On Monday morning, I dressed in my Sora outfit because it’s more or less normal clothes, so I knew I could go straight to the plane without stopping to change (as long as I stashed the hat and necklace in my suitcase). I packed all my stuff and parked my suitcase at the Westin’s baggage storage area. My flight wasn’t until later in the evening, and I had several panels I wanted to go to that day.
I started out at the panel on creating documentation for juried costume contests, part of the Costuming Track. It was my first time venturing into the Hilton all weekend. I checked out the costuming exhibit, then stopped at the Hyatt’s convenience store to get coffee and a yogurt parfait, then went to a panel on indie publishing (part of the Writer’s Track). They were both interesting, and I learned new things from both of them.
I had a few hours’ break before the next panel I wanted to go to, so I decided to go wander around the vendor hall for a while. There wasn’t anything I wanted to buy; I just wanted to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere. Over the course of the day, I had about five or six people recognize me as Sora, and one person asked me for a picture, which always makes me happy. I decided to get a Chick-fil-A sandwich for lunch while I was over there.
My last two stops of the day were the wrap-up/feedback panel for the Star Wars track (definitely glad I went), and the closing ceremony. I didn’t stay for the entire closing ceremony, because I wanted to catch the 4:45 MARTA train back to the airport to avoid crowds and make sure I made my flight. My flight wasn’t until 8:20, so in retrospect, I probably could have stayed around a little longer.
Here are some of the lessons I learned from my con experience this year:
- Bring a portable phone battery pack.
- Be absolutely sure you can stand to walk 10,000+ steps (5+ miles) in the shoes you’re going to wear with all your costumes. (My new boots looked good, but by the end of the day on both Saturday and Sunday, my feet hurt so much I jokingly wished I had cybernetic legs.)
- Get into town on Thursday next time, if at all possible. I wish I could have gone to the Dog Days of Podcasting meetup and the Sigler Junkies event on Friday evening.
- Bring more costumes next time!
- Earn my Rebel Legion membership by next year, so I can be with their group during the parade.
- The Westin was really nice, and has my personal favorite bar/Starbucks area of all the con hotels. I loved the look and feel of the hotel and rooms, and being right next to the gaming rooms, but I was there mainly to enjoy cosplaying, the Star Wars track, and the podcasting track. If I had my choice of any con hotel to stay in, it would be the Hyatt. It was also really pretty, and not as loud or crowded as the Marriott.
I’m really glad I went to Dragon Con this year. I loved the atmosphere, the broad variety of programming, and most importantly, the cool people I got to meet and hang out with, and I would really like to attend again in the future.