Anthrocon was really great this year.
Like, really, really completely un-stressfully great and fun and enjoyable.
In previous years, there's always been little bits (and sometimes big bits) of drama. I think it really just boils down to expected and assumed obligations, working around hotel roomies' schedules, and that kind of thing. This year, we flew solo. We were able to afford our own room, which is something we've wanted to do for many years now. Tony and I like our downtime and we also like not having to worry about people clashing with each other if we invite them back to our room - or having to work around others and get permission for guests if it's someone else's room. And, y'know, sometimes it's just nice to do things by yourself and, since we could afford it, that's what we did!
It was basically the best idea ever.
So, recap of the weekend.
We left Thursday morning, around 11AM or so. Our checkin wasn't until 3PM, so we figured if our room wasn't ready when we got there, we'd only have to bum around for about an hour. The drive to Pittsburgh, which is only about two hours, went smoothly. Traffic was sparse, we didn't get lost or off track until a pair of highway signs swapped on us at the last moment and, even then, we just got off the highway and went back the other way. Traffic in downtown Pittsburgh was nearly nonexistent and we got to the Westin much easier than we ever have in previous years. Unloading our car was quick and parking was just as fast.
We waited around the lobby for the elevators and ran into local buddies Bass, Willow, and Lauren. Then, we went all the way up to 1802 to dump our luggage out and return the cart for folks downstairs. After, we went over to registration and picked up our badges. I swear, after standing in the regular registration line - on any day - we're always going to pre-register now. The lines are so short and fast. While over there, we bummed around because I was super hot and sweaty and needed to cool down.
Tony decided he wanted to suit, so we went back to the room (after standing in the elevator line for about ten minutes) and I changed into something cute for shits and giggles.
Then we wandered around for a bit and, I think, we went to get food at Hanlon's Diner. Tony, at one point, was wearing Jokull (his tauntaun) and was handing out lei's to people.
After, we changed out of clothes, threw on our kigurumis, and spent the rest of the day wandering around and trying to find folks we generally see at the con. That evening, we went up to the convention center balcony to watch the fireworks for the 4th. They were pretty impressive, if a bit on the long side, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
Afterwards, we went down to the Zoo (the lounge area) and a girl accosted me because of my boar kigu and drew me a doodle.
Friday is official first day of the convention, which meant I was working in the Artist's Alley. I was woefully under prepared setup-wise, despite thinking I wasn't. I discovered I had no business cards of any sort! Go figure. Plus, I spent the first ten minutes after getting into the dealer's room running around crazy because I'd gotten a tag for a Dark Natasha badge for Tony, but none of his references were loading on my tablet, I didn't have any cash on me, my tablet was fucking up and I had to buy internet for it and then it CRASHED and I was pretty frazzled. Eventually, however, Tony made it down to the dealer's room and I gave him the tag for the badge and my tablet so he could go over and get his commission. Everything turned out better than expected.
I sat next to Friend Kelson and we bullshat a lot. I got a commission and discovered the nice new paper I bought to do commissions on before the convention doesn't hold ink well and it's very finicky with marker. So I had to deal with that while working on said commission, since I'd already sketched it out and wasn't going to re-draw it in my other sketchbook. Between working in the alley, I popped out once or twice to walk around the dealer's room with Tony because he wanted to show me things. He also bought me a copy of The Last Unicorn graphic novel and got it signed for me!
Payout for AA took forever, but we had some entertaining entertainment in the form of a dude with a guitar and two other guys singing. We were treated to a find rendition of 'What's Goin' On' and had a good laugh. After payout, I busted ass back to the room to drop my stuff off, grab Tony some noms, and then get down to the Zoo for the Supernatural Meetup Mantis/Drei and I was doing! Everyone was running late for stuff, so we didn't feel too badly about it. I was quite nice and everyone was appreciative of pizza and stickers. We talked about the show and our Supernatural-related creative things (Mantis runs asksupercatural on tumblr and Tony and I have our dumb SPN furry characters). Next year, we're going to do another one, but we're going to actually plan ahead this time!
Saturday was the fursuit parade and I decided to work in the alley only until 3PM, so that I would have some time to spend with Tony and browse the dealer's room and the art show. I got another commission in the alley which I decided to bring home so that I could do it justice. I helped Tony suit up and get down to the ballroom for the parade. He bought a flight suit for Jokull (as he's a pilot for the Systems Alliance) and the whole costume came together really well!
Before the parade (there were 1,300 suiters! we're going for a Guinness World Record this year!), I packed my stuff up in the alley and got pics of Tony by the Shelby Cobra that was at the convention.
He also met another tauntaun!
After the parade, Tony went up to the room to change out of his fursuit. We were waiting in the normal elevator line, because he was half out of suit anyhow, but two suiters still in costume ran up to us and asked us if we were together and, if so, they'd take us as their handlers to get into the fursuit line - which we all presumed would be significantly shorter. We were all wrong! But it was alright anyhow, as we stood around in line and bullshat with other suiters.
Then, we went back down to the dealer's room to shop. I bought a bunch of little trinkets, like I usually do. We bid on some stuff in the art show and, shockingly, won everything we bid on!
The above isn't everything, but mostly just my trinkets. Everything from the art show is still wrapped! We haven't taken it out to figure out where to hang it and such. My two favorite items I got, however, are a pair of fleece antlers (by LitheFider) and a teeny tiny kitten in a walnut shell.
On Saturday, we also went to have dinner at the Fish Market in the Westin hotel. They have amazing sushi, but our primary reason for going is the cream of blue crab soup and the cajun shrimp butter. It's was absolutely amazing and we try to go once every year.
Saturday evening, Rax came up to the room and we talked about all kind of shit. Kelson joined us for a short while and, every everyone left, Tony and I bummed around in bed and played Animal Crossing, as well as packed things up so we'd have less work in the morning for check out.
Got up early on Sunday so I'd be awake for Kelson to come by and grab his art stuff. Got a bath, finished packing everything up, gave Kelson his things, and then started dragging stuff down to the parking garage. It took three trips, mostly because the tote of fursuit stuff wouldn't bungee right onto the wheeled cart, but it wasn't a big deal. Once the car was packed and we were checked out, we went over to the dealer's room for last day browsing and waited for the art show to be wrapped up so we could pick up our pieces. We were surprised to see we won all of our bids and Tony also picked up an additional piece that hadn't been bidded on.
We said goodbye to the people we saw on the way out and then headed back home. Getting out of the city was pretty easy and, on the turnpike, we stopped and got some food at a rest stop. We were happy to get home, however, and I was happy to see the cats and see that the house was still in one piece.
It was a good con, though. We got to see everyone we normally see, even if just to say 'hi'. We had a nice time with zero stress and had loads of fun.
When we were in the dealer's room on Sunday, I almost bought a pastel pink and white tiger tail. Then, I decided I'd rather do a suit of a tiger hybrid based on a strawberry milkshake and that's all I could think about for the next two days. Which means it might actually happen for next year...