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Subject:BACK HOME!!
Time:09:16 pm
Current Mood:jetlagged
Horrendous jet lag, lost luggage, 24 hours delay on return journey. Was it worth it? Oh my God - yes, yes - a hundred times yes!! I'm so glad we decided to go - I will remember it for the rest of my life. But for those who don't want to read yet another Orc report I will put my ramblings behind a cut

Our flight from Birmingham to Newark, NJ was delayed by an hour - not unusual, I know, but it meant we only just made the connection to LA. When we arrived - the ultimate nightmare - one of our suitcases was missing!! Apparently it never got put on the plane - don't know why - but thankfully it was delivered to our hotel that night. We arrived quite late on the Wednesday night but when we woke the next day I felt terrible - a splitting headache, throwing up - here I was in the US for the first time in my life and I couldn't get to see it, I just wanted to sleep. By late afternoon I felt a lot better and we had a look at Pasadena and the beautiful shopping centre. Its such a lovely place and we were so lucky with the weather considering what it had been like earlier. That night we went to the prereg and got our wristbands.

The highlight of Friday was seeing Dom on stage - he is a very entertaining speaker - but its a pity he couldn't appear with Billy, they're so hilarious together. Dom also took part in the panel for the "Ringers" documentary - this looks so good, I'm dying to see the whole thing. That night there was an 'ice cream party' and World Without Sundays were playing. I must admit this is not really my kind of music, but even so I could tell they sounded very professional and my husband, who knows more than me about these things, agreed.

Of course, Saturday was the big day for me. Elijah's photo ops were due to begin at 12.30 and as we ambled into the room about 10 mins before I couldn't believe it hadn't occurred to me that there would be a huge queue before that. And it was huge. However, my time finally arrived and I was ushered into the inner sanctum - a room with large, black curtains to prevent people from looking in. The impact of seeing him again can't easily be described - although he looks stunning in pics, when you see him in the flesh you really feel that no photo can do him justice. Although this was not the first time I'd seen him, he took my breath away all over again. There were still a few people in front of me so I was able to spend some time just watching Lij - the first sight I had of him he was wiping his face all over with a wad of tissues - I thought perhaps he was hot, then realised that someone had probably covered his face with lipstick!! The next person, a young girl, promptly plonked herself in his lap. So much for all their rules and regulations!! As everyone will have seen from all the pics, Lij has cut his hair. I thought I'd be disappointed if he did this, I was hoping he was going to keep it long, but it actually looked really nice. When my turn came I really felt in a daze. I'd ordered three pics, in the hope that at least one of them would be good. Can't remember exactly what I said, or what he said, but I think it was "Hello Elijah, its lovely to see you". He smiled the smile at me and said hello and something else which I don't remember. I then showed him the gift bag I had for him and explained a little about the contents - and then showed him the list of contents I'd taped to the bag. He seemed very interested and intrigued and I'm so happy to hear that they all took their gifts home with them. And then - be still my poor old beating heart - he put his arm round me ready for the first photo. You would think, after doing this so many times, he would be getting rather tired and perhaps just place his arm across your shoulders. No way!! He hugged me really tight, and my automatic response was to put my arm round him and squeeze tight too!! I will never forget how that felt - and I'm never washing that cardigan again - ever!! He then shifted position a bit for the next pic and as we were getting ready for the final pic he suddenly said "Wait a minute - whats that?" He pointed to an envelope I was holding in my other hand - he obviously thought it was something I'd meant to give him and forgotten about. I said "Oh thats just my tickets" - which seemed to amuse him and the photographer. For the final pic, he placed his hand on my right knee. Let me repeat that. Elijah placed his hand upon MY RIGHT KNEE!!! I sort of linked my arm through his, but all the time I was thinking - I don't want this to end. He just makes everyone feel so special, young and old - everyone. But of course, it had to end - I thanked him and walked out in a complete daze. My husband talked to me about everyday, mundane things like - shall we eat now? Eat? Didn't know what he meant - couldn't focus. I was actually delighted with the photos but I hesitated about posting them here because the scan doesn't look nearly as good as the original. Anyway, I've decided to post just one for now and if I can improve the scans I'll post the other two:



