Note: Please be aware that the fact that this post is titled “Worldcon Day One” in no way guarantees that there will be subsequent posts titled “Worldcon Day Two” “Worldcon Day Three” etc. It may happen. It may not.

Day one:

I’d set the alarm on my phone for 3:45 AM wednesday morning, planning to leave the house about 4:45 since my flight left at 7AM and it takes about an hour to drive to the airport. I figured this would give me more than enough time to shower, dress, make myself purty, pack the last few remaining items, drive at a reasonable speed to the airport and have sufficient time to deal with parking, checking in, security, and any mishaps that might occur. (I’m a morning person, so 3:45 isn’t utterly obscene to me. Merely slightly obscene.)

Yeah, you can see this one coming, can’t you? The alarm failed to go off, since for some reason my phone decided to shut itself off during the night. I woke up at 5:15, looked at the clock and shrieked in panic. Somehow I managed (with the help of my wonderful husband who leaped out of bed at the same time I did and did what he could to help me get on my way) to shower in about ten seconds flat, throw clothes on, toss my last few toiletries into my suitcase, and hit the road by 5:30 with my hair dripping and not a stitch of makeup on my face. My husband shoved a bottle of Acai juice and a sandwich into my hand as I ran out the door with the admonition, “Don’t get any speeding tickets. It will slow you down!” Note that he did NOT say, “Don’t speed.” I do so love that man.

Luckily there were no traffic slowdowns across the Causeway bridge and I made it to the airport and through check-in and security with about five minutes to spare before my flight began boarding. I had to change planes in Houston–which I’d been a bit nervous about because of TS Eduoard, but luckily it had passed enough that it didn’t affect my flight. On the second leg of my flight I was asked if I would mind changing seats to allow a family to sit together, and of course I said I wouldn’t mind because only an utter a-hole would refuse, so I ended up in an exit row squeezed in the middle seat. And I think there were seventy-three kids on that flight, or at least it sounded like it, but I managed to bury myself in my book and tune out the fussing. I have a four-year-old. I’m a pro at tuning it out.

My suitcase was the first off the plane, and my supershuttle was ready to go when I got there, so I was feeling pretty cheerful and optimistic when I arrived at the hotel, with high hopes that I would soon be able to do something about the air-dried frizzy mess that was my hair, and the “natural look” that I was sporting with my makeup-free face. Because let me tell you something: me without makeup is a scary thing.

My room wasn’t ready. I should have expected this since it was before noon, but I’d been a tad too optimistic it seems. So I smiled nicely at the lady at the desk and asked her where the bathrooms were, whereupon I hied myself hither and made myself less scary-looking (and nicer-smelling too.) At one point I was attacking my frizz-fest with a curling iron and a lady walked in, giving me an odd look at my array of toiletries shamelessly spread out across the counter. “I’m not homeless,” I told her. “My room isn’t ready and I really needed to make myself presentable.” She smiled and said, “Well, I figured your suitcases were a little too nice for you to be homeless.” “Or perhaps I’m just really new to the homeless thing!” I replied.

Finally I felt that I was fit for human company, so I stowed my bags with the bellhop and hied my way to the convention center. Actually first I hied myself three blocks in the wrong direction because I totally misunderstood the directions that the concierge had given me, but eventually I did make it there. Once there I started running into all sorts of cool and awesome people (whom I will name at a later time when I can provide links and pics) and was able to relax and enjoy myself. Later in the evening I made my way over to the SFWA suite at the Sheraton where I managed to get off my poor aching feet and kick back with some pizza and conversation. Around 9pm I realized that I was about to hit the wall, so I made my excuses and began the walk back to my own hotel.

And somehow I got lost. I’m still not sure how it happened, and to be honest it sorta freaked me out a little since I usually have a frickin awesome sense of direction. Add the fact that it was drizzling rain and it took me about three different wrong turns and corrections to finally figure out where I needed to go. I even had a map which made it evening more puzzling to me that I got lost. I was also hyper-aware of the lateness of the hour and the fact that I was in an unfamiliar city, so I was doing my very level best to not look like a potential victim (i.e. I was trying to be subtle about my confused peering at maps and street signs.) Eventually I made it back to the hotel, wet and tired, made my way to my room and crashed with the full intent of sleeping until about 9am.

5AM my body woke me up. Damn internal clock.