Rainfurrest was definitely a unique experience. Different from BLFC and FC. Definitely a lot cozier, and felt a lot more like a vacation than a convention. Though, think this had more to do with my lost sense of time...and oddly awakening at 10am opposed to usual 8am. Anywho, quick rundown of things that involved, per usual of these reviews...
Tuesday+Wednesday (Travel time):
Arrive at San Jose Diridon Station around 7, checked my bags in, and await patiently for a train delayed by roughly one hour, and took a walk about the area to pass the time before led to platform and walked aboard a rather crowded coach car, unpacked my fox pillow and attempted snooze (having pulled allnighter prior for reasons, this and fixing sleep schedule included), I learned the hard way that despite acquiring sleep debt, I could only catch zzzs when the train was in motion. Needless to say, that night was filled with:
*A 30-minute stop just north of Santa Clara to let a local Capitol train pass by.
*One hour stationary at Oakland (later revealed to be due to toilet repair); ended up passing time via Doctor Who (Time Heist braindrain... scary)
*Undiscernable time somepoint in Benicia/Suisun Wetlands
*Extended stop with the bright Sacramento lights
*Smooth sailing from thereon out, but at the point of roughly 2am, I soon understood why that one particular line was known as the 'Coast Starlate'.
Somehow I managed to get enough sleep, or refreshed enough... Sun started to rise around the dry Shasta lake, and grabbed some breakfast (yay free coffee), and more/less any and all grudges from the night before disappeared upon full daylight and the journey became a rather relaxing and scenic pilgrimage all the way up to Seattle.
I arrived at King Street downtown Roughly 9:40pm (miraculously 1 hour behind schedule) to one of the most gorgeous stations possible, walked across to the Link train, and glided down to SeaTac airport, where I met fraddas and walked with him towards the Hilton, rested for a bit with excess coffee power, met up with @PathHyena and, for lack of better words... crashed shortly after.
Seattle day. Woke up around 10am very slowly, with then roomies putting up fursuits in posessed situations. After impulse persuasion, and quick running into with keenyfox I hurried to the Hotel's main hall and waited in line... to wait in line... for registration. Pushed back a bit behind schedule, but no complaints. I got my badge, putting on my trenchcoat (for predicted rain, and misplacing my normal jacket at the time, and headed for the Emerald city via Link...
Now this is riding in style!
...and arriving at Westlake a bit past noon, grabbing a bite at a group of food trucks parked on the park (yay balsamic italian... surprisingly good), and begin tourist stages of the journey... via monorail!
...and suddenly gaining a fear of heights at the Space Needle (seriously, those elevators gave me sudden vertigo, and I swear the uneven concrete made me uneasy on the deck)... didn't stay long beyond a quick, obligatory panoramic lookaround
and a good hour and $20 later found myself back on terra firma, marching towards the EMP museum which was a surprisingly fun experience compared to seven years ago.
Entering to see a giant concert hall of music videos, props of Sci-fi and Fantasy, and interactive instruments. I think I spent roughly a good couple of hours in that tourist trap (which, in hindsight, now sounds sad, but pleasant fun).
Around this time, my mistake in using a trenchcoat caught up to me as the clouds gave way to sunny skies (I swear I brought California with me). Things started to warm up. Nevertheless, I checked out one last thing - Pike's Place Market - explored the many layers... which, I seriously wish I explored more of; that old-fashioned place just goes on and on! Nevertheless, I felt the need to return, stopped by the first Starbucks , grabbed a reserve, and boarded the link back...
Looks so indie!
At the moment I boarded a crowded, rush-hour train, I realized that I forgot to check Pioneer square and underground.... my restraint from the door prompted me to consider "another time", melting in my roo upon my return, and beginning my con experience. Which pretty much involved (and more/less cycled thru this process for next few days) going to room to rest, wandering the halls and taking random pics of suiters, chatting with calicoyote, and repeat...plus running into a whole bunch of Bay Area furries as if I never left.
