Thaaaaat was a lot of people. A lot of people. Everywhere.
Polite, friendly, non-hostile people. But so many people. To the point stopping to look at anything was slightly awkward, and sometimes even hazardous.
It was, in a way, very Zen. Demanded utter and complete attention to the environment to move around and function. And not run eeping out one of the emergency doors.
(I’m… not good with large amounts of people. To put it mildly.)
The other thing I didn’t expect was the heights.
Not being a sports kind of person, I’d never been to the Pensacola Bay Center before. So I thought, you know, walk in, see the con….
Noooot so much.
Getting into the convention, once I got my tag, required… going up about 3 stories of concrete ramp. Seriously. At least that high.
I wouldn’t exactly say I have a fear of heights. More a healthy respect for the amount of damage done by the sudden stop at the bottom. I don’t like to be near the edge. Of anything. Railing or not. That railing’s too low, you know?
So getting in required climbing the ramp. Which was not, shall we say, physically arduous. Just… mental ack. A lot of.
But. Convention. Story research. Notes to take. Onward. In I went. Okay, doors, con’s through here….
Stairs this time. Steep stairs. Three stories down.
(I want words with the architect. Maybe with fireballs.)
In a way it may have been a good thing for my nerves there were so many people. Keeping more-or-less up with the flow and making sure I didn’t run into anyone did help with the screaming willies.
I wandered around the top ring first. Managed to actually find another local author I’d never met, L.A. Kelley, and point her toward the library that likes to put local authors on the shelves. (Have 2 of her books that looked neat, will read.) Also managed to find some prints that were pretty. (Which another table saw, asked who I’d bought them from, and perked up, ’cause apparently they hadn’t realized that artist was there….)
And then… I went down the stairs.
I can’t tell you much about down there because it was so crowded it took almost all my focus to not bump things. There were t-shirts. Cosplay items. Some video games and movies on sale. Lots of comic books, very few manga. Drat.
Outside of that I ended up going up and down stairs at least twice more, because asking “Which way is out to the 9th street parking lot?” got me something like 3 different answers. But I did, eventually, find the right way out – about 5 minutes before I would have said “screw it” and gone through a fire door.
(Like I said, not good with lots of people!)
I’m still recovering from those 2.5 hours, but I can tell you one thing: if someone dropped monsters into the middle of that mess it’d be a massacre. I don’t care how many fans might have combat training. There was barely room to move.
…Not that I planned to drop monsters right into Pensacon. Er. Exactly? Certainly not the RL one, at least….
Oddity: One artist I was speaking to thought they’d met me before in Atlanta. I had to say no, sorry, first con I’ve ever been to. Huh.
Anyway. I’ve been told I should get con t-shirts for the family, so I might be back on Sat or Sun. Depending on if I crash hard.
Thanks to everyone for the going to cons advice! 🙂
Added note on Sanzo and Invasion, and the Project Tatterdemalion AU in general: I have worked out in my head backstory on what the Arrancar are, what they want, and how that affects various things our heroes will stumble over. Lot of bio stuff. Anybody want me to put a post up on that, even though it won’t come up in-story for a while?