#SPNNASH

Life as a Supernatural fan is not an easy one. Like with anything we enjoy we worry will it end? Will Jared and Jensen decide its enough and everyone on the show go looking for a new job leaving all of the fans lacking. I predict the show – when it does end – will be like having sex without the orgasm. They get off easy, but we will still be waiting for our closure. After all, a Winchester never truly dies.

I am hoping and praying that the show continues for a really long time. 

My daughter is a huge fan, so when I found out a convention was coming to town I thought why not… then money issues happened since the Army decided we could pay for two households in two different places without any help from them. I knew going into the conference on a budget was not ideal, but I am trying to build lasting memories with my kids.

By the way, my advice for anyone going in the future – max out your card or bring your stilts. Because without one you will need the other.

So, the day came and we packed up, left home, and traveled the mediocre distance filled with pot holes and construction signs between my house and the hotel. Nashville never stops construction so this isn’t something new. However, if I ever disappear off the face of the Earth chances are I fell into a pot hole in Nashville and didn’t make it through the core to come out in Mongolia.

We checked into the hotel and walked a million miles to our room uphill with no shoes  in the snow… Okay, really we did walk for a while, and there was a hill, but my Uggs were on, my suitcase was in tow, and we did have to go further since they were doing construction (go figure) and we had to go up and around to get to our room. Similar to driving on I-24.

We entered the room, and checked it out like one of my grandfathers used to do… We value what we are getting versus what we are paying.  Considering the fact that we only had to pay the fees to be there (got the room on points – thanks Marriott) it was above board. Of course there are things I would have changed, but all in all we had a good room.

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We got an atrium room with a balcony so my son could watch me out the door when I went downstairs. I wouldn’t have complained if in true southern fashion they had a fire pit and s’more’s outside on the lawn or on the roof, but with all my sugar intake I am glad they didn’t. Otherwise this post would be entitled: How to induce a diabetic coma.

Now let me explain why. First, snacks are cheaper than dining out. Remember we were on a budget. Second, we only had a little fridge. Third… well… I had to go to Target because I brought everything I didn’t need and nothing I did need, and we were hungry when we went in. I should have just stayed where we were and ate my peanut butter crackers I had brought from home, but I needed things like clothes.

Seriously, I had a pair of flower power shorts when I needed a coat. I brought two of my photography cameras, but not the SD card. I wear only black and was somehow a walking contradiction in f-ing pink… Don’t even know where I got the shirt. I brought a couple fatty cakes, but nothing that qualifies as actual food. It was like having a Little Debbie Devil on one shoulder who would have been proud as the Jenny Craig Angel pointed her finger at me and shook her head in disappointment.

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This was half of our stock.

I disappointed my Jenny Craig Angel day after day, but it saved money we didn’t have to spend since I had to spend money to buy things like underwear, leggings, etc. Didn’t matter though, the kids seemed to like the room and their snacks… see how they don’t even notice me. Could be because of the Wii U in his hands, could be because he is comfortable.

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Friday night was pretty boring stuff. A trip to Nashville, a trip to Target, and a night in a hotel room. It was very bland.

Then Saturday came.

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There is nothing stronger then when one or two fans meet others. I met so many this weekend and adored them all. Some were a little less Southern than I’m used to, but still down here we open doors, we greet people with a howdy or hi y’all, and we go out of our way to be considerate until the bless your heart comes out.

I’m proud to say I didn’t have to bless anyone this weekend!

Although on Sunday… We’ll get to that later.

Back to Saturday where my sense of navigation was skewed.

Seriously, I would have followed the hot guy who tried to have a moment with me all through Opryland if I thought for one second he would lead me back to my room, and he probably would have, but not for reasons I wanted.

I know what you’re thinking and no, I was with my kids y’all. Come on now! 

I was ready to give up when I passed a familiar face. Ty Olssun was standing out in the open area – where you didn’t need the expensive ticket to see him – looked like he was waiting for someone or something.

(See Correction below)

Being an author I got used to being accosted by people who want to ask why I did this or that. I felt like this version of Ty would be used to it as well being who he is, and looking like he does so I immediately pulled my daughter’s arm and said “don’t you want to say hi?” Her response was something like “um uh ummm,” and so on. Then with a little motherly shove – I mean love she gained a pinch of my ability to talk to anyone about anything at anytime and asked him to take a picture with her.

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Not Ty Olssun – this is Blake Cauthen…

The moment he said yes I fell in love. I mean I already loved his character, but now I had a reason to love the “Benny” in front of us. You just have no idea what people go through and to see her smile so big she was fighting showing teeth. That was perfection.

Truth be told if I wasn’t trying to be a mom, was fifty pounds lighter, three inches taller, wearing heels, and blonder I would have walked over to him and gave him a kiss for making my baby girl smile like that. I haven’t seen her that happy in a while. I would have plopped my lips right on his and no one could do anything about it because Barbie never gets in trouble. They just redesign a new outfit and send her back to Ken.