But there was more to come. Next we saw Sean and Lij on stage which was just wonderful. I won't go on too much about this because there are lots of detailed reports around. I'm sure everyone knows about the ballroom dancing, hugging the little girl who was crying, Lij's suppository story plus volcanic results, etc. This was followed by the autograph session. Billy was first in the line - he had a rather obnoxious man next to him who kept saying "No personalisations, no personal contact, no this, that and the other". Billy was his usual friendly, charming self and Lij was next. I gave him 3 things to sign, plucked up all my courage and managed to say what I hadn't been able to at CM4. I told him I'd met him last year but had been so nervous I wasn't able to thank him for being the perfect Frodo - I said he should have got an Oscar and nobody has every affected me like that before. I know - I hope - he's heard this a million times before, but he seemed genuinely pleased and appreciative. I then said that I hoped he'd come and see us in the UK again soon. He said "yes, we'd really like to do that" - always "we" - never "I". I had really hoped to shake his hand while I was saying this but didn't because of the 'no personal contact' man to the left. I wish now that I'd taken no notice of him and just taken Lij's hand anyway. And then I had to move on. Someone was talking to Sean and he did my signing at the same time so I never got to speak to him - but it did give me time to steal a few extra glances at Lij!! He just has an aura about him - I don't think it will ever be possible to describe it.

That night we all got dressed up for the Torn awards. I was so glad Elijah won the award for "Best LOTR actor in another film" - for Eternal Sunshine.

One disappointment was that I didn't manage to meet anywhere near as many people as I thought I would. There were several people I was suppose to make contact with and for one reason or another it didn't happen. However, it was wonderful to meet those that I did find.

Saw JRD on stage the next day - he was so entertaining, just brilliant. And the final thing we saw was Charles Ross performing his one man LOTR show. In half an hour, without any props or dressing-up, he enacted all 3 films - and it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Amazing.

And so we wended our way back to the hotel - it was over. I loved it - and so did my husband. When we left Pasadena it was like the most beautiful summers day you could get in England, as it had been most of the time. And this is winter!! I was really not ready to leave. And the Hilton hotel - we kept asking ourselves what we were doing there, it was sumptuous, just gorgeous - and we could only afford it because of the reduced rates given to those going to Orc.

The journey home also had its share of disasters. In the shuttle on the way to the airport I suddenly thought I'd lost the small bag which contained our passports, tickets, money, etc. Panic ensued - but we found it on the floor. What I didn't realise until later was that I'd pulled my brand new hooded, fleece jacket out of its bag while we were searching - and must have left it on the seat or the floor. Arrived in icy, windswept New Jersey minus jacket. I was only wearing quite a thin top, but my husband lent me his coat as he had a thick jumper on. The flight from LA was late arriving which made us miss our connecting flight to the UK by minutes. We were then told there wouldn't be another flight for 24 hours. They put us up at a hotel - but by that stage we just wanted to get home. When we did finally reach home I was feeling quite paranoid about our cases because of our previous experience. And as you might guess, there we were standing there - carousel completely empty, everone else gone. A woman came up to us and led us back to a window - and then I could sight of a trolley containing our cases - they'd come on the plane we missed the night before. We were supposed to know this by some kind of telepathy, of course!! We were both supposed to be back at work that day but had to take more time off. And I'm still jet lagged, though not as ill as before, probably because of the big break between flights. This has worried me about our flight to NZ - don't want to miss the first day in Auckland because of jetlag.

Needless to say, all these little calamaties really don't matter one jot - I'm just so thankful that we decided to make this trip - it has left me with such very special memories and when I read my previous post I realise how very silly I was to worry about the age thing - there were people of all ages, from small kids to quite elderly. There will be another Orc next year - it would be lovely if the hobbits could look on it as an annual reunion - and if so, I just hope we can scrape together enough cash to repeat this wonderful experience:)
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shirebound
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 12:12 am (UTC)
You hugged Elijah, and he hugged you back! No wonder all the other disasters (illness, lost luggage, etc.) seem like minor inconveniences now.

