Jim and I attended Armadillocon 27 as the Fan Guests of Honor. I'd been a Fan GoH at Rivercon in 1992, but this was Jim's first time as a Fan GoH. We'd attended Armadillocon in 1991, and while we enjoyed it we just didn't get back. This time, we had such a great time that we've already bought memberships for next year.
We flew down to Austin on the day before the con, only stuck in Chicago for two hours during thunderstorms (our friends Kurt Baty and Michelle Doty said they were stuck for something like 8 hours in Chicago that day, the day they were finally returning to the states from an extended trip to Scotland).
We were met at the Austin airport by Brian and Angela Price. We also ran into Ctein, whose plane was on time so he was being picked up by someone else. It was somewhere in the high 90s and very humid that afternoon. Angela thoughtfully had some water in a cooler in their car and it was very much appreciated!
The Austin Doubletree was a great con hotel. It was a good size for Armadillocon - there's a little space for con expansion, and all the function rooms were on the same hall. There was good mingling space around the lobby, the bar was non-smoking and the restaurant served food reasonably quickly. When your only complaint is that you have to take the elevator to go between floors, I guess that's not too bad a hotel complaint!
Once we got settled in, there was a committee/GoH dinner at Serranos, a nearby Mexican restaurant. It was a pleasant dinner, and we sat with Karen Meschke. I made the mistake of eating way too many homemade tortilla chips, and had a really bad case of indigestion. I went back to the room and laid down for a while, and Jim helped load in the Art Show. I eventually went down and helped a little in the Art Show, then we went up to the Con Suite and chatted for a while.
Jim spent Friday morning working after we had a good hotel breakfast. I went downstairs and helped Chuck Siros add name badges to the program participant packets. Anders drove us to the Friday pizza lunch, organized each year by Lawrence Person. Mangia Pizza markets itself as a Chicago-style pizza place, but it has good thin crust pizza, too. The BBQ chicken pizza was terrific. We got to talk to John Picacio and Kurt Baty and Michelle Doty.
Opening Ceremonies Audience
I didn't realize how funny Charles de Lint was - his GoH introductions were very funny. Not at all accurate, but that was OK! He introduced Jim and me as trapeze artists, which, given our natural klutziness would have killed us both off years ago.
Jim and Laurie Mann, Charles Stross, Sean McMullen, Jim Minz, Charles de Lint (standing) and Ctein