As we walked through the bland doors of the Hyatt Regency, we had no idea what was waiting for us on the other side. Imagine for one moment a Turkish bazaar, right after it rear ends a traveling medicine show. Carnival barkers swarmed around, chanting names and phrases over and over while handing out pieces of paper.
We barely had time to register this before we also came to the unfortunate realization that we had entered the wrong door. It had to be the wrong door because everyone was walking in the exact opposite direction we were walking in. We were the salmon, they were the falls. We steered ourselves and plowed into the mob heading towards us, all of them sporting patriotic pins and clothing, gripping wine glasses and beer bottles with a steely determination, and all thinking the same thing…Karl…Karl…Karl.