Eee, what a great pic! You'll remember this for the rest of your life.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:12 pm (UTC)
For that experience I'd have scaled Mt Doom!! Will never forget it:)
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shes_eclectic
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 12:15 am (UTC)
I've been waiting for your report. So glad to hear it was all you hoped it would be. :)
That picture is priceless. The look on your face says it all: "Elijah Wood has his arm around me!!"
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:15 pm (UTC)
I wish I could have smiled a bit more for the pics - I think I look rather stunned, probably because I was!! He is a complete sweetheart:)
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primula_baggins
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 12:44 am (UTC)
Ah sweetie! He put his arm around you!!!! I love it. Thanks for reporting in. We were wondering what happened to you. I'm glad you told him how much you liked his Frodo and how you wish he'd gotten an Oscar. I don't think many people would have actually thought to tell him that. And he needs to hear it, often. He was brilliant in that role. You can go into my LJ several entries back and read my account of meeting him. Yes, no picture can do him justice, I agree.

I'm really sorry I didn't get to see you too. There were so many people there it was hard to know who was who. Glad you enjoyed your visit to our "little" city.

Prim
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:19 pm (UTC)
Sorry I never got to meet you. I'd regretted not saying those things to him at CM4 so this time I was determined!! I'm looking forward to reading everyone's report, including yours, if I ever manage to answer all my emails!!
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wisteria_way
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 01:00 am (UTC)
Yay!! A Lijah Hug!!!!! I'm so happy for you!!!
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wisteria_way
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 01:06 am (UTC)
Wait! I should always read before I post! 3 Lijah hugs! And he touched your knee!

And you were right behind the rude 'pounce and plonk' fan!

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wisteria_way
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 01:10 am (UTC)
And.... you look beautiful! And it looks like Elijah genuinely likes you. It must be your charming English accent!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:26 pm (UTC)
I'm sure he tries to make everyone feel special - when he put his arm round me and squeezed it felt as though he was silently saying "I know you're nervous but its ok, I'm here"
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wisteria_way
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:44 pm (UTC)
I know he's sweet and kind with everyone but he really has a special fond look in his eye for you. ;)

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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:23 pm (UTC)
"And he touched your knee!"

Yes - he actually placed his hand on my knee for quite a long time while the last pic was being taken. All I could think was "Elijah has his hand on my knee". Unfortunately its out of shot in the pic.
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wisteria_way
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:48 pm (UTC)
I've seen a lot of people's photo ops and your's is by far one of the sweetest and nicest. I printed up a copy because I love it so much.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-24 09:34 pm (UTC)
Awww - thank you so much:) The pics are so precious to me - something tangible to remind me that it really did happen - it wasn't just a dream!!
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altuniverse
Subject:Elijah put his hand on your knee!!!!
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 03:36 am (UTC)
Wow! I can't even imagine the feelings that must have been going through you at that moment.


You look so happy and so beautiful!

Never forget.

Love,
Mary

p.s. your dh wanted to get something to *eat*? while you were in heaven. That is so funny.
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not_alone
Subject:Re: Elijah put his hand on your knee!!!!
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:27 pm (UTC)
"Never forget"

It will be with me forever.
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mother2012
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 03:40 am (UTC)
Very glad you're home safe and happy.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:30 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear you're back too - hope you had a trouble-free journey.
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annwyn55
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 05:48 am (UTC)
Oooo - that's a lovely picture. You look stunned - and very happy!! I wish I could have gotten to meet you - that would have been amazing!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:32 pm (UTC)
I didn't know you were going!! I wonder how I missed that - I'd loved to have met you. Stunned - yes, thats a perfect description - and thats exactly what I was:)
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lisabellex
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 09:44 am (UTC)
Wow, what a lovely account. So very pleased for you. I'm sure you'll always remember your ORC encounters with dear Elijah!

