Friday afternoon. Beak and I left my apartment to catch the subway to get to the airport. No problems getting there, getting boarding passes, getting snacks and getting to the plane. We boarded on time and settled in for a 3:15pm 1-hour flight. On the way to the airport, there were hints of clouds in the sky and we managed to get there without getting rained on. However those clouds caught up to us and resulted in a nearly 2.5 hour flight delay, starting with just lightning in our area, then bad weather around Hartford, then MORE storms in our area. Finally, shortly after 5:30, we take off.
Arrival in Hartford, CT. Everything on the Hartford side of traveling went pretty well. Our rental car was a little wind-up, yet very peppy Chevy Malibu. Damn, that thing could bolt! We got to the hotel then got to the con for our passes and stuff. This year, Connecticon was held in the brand spanking new Connecticut Convention Center. If a convention center could be described as Sexy, this building certainly fit the bill. It was a huge building, with tall glass, curvy architecture, swanky carpeting and trim; a definite and reaching step up from last year's well-used, college campus commons building. Also, the best non-underhanded deal ever on parking was to be had, $24 for three days. That's $8 a day, come and go as you please. That's cheaper than just about any on-site parking situation I've seen for a con.
So. We didn't get to the con until around 8:30 or so. It was shortly after arriving that we found out the web comic panel that we could have gotten onto had just finished, running from 6-8p. Crap. And we had already found that we had to wait until Saturday morning to find out about a table, because the Dealers Room/Artist Colony had closed already. So we wander about the con for a bit, seeing where stuff is, then leave for the hotel for a (relatively) early night, but not before exploring the southern part of Hartford in search of a grocery store or 7-11 type store to get a cache of beverages. All I'm going to say is this: it's CREEPY down there.
Saturday. We get back to the con and find out the artist's colony wasn't all that big and that con Guests took up most of the tables. After the Guests, there were probably 7 full tables left, or space for 14 artists. There was no table space or spaces in general to accommodate us, never mind any of the other table-seeking artists. Bumming space would've been next; only the people we'd bum space from had hardly any space themselves. Mookie was gracious enough to let us put some stickers down on his table but that was about as much presence we were able to get in the artist colony this year.
No panel and no table. That sucked, but the rest of the con made up for it. Among other things, I got a couple of nice deals on stuff in the dealer's room. One particular instance involved a smooth, round flask with a circular glass window in the front. The dealer was asking $25 for it, from what I could hear from other people asking about it and that's what he told me when I asked to be sure. I then asked if he took credit cards and he said he didn't. I told him I wanted one but I had to run to the ATM first. He looked around then leaned over to me and whispered "I'll give it to you for $10." I have no idea why he dropped the price like that. Using Feminine Wiles isn't my strong point; I'm better at Instilling Fear Of Bodily Harm. But I did neither to this guy and still got a nice deal AND the flask isn't this cheap thing either. AND on Saturday, not Sunday when dealers are trying to reduce inventory. Whatever the reason, it was good for me! I also got $22 worth of books for $15. That was on Sunday, but still good. The only dealer's room thing I paid full price for was an adorable plushie wolf I found (last one too) for $11.
Since there were no ties to a panel or a table, Beak and I were able to get around the con, got to watch some things. We saw a showing of The Dark Crystal. That was the first time I had ever seen it all the way through. We also watched a little Ranma and Saturday night, while Beak went to the dance, I got acquainted with Full Metal Alchemist. Pretty good, I'll have to see more. Sunday was a pretty lazy day at the con. We said hi to Mookie, attended his Heroes and Villains panel (it IS as entertaining as people say!) and watched the Human Chess Cosplay, which was VERY entertaining.
The trip back to DC-land wasn't as dramatic as the flight out. There was a weather delay but it was only an hour, hardly any time compared to the other flight. Aside from the delay, things were pretty routine. Security, at both airports actually, was pretty simple to get through, very fast and not at all assholey. There was one high point however. We got a TSA officer to take a Splurd card!
So, in all, the weekend wasn't at all bad or ruined or anything due to tablelessness and panellessness. It's not often Beak and I get to see much of a con other than artists alley so we had a good time regardless. I'm willing to go back again for '06.
Did I mention a lot of bacon got eaten on this trip?