What DID happen in Vegas?Just so you know, it's mandatory for all posts about RT16 to include that line somehow, somewhere. It was in the rules. Sorry about that, but it couldn't be helped.
What do you think of my debut as a cover model? They're going to photoshop in the sunset, galloping horses, and misty floral overlay later. Also, I think I'll be getting more hair.
It's become a bit of a tradition (if 3x makes a tradition!) to write up my RT Convention experiences. Every time I go, I use a little bit different strategy and it's been kind of interesting to see how it pans out.
Things I did right this year
Look Ma, no blisters!
I consider my shoe choice to be "pretty fancy" if it doesn't involve athletic socks. I rotated between Sketchers with thin socks, cute but comfy sandals, and yes, non-fancy sneakers for one day in the middle and the very last day because my feet and legs just needed it. Most days I took an hour break in my room with my feet up and the room quiet. For the really dressed up party, I wore some blinged-out flat sandals with zero support for about 2 hours, and not one minute more.
I carried a water bottle and kept it filled, mostly from the tap. I'll be honest, the price of the drinks in Vegas made me less inclined to overindulge (I'm kind of a cheapskate, it seems) but this definitely helped keep tiredness and possibly conference crud at bay. I also used hand sanitizer much more liberally than I do at home - I don't really believe in it for everyday use, but in this situation, every bit of immunity-bolstering helps.
Planned an outing.
It was a bit small but I planned ahead, and gathered some like-minded friends and headed to a pub with recommended beer flights. I definitely enjoyed that evening very much and hope to make it a tradition at the RTs that I attend. I would like to grow it just a little, to maybe 8 or 10 people. The beer was very tasty, too. We went The Pub at The Monte Carlo, on the advice mainly of this article. I was hoping for a bit more extensive menu, but the food was very tasty. (Normally I love pub food, but by the time we went, I was a little tired of sandwiches, even very delicious ones.) I think "Cali' Creamin'" was my favorite, not surprisingly since it was sweet and vanilla-y. They were all very good, actually, and wisely, poured into cute little 5 oz glasses. Amber had the Dragon Stout, highly rec'd by her husband, and JPBasquill had a flight similar to mine. Non-beer-lover Elisabeth Staab got talked into coming along, drank wine, and provided delightful company.
|l-r: Brookly Lager, Cali Creamin, Wasatch Devastator Double Bock, Coconut Porter|
Got out of my comfort zone.
My usual conference buddies didn't make it this year, so I made some new friends, one of whom loves to dance. So one night, we spent an hour or two on the rooftop dance floor -- I would say "raising the roof," only a) it sounds really stupid when I say things like that; and b) oops, no roof! I can't say I loved the music but the view was amazing and the fresh air was very welcome. I returned the favor by corrupting, er, I mean, introducing several new friends to Cards Against Humanity.
|The question card states, "I never really understood ____, until I encountered _____."|
Things that maybe didn't work as well
Last time, I had such a great time going with the flow, spending significant time in the bar, and just hanging around with whoever showed up, that I really wanted that again. But the Rio wasn't set up for that very well. There were several bars in the hotel, including an over-priced and under-selective cash bar dedicated to the con (not a fan, in case you couldn't tell). There was a fairly central one that seemed to have a lot of RTers in it at any given time, but it wasn't the Grand Central Station effect that we got in NOLA. So not having much in the way of plans meant that a couple of my evenings turned out a little slow.
In the theme of failing to plan, I didn't pay as much attention to the authors and bloggers who were attending and I realized too late that I had missed at least half a dozen people that I really would have liked to meet. I did better at that at NOLA.
More to comeI do want to talk a little bit about the panels and parties, so I'm going to do a two-parter this year. Come back soon for the second installment of What Happened in Vegas.
Overall, I had a wonderful (and exhausting) time at the conference, strengthened my ties to the community of bloggers, reviewers, authors, and others, and I'm really glad I went.