;)
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you - and you're right, I'll never forget it:)
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ourdramaqueen
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 02:27 pm (UTC)
Wheee!! See, I KNEW you had to go!!! *bounce* Oooh he put his arm around you AND his hand on your knee! Wow! And yes, I understand what you mean about him having this aura! You just can't explain it to others who haven't experienced him "live".
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, to think we might have decided not to go - and I'd have missed this - doesn't bear thinking about!!
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joomer
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 05:07 pm (UTC)
I don't have time read your report now, but I did see the pic!!!!! I'm so excited for you!! Can't wait to get a moment and read how the weekend went. *hugs*
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woodfrodo
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 09:31 pm (UTC)
OH no, didn't know you were going too, it was the best times!! Your Ops turned out very nice, he was the sweetest. And great report, mine is pretty mixed up..and glad your safetly home..wow if you did lose all those!?
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:38 pm (UTC)
"he was the sweetest"

Wasn't he just - I wish I could have brought him home with me!!
I look forward to reading your report when I start on my flist:)
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bagendbabe
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:14 pm (UTC)
Oh Pauline!!!! *dies*

He hugged you really tight, and put HIS HAND ON YOUR RIGHT KNEE.

OMG. *lost for more words*

How absolutely wonderful.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-23 10:41 pm (UTC)
I can hardly believe it all happened. When I think back to 3 years ago - when all this began, I could never have imagined I would one day actually snuggle up to my beloved Frodo:)
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teresarosewood
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-24 01:20 am (UTC)
Oh your photo is so sweet! And Elijah hugs omg lucky you! Beautiful lovely, and I'm so happy for you. :)


Food? What is food when Elijah is around? :D


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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-24 09:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you - and yours is lovely too. I wish I could have smiled more, like you, but I always find it difficult to smile for photos for some reason.
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teresarosewood
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-25 04:05 am (UTC)
Hehehe actually so do I! But for some reason, Elijah brings out the smile I hide every other time I take photos hehe.


:)
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evening_emerald
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-24 05:07 am (UTC)
What a lovely, detailed report -- thank you! How incredibly lucky you are to have met him TWICE!

*stifling my jealousy*

Seriously, I am glad you got the chance to tell him what we all feel -- that he was the perfect Frodo.

when you see him in the flesh you really feel that no photo can do him justice
WOW. Sentences like that just stun me. I hope I can gaze upon that beauty with my own eyes someday!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-24 09:58 pm (UTC)
"Seriously, I am glad you got the chance to tell him what we all feel -- that he was the perfect Frodo."

I was determined that this time I would say that to him - after CM4 I really regretted that I hadn't - in fact I almost lost the power of speech and managed to say very little. This time I did much better - and next time - I'm quite confident there will be a next time - I hope to say even more. Practice makes perfect!!
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(Anonymous)
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-24 11:16 am (UTC)
Oh my dearest friend...I couldn´t wait to read your report, thank you for your encounter...I try to find exacting words for expressing what I can feel after reading, but I have to give it up, I can feel it but I canˇt express it by words. You know, you were with me in the similary situation last summer and I was with you during your great time in Pasadena. Please, write me, my outlook didn´t work on Friday, unfortunatelly.
Allie
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-01-24 10:00 pm (UTC)
Hi Allie - if only you could have come, it was magical - and so was Lij. Hope you got the letter I sent earlier today.
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ismenin
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-02-22 11:22 pm (UTC)
*He just has an aura about him - I don't think it will ever be possible to describe it.*

He does have this, does he not? Impossible to describe to anyone who has not seen it. Loved your report, my love. Totally delish!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-02-23 08:40 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed my Orc report, Issi - not sure why the pic isn't showing anymore but if you get round to reading my later post 'Scanning Frenzy' I've included all 3 pics I had taken with the beloved one plus a couple of delicious Fro pics he signed for me:) I keep the pics in a drawer next to the bed where I can keep sneaking quick peeks - I need to remind myself that it really did happen!! Btw - Sean is coming to the next Collectormania, so I'm really hoping for another announcement. Not that I'm greedy or anything:D
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