***Correction***

The man in the photo is not Ty Olssun. His name is Blake Cauthen- I know I know its hard to believe. Its like being cat-fished in person, well not really, but I am at a loss for words.. Yes, I know I’m an author – still no words. It’s uncanny. Its almost like meeting a doppleganger and we all know how that turned out. I watched the Vampire Diaries, didn’t you? 

Even now knowing that the man wasn’t Ty my baby girl still wears a smile because of the what if possibility that one day it would be him. She wears a smile because when she asked he complied, and she will always remember this moment because someone – a fan like her – related to her in mere seconds with nothing more than a pose in a photograph. That day we walked away – my daughter on cloud nine – me adding both the real Ty and Blake to an unrealistic bucket list that may or may not include catching lightning bugs and driving classic cars, a true southern hang out- and went to meet my mom.

Lunch with my mom was a whole new experience. I got to see what Nashville looks like when everyone was meeting up at the Opry Mills mall. The carousel in the food court was pretty, but there were more people there than at the convention (probably because the SPNNASH family was at the mall with the Nashvillians).

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By the way – I don’t know any of these people. I was taking a pic of the carousel

After lunch we made our way back to Target (don’t judge) and bought something else I had forgotten at home.

I’m thirty-six and remember things about as well as a toddler being told to pick up their toys. I hear you, but it doesn’t compute. When you ask me ten minutes later why I’m not picking them up.. well that is probably because I don’t want to.

On the second trip to Target I stopped inside and we got Pizza Hut (who knew they had that inside Target? I didn’t) and we found WARHEAD WATERMELON ICEE’S!!!

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Call me a weirdo, but I love finding stuff like this that I can’t get at home. It was completely worth the nine minute drive on crappy roads to get this. I promise it was good.

Anyway, as exciting (yeah right) as all this sounds Saturday night ended with us hanging in the hotel room because my children could not comprehend the sit outside and hang out policy we had in the 80’s and 90’s when we went to things like this. Back then if you weren’t a part of something (like you couldn’t afford a Gold Package) it was okay because you would at least get to see the people in passing if you hung around outside with like-minded people.

After all, that’s where we found “Looks like Ty, but isn’t” named Blake.

But it didn’t work. The kids went to bed early and I had another SPN fan text me a photo of Jensen that she got so I could put it on my wall and no one would know how tight of a budget we actually have. They would think we were there. Even though in reality I was most likely soaking in the tub at Opryland since their water heater was stored in Hell and I love HOT TUB Tempature water.

Yup, that’s me – the clean pruney fibber – one who would post a borrowed photo on her own timeline.

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But Sunday came and a smile slid across my face knowing that today was the day. Today I was going to give my kids the vacation they wanted, I would be crowned mom of the year for being able to pull this trip out of my ass, and I would get to let my inner fan girl tan under the spotlights with her fandom.

We checked out of the hotel and moved our luggage (heavy ass bags because of all the trips to Target) to the car and then sat inside the lobby and waited. We waited for my mom to pick up my son who unfortunately couldn’t take the crowds as his anxiety is no joke. Soon, it was just me and my daughter and it was time to go inside the conference.

Are you ready?

Are you ready to hear about inside the conference?

We have not salted the letters on the screen and there is no Holy water in sight.

You are entering at your own risk.

Let us begin… 

It was a cold and rainy Sunday when the conference drew to a close. Everyone had come into town enjoying the warm climate of Tennessee only to meet her bi-polar personality and end the conference needing winter wear.

I knew how cold it was because being a person that was both born and raised in Tennessee I have grown accustomed to the weird weather, only for some reason I forgot about it today. I forgot the temp was going to go from 70s to 30s, but I felt it. As my teeth chattered when I took my bags out to the car my son saw it first.

We saw the most amazing sight…

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That’s right. Right out there next to the valet sat someone’s version of Baby! This car was gorgeous, and we were careful not to touch it because as we all know having one like that cost a lot of money – and I mentioned the budget, right?

I mean she’s not a ’67 Chevelle, but I would still be the girl with her feet up on the dash, and her hand catching air out the window in the Impala. I’m a southern girl through and through – I love spending time in a classic car.

By now, my daughter realized that she could see and do things if only she put down the phone and came out into society. I was happy and smiling… My inner fan girl was doing imaginary cartwheels down the hallways – I really did that a couple years ago in Opryland and it didn’t end well. I think there is still blackmail worthy footage of it somewhere. Thankfully, no one knows where.

Okay, so we have dropped off my son and its time to go inside. Leaving Baby behind was hard, but we all know she is meant to be on the road. With tires rolling on asphalt and a Little Debbie pie in the car – that is where she is meant to be.

I had to kick people out of our seats, but it didn’t matter. We sat two rows from the back of the theater a few rows behind the Jolly Green Giant and the Stay Puff Marshmallow man who were as tall as Jared Padalecki, and built like they were competing in some muscle building conquest to make the size of their arms the size of a hatchback (you had to be there to understand that reference). They were also coupled with their girlfriends Denim and Diamonds. This was not ideal for those who are vertically challenged like myself. I thought about standing up, but then my little fluffy rollie pollie body would have been blocking someone else.

