Thursday, September 8

Thoughts on the Con

So, yes, DragonCon 2011 was a fun time. The missus and I dressed again as GI Joe characters Shipwreck and Lady Jaye (as seen in this fine person's Flickr album). My pictures are here.

This is us in the parade. It was right nice. We couldn't help but smile the whole time.
1) Lots of people. 45,000 people. Once you're in the common areas of the hotels, you shuffle only. You can't stride until you make it to a guest room hallway, connecting airwalk tube, or the street.

2) This makes courtesy and patience mandatory, not just preferred.

3) Which is a lesson the football fans could have used as they were checking out of our hotel Sunday morning. The very definition of white plight is your constant bemoaning of a 10-minute wait time in an air-conditioned lobby while the valets retrieve your car. Compare this to the wait times convention attendees endured for their favorite panels.

4) Speaking of patience, I applaud everyone for not clobbering that jerk street preacher deliberately provoking those headed to the parade Saturday morning. I missed that part of the gospels where Jesus yells at children.

5) And there were a number of children at the convention, which is good and bad. Good in that they get to see their favorite characters walking about. Good in that they made for a great parade audiences; seeing their faces as we yelled the name of their costumes as we walked by was a highlight of the trip. Bad in that the foot traffic was bad enough without adding strollers.

6) And you might argue, well what about people in wheelchairs or scooters? Far be it from me to deny those folks from attending. I complimented a guy in his Han Solo outfit as we headed back to our hotels for the night. Wheelchairs are necessary vehicles. Strollers ain't. I advocate keeping kids who need them out of the high-traffic areas. Take turns sitting with them in the hotel room or escorting them to local attractions with fewer people (by a factor of ten).

7) We left our boy at home with my mom. We thought about taking a 14-month-old to DragonCon before we sobered up.

8) Much thanks to the Hyatt Regency for spoiling those of us relocated to the Omni because of delayed renovations: free shuttle service, free Marta passes, a free night at the new place, and priority confirmation for next year's con. I had rooms for the 2012 convention at the 2011 rate four days before the con started.

9) If you find yourself at that Omni, skip the room service breakfast prices and walk to the CNN food court around the block. Also, consider getting lunch at Pittypat's Porch on the Andrew Young Boulevard. It's not far at all from the con, and the food is great. They were very friendly toward the convention folks.

10) The Android version of Google Maps gets a mite confused in the heart of downtown. But it was better than the scrunched and pixelated map in the official convention booklet. Our hotel gave out a downtown map, and we relied on that to get to the con and the parade.

11) If you haven't gonen to DragonCon, go. Go in costume. It's more fun that way. Join the party; don't just watch it.

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