I've actually been back since Monday evening, but Tuesday my lack of sleep caught up with me in the form of a low-grade migraine (sinus pressure, headache, no appetite, mild sensitivity to light), and yesterday I had to get back into my normal routine.
I had a lot of fun, as usual, though there weren't as many panels or people I wanted to see this year. Yeah, they had Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), but he wasn't my favorite, and I don't think he could top Matthew Lewis' panel from a few years ago. I really enjoyed Eric Flint's panel in the alternate history track about Marxism. It was a guided discussion (by a moderator, who asked questions like "How does your Marxism influence your writing?" and "How do you portray class in your works?") between him and SM Stirling (who is very much not a Marxist), which was incredibly interesting. It gave me a few things to think about for my writing.
This year I watched the parade, which I hadn't done in any of the previous five years I've gone. It's a great way to see a lot of cool costumes without much effort. Also, the whole lot of Stormtroopers bringing up the rear (yay, 501st) is a really impressive sight.
I also got my copy of Shades of Milk and Honey signed.
There weren't a whole lot of shiny things for me in the dealers halls, though I bought a t-shirt from an artist's table (it was tan! with a cute kitsune on it!) and two model kits from Gundam 00. And a statue of Ozma Lee's Valkyrie from Macross Frontier. Not much else really jumped out at me.
I really enjoy going to Dragon*Con; it's a 4-day nerd party, where you don't get judged for wanting to dress up like Superman or Batman or Zatanna or Captain Harlock or a space Marine or an alien or a zombie, vampire, werewolf, or Macho Man Randy Savage or ... you get the point. It's getting ridiculous to get hotel rooms; rumor has it the Hilton is already sold out for next year (though I'm skeptical of that). The Marriott and Hyatt sell out within hours of the block opening.
I want to attend a World Con sometime soon, but, annoyingly, the next two are Labor Day weekend. Not that I could afford to go to both even if they were different weekends, mind. 2012 is going to be in Chicago, 2013 in San Antonio. 2014 hasn't been voted on yet, but London's bid is unopposed. I can't afford to go to London, and being in London is extremely expensive (especially since it's usually 2 pounds to the dollar, and a sit-down meal will cost you 20 pounds or so). I'm not super excited about San Antonio; it's Labor Day weekend. Atlanta is hot enough, and I don't want to go someplace hotter. Which means Chicago next year is the likeliest option in the near future. I've never really visited Chicago, and depending on how things work out with the hotel and travel days, we could have a short vacation there.
Which leads to an additional problem. My oldest cat, Isis, is an evil tortie, and she has diabetes. The cat sitter we hired for last weekend had so much trouble with Her Evilness that she had to bring a second person to help hold her to get her shot, for which we owe her additional monies. It stressed Isis out badly enough that she must have had a sugar spike, because she was sick when we got home and is on two different antibiotics right now. She doesn't hate our usual cat sitter, but she's got a second job now, which gives her crazy hours, so she's not always available. Maybe by next year, she'll have enough seniority not to get the shit hours.
We need to decide fairly quickly, though. Memberships are $175 each right now, and the price goes up October 1. Blech. (I understand why they're so expensive: each World Con committee has only one chance to recoup their costs for guest transport, hotel rental, etc. I can still think it's too damned expensive.)