But I can't think where else to begin, so I'll start at the beginning.
I packed too much. I packed way too much. If I go to the next Anthrocon (which I rather think I will), I'm not packing more than three outfits per day. Oh, don't laugh. At the local conventions I'll often go through six or more outfits in a single Saturday. But not only is it much less convenient to bring a lot of costumey clothing to a convention I'm flying to, it's also much less convenient to change clothes at a convention with 3,000 people instead of 200-500 like the local ones. This is a logistical matter: large convention = large hotel = lots of floors between your room and the con = long waits for the elevator. koogrr and I toted a large bag full of stuff around for most of the con, because going back to the room for anything was such a nuisance. Contrast this with, say, the local October convention, in a two floor motel with a maximum walk of maybe a hundred yards between your room and the con space. Very different situation.
So I didn't change clothes much, for me, which still meant that people would walk up to me and say "Weren't you wearing something different earlier?"
(I'd also like more actual costumes, as opposed to my current collection of 'unusual clothing'. I'm considering learning something about building masks, as that has a certain appeal and I don't really have any. Largely because wearing a mask over glasses is somewhat problematic. Not insurmountable, but problematic.)
Anyway, after cramming way too much stuff into my suitcase, I worked a half-day Thursday morning and flew out at 1:30 PM, on a slightly delayed flight. Once in Philadelphia, I hit the bathroom and then hunted around for the shuttle to the hotel. The airport had an arcane but functional system for catching shuttles, which would've been greatly enhanced by a sign explaining it, or barring that, an attendant who would explain it instead of giving minimalist answers to every question and assuming you knew exactly how their arrangement worked.
After getting a pager from the attendant and being assured I'd be paged for my shuttle, I went back to the baggage claim and waited several more minutes for the bags to come off. Then waited another fifteen minutes for the shuttle to arrive, wondering if I'd understood the arcane process correctly so far. I called koogrr and got his voice mail. He called me back and got mine, since my cell phone rings too quietly for me to hear it in a crowded environment. Fortunately, I'd correctly understood the shuttle-catching process, and an hour or so after arriving in Philadelphia, I'd made it to the hotel.
My first thought, as I approached the hotel, was that the furry congoers looked remarkably similar to the congoers in Emerald City, right down to that one balding fellow with a potbelly and wearing suspenders attached to pants that were pulled up unusually high. I don't think he was the same one from the local cons, but I didn't actually ask him....
Once inside the hotel, I had the choice of: a) getting checked in to my room b) getting registered for the con or c) finding Koogrr. (C) won out pretty handily. He introduced me to the first of many friends-of-Koogrr that I met over the course of the next four days. Then we did registration and got the room.
The room issue was interesting. Originally, we were to share a room with jadedfox and ladyperegrine. Then in late May, jadedfox offered crash space to his friend, Watts (who has an LJ but I don't know what it is) because the con hotel and the overflow hotel were both booked solid. At this point, I realized that Koogrr and I were going to want a lot more private time than we were likely to get in a room shared five ways. But the hotel was booked solid.
So, taking my cue from telnar, I'd decided the room problem was one that needed to be solved by sufficient application of money. Friday and Saturday nights had not been available in advance at any price, but I could secure a room at the web rate for Thursday, and I had. At check-in, I asked to extend my stay through Saturday, hoping that some no-shows and cancellations would crop up in the ensuing days. Rather to my surprise, hotel registration promptly acceded to my request. I didn't want to stiff my three pre-planned roommates, but figured I could pay them for a one-fourth share of the room, and ladyperegrine and jadedfox would be paying the original fraction agreed to back in April.
With the room taken care of, I registered for the con. We didn't do a whole lot involving the con on Thursday evening. We spent a few hours enjoying the hotel room and discovered that Koogrr can benchpress me. :) Shortly after 10PM, we walked over to 7-11 to grab a bite to eat, since everything else was either closed or unfindable . We also spent an hour or two in the lobby, watching the crowd for familiar faces. The mob was somewhat intimidating for me. I couldn't believe how many people were there already, and I didn't know any of them. Even Koogrr didn't recognize very many people. I started to wonder how I'd ever find the people I did know, since I wouldn't know most of them by sight anyway.
After a little while, shaterri stumbled upon us, and told us he was staying with folks who lived in the area, but farther from the hotel than he'd realized. He was thinking of getting a place to crash for Thursday and Friday night. At this point, JadedFox, LadyPeregrine and Watts all bumped into us. We explained that we'd gotten a room to ourselves, and suggested Shaterri as an alternate roommate for them. So that part worked out well, except that I meant to pay the others for Saturday night and never did. Maybe I can get snailmail addresses and send checks. LadyPeregrine said she didn't mind paying a third but the other two never commented, so I don't know what they think.
We went to bed earlyish, around midnight or so.