I only made it to part of Dallascon, thanks to a poorly scheduled department retreat (at least I thought it was poorly scheduled…) I flew in on Saturday afternoon, but luckily for me, Ben Bella (the publisher of our new book) is located in Dallas, so the production manager offered to pick me up. I had never met Monica, but she’s not only the production manager for ‘Family Don’t End With Blood,’ she’s a fellow Supernatural fan, so I was pretty sure we’d hit it off.
We did. In fact, we hit it off so well that we talked excitedly about the show and the boys and the book and the conversation was so scintillating that we missed our exit and ended up downtown. Oops. Scenic tour of downtown Dallas, and then we finally found the Westin. Not the Westin garage, which was hidden around a handily disguised U turn, however. A few more wrong turns (it was a theme of the day) and we finally made it into the garage, only to find large portions of it covered by stacks of building material and reams and reams of rolled up discarded carpets. Which meant very few parking spots. What the hell?
Eventually, in desperation, Monica proved her superior parking skills and parked the car sideways in several half-blocked spots with stacks of building materials in the other half. That wasn’t the only problem with the Westin, it soon became clear. The entire hotel was under construction – as in, the lobby was inaccessible and lots of men in hard hats standing on giant cranes were literally taking the place apart. With very loud drills and jackhammers and who knows what else. I repeat. What the hell?? Did they not remember they had booked a convention for thousands of people this weekend??
I was having flashbacks to my dismal hotel experience in Vegas last spring before long. There was only one restaurant open in the hotel and it was woefully understaffed and overwhelmed, which meant that there was no way to grab a quick bite when you have 45 minutes between panels. There were four elevators but at any given time usually only one or two were actually working, the others repeatedly getting stuck between floors and then taken out of commission. To add to the fun, they continued to do construction work on the escalators that took people from the ground floor to the convention floor, so there was literally no way to get between them but the already inadequate elevators. At times there were 100 people packed into the lobby entrance trying to get from the first floor to the second. Argh.
That said, the con itself was excellent. The seats were big enough and comfy (woohoo!), the stage was just the right height, and the guests were in great moods. Oh, and there were fangirls. Some of my favorite fangirls, who I hadn’t seen since Houston con a long long time ago – that went a long way toward forgetting just how awful the hotel situation was. (They did comp con guests one night, which I do appreciate).