We got to Boston at about 1PM Friday, and had lunch in a new pizza place (very new, just opened), went shopping in The Butcherie, which is one of the best kosher markets we know, and then went on to the Israel Bookshop for a half hour (all the time we had until it closed.) J. picked up $116 worth of books there - books we can't get in the Jewish bookstores at home.
We got to the hotel at about 4PM, fighting traffic most of the way. It's amazing how much easier it is to unload a car when all you have is food for a few days, some extra bags and a wheelie suitcase. We checked in, happy that we were on the sixth floor in a hotel where all the function space was on the third (ground) level. Three flights of stairs? Easy. Con suite on our floor? Better still.
Then we met with the other religious members. And. First, there was the shock that one guy printed out my essay Cons for Frummies for others to read. Second...the hotel was undergoing renovation. The current construction meant that all access to and from stairs on the third floor was blocked or otherwise not permitted because of insurance. As the third floor was ground level, and the fire exits from the stairs were on the second or first level, this was not a fire hazard. However, it meant they would *not* allow us to use the stairs, no matter what. (They also didn't want to know about us not locking our doors so we wouldn't have to use the electronic keys.)
We managed. We managed because we *were* on the con suite level. This meant that there was always someone using the elevator to go down to the con level, so we could ride along with them - and there were always people going to their rooms or the con suite from the con level, so we could ride along with them.
We had time before Shabbat to buy books. And books. And books. And to organize things for Shabbat dinner, and to see a panel, even. We had dinner with the frum crowd, saw some more panels and went to sleep at 11:30 like good old fans.
I like Readercon. It's purely literary. All the panels are literary in nature, having to do with SF or writing or reading or political trends or whatever. The members were 1/5 professional writers. There are aren't many parties and no official filking. This makes it the one con we can actually attend during the Nine Days. It was fun.
We bought more books on Sunday morning, when we could, and saw more panels and said good bye to friends and then had dinner with a couple of friends we saw during the con, but not just the four of us. Timing being everything, Sunday night was Mikveh night. My friend gave me phone numbers in advance and driving directions then, and Jonathan waited in a local bookstore and then an ice cream shop until I came to pick him up.
We got home on Monday in time to drop off the car and to have dinner and then go to a shul board meeting. And to collapse in exhaustion afterwards.