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Here is the Track 16 experience from my point of view, and with my pics. To make this *slightly* more dial-up friendly, I've resized most of the pictures, but they are linked to the hi-res versions.

I drove up from San Diego with my mom and brother, Dave (both Viggo fans, too). We left at 7:30 am and got to Bergamot Station around 10:15. I was amazed that there wasn't much of a line yet! I wandered around looking lost since I had no idea what my friends looked like. Luckily, namarie120 spotted me, and asked if I was Berk. Happy hugs ensued, with an extra one dreamerswings42 brought me from akashaelfwitch! Terri, who I knew from viggomortensen_landpic, and her daughter Emily saw the commotion and joined us....here we are, one happy family!!

L-R: Me (phantomberkanna), dreamerswings42, namarie120, willowwing, double_libra, Terri

The wait was long, but seemed to fly as we all strengthened our bonds of sisterhood. My mom could never understand why I spent so much time on the computer with people I "don't even know"--she understands now! There was no period of awkwardness that often happens when people meet for the first time....these were my sisters, even double_libra, who I had never even met online before we met in person. I think there is something about Viggo, that those of us who love him feel such a bond with each other. Getting to meet Viggo was an added bonus to a day that was already made perfect by meeting dreamerswings42, namarie120, willowwing, double_libra, and Terri.

A little before 4:00, when the signing was to begin, this gorgeous old green truck pulled up:

It was THE MAN himself, delivering Red Bull, sodas and licorice to all of us standing in line!!!!

(Is that paint on his butt??? LOL) I was so impressed that this wonderful man took the time to personally deliver snacks to his fans (but not surprised---that's Viggo!!) After he got back in his truck and drove off to park, his cute security guy (nicknamed Studs by us) led us around to the back of the building. The gate was opened, and the wait, part 2, began! One of the Track 16 guys, who we affectionately called Cookie Man, put the refreshments on a cart and wheeled them over for easy access.

Namarie, Willowwing and Dreamerswings with the snacks!

I won't bore you all with a long description of the wait....we all had a blast being silly and flirting with Studs and Cookie Man

Me talking to Studs

Me with the adorable Cookie Man

We bought our books (I got Linger and the pre-signed multiple), and then were led into the main room where Viggo and Georg sat at a long table waiting for us!!!!!! Somehow our group had gotten split up, so I missed getting pics of Namarie and Willow with Viggo, but here are the rest of us.

Dreamerswings, Phantomberkanna and Terri--Almost There! I looked petrified....

Viggo signing Double_Libra's books

Dreamerswings giving Viggo Chocolate Sex!

Viggo signing Dreamerswings' books

Dreamerswings with Georg and Viggo--he looks so cute in this pic!!

OMG, I'm next!!!!!!!!!!!!

From this point on I was in something of a haze....I stepped up to Viggo, somehow managed to speak coherently as I handed him a painting I made for him because he's been such a huge inspiration to me as an artist. I didn't get any pics of me giving him the painting, but in this next one he is putting it away "so it doesn't get hurt."

He shook my hand and thanked me for the painting, then noticed what I was wearing and said, "Thanks for buying the shirt!"

He signed all my books (Linger, SignLanguage, Recent Forgeries and Coincidence of Memory) and handed all but Linger to Georg to sign as well. At one point he stood up to talk to someone else...I stood there with my legs shaking and waited....when he sat back down he told me "They're from his (Georg's) country," and I replied like a dork, "Well, I knew that wasn't English you were speaking!" (Hey, I'm allowed one stupid comment, I was face to face with THE MAN!!!)

He finished signing my books, I told him it was nice meeting him and we shook hands *again* and somehow my legs worked well enough for me to walk away. I stopped long enough to tell Georg how much I loved his paintings, then I got all giggly and huggy with my sisters!! I recovered enough to take this really bad picture of Terri with Viggo:

but luckily Mom was more composed and took this much better one!

Dave didn't talk to Viggo at all, but here he is with Georg:

We were all so happy to have met Vig:

That was it! We went and had lunch together at the cafe in Bergamot Station (very yummy food), then Dreamerswings, Willowwing, Namarie and Double_Libra went back to their hotel to get ready for the reception. Terri, Emily, Mom, Dave and I didn't have a hotel to go back to, as we drove from home, so we got back in line *again*! We hadn't had a chance to really see the art the first time through, but this time the line was even slower....luckily! I've always loved Viggo's art, but seeing it full-size and in person adds a totally different dimension to the work. He is an incredible artist. I could've stood there for hours...the colors were amazing. I'm going to drive back up before the show ends to see it again, without the distraction of the huge crowds. I decided to buy another book (45301) and got it signed as well. I think he actually remembered me from earlier. The crazy thing was, I didn't feel at all nervous this second time. It was like I was talking to an old friend! He offered me a piece of chocolate, and I asked him if it was the Chocolate Sex....he said that was all gone already!! We were some of the last people to go through, so we just hung out and waited for the others to be let in for the "official" opening. Poor Vig looked like he had a rough day!!

He is an amazing, gracious man. I was lucky enough to have one more encounter with him. We were getting ready to leave, and he was near the door and *not* surrounded by a huge crowd, so I walked up and said I was getting ready to drive back home to San Diego, and that it was great meeting him and could I please give him a hug? He said sure, so I hugged him and he hugged me back!! Then he said, "Drive home safe for me." At that point, I could've *FLOATED* home!!!! My mom got a pic of the hug, but it's still in her camera. I'll add it as soon as we get it developed.

The hug:

So there you have it, my wonderful, perfect (almost) day....the only bad part is I never met up with Denise!! Dreamerswings, Namarie, Willowwing and Double_Libra ran into her after I had already left. Hard to believe this all happened one week ago today. I miss my dear friends so much, but hopefully we will get together again sometime (with or without Viggo)!!!!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 22nd, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
Poor Vig looks exhausted! I'm so happy you got to meet him. I know I wouldn't have been able to speak at all! LOL

And most likely would have stuck my foot in my mouth saying something about Orlando...ROFLMAO
Jan. 23rd, 2006 06:21 am (UTC)
OHHHHHH I love your account, and your different pics!!! It was like being there all over again! I can't wait until we all get to meet again! That was such a perfect time! I miss you too ... i feel like we've always known each other!!!

hugs you big time xoxoxoxoxo~~~
Jan. 24th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
Berk! lovely pictures and I really loved reading about your wonderful experience! I hope someday to be in some of these pics with you guys!
Jan. 29th, 2006 03:31 pm (UTC)
Wow, lovely pix.. got the link in Celeb Group.. (im sylvie, lol)
Thanks for sharing them *hugz*
Jan. 30th, 2006 02:02 am (UTC)
Glad you liked them hon!! I have a couple more to add. It was such an incredible experience.
Jan. 30th, 2006 04:50 am (UTC)
i can imagine, cant wait to see the rest !!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )