During the Brunch, we toasted the many memories of the hotel, and many of us (including me) stood up to say a few words. I have relatively few memories of the property, having only attended Norwescon's Alternacon and CascadiaCon in it. As I've mentioned, I've stayed there twice when it wasn't hosting a convention -- once when bumped off an Alaska flight after a Doubletree-based Norwescon, and once when Lisa and I visited Seattle just for tourism reasons. I thanked the organizers for putting on this event, and confirmed that I was the most-out-of-town attendee, having been the only one who flew in. (Lisa, who drove from Mehama, was second-furthest. She also had attended more cons in that hotel than I had.) I understand the sentiment, however; it's roughtly the equivalent to what Bay Area fandom would feel if the San Jose Doubletree (ex-Red Lion) was to be closed and leveled so as to build a light rail branch into San Jose Airport (which, although unlikely, isn't impossible).
After getting out stuff out of our hotel room, Lisa and I made a last walk through the halls of the hotel, so sort of say a final goodbye to it. While doing so, we encountered some debris left behind from the Democrats' meeting over the weekend, and we now have a PELZ political campaign lawn sign. I expect I will find a reason to bring this to Anaheim with me.
Then it was time to put away our con badges and check out. The convention name badges had a picture of a tombstone on it, labeled "Here lies..." and the name of the member. A nice touch, that. I appreciate good badges.
I bade Lisa goodbye and hopped onto the airport shuttle, expecting to be able to get onto one of the two earlier flights to Oakland. Lines were light at Sea-Tac, but the counter staff told me my fare didn't allow same-day standby even though there were seats. What nonsense! Besides, I was pretty sure the fare did allow it, because I think I remember checking this when I bought the ticket in the first place. However, I hadn't printed the entire set of fare rules when I made the reservation, so my e-ticket only had the summary, making it my word against theirs, and there was not a lot I could do to prove it. You can bet, however, that I will go back and print out the long version for all my subsequent flights, which you can do on their web site. Unfortunately, they won't let you bring up reservations from the past, so I can't go review today's trip to see if I was right or not.
To add insult to injury, the computer then told me I couldn't check my bag because you're not allowed to check luggage more than four hours before flight time. Argh! In this case, however, the agent said that it was only four hours and four minutes before my flight, so she overrode the computer and checked my bag so I didn't have to wait any longer. I headed to security, which was lightly loaded and had minimal wait time.
I suppose there are worse places to be stuck for hours than Sea-Tac. (Oakland is one of them.) They've done a very nice job with their "Marketplace" with restaurants and shops and such. They have wireless internet there, but unlike PDX, it's not free, and my desire to write up my experiences was not sufficient to make me want to spend another $9.95 to do so. So I bought a coffee, fired up my computer, and played Locomotion until I ran through the laptop's battery. (I carry two spares plus the auxilliary battery, so this didn't bother me.) By then it was time for lunch, so I got fish and chips from Ivar's, and after eating, made my way at leisure to the gate.
I still had a while to wait, so I scouted around looking for a power outlet for the computer. For all that I had two spare batteries, I saw no reason not to recharge when possible. I finally found one outlet, but there was someone sitting in the seats near it. I mean seats, plural, as she was asleep. I quietly plugged in my power supply and stretched the cord down past her -- it reached far enough for me to sit and run my computer. Another 30-40 minutes of Locomotion and it was time to shut down and board the flight.
The trip itself back down to Oakland was uneventful. I figured there was a chance that my luggage would be waiting for me. The last time I went through this sort of situation, my bags went on an earlier flight even though they wouldn't let me fly. Not this time, however, and my bag was very nearly the last one off the belt, presumably because I checked in so early that my bag was the first one loaded.
I got home just before 10 PM, a bit later than I'd hoped, tired, but relatively relaxed. And hey, it was a relaxacon, right?