As my last few posts have indicated, I had a bit of an adventure getting home from Worldcon this year. Funny, it wasn't so hard to get home from my last Worldcon in 2004! (I just took the T, since it was in town and I was actually commuting.)
This was my third Worldcon, but only the first one I actually went to instead of merely attending when it was being held within an easy commute of where I lived (Noreascon 3  and Noreascon 4 ).
Getting there wasn't much trouble; I had a morning flight out, so I headed to BOS on the MBTA and arrived pretty quickly. (About 45 minutes chair-to-chair, including 10 minutes walking to the T and time for a restroom stop before I went to the gate.) Logan's for-pay WiFi wasn't worth the bother, so I tethered my cellphone, did a bit of LJ reading/commenting, and posted a quick Facebook update. (I still haven't succumbed to Twitter.)
The flight up was fairly empty and smooth; as we came in on approach to YUL, the woman in the row behind me asked if she could borrow a pen to fill out the landing card. As I turned, she saw that I was reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and asked if I was going to Worldcon! Sure enough, I'd run into a fellow fan before even landing in Canada.
(I later found out who she was; papersky said "I've just heard your praises sung!" as she passed me on the escalators, and later explained that her interviewer from Locus had mentioned me since I'd talked about knowing my way around YUL from previous trips to farthingparty. Turns out I'd just met the new Editor-in-Chief, who hadn't been planning to come to Worldcon until Charles Brown's death returning from Readercon.)
We got through the airport and shared a cab in to town; since she had more luggage and an infant to deal with, we went to the Intercontinental (where she was staying) and I walked down to the Delta. This was the start of a whole lot of walking. I think the theme of this Worldcon should have been "Vaster than empires and more slow to walk across."
Since it was the day before the con actually started, I went to the Palais after checking in so I could get the lay of the land, then did some running around before eventually heading to dinner and the Farthing Party party up on St. Denis. The former was tasty tasty Tibetan food, and the latter was crowded but fun; I then headed back to the Delta for the Reno bid party.
The con itself started, and everything becomes a whirl of encounters on the escalators and in hallways and in the Green Room (the con suite was over at the Delta), wonderful and intelligent panelists and annoying and frustrating panelists, mile-long treks to the far end of the Palais and mile-long treks back from there, the understrength dealer's room (due to customs hassles keeping many of the usual US vendors home) and an overstrength exhibit of David Hartwell's ties, lunches and dinners, old friends and new friends, parties that kept going and parties that got shut down, and Hugos that rocked because they were made of actual rock (well, the bases anyway).
I won't try to name-check everyone I saw, but if I saw you there, hi!
A few highlights:
- Holding the WALL-E Hugo that shsilver was selling chances to hold for $5 donations to the Fan Funds. According to the con newsletter he pulled in $200+. Man, that sucker was heavy. Very pretty base, though; it's up there with 2004's in my opinion.
- Dinner at the Polish place with xiphias and cheshyre, especially when the waitress said "your naleśniki is coming, it's not premade, it's worth the wait". It was more than worth the wait. The pierogies were wonderful, too.
- Dinner at Shambala. Momos, pierogies, gyoza...no matter what you call it, it's a dumpling and I want some. Yum.
- The "How not to be a jerk on the Internet" panel, with karnythia, kate_nepveu, scalzi, and catvalente. Added bonus: a run down to the Van Houtte afterward with karnythia, her husband p_dilla, and catvalente for coffee (or in my case, hot chocolate) and conversation followed by coming upstairs to run into tithenai et al and 2muchexposition.
- The black cherry soda in the con suite.
- Finding a comfy seat at the Arisia party, where I could sit, chat, and see people coming in and out without having to move around or lean against a wall or anything.
- Walking up (and I do mean up...there's a definite hill there) to HMV to find all the CDs that are expensive or nearly impossible to get in the States.
- Time with good friends, even (or especially) the local ones I should just make time to see more of.
ETA: - the Sassafrass concert, which I was slightly late to (thanks to the program grid being 30 minutes off of the actual schedule for filking) but not so late that I didn't catch "Somebody Will" and "Hearthfire".
Some lower lights:
- With gaming being split between the Delta and the Palais, I didn't actually get much gaming in. There was enough else going on that this wasn't a horrible problem, though.
- Programming was a bit disorganized, with long sets of "corrections" to the program guide and grid which were themselves incomplete.
- Several panelists and audience members reminded me why I like the stronger style of moderation that some people use.
- The con's free wireless coverage was only in the dealer's room/art show/fan lounge area, or you could pay the Palais's extortionate fee to use theirs. In the Delta, there was a magic code to use in the lobby and nearby areas, but I never seemed to have the sheet of paper I'd written it on when I needed it.
- 500m is a long way between the party hotel and the con itself when you're going back and forth.
Then there was the "adventure" of getting back (previously described here and on FB), which worked out with meeting Scott Edelman at dinner in the hotel restaurant at the Holiday Inn, because his flight had also been cancelled. I wound up accidentally encountering two industry pros, one on each end of the trip, both of whom were also very nice people and great to talk to. That's the sort of thing that I love about this field.