Thursday, 15 May 2014

Complaints and Compliments (WHC 2014)

Finally home after a week in Portland, Oregon at the WHC (world horror convention).

It was a daunting prospect to arrange and go, not only the travelling, Hubby and I have not flown for a loooong while (I hate it) but the cost involved coming from the UK.

Add to this the stress of meeting authors who I have been squeaking/fan-girling over for a few years and the good/bad reviews I have done about they work. Would they like me? Talk to me? or want to take me out in the woods and skin me alive for that bad book review?

Whilst the journey out was fraught simply because of the length and connections all in all it went smoothly, although I have to say that Delta Airways are definitely the poor cousins of Virgin Atlantic; the planes are dirty and in need of an update, the food is rank and you need to pay for it (bit of a shock after all the "inclusives" of Virgin) and the trollydollies whilst polite do look like the Walmart/Asda versions of the airways.

We enjoyed our lay over at JFK we did some Yankies shopping and had lunch, just as well with the cost of a sandwich on the 5hr 40min flight to PDX!

We were dismayed to find that one of our suitcases was damaged beyond use at the other end and trying to find a suitcase shop was interesting, after discussions with the hotel staff; who were generally amazing (DoubleTree Hilton - my TripAdvisor review) we found one in Macy's but the cheapest was $116   eeeek.

The actual convention was brilliant, I have my niggles about it such as the dealer room was not open to the public so basically the authors were trying to sell to each other mostly and it also left the room a little flat. 

The awards were fun to watch but I was dismayed not to have heard of half the entries (probably my lack of reading) and a little disappointed to find that Stephen King won the top dog award - I doubt very much if he cares for such accolades and it would have been better to have given it to another writer. Also there did not seem to be any readers choice awards, group or category.

As for the actual authors, they were amazing. All so friendly and mostly approachable. The ones I did stalk/grope/ etc were very nice about it all and even signed books for me.

The authors I like to call friends were exceptional to meet and all for different reasons - I do hope some of them decided to visit the UK so we can show them all the fabulous places/things/food/beer we have over here. 

All that said I am excited to try and plan to go again, next year? maybe depends on the finances, this transatlantic travelling is not cheap!

I really loved taking out jaffa cakes, chocolate and Union Jack gifts for my friends and managed to also buy a ton of Oregon/USA stuff back for our nieces/nephews and even the cats got some USA treats!

On the way home Virgin/Delta out did themselves with "how shite can you be" - checking our luggage in we noted that the lady was too busy telling her colleague what she wanted for breakfast so completely ignored us asking questions about our connection flight, as it happens she also managed to forget to put labels on our luggage and its currently floating around the USA baggage system somewhere. 

The Delta crew were the same, just a bit more grumpy than last time, just dont ask for a second cup of coffee.  We were amazed though at the things people brought on to the flight - a pizza, boxes of Voodoo doughtnuts (ok if we could have we would have!), huge bags of MacD food and a cat; poor thing howled the whole 5hr 40min flight.  oh and David Miliband! who put him on the flight (and in the cheap seats too)

We were given 55mins to run from one end of JFK to the other for our connection flight, all well and good when you know where you are going, dont have 23lb back packs and a Hubby with two naff knees!

As it was, the connection flight was delayed and we ended up waiting for over an hour, however we did get to speak to fellow Brits and lots of (very loud!) locals all telling us about President Obama being in town, apparently it ruined the traffic!

After a very very very long flight, the time difference really kicking us in the butt, not helped by really awful seats and some annoying fellow passengers we arrived in Blighty. BUT remember the luggage issue! so eventually we spoke to a lovely lady at baggage reclaim and then grabbed our car with no issues at all (Holiday Extras) other than the chaps making a huge joke and pretending to have lost the car when we explained about our lack of luggage!

So now at home, weighed in a fat club (dont ask!) what little luggage we do have has been unpacked etc.

I was pleased to note that our awesome house/animal sitter retains her title of awesome and that the cats did all jump all over us on return.

And so ends the saga of the WHC 2014, I hope you have enjoyed reading about all my fun, the silly pics, the amazing food and the awesome authors. Please continue to read all the reviews and feel free to make comments :)