Went down to the Art Show Reception. I think invitations were given to all those involved in the Art Show: artists, staff. Also Supersponsors, I believe. There wasn't much food although I was informed that it was because the hotel didn't have it ready at that time. But frankly, it didn't matter because the cakes from an earlier art competition were there. Yes, the medium was icing on sponge cake! I took two slices from the winning cake. Mmmmm... winning cake... :) Also, that was the only time I got to walk around and look at the Art Show.
Then I went to the Fursuit Dance. Wore the wolf partial. But it appeared to be techno so maybe I was a little late and it was the next dance event. Lots of fun. Someone was distributing glowsticks. Also spent some time cooling down in the Headless Lounge (fursuitter changing and cooldown room) and there I met jess_k, huscoon, sunfire, mishicougar, firehopper, tjcoyote and many others.
Did a bit of shopping in the Dealers Den. Then went to "The Zoo". They didn't have this lounge area last year but I guess the con got a deal from the hotel. Fully booking all the rooms does have its advantages. There, I talked to hopperroo, jedd_marten and Artie Roo. Also met bigbluefox who'd come all the way from Germany!
After that, I went to the Web Comics Today panel and then watched the Charity Auction for a bit. Didn't see the toys I donated get auctioned but I probably missed those either at the beginning or at the very end.
After dinner, I went to the Main Ballroom for Uncle Kage's Story Hour. There were several stories but the one I thought was interesting was his adventures getting lost in Scarsdale. I think he was actually in Mount Vernon though because that's where the numbered streets are.
And then it was time for the Masquerade. I think this gets better every year. There were some pretty funny skits.
After that, I put on the unicorn suit and did some hall walking. Apparently this costume does attract a bit of attention because I was asked to pose for photos numerous times and there were some camera flashes as I wandered the hallway. I guess there weren't too many unicorn costumes around. Also went to the Fur Liston (live band) dance and later the Night Light dance with DJ rigelkitty. The unicorn costume was a lot warmer to wear so I went back to the Headless Lounge frequently to rest and chat with other fursuitters.
Woke up a bit later and then went down with the wolf partial suit to the Fursuit Parade. Sue Deer had a box of noise-making instruments and distributed them to everyone in the parade. I got a clapper. Then we all went out in a row. The route was different from last year. There was the walk through the Artists Alley and Dealers Den as usual but then we went outside and up the stone steps to the lobby level, through The Zoo and around the elevators, and ended in the Adams Ballroom for the group photos. Couldn't really figure out that last part because the parade intersected itself! Hope there weren't too many collisions. Head count for the parade was 140. Another record!
Then came lunch, a last go at the Dealers Den (where I talked to sushimare for a bit), a stop at registration to purchase a pre-reg for next year, and finally, the Art Show checkout. Sold 5 of 9 pieces. Not too bad. Also ran into punktiger in the hallway and he gave me a copy of the Southpaw Video Collection CD. Then I went to the Closing Ceremony. There it was announced that the total number of con registrations was 1,949, a few hundred more than last year.
After that, I dashed out to bag the Can't Think of a Title geocache, only 10 miles or so up US-1 from the hotel. Very easy.
Came back after a small dinner for the Fursuit Dead Dog party. There was music with DJ Rory. Some food and drink too and pizza was ordered. Met Byzantyn, quentincoyote, rockwolf, balloonfox, balloonpup and others. However, the party ended abruptly when a police officer (?) showed up and ordered that the room be cleared. I know the room was only reserved until midnight but did they have to kick us out that way? Oi!
Loaded everything back onto the car and checked out of the hotel. Got a bit of a refund because I hadn't used too much of the deposit I placed for the TV Internet.
Then it was time to go geocaching. Went around Montgomery, Chester and Bucks Counties bagging 10 caches, including a few that have been on my list for a long time, before heading home via US-202. It rained very heavily when I hit I-287. Got home and had to unload stuff in the rain. Ugh.
All in all, it was a worthwhile event to attend. Got to put a lot of faces to online names. Met a lot of old friends too, even if those meetings were all a bit rushed.
Elevators were a problem. It's true that they were faster after the improvements but that didn't amount to much when the elevators were in heavy use and stopping on practically every floor. Long lines in the lobby were the norm. It'll get worse next year when attendance is expected to increase by another few hundred.
As for the con itself, I think it was well-run as always. The staff and volunteers did go out of their way to help on several occasions when I had questions or needed something. And that went a long way towards making it a enjoyable weekend.