A worldcon was enjoyed (with some minor caveats) by all. So, fair warning, this is a con report. If you don't like cons this will probably be an even more than usually dull entry (or 2-I doubt I'm compressing the 5 days into entry). Hell, it's probably still gonna be dull, even if you love cons!
I arrived Thursday afternoon, had the epiphany that if I picked up our badges, registered a day early at the Sheraton, drove home to get the kids and John and then had John take the car to work Thursday and leave at Riverside, we'd save the $35 a day parking fee. This actually turned out to be the best decision of the con because the First Night celebration that happened was a lot of fun. There were belly dancers, face paintingm crafts, music, a Bouncy Castle (much loved by the kids, but you haven't lived until you've watched a passle of belly dancers take over a Bouncy Castle) etc. There was much silliness and we all went to bed exhausted. Before that however, we had dinner at Marche Movenpik, a sort of upscale cafeteria. The food was good, reasonably priced and their was enough variety to satisfy all of us. We ended up back there a couple of more times during the con.
Friday, John headed off to work and the kids and I headed to childrens activities where I was working. They had plenty to do (including making shrinky-dink pins and polymer dragons (this latter activity was amazing and I will get pictures onto the blog in the next day or so...)). At lunch, I took them to Top of the Hub as a special treat. The view was amazing and they enjoyed pointing to all the landamarks (especially Fenway Park).
My first (mini) rant: OK. So here you are, freshly arrived from the hinterlands, at the Worldcon in Boston. You are directed to the Hynes (most likely through the "back" enterance, nearest the mall) and what greets you? A lovely and very long and colorful dragon named Irving, but besides that? Nothing. No real signs expaining where say, registration, is. Just a dimly lit, forlorn and cavernous hall that, if you travel to the end will take you to escalators that will bring you to a more populated space. Just before lunch on Friday, as we were walking through the mall towards the Pru, a man in a scooter asked us if we knew how he could get to the thrid floor of the Hynes and to the room where he would be speaking (it turned out this was William Tenn (Phil Klass). I should point out he was one of the GoHs. I mean if they're getting lost, it doesn't bode well for the rest of us!
So, I kind of wish there was a little more color and glitter and cohesiveness to the Hynes spaces, to make them seem more welcoming and more as though we were all a community. Now, on the other hand, I spent a lot of time in the con suite and I enjoyed that soace very much. The munchies seemed plentiful, there was always someone to talk to and the size was big without sacrificing comfy. I spent a pleasant hour sprawled on a couch reading a fanzine , chatting and really feeling very much like I used to when I started attending cons in the 70s.
John arrived and we had dinner at Marche, as I mentioned and then he and the kids went to some parties (!), while I went to the Retro Hugos. Later, after the kids dropped off to sleep, I stayed in with them (more fanzine reading) and John headed out to parties on his own.
Oh, there was swimming, hot tubbing, a quick run through the art show and lots of talking. I saw Adria, the shirt guy (Mr. Shirt) from Lunacon, and many folks we had just seen at the Eastlakes a couple of weeks ago. I met the TAFF fan from Ireland (very nice gentleman from Ireland, he worked in Children's services the entire week-end so clearly is a saint) and I also met many families who had also adopted in China,including one fannish family that had literally just returned a couple of days earlier! For me, cons are more about catching up with folks and having great conversations about almost anything.
More Noreascon later...