Day in the life of an Outlander Fan - Outlander at ECCC - by J. Solo

IMG_8989.JPG

I had such an incredible experience at my first ever Comicon that I thought I should write a bit about it!  Let’s see how this goes.  I absolutely LOVE the tv show Outlander, and the two main stars, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan were scheduled to be there.  So naturally, a badge was quickly purchased, as well as a flight to Seattle!  I met up with 7 amazing girlfriends, and the fun began.  On verra little sleep (how can we sleep when we were gonna see Sam and Cait the next morning!!), we arrived at the convention center at 7:15am. We mayyyy have gotten 4 hours of sleep the night before, and that’s being generous!  The doors were going to open around 10am, and we just HAD to get up close and personal at that panel.  We arrived so early we were super close to the front of the line.  It wasn’t so much a line as a….smush together and stand for 3.5 hours…  But heck, for them it was worth it, sore bodies and all.  They didn’t let us in until 10:30, so needless to say our legs were about to fall off.  When the time came to herd us thru, the organizers said…“no running”…. ummm…yeah good luck with that.  So we “walked super fast” and tried to get pretty close, but our squad of 8 kinda broke up in the shuffle and some of us grabbed seats in row 5, and the other girls a few rows behind.  Still great vantage points!  Cait came out first looking absolutely adorable.  And in that leather jacket she wears soooo well.  She looked beautiful in all black!  Then Sam came out IN A KILT!  Hallelujah!! It’s been so long, I was like…are my eyes deceiving me?? They were not.  And then he killed us with a wee kilt twirl.  Cait laughed!  They seriously make each other laugh, oh…about every 5 seconds. And they were both wearing black leather jackets.  The panel was great! They’re just SO giggly and adorable and happy together, you can’t help but feel the same!  I love how much Cait teases him. It’s the cutest thing ever to witness in person! They truly are just such bright lights and so engaging and caring and they love their fans so much.  It’s so evident when you watch them together.  There were tons of Q&A questions, and one of my girls asked one too!!  It was perfect.  Of course, after the fact, I now have tons of questions I’ll ask next time! The panel was about an hour or so, and after taking tons of pictures (most came out blurry….damn those low lights in the event room!), alas, the panel was over. 

We all had autograph tickets for Sam and/or Cait for that day after the panel but the room was already full so we were told we can go back for the 2nd shift around 4pm. So instead, we grabbed lunch and then headed to the hotel where they were doing the group photos! Omg, soon enough I would get my samcait sandwich!!! Kind of a dream! Long lines were completely fine bc it gave us time to catch our breath. Although, the nerves were definitely rampant! I mean, these two beautiful humans would be NEXT TO US in a matter of minutes. Never having a con experience before I didn’t know what to expect regarding the photos . People around us who had already taken their solo pic with Sam said it’s super quick and u barely have enough time to say hi! I wore my Unusual Lady tshirt (purchased for Cait's charity), and under it I had my MPC shirt (relating to Sam's charity and fitness and health program). Yes, my plan was to flash Sam the MPC shirt after Cait saw my Unusual Lady shirt. I also recently got into knitting so I knitted them both hats! Granted they’ll be in 80 degree temps in South Africa, but eventually they’ll be back in cold Scotland!  Hearing that the photos would be super fast, I had no clue how I would say hi (or ramble incoherently), give them their hats, flash Sam (uhh the MPC shirt, that is), AND take a pic w them in the minimal time allotted!  I was on line to take my pic, and after dropping off my jacket and bags on the nearby table, I heard NEXT! I saw them standing there and omg are they tall and gorgeous, and as I walked up to them I THINK I held out my arms and said Hiiiiii! I heard Cait scream and point to my shirt and smile! My unusual lady shirt!! I quickly pulled up my shirt to show Sam the MPC one underneath. And omg thank goodness I held down the shirt so there was no actual flashing .. and he pointed and smiled and said that’s great! I then mumbled…I knitted you both hats!  Mind u, as I walked up, someone literally snatched my bag with the hats from me and put them into a box with other gifts. So after I said I knitted u two hats, I remember Sam saying oh great! In the blink of an eye I was between the two of them, and both of their arms were around me, and mine around them. Hello out of body experience.

