Saturday, February 02, 2008

Lunch With The Captain

Triggered by a post on Craig's blog, I'm sharing a story about the time Q and I happened upon a Star Trek/medieval gamers convention.

About eight years ago, a small family weekend was planned in Monterey, CA. We flew into San Jose and drove the hour and a half to Monterey and back.

Since Q and I don't share the same interests as my mom and some of the others, we decided to rent our own car. My grandparents had expressed an interest in riding along with us. This was a good thing. We were happy to have help with the rental car fees. They were thrilled not to have to do any long distance driving. Q even rented a Buick so everyone would be comfortable.

We ended spending almost the entire weekend with my granparents. Grandma and I hit all the shops, while Q and Grandpa talked about baseball. We stayed at a historic B&B, ate in little out-of-the way bistros, went to the beach, and took a scenic drive to Carmel. The four of us definitely bonded.

On Monday (Memorial Day), we drove back to San Jose to catch our flight home. We got into town around lunchtime. And since nobody wanted to eat crappy, overpriced airport food, the search was on for a non-fast food restaurant.

We drove by a few diners and sandwich shops, but all were closed for the holiday. Then Q remembered that we'd past a Doubletree Hotel. He was sure that place would at least have a coffee shop that was open. That sounded good so we headed back there.

When we got to the hotel, we apparently walked into some sort of costume party. The place was quite crowded, and the diversity was oozing out of every doorway. We saw a knight in shining armour, a woman whose entire body was festooned in vines (complete with potting soil), and an overweight court jester. There were damsels, princesses, vikings, aliens, serfs, someone in a Chewbaca suit, and Starfleet uniforms. There were lots and LOTS of Starfleet uniforms. One woman in a Captain Picard uniform had even shaved her head.

The funny part was my grandparents' reactions to the spectacle. Other than the hotel workers, we were the only normal-dressed people in the place. Grandma thought the serfs were homeless people. Every few minutes, she would whisper "Oh my, would you look at that one." Grandpa was unhappy when the overweight jester woman cut in line in front of us as we waited for a table in the coffee shop.

We asked the hostess what was going on there. She explained that it was some sort of "sci-fi/medieval/fantasy gamers convention". Hmmm...a little something for everyone. Too bad I left my purple velvet gown and golden scepter in my luggage.

The restaurant was open to the rest of the lobby and nearby conference room. This set-up--as well as the convention attendees--brought people watching to a whole new level. I don't even remember what I ate for lunch that day.

When we got to the airport, the rest of the family was finishing up their greasy McDonald's lunch. Sure, they made better time getting there, but I doubt their meal was as exciting as ours.

Years later, whenever one of us (usually me or Grandma) brings up the Monterey trip, nobody really mentions the B&B, the restaurants, or the beaches. Instead, we talk about our lunch at the San Jose Doubletree.

OK, Craig...your turn.


RainbowDishes said...

Wow...great story! That is definitely a lunch to remember! I couldn't even imagine what my grandparents reaction would be to something like that. These are the same people who thought Star Wars was stupid and very boring...they couldn't image why anybody would want to sit there and watch something like that. LOL

I put my story up last night. As promised, it rambles on and on and on. But the Star Trek convention is there at the end.