Tsk, put that judgmental finger down. It was a Holy day that means I have to play nice because being smited would only become material for an episode and I still wouldn’t be able to see it looking down from Heaven or up from Hell.

When I entered the room and got the squatters out of my chairs my attention was turned to the stage where Rob Benedict was singing and dancing and making it look really easy to be old (oh please, he’s older than me so I can say that). I immediately took out my phone and captured an instagram video and entitled it “God is singing to me with Jason Manns- #chuck #loudenswain” you know because I am a little too weird to just put the band name.

Then we listened as Richard Speight Jr.  introduced the band members, bantered with Rob Benedict, and then brought out the one the only (on that network) Lucifer.

*Yes, these are my views… My arms were extended to watch the show through the camera over the heads, but not standing to block anyone else. 

Lucifer was fun. I got the impression that a fan was anti-Dean and anti-Sam (if you were there you understand). She stood up to ask a question that floored everyone. I can’t say it verbatim (something about the Mark of Cain), but I know in the question she basically implied that Sam and Dean were selfish condescending assholes (<- paraphrasing). I watched as every head turned in her direction and heard the murmurs of “what the fuck she say” in full southern slang erupted behind me. In fact even Mark Pellegrino turned it into a joke that she was trying to start something with the whole audience. Then she replied challenging us all to do something about it… I had to bless her heart from a distance, but it’s okay. You know in every family we all have that one family member we can’t claim. That one you pretend not to know in public, but pray for privately. Maybe that is her role in the SPNFamily, maybe not. I don’t know her from Adam and Eve and it wasn’t on me to judge, so let me close it out by saying I loved the way Mark handled it.

I did wonder about the coat he wore and the beanie. Apparently, he didn’t remember that Lucifer burns cold or that Mother Nature is a fickle B#@%$. I thought he was adorable all bundled up in his coat and beanie while walking around on stage in skinny jeans. Who knew that Satan wore skinny jeans? I didn’t.

Then Ruth Connell came out. There is nothing I can say about this woman that isn’t awesome-sauce. In fact when you have time go give this charity a like because they are doing good work… I learned about them from Ruth this weekend and my finger clicked their link in a heart beat. You can find them by clicking here: My Hope Chest

Ruth “Rowena” was the life of the party. She came out into the crowd so we could all see her instead of struggling to see over heads so big that even the Ghostbusters would be scared of.

Next came the boys. You know them as Jared and Jensen, Sam and Dean, Moose and Squirrel, or hair and old man sweater.

I do not know why I have seen Jensen in videos wearing that cardigan thing. It’s not like he has white hair a rollie pollie belly and he definitely ain’t sitting in a rocking chair on a front porch drinking a beer or sweet tea listening to grandkids complain about their parents. Maybe he was cold, maybe he likes it because its snuggly, maybe he’s feeling more than his age, maybe it wards against evil, or maybe its a fashion statement I have yet to be briefed on. I don’t know the clothing portion, but I can see that he is the adult in the J squared friendship.

As Jared talked about going to the moon, sang the states song – including a country “Australia,” and laughed like a school boy Jensen had to reign him in. It was cute the way they pushed pulled at each other’s commentary, but it felt like they were tired. You know when you pump your kids up on sugar – that was Jared – he was still riding the high. Jensen was already starting to come down and allowed Jared to plow over his vocabulary with stories that had us all saying “What now?”

They were adorable, and kept everyone laughing, but it truly felt like something was missing.

I’m a baseball girl, grew up meeting players like Jeff Bagwell, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Kirby Puckett (my fav), Deion Sanders, Nolan Ryan, and more. I am used to meeting famous people as I did it all the time going to baseball conventions with my dad. He even drove me all the way to Minnesota to meet my favorite team the Twins (No, team trashing). That being said I have never paid that much to be so far away from one as I was with Jared and Jensen. Maybe that was my issue. I’m used to going where famous people interact with everyone in their line not just the ones who have a higher credit limit on their Capitol One card. (<-It’s fact, not snark) Maybe I am just spoiled from another kind of con? Maybe I need a Snickers… Oh, that sounds good right now.

At the end of the day when I old timer’ed the weekend it was definitely worth what we paid, but I felt it could be better. I felt we could do better now that we know what to expect. I am trying to build memories with my kids and I don’t want that memory to be “remember when we couldn’t afford…” Of course the world goes round, money won’t make you happy, but it will give you the opportunity to do more, be more, achieve more. Maybe next year or the year after we will get to do this again and there won’t be a Red Sea amount of people between us and the stage. Maybe next time I won’t miss any of it because someone’s momma fed them vitamins and Miracle Gro. Maybe one day I will win the powerball and gift passes to people like myself and my family. Maybe next time… I will be prepared. Maybe next time they will have funnel cakes and s’mores.  Lord knows I will want it since today starts my diet – sorry if I leave this crabby I’m carb and caffeine free.

Not trying to become a downer, so I will leave you with a little J Squared. Until Next time…

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