Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Worldcon 2019 Day -1: Getting Acclimated

We got a decent night's sleep last night without having dropped into bed too awfully early. I woke up on my own about 6:30 AM, which is pretty good. We will have to be up early every day from Friday onward because as part of the Business Meeting team we need to be at the Gibson Hotel an hour before the Business Meeting to work on set up.

We have grumbled about our hotel room, but at least it does include breakfast. (Points stays at other IHG hotels do not include breakfast.) We took advantage of that and then set off to try and find our way around Dublin a bit more.

We took the Luas (tram/light rail) down to the Gibson Hotel so we could make sure we knew where it was. We wanted to go look at the room where the Business Meeting is happening, but the space was full of workers working on set-up, so we went away.

Convention Centre Dublin

This is the Convention Centre Dublin, site of Dublin 2019. We dropped in later in the day and collected our Program Participant and Staff/Volunteer credentials, and also socialized with fannish friends who were, like us, hanging around the Convention Centre lobby. Unfortunately, we also learned that one of those people, who I consider a Worldcon "regular," had not heard that Dublin 2019 is sold out and not selling memberships at the door. He's made the trip but cannot buy a membership! (This is the first Worldcon of which I know to cut off membership sales completely in advance; Helsinki mostly did so under the press of unexpectedly large attendance, and Dublin did not want to be overwhelmed like that. To my knowledge, no other past Worldcon has done anything like this, although I admit that my personal knowledge only goes back to 1984.)

Connolly Station

Lisa and I went for a bit of a wander after taking the Convention Centre photo on the south side of the River Liffey, and eventually found ourselves at a DART (the local commuter-rail system) station. As our LEAP cards work on that system as well as the Luas and buses, we decided to ride the train back into Connolly Station (pictured above), then took the Luas back to our hotel, experimenting with whether it's worthwhile to transfer to the Green line from the Red at Abbey Street. The answer is that if a tram just happens to be there, it's worth taking it (as it's all included on the transit pass) because it saves 500 m walk, but otherwise we might as well walk between our hotel at O'Connell and Parnell and the Red Line Luas stop at Abbey Steet.

Kuma's Store

On one of our trips to the Convention Center, as we took a different walking path in order to try and get a better idea of the streets around our hotel, we stopped by this place near Mayor's Square and Kuma Bear had to have a closer look. Kuma thought they might sell stuff for Bears, but it turned out that the only sold coffee. Kuma doesn't drink coffee, but if someone ever starts selling salmon smoothies, we're doomed.

This afternoon we went for a further wander, taking the Luas to St. Stephen's Green and taking a walk through the extensive park there.

St. Stephen's Green

St. Stephen's Park is very pretty. I could have spent more time than we did just walking around.

Bear Takes Cover

It started raining while we were there, rather heavily for a while, so we took cover. Lisa put a shower cap on Kuma Bear so he wouldn't catch cold (or more relevantly, bring a wet head to bed). After the rain cleared, we walked some more, then on a whim took the Luas out a fair bit (not all the way out of town) just because we could.

Riding back downtown, we thought we'd head back to the Convention Center to scare up some dinner companions. As we were coming up on Mayor Square, we saw Paul Dormer walking the other way, and hopped off the tram, flagged him down, and we then went to dinner at the Harbormaster Restaurant and then walked back with Paul to his hotel to work off the meal. After that, it was getting late, so we picked up a few things from a grocery store on the way back, but also bought half a dozen plain but fresh-made donuts from a stand on the way back to the hotel.

Tomorrow the convention starts for real, but my first commitment is not until 16:00 (the WSFS Mark Protection Committee meeting). Tomorrow evening, I'll be part of the Hugo Awards Web Site team doing text-only coverage of the Opening Ceremony/Retro-Hugo Awards Ceremony from 20:00 (Irish Summer Time). This is sort of a warm up for our planned coverage of the main Hugo Award Ceremony this Sunday night.

We did not do a bunch of touristing of Dublin, but we looked around and got a lot of walking done, so we're pretty happy. Now we have a Worldcon to help run.

Update, August 15 0700: The rest of the photos we took yesterday when we were out finally uploaded (as I mentioned, the internet in the hotel is very slow), so I've updated yesterday's post with appropriate illustrations.
Tags: lisa, tourism, worldcon
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