First non-travel day was driving from Queens to New Haven for a museum exhibition on Mesopotamia. Added bonus, free museum day when I got there. So I got my cuneiform on. Then I drove a little further to Niantic, home of 'The Book Barn', a bookstore with 3 locations in this one small town. Sunday I continued on to Rhode Island, first stopping at Point Judith which is the furthest south you can get on Rhode Island, and where I visited last year in the winter. This time I got to go into the ocean. Not just up to my knees like I did in Gloucester, but full immersion. It felt so damn good. This Innsmouth boy definitely needs to get his carcass into the ocean on a regular basis. I did manage to make it back down to the same beach later in the week due to severe salt water cravings. *grin* After the beach I headed up to Providence, where I stayed at the Old Court Bed and Breakfast, a 19th century building on College Hill, I'd found it last visit while walking around. So this year I stayed there for the first half of my time in Providence. Snazzy period room, pretty comfy. Other than it's a 3rd floor walk up...well I've needed more exercise. *laugh* I spent 3 nights there, while wandering around Providence and nearby.
Went down to Newport by ferry, then took an Unplanned Schooner Sail, which reminded me how much I like being on the water. Weird day on the water, big fog bank rolled in and it seemed like we were in the plot of a horror movie. Also was a more "active" cruise, than the one in Gloucester last year, not sure if it was a stronger wind, or the bay was rougher or *shrug* Was fun, especially when the ship heeled over while running with the wind, that was a rush! After the cruise, I managed to walk to the Newport Tower, a local 'mystery'. It's one of those things that comes up as proof that the Irish or Templars or whatever made it to America prior to Columbus. It looks pretty surreal to be in the middle of a New England park, something that looks like it's from the medieval era. But it's probably just some kind of folly or mundane structure. Or it's used by cultists to conjure Yog-Sothoth...who knows.
Wednesday I switched hotels, going to the Providence Biltmore (it's been renamed to The Graduate Providence, but no one seems to want to use that name). One of the two hotels that the 'con was going to be at. The 'con started for me on Thursday, with a secret event that I am unable to speak of *wink*. Friday-Sunday was a few panels, some more interesting than others, a few readings which were much more interesting. I also spent a lot of time in the vendors area, because there was probably a dozen folks or more in there I knew either from the HPL Film Festival, or from online. Bought a bunch of nifty things, and had to convince myself to not try to come home with everything that caught my eye. I went to the Art Show at the Providence Art Club on Saturday, which was probably very wise of me, as there were several pieces of art on the wall I would have come home with. Hopefully I can find prints of them vs the originals.
I did have some anxiety/stress/lack of tentacle moments. But like the HPLFF it was no big thing for me to sit down and people watch/read, or go back to my room for a recharge. But I didn't do it as much as I thought I would. I even managed to go to an after hours event that was multiple levels of anxiety inducing. (A. hugely crowded, B. Claustrophobic, C. Performing in public). Specifically, being part of the Innsmouth Sea Shanty Sing Along. And since I knew most of the songs already, I sang loudly so people could hear/learn the lyrics. I think the last time I sang out loud, leading other people was a pagan event in 2000-2001. Luckily sea shanties don't require a lot of vocal talent, just volume. I was joking after the event that I expected my limbic system to spontaneously combust when it realized what I'd been doing.
I got a few new signatures in my copy of 'Shadow Over Innsmouth', met a bunch of folks. One of the high points was getting to meet Pete Rawlik, who I've been online pals with for years. Great guy and author, and a really personable guy. Who is a fount of Lovecraftian/weird/pulp/etc trivia. I caught part of his trivia contest before the sing along, and out of the 6-7 questions I heard, I got two right. So if you ever think 'Boy Vulpine knows a lot of Lovecraft' I but an acolyte. (And the guy who has won the thing 3 Necronomicons in a row is even more eldritch, Pete at least has his library when he's writing these things, the winner had the answers in his brain case). I also got to see two Dark Adventure Radio Theatre performances by the HPLHS, which as a card carrying member I of course had to lend my support (and ears). Special parts, I'd never heard one of the plays (the latest one 'Mad Science), and that they only had 3 guys doing the voices, where usually at live shows they have 6-7 and someone working sound effects. Watching them switch voice, accent, gender and mannerisms back and forth to cover all the voices was astounding.
The 'con ended Sunday. I didn't fly out til Tuesday, I spent Monday day shipping out the 25 pounds or so of books I bought that I felt I could let out of my hands. Then I mostly just hermitted and read. Then it was time to fly back. Which was...a mess. Weather and timing caused my flight to be delayed 3 times. Luckily Logan airport is fairly comfortable. Speaking of books, I managed to read 15 during my 11 day vacation. Pretty good, especially since I didn't just spend all my time reading. Here's the list.
So now I'm back in DFW, and I want to go back to Providence already. Good food, really nice people, history on the half shell, and books everywhere. In fact, there's a fountain outside the Providence Athenaeum, which legend has that if you drink from the fountain you are destined to return to Providence...
I took a total of 5 drinks while there *wink*