Dragon Con on Thursday is a liminal space. It feels strange roaming through half full hotels. The excitement is like a low key vibration in the back of my head. There’s just enough cosplay to heighten anticipation but I’m not fully immersed yet. The low thrum of the smaller crowd isn’t enough to hide the distraction of the traffic noise on the streets. I’m walking a line between two worlds and feeling slightly off balance.

This isn’t a bad thing. The in-between is an interesting place to be. It’s a perspective that’s missing from the height of the con when you’re inundated by light and sound, amazing people and sparkly things. It allows you to stand outside a bit and appreciate the shape of the whole before you leap into the middle of it.

After picking up my pass I wander around and just breathe. It’s amazing how much a glimpse of hand made armor or glittery fairy wings can brighten up your day. I spend an hour perusing the app and I come to the conclusion that everything I want to attend is on at the same time. OK that might be a teeny bit of an exaggeration, but an embarrassment of riches is a wonderful problem to have. There’s a reason why a hot, muggy, labor day weekend surrounded by a sea of overwhelming humanity is so popular. There is so much to discover in this mix of reality and make believe and we are all explorers at heart.

One of the best things about Dragon Con is meeting up with old friends and making new ones. The Annual ESO Meet and Greet in the bar at the Westin is a total blast. I have a great time chatting with people I usually only get to see online. After that, Mike Faber and I stroll over to the Marriott for prime people watching. After oohing and aahing over a brilliant Wall-E replica we get some pics of the elaborate costumes already on display.

There’s very little sleep that night but who needs dreams when reality is even better.