(Monday and Tuesday)
I’m typing this on an Amtrak train jittering its way northward from Atlanta (we’ve just passed Philadelphia). What happened to the nice, smooth track we were running over a while ago? Oh well, I should be home in not too many hours—although the vibrations might take a while to settle down. I decided to take Amtrak’s Crescent train home for decompression, a change of pace, and because I like trains. Also, I’m sick of airports. Like Dragon Con itself, this choice is a mixed bag. It’s an overnight train to New York, and I haven’t gotten much sleep, despite the generous legroom and seating space in coach. But the staff is friendly, the Café car sells a very nice IPA, and I’ve had interesting conversations with fellow passengers. Breakfast in the dining car is the kind of thing that makes train travel fun! (On the NYC-Boston train, the Café car barkeep tells me I should cherish that dining car on the Crescent, because Amtrak management is trying to get rid of them. Boo, management!)
Here’s the Crescent, the train that took me as far as New York. They’re changing from diesel locomotives to electric. I think this was in D.C.
But this is supposed to be about Dragon Con.
Dragon Con is basically a world’s fair for geeks. I think one’s first visit has to be regarded as a learning experience. (Assuming one returns for more.) I have, after the fact, learned about many things I could have, should have gone to. I have learned something of how one might make better use of the time, as an attending pro. (Starting with, start planning in October for the following Labor Day weekend. I have trouble planning next week!)
Some closing observations:
- It’s a very friendly community!
- It needs more places to sit. I tired of choosing between sitting on the floor or standing, while biding time between events.
- It has more than enough bars. Every hotel has multiple mini-bars set up all over the place. If you have to ask where one can get a drink in this place, you aren’t looking very hard.
- Lots of great programming! But prepare for lines. Long lines.
- Don’t expect to just run into your friends. With 85,000 or more people here, you probably won’t. You’ll learn afterward that they were there.
- There are many celebrities in attendance! If you hope to see one, see previous item about lines. I coulda’ seen David Tennant!
- It’s great fun, interleaved with sensory overload.
- If you take the train home, many of your fellow passengers will also be from Dragon Con.
- If you have time to kill before your train/place, go to the Atlanta Botanical Garden! It’s wonderful!
- Don’t make any life-changing decisions in the first couple of days after. Get some sleep instead.
Here are some highlights from the Botanical Garden:
And now… back home at the Star Rigger Ranch, and quiet….