14 Days on the Pleasure Planet—Part 1

4 07 2013

My summer started in the most beautiful way this year.    After all the working and non-running I’ve been writing about, I took a two week break from the madness and indulged in my two most favorite things in life:  a Star Trek convention and a half marathon.  It was absolutely blissful and as close to a vacation on Risa as I’m ever gonna get.


The holiday weeks began with Memorial Day and a wonderful two days off just hanging around at home with my husband doing absolutely nothing.  We had gone to see the new movie Star Trek: Into Darkness the day it opened and both enjoyed it immensely.  That really set the mood for a wonderful time at the convention.

The Next Generation Reunion and 20th anniversary of Deep Space Nine were highlighted in Creation Entertainment’s annual event occurring, as always, at the Westin O’Hare near Chicago.  Our last attendance had been in 2006 for the 40th anniversary of the original series, so this was going to be a long-awaited weekend of fun for us.

We checked into the Westin Hotel for three days so that we could spend the maximum amount of time onsite.  And what a great time it was!  The dealers room was not as plentiful as I’d remembered from seven years ago but still held some interesting trinkets.  My husband bought some shot glasses and I got a sticker for car.  Fans in costume were roaming the halls aplenty and a nice showing turned out for the costume contest.


There were quite a number of interesting panel discussions as well.  A local college professor who is an authority on all things Star Trek did a couple of talks on the filming of the Wrath of Khan  movie as well as the original series episode from whence his character came, “The Space Seed.”  It was very thorough and extremely entertaining.  I wish my college professors had been as adept at presenting their subject matter!  The writer of the Next Gen episode “The Inner Light” also gave a presentation about that episode which we enjoyed a lot.  Trekkies love delving into every little bit of minutia about the series so things like this are a big deal for us.

Over the course of the weekend, we were treated to appearances by all of the major actors from The Next Generation separately as well as in a panel together on Saturday evening.  It was nice to see them all again, sort of like seeing an old friend who’d been away for many years.

……….half of the panel…………other half of the panel……….

One personal highlight from Saturday was having a photo taken with Patrick Stewart.  My knees were literally shaking at the time, I was so starstruck.  He said hello (with that deliciously deep voice and accent),  I blathered something senseless and then tried to smile for birdie before I made a complete fool of myself.  It was a moment I will never forget even though I remember very little of it because of being so nervous!

me and picard

avery n me

On Sunday, I also got my picture taken with Avery Brooks.  I had no idea he was so tall.  I was way more relaxed, and he was also very nice.  I’ve been a fan of his acting since his days on “Spencer For Hire” and thought he played the character of Captain Sisko with as much flair as he had done with Hawk.

Much too soon, the weekend was over and we headed back home to our normal lives.  Spending a weekend surrounded by fellow Trekkies while enjoying the reminiscences of former cast members is truly an escape to a pleasure planet.  I carried my smile with me throughout the next week and enjoyed the breath of fresh air that the trip had provided.

The following weekend I headed down to Kentucky for the Hatfield-McCoy Family Reunion half-marathon where I had another splendid experience.  I will write about that in Part 2 of this report, and you can hear all about how I didn’t train but enjoyed it anyway.

More later…..