Oh wait…let’s back up slightly. So the day of the Con, I said to the girls..ok so I want to show Sam my MPC shirt after Cait sees the unusual lady shirt , and I said my fear is that I’ll forget to pull my shirt down for the pic. Well, lo and behold half of my shirt was up for the pic.   As I was flashing Sam, I heard the organizer go MOVE. Umm gee, thanks for the time. So I ran between them for the pic and I remember pulling my shirt down, but I guess not all the way! When the pic was printed I was like oh nooooo .  But heck, it gives the pic more of a pop of color, and to be honest, no one is even looking at me when those two stunning humans are in that pic!  Ok so back to being in between them… they both really squeeze tight and I remember that feeling so well! The photographer said.. READYYYY … and then there was the FLASH. Then he yelled NEXT !  I said thanks and ran off. Problem was I ran the wrong way bc I was so flustered and then I hear someone say..wrong way! And I ran back to the correct exit side like a chicken with my head cut off. Thankfully there was no video of this! I tried to wait for my friends bc I was the first to go, but we had to move it along. After we were all done, there was a lot of screaming and squee'ing!! It really felt so rushed and I wish they gave us more time, but omg it was still so amazing taking a pic w them! They really are so tall in person! And so gorgeous and so kind!! Sam’s leather jacket was so soft! And I remember putting my arm around Cait and it ended up on her arm! And Sam’s hand ended up on my side and his fingers were pressed down. *faints*.  So after we picked up our hard copy pics, we had a little time before the autographs. We composed ourselves. Ok, who am I kidding, there was zero composure as we all rehashed our picture experience with one another! We were freaking out!

 Next stop…the autographs! We lined up rather early but neither Sam nor Cait were in the room as of yet. It was so intimate! Didn’t realize the room would be so small and cozy. They each had their own table next to one another but they were somewhat on opposite ends. After about 10min or so, Sam came in!  So he walked in to all of us hootin and hollerin. I can’t believe I just used the phrase hootin & hollerin. Does anyone say that anymore? Anyway…. when he walked in he did his cute schoolboy smile and wave. Granted I was just next to him for a photo but he was so close again! Cait was gonna be another few minutes bc she was still taking individual photos with fans.  Because of this, they allowed the people who only had Sam autographs to move up in line while the others (I only had Cait bc Sam was already sold out) waited on Cait.  I actually thought that half of the room would start to move up in the line, but it was only maybe 10 people or so.  The others had both Sam and Cait, or just Cait.  After a few min Cait arrived to a raucous applause. Not to mention a banging on the table by Sam when she walked in, and his big smile at her as she sat down. Such an adorable goober! Ok where was I… so we were waiting for the line to move and all of a sudden the lights went out! Then u hear Cait go… ladies, this is not the way to get to Sam!   To which everyone laughed.

When the lights came back up, both Sam and Cait were leaning back in their chair looking at each other and smiling. They continue to kill us.  Sam was just sitting there alone, cause at the time no one was lined up at his table.  So he made a funny comment like, where is everyone? I was standing so close and decided to talk to him.  Cause I mean…why not, right?  So I said yeah what’s the deal.  I said something like I’ll keep you company.  So he looks at me and goes (with a hand waving gesture) come on over.  And then he winked.  And then I died.  I of course wasn’t allowed to hop over the rope (darn), but that wink and smile was everything.  A few minutes later Sam walked over to Cait, put his arm around her and scrunched down to her, whispered something, and then stood up and hand gestured that she talks too much, basically saying that’s why he has no one in his line. Haha!  He’s the cutest, and he can never stay away from her!  She laughed.  We all swooned. So I had brought with me the main promo card picture of Jamie and Claire from S1. I had the creator of the show sign it while ago and thought it would be great for Cait to sign it too. I was so sad I wasn’t able to buy Sam’s autograph ticket bc he was sold out. Cait is seriously so stunning. She just radiates joy. She is so genuine and so warm and friendly. You could truly tell she was having such a great time! She needs to go to cons more often! She’s just so real,  you can’t help but smile in her presence. I was so thrilled to see how much love she was getting at this con. I mean…we all love Sam, that goes without saying! But Cait never attends these events, so to see all the attention and admiration from the fans, it was really a sight to behold.  Both she and Sam are legit mesmerizing in person! They are just so beautiful, with such beautiful hearts.

