It was a pretty good meeting, but as such things sometimes do, it left us with as many questions as answers. If things go the way I hope they will, and in particular if we hit our membership projections so we can afford some of the things we want to do, this should be a pretty good convention. If you haven't bought your Westercon membership and have some expectation of attending, please buy it now so we can make good on our plans!
In particular, we have brainstormed a couple of what I think would be very fun uses for the Club Regent room (that's the former cabaret on the ground floor). The room is just about perfect for the things I've proposed; however, we can't commit to them yet. Many more discussions will follow.
I live only about 30 miles from where we met, so ordinarily I would have just driven home after lunch on Saturday; however, as part of my drive to collect enough Saturday night stays at IC Hotel properties, I decided to spend the night in San Jose. The initially-logical choice would have been the Crowne Plaza downtown; however, it was cheaper on multiple counts to go to the Express on North 4th Street.
I'm not quite enough of a road geek to know for sure, but North 4th Street looks like it must have once been part of the main road through this area -- possibly a piece of US-101E (now I-880, previously CA-17)? I can't see why there would be so many old hotels along the road here otherwise.
This particular Express has gone through the remodels, although I expect it only barely meets the HIX standards. Still, they were nice to me and upgraded me to a mini-suite along the lines of the room in which I stayed in Columbus with a kitchenette. I thought about using the hot tub, but it was outdoors and while the weather has been remarkably nice, it was a little chillier than I would have liked to have walked in a wet swimsuit.
I went and got some take-out food -- including a not-very-good burrito that made me wish I'd walked down to Chipotle rather than patronizing the local place -- then went back to the room, turned on the Australian Open coverage, and spend the evening doing some of the updates to the Westercon web site that came out of the meeting. There's more stuff that needs doing, but I'm waiting on other people to get back to me with material.
This morning, I was in no particular rush, other than wanting to have my included breakfast. I got an extended check-out, went for a walk up North 4th to near its end at the freeway after eating, spend yet more time on the computer, and finally got out of the room just before 2 PM. I told the front-desk staff that it was the Priority Club promotion that induced me to stay here, and thanked them again for the Platinum upgrade.
Realizing that I was only a short walk from a light rail station, I decided on a little light rail excursion, as I'd never ridden the Alum Rock extension. I left my van parked at the hotel, walked over to Gish station (next to the Wyndham, which I always think of as the Le Baron because that's what it was called when I first attended a convention and stayed there), bought a day pass, and rode around to Alum Rock. Rather than ride back the way I'd come (three sides of a rectangle), at Alum Rock I caught a 23 bus heading downtown. I thought about catching a 522 Rapid bus, but finally remembered it was Sunday and the 522 doesn't run on Sunday. That cost me 15 minutes because the 23 had pulled out just as this lack of an express bus dawned on me.
Downtown I stopped for a pretty late lunch, caught the next train north out of downtown back to Gish, and drove home, stopping for groceries along the way.
It wasn't the most exciting of weekends, but I'm happy with how things went.