Went to the main stage that evening and witnessed what may be the most entertaining opening ceremonies I have witnessed (which may or may not have to do with peppercoyote's performance). This was followed by roamings, and also running into plus chatting with said coyote (very delightful, and elated with his enthusiasm and joy). This was proceeded to running into/hanging with bigtig, hornetv2 among others.. proceeded to join alphapak, @Temporary_Yote, @PathHyena, and @DaDoberDog for dinner at (regrettably tasty) Thirteen coins. At this point I lost sense of time, as it was suddenly midnight. I ran into more furries and then called it a night.
Did some shopping in the Dealers den, running into more local furs, acquiring Kyell Gold's latest book (per persuasion of corgi), and stocking up on caffeine soaps. Proceeded to do usual roaming, before attacked (patially eaten?) by a hyena, then sent on my merry way for dinner of Teriyaki, making it in time for Pepper's show which outright surprised (and amazed) me by how he's pretty much a one-man(yote?) band.
I just love the hotel gardens, 'kay?
After the show, I contemplated going into the hot tub (a decision I later regret not making due to events that happened the next day), but instead did the dance... holy marf RF's lighting... plus retro music... was a huge highlight personally. Compared to (BL)FC, it was marfin' mesmerizing. Just after, I went to fraddas and lakota_lander's party of cards and music. Feeling sleepy, I proceeded to head back to Hilton and crash past 1 am; thoughts filled with animal people... even when I close my eyes... for a con of this size, it felt very casual and it was that night that I realized why RF was very favorable in terms of West Coast cons.
Embarrassing moments ensue.
I woke up to finding out that I was both a loud snorer and heavy sleeper... begun usual rounds of noms and roamings, again attacked by a hyena (seriously, I'm like a gazelle at this point). The skies were unusually sunny, and lacking prior planning (or rather, losing said plans when traveling), lost track of all the writing events I had planned to attend.
I found a few more local furs (you know who you are, and I don't recall your FA names), walked along for a bit, and attended the Variety show of musical performances (again, props to the lighting, Pepper, and Alex... and other acts... you all did well!)... I did another dance (again, props on lighting), before calling it a night.
Well this day went by quickly... did breakfast at Denny's with Path Hyena and three coyotes (and a tiger?), checked in with my Virgin flight home in advance. By this point, it was mid-afternoon. I took a swim (they said it was heated!), got early onset PCD, witnessed the closing ceremonies (which was heartwarming, and ended the con on a high note), saying hellos and goodbyes to random furries, acquiring some candy, and checking out the dead doge dance before initiating packing for the final day, and sleeping for the night.
Well, that was an adventure. Woke up around 6 to my flight being delayed. I washed up, did some final packing (followed by zipper mishaps.... gonna have to rid of this giant bag), and headed off to SeaTac airport. Around 11am (Roughly two hours later than planned), I entered my Virgin with two local furries, entering sun-dried California and SFO (first time actually finding my house from the air) around 1:30, and headed my way home on what could be best summed up as public transit trip from hell... with signs of con crud (felt tired, congested, and chilly... probably aggravated from plane. Upon my return in the evening, I just crashed in my bed... frankly, it felt as if the con never happened, being back so quickly.
Overall, looking back, the con was fun. Glad I went, and never at all did it feel like it was the 4th largest. More smaller.
However, I swear it also felt underwhelming. Like, despite all the lead up and excitement it was all done in the blink of an eye. Might also have been my own cause; perhaps given the saturation of furry events here as well as the past two cons, I may have been rather desensitized at this point, and felt moreso towards the end and then now. Like, it started high then dwindled.
FC's large size ironically made it pretty easy to run into folks personally, and the urban environment made the place feel more "warm", like taking over downtown for a resort... it felt like a destination, and major event.
For BLFC, the roommates were the highlight of the con, never a dull moment, and never missed an event due to the one-room space.
RF... it was cozy, but felt for like an escape vacation than a con.
Plus, save for one person, I never managed to talk about and further brainstorm my projects. Shame.
Nevertheless, it was a con. Back to normal human/marfle mode until January. Joy!
Nevertheless, lessons learned and taken account into for chance of next year.