I'll have to make sure to use compression bandages of some sort of keep things from going out of control. I ended up testing that theory out at Dexcon which was only a week and change away.