I've just booked our rooms and got our memberships for the World Fantasy Convention in San Jose over Halloween weekend this year. It's been quite a few years since the last time we attended the convention, which is too bad, because we used to go every year. It was our favorite annual convention to attend. Although it used to be a business weekend for me, especially when I was SFWA attorney and when I was working on the portrait project, we liked it because it was relatively small (about 750 people max) and mostly professionals working in publishing fantasy and science fiction.
I met Neil Gaiman for the first time at WFC in Chicago in 1990 and Len and I decided to get married at WFC in Tucson in 1991 (not married at the convention, but on Christmas later that same year.) We spent a week in New Orleans, which included the convention, around 1995. Len missed one in Baltimore because he was sick, but I went alone and saw old friends from DC that trip. We had a great time the weekend it was in Monterey but bailed on a trip to Minneapolis because the fires that year made us uncomfortable about leaving L.A. That's the fun part about WFC and Worldcon: you get to go places you might not otherwise go. On the other hand, there is often little time to enjoy the city in which it is set. We did come to the conclusion that 8 nights is a bit much to visit New Orleans for a 4 day convention, but now we feel no reason to visit the city for Mardi Gras.
The nice thing about San Jose is we don't have to worry about catching a plane. We can take a nice drive up the 101, do a little shopping along the way, and have a car available in case anyone wants to spend a day in San Francisco. Bliss.
I'm doing the math to see if I can take time to go East in August for my high school reunion. Some folks I haven't seen in a very long time are talking about attending and it is incredibly tempting to get my doctor to prescribe enough drugs for me to get on a plane for the trip. Len's got a scheduling conflict, which means I've also got to do my own driving when I get to the East Coast. My home town is in the Catskills, not close to any airport which lands my choice of small plane (nothing smaller than a 737, thank you.) With a day job, I've actually got to count vacation days and, this year, factor in the possibility that we will be furloughed for 7 days at Christmas (which means I won't have to use vacation days to take 2 weeks off, but I will have to worry about how much money I won't be making) plus at least another 3 days at some point during the fiscal year. In case you haven't heard, California is in deep financial crisis and I work for a community college district facing huge budget cuts.