Lunacon is completed for another year. I had a generally good time. Got to hang with BrigadierWolf for longer than I'd expected — this is a very good thing; he's very cool to spend time with. Also got to see Elaine, Sharkie and RedWolfe again. And many of the usual ex-GEnie suspects. Josepha, Susan, Laura Anne, the Honigsbergs, Esther (of course) and many many more.
It wasn't perfect though. The con programming itself seemed a bit uneven. But the most thoroughly disappointing part of the weekend was the hotel itself. Lunacon had for several years been at the Rye Town Hilton. This year they moved to the Sheraton Meadowlands. To my mind, it was a fairly significant mistake. I'm not alone in bemoaning this hotel. General incompetence, indifference, and inadequate responses to issues that arise does not endear me.
(inserts some excerpts from a post I made to sff.members.esther-friesner)
Somehow, I found someone competent. I did get a late checkout. She sounded rather startled when I first asked for it; seemed like something she didn't normally have to do.
I can fill in a little bit more on the transport woes portion of the unpleasantness that is the Sheraton Meadowlands. The directions given on the Lunacon site instructed that there's a bus that goes right out front of the hotel from Port Authority. The bus was supposed to be weekday rush hours only. No problem, really. Except that no one at the bus terminal could find it for me.
I'm pretty adaptable and there were fallback instructions. So, off to bus 190 Brigadier and I went. The instructions mentioned that the bus did not go quite past the hotel. Querying the driver produced minor confusion, but he suggested where we should get off to be "close" to it. Well, apparently "close" is NJ vernacular for "$10 by cab". Why? You can't get across the turnpike on foot (apparently someone did manage this feat; I didn't ask details). Luckily we ended up only waiting about 15 minutes for a cab to roll by.
I get to the hotel... well... look at that. There's nothing around in walking distance except a couple smaller hotel/motels, and possibly a stadium or two. Nothing. True, the Rye Town Hilton had nothing much around it as well. At the very least though, it was a much more interesting sort of nothing. and it was technically possible to walk to a non-hotel clustering of restaurant and shops.
The hotel itself... was rather generic. None of the interesting oddities of the Rye Hilton. But that'd have been okay. I even got fairly prompt service from the front desk in getting an extra blanket and some non-feather pillows. The evening buffet on Saturday was an expensive and disappointing experience; something in it managed to aggravate my Crohns a little bit, further enhancing my experience.
Lunch on Saturday... er... yeah. Restaurant is less than half full. Looked like there were staff around. We get seated, get handed menus and get our drink orders filled... and wait. And wait. And wait. At 25 minutes, the calm and generally easy-going Canadian wanders up to the front to ask if there is anyone around who would deign to take our food order. It's possible they expected everyone to take the over-priced and underwhelming buffet. But they never inquired that, or came back to check.
I do have to say that the burger (as well as the chicken fingers I had on Sunday) from the hotel restaurant was quite acceptable in quality and price.
Lunacon is one of my two favourite conventions that I will try very hard to attend each year. I really am questioning whether I'll go next year. At this moment, I'm leaning towards 'not'.
end of insert
Pictures should appear shortly. And further randomness about the con.
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