Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Worldcon Day 0: Checking In

Lisa navigated me in to the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel, and while she started to sort things out for taking to the room, I tried to check in. Our room wasn't ready. This is a specific room, as we're volunteers who have agreed to be booked in and around party suites so we won't complain if it's noisy during the convention. For whatever reason, our specific room wasn't ready to go. I went back out to the front curb, where Lisa hadn't quite yet started unloading things. They told us to go park in the hotel garage and they'd call us when they were ready for us. So we did just that. My goodness, it is hot and sticky, and much worse in the garage! Alas, with no hotel room, we had nowhere to go decompress and cool off.

The nominal straightest route to the convention center (where LoneStarCon 3 registration is located) is at street level, with two street crossings. But based on how long it takes for the traffic lights to respond, I personally think the Riverwalk-level path, even though it's longer, is faster. In any event, we made it over to the convention center and registered with relatively little incident. As we expected, registering the day before the convention is much easier than waiting for Thursday morning; besides, many of the people at Registration know us, so there's no need for cumbersome ID checking and such. My Former Worldcon Chair ribbon was in my program participant registration package, which is a good arrangement and saves much difficulty and confusion trying to find who has the ribbons.

After checking out the room where the Business Meeting will be (starting Friday; there are no WSFS Business Meetings on Thursday, although the WSFS Mark Protection Committee will meet on Thursday evening), we went back over to the hotel. Our room was still not ready. We decided to go next door to the Rivercenter Mall food court, where we had what I guess was an early dinner. As we were finishing up, I noticed I had voice-mail; our room was ready. We walked back to the hotel and got our room keys and checked in to our room. It is of course the most expensive and smallest room in which we've stayed on this trip, and the only reason I have internet is because I can use my smartphone. I'd much rather not pay $10-20/day for internet connectivity. We have a refrigerator because we brought the electric ice chest with us. But it will do, and we can cool the room down, which is very good.

We went back down to the lobby and a bellman helped us move a cart-load of stuff to the hotel room. (I tipped him five $2 bills, which I hope he spends and re-circulates.) As the hotel's carts are smaller than the self-service carts at the Holiday Inn Express hotels at which we've been staying, Lisa and I had to go back for a second trip. Lisa then said she was going to cool off and wind down. I needed to get my van out of the very expensive hotel parking garage. When I asked how to pay for it, one of the managers gave me a one-use free-exit key, on the grounds that the reason I'd had to park in the garage at all was because they weren't ready to let me into my room even after nominal check-in time. That was nice of them!

The parking garage across the street from the hotel doesn't have in-and-out privileges, but it is only $9/day, parking allowed 24/7, and I got a good spot on the second floor near the elevator. One thing for us to be careful about, however: there's no cashier and you pay cash only (change given), no credit cards, while exiting. We'd better make sure we have enough cash to pay the building when we leave. Nevertheless, it's much cheaper than what we'd pay in the hotel, and nearly as conveniently located, so I'm okay with it.

This evening at LoneStarCon 3, there were a small number of parties open. The Spokane in 2015 Worldcon bid had a sort of pre-con party (they get their full suite tomorrow). The Boston in Christmas 2020 party was celebrating "No Pants Wednesday," so after the three of us (including travelswithkuma changed into our Chicago Worldcon gear (we often wear the previous year's shirts on Night Zero of the current Worldcon), I changed into my shorts (brought in case I ever get a chance to use a hotel pool) and Lisa wore her new Utilikilt. (She bought a Utilikilt and had it altered to better fit her — after all, Utilikilts are designed for men — because she wanted a skirt-like object with a belt and lots of pockets. She's happy with it.) As it happens, I never even got into the Boston party because it was too full; however, I hung out in the hall and talked for a couple of hours, and generally had a good time.

We turned in just after 11, as we're very tired from all the travel. Tomorrow is the only day of the convention — possibly the only day of the entire trip — where I don't have to get up early. I do have a panel at 3 PM about How the Business Meeting Works that I actually am not looking forward to doing because I prefer to do that one as a solo workshop rather than as a panel discussion, but I'll do the best I can with what I have to work with. But in any event, Thursday I get to sleep in, as long as I stop writing now and go get some sleep.
Tags: worldcon

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