Sorry, got distracted there for a minute…ok, so it was finally time to walk up to Cait. I had my season 1 promo pic for her to sign, as well as a gorgeous pic of Cait that a couple of my friends & I had printed out to surprise one of our girls who couldn’t be here.  You really do lose all sense of speech when looking right at her!  She signed both pictures and then i rambled.  Earlier on, when I took my pic with her and Sam, I had brought them hats that I knitted, but someone snagged them from me so fast and put them into a box, so I asked Cait about it! *burrows head in sand*.   I was like…hi!  Question for you!  So when we took our pic, someone took these hats I had knitted for you and Sam, and I was was wondering if you’ll get them?  So she goes, oh yes, they put everything in a big box for us and we’ll definitely get it!  She thanked me!  Then she looked at my unusual lady shirt and said, with a big smile, thank you so much for supporting.  I said oh of course, I’m so happy to.  It’s such a great charity and you do amazing work.  She thanked me again, and I floated away.  So, as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have a Sam autograph, but after leaving Cait’s table you end up walking right past Sam to head out of the room.  No one was in front of him at the time, so I verrrrry slowly walked by, while holding my picture that Cait just signed.  His handler (not sure if that’s the correct name) holds out his hand (to take my autograph ticket), but I said…I don’t have one *sad face*, he was sold out.  He felt so bad that he handed me (also with a sad face), one of Sam’s headshots that was sitting there, unsigned.  So I said thank you and then Sam looked up at me.  He also held his hand out for my pictures, and I said….you were sold out, so you won’t be able to sign my picture.  I still had my sad face on, which was valid! He looked sad too and said oh noooo.  He then put out his hand and goes..I’ll sign it!  Then he takes the picture from me. His handler lady says, did u buy an autograph? I was lost in the moment & I didn’t say anything, so she gives Sam a dirty look, he looks at her, continues to sign and goes…I’ll pay for this one.  DEATH. DEAD. GONE.  He’s the sweetest person in the world!! I cannot believe he did that!  Then I proceeded to say thank you and blurted out…I’M A PEAKER TOO! I DID A 5K LAST WEEKEND.  Yes, I blurted! He goes oh that’s great! So good, way to do it. 

Then I left….walked into the hallway, and screamed with my girl Katie, because she was standing there next to me basically the entire time while waiting to have him sign her picture.  So yeah…that moment was kind of everything. Sam and Cait are just incredibly generous and genuine. Such good people. The OL fans at this con were so respectful and gracious and I enjoyed meeting other twitter and tumblr fans, as well!  It was just the thrill of a lifetime seeing Sam and Cait together at the con.  And what made it even better was getting to spend it with 7 of the best girlfriends, and going thru this experience together. Fingers crossed they go back again next year, because we’re all currently saving up money for ECCC2018 :).  It was such a whirlwind we didn't get a chance to walk around the Con too much to see what else was happening, but there was lots of cosplay, which was cool to see! Maybe next time we'll do some more exploring and check out the main floor.  Such an amazing first experience, and hope to attend more in the future!  Ok well, that’s about all!  Thanks for reading my ramblings!  - J. Solo