Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More Tips to Surviving the Winkie Convention

I know a whole lot of you are looking forward to meeting Laura and me at the Winkie Convention this weekend, so here are a few more tips to make your experience that much more pleasant.

SHOES: Definitely bring a good, comfortable pair of walking shoes, because you will be walking a lot. The Fred Farr Forum, our main meeting room, is quite a ways from the dining hall and the beach. Odds are, your room will also be a ways away from the Forum, in the opposite direction. The walks are, however, quite pleasant, and you may spot some of the local wildlife. One year, I think I spotted six deer just on the way to breakfast. Then there was the raccoon butt sticking out of a trash can. (If, however, mobility is a problem, you can arrange for little electric carts to zip you around.)

MONEY: Bring as much as you can, because I can just about guarantee that you will find some treasure to buy that you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Like any fan convention, the dealers' room has all kinds of stuff. The auction also yields the inevitable bargain that, in recent years, has made me smack my head and say, "I wish I could have gotten that." (Money has been tight recently, else my head might not have gotten quite so sore.)

FOOD: If you are trying to cut back on your calorie intake, go back to doing that Sunday afternoon, because you may want to just go with the flow for this weekend. We all end up eating our meals together in the Crocker Dining Hall, most of them in our own private dining room. While not five star, the meals are quite good and as well prepared as one can expect at a state-run facility with something like five hundred guests at a time (and yes, we won't be the only group there). The staff is extremely friendly, and will often go out of their way to accommodate special needs or refill coffee or bring a special request, usually with a smile. And we try to give Saturday dinner a sense of style and occasion by dressing up. While some folks bring suits and gowns, nobody will look down on you if you just wear a nice shirt and tie, or a snazzy blouse, or even if you didn't know and show up in t-shirt and jeans.

COSTUMES: It's probably too late to do much about it now, but if you can, bring a costume of some sort for Saturday morning's costume parade. It has been a very big deal in the past, but the past few years it's been less so, with fewer and fewer costumed characters in attendance. But the ones that are there have some fun with it. (Sad to say, for the first time in many years, I will not be taking part, as I just couldn't come up with an idea.)

And that, coupled with an open, friendly attitude where you talk to as many of your fellow Oz fans as you can, is about it. It's a fun time for everyone, so I hope this helps you enjoy yourself. Anything else you need to know about Asilomar can always be found on their website.

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