See, about ten days before the con, I posted on my Facebook being all "boo, my second ride-structure has fallen apart I just don't think I can go since every method is too expensive right now".
And then my friend Dan posted a comment. (paraphrasing) "Well, Abby and I have been meaning to go to Balticon for forever, why don't you fly down with us."
Fly. Because Dan, in addition to being good at tech and photography, owns a plane. And he's been offering to take me up for a right age, we've just never made it work out. So here we go, I have an opportunity to get to the con I love above most others, and an opportunity to fly with a pocketknife. HELLS TO THE YES ON ALL ACCOUNTS.
So at about six thirty this evening, I was sitting in a teeny-tiny four person one propeller plane --the interior is smaller than the minivan I grew up in-- about to take off. I don't think I stopped smiling until the sun set and I immediately conked out because I do not have enough sleep in me.
It was _glorious_. It was so extremely glorious. The windows are so SO much bigger than on a commercial jet, and I can twist around and see out of all of them, even out of the back a little. We cruised at about 6,000 feet the whole way, close enough to see trees and rivers and mountains and farms --David reported on which farms had red barns. We flew over the Hudson and Mount Monadnock and watched a just _beautiful_ sunset.
(and I get to do it all again on Monday, squeeeEEEEE!)
This was the best fucking trip to Balticon I have ever taken, beating out (by far!) the year where I arrived on Thursday through a hilarious series of transportation options and beat everyone else to the con by a full hour. Riding in a tiny plane has done nothing to dissuade me from the opinion that planes are the Very Best Things.
I want to learn how to fly. I still can't afford to learn, but it's on the list, and higher than it was before.
As far as the con itself is concerned, well...
The Hunt Valley Inn was bought a few years ago. Between last year and this year, they...redecorated. It is _very_ awful. I described it as "the sort of hotel people who like the place I grew up in go on vacation". Galia described it as "do you know how many little girls are going to have their Bat Mitzvah's here?". It's...insipid and boring and drab. The new scheme is slate grey, cream, and navy. It's grown-up, in the worst way possible.
I miss the ugly carpets from hell. I miss them so _very_ much.
The only upshot of the redecoration is that they have started up this fabulous horse theme, and like all the art hangings are these vaguely sensual close-up pictures of horses. It's completely disturbing and utterly hilarious, and I am SO SAD I did not bring my Equius cosplay, because can you even _imagine_ how much fun that would be to play with?
Anyways, I'ma get Galia to help me take a video of me doing an appropriate big-no vis-a-vis the carpets. She seems to be the only one who feels the depth of my pain (I knew there was a reason she was my favourite robot).
I arrived at the con a bit after 10:30 at night, which was very late. I dropped stuff off, wandered around, and was just...home. I haven't managed to find Kitty-Aaron yet, but I played Junglespeed (with breadMarc and Sonya and Tucker and other people who I should remember the names of) and chatted with Lanthir and Ian-Beastie and Galia, and did my push-ups with Galia's encouragement and got some lascivious hugs from the pervy artist, and oh, it is wonderful.
About the only thing I haven't managed to do yet is dance with Larry or Chort --they weirdly frontloaded on the dancing this year, so I think I've missed the swing dance (BOO!) and the time travelers ball was more'n halfway through by the time I stopped by (I was just too late to get into a quadrille) and the teen/college club dance required you have a special thing on your badge --I have no badge, so none for me.
People are friendly and wonderful. I am happy. Even if the new carpet is the most boring and awful carpet ever. The older carpet may have been ugly as sin's baby, but at least it had character and was interesting! This is so very derivative and insipid I don't even know where to start.
Hope all y'all are okay.