The official first day of con now has quickly become the day I try to squeeze too much in and pay for it the rest of the days. This year, I certainly outdid myself.
While my gang went to get their badges in the morning, I stepped off the elevator straight into the Dragon Con Merch line at the Sheraton. Good thing I did too, as increasingly the much desired items are selling out within about 2 days. I lined up specifically for Nyota, this year’s Baby Dragon plush – and left the line with her, the sea dragon keychain, DCTV pin, patches, joggers and what I’ve been waiting for years for, a zip up hoodie! Just want to send a special shout out to Debra and her crew at the Sheraton store – they are a lovely and efficient bunch of volunteers who always seem to be in a great mood.
After lunch, it was time to venture to the Hyatt for media sign in/badge pickup. On my way up from the lower levels, I had the pleasure of running into Jen & John from Epbot (one of my favorite geeky blogs) and they were just as wonderful in person as they are online. This same spot outside of Hyatt Hanover also played host to the Loyal Order of the Ribbon Meet Up, and lucky for me I remembered to bring my trading ribbons with me.
Ribbons have been a thing for quite a few years now and I already had picked up about 20 or so from Day 0, but my goodness I was not prepared for the crowd at the meetup. Ribbons everywhere! So many to trade and choose from and new people to meet. I only had about half an hour to spare there but somehow managed to leave with around another 50 ribbons to add onto my beard.
Soon it was time to hit up the evening meetups and events starting with Drunken Dragon Hotel’s Trader Vic’s patio party. I believe this was the second annual one and after 2 years, it has quickly topped my list of a must attend meetup. Sven is a wonderful host and mingling among all the folks in their tiki attire as well as the gang from the Kon Krawl really captures the “one big happy family” aspect of Dragon Con that I love and miss all year long. I also quickly learned that this is the day that the Mai Tais are SO MUCH STRONGER if you order on the patio. Not complaining mind you, but after continually revisiting the patio bar throughout the rest of the evening – I wasn’t able to really drink any alcohol for the next few days.
Just before 7, it was time to head over to Marriott for the official release of Bryan Humphrey’s (Mad Scientist With A Camera) Costume Yearbook. Many years ago, Bryan was a roaming photographer at con who eventually gained his usual setup spot as an official photographer with Dragon Con. His yearbooks have also become increasingly popular and gaining a shot among the pages is always an honor.
After this, I was running about an hour & a half late for the Dragon Con Cigar Group’s annual meetup at the Red Phone Booth. The RPB is this cool speakeasy type spot near the Metro Diner where you dial a phone number in the booth and the back wall opens up to let you into a swanky cigar bar. The Cigar Group are a great bunch of con veterans and they throw a relaxing get together every year complete with raffle prizes and more.
As that event was winding down, Trader Vic’s once again started calling my name so after a parade through the main 3 hotels we ended our night back on the TV patio. By ended, I mean the rest of my group called it a night by 11 and I sauntered after a half hour later to discover the glory that was the Greek food truck parked at the Sheraton. Back in the room by 11;45 pm, with a heap of loaded greek fries that I tried to eat with my vampire teeth still in – I happily drifted off to sleep. Seriously though – that Greek food truck was amazeballs. Between our group of 5 who stayed at the Sheraton, we ate there at least once, sometimes twice everyday.
See you soon for recap #3!