Rented a car from Enterprise. They had the cheapest rate. Ended up with a Dodge Avenger. Not much pick up but the air conditioning and radio worked fine, and it had a 3 point seat, which came in handy, esp. since hotels don't have phonebooks anymore. Getting the car was the most problematic part of getting to Reno. Enterprise had a huge line, ran out of cars and had to restock the garage and then accidentally gave my contract to someone else. Once I finally got the car, the nice guy in the garage gave me much better directions to Carson City and to the hotel than Mapquest had (seriously, all I needed to do was stay on 395. Mapquest had me hopping on and off of 395 around 3 times). Went to Carson City direct from the airport because due to budget cuts the Nevada State Museum wasn't going to be open during the week. they had an eclectic set of exhibits about the Nevada territory (kind of a hodgepodge of clothing of famous Nevadans, photography and slot machines and mining equipment). The geography of Nevada exhibit was quite good, and they also had an interesting exhibit of Native American artifacts. The placards for the exhibit were twofold. Side by side were the sort of academic oriented placards you normally see in museums and ones written by the local tribal councils which pretty much called the museum grave robbers. Also did the Kit Carson trail and looked at the historic houses, having previously downloaded the walking tour to my ipod. Also went and had a tour of the State Capitol Building, which had some attractive murals.
Sunday I decided to walk to the Nevada Art Museum to catch the Egyptian burial and Ansel Adams exhibits before they closed. There was a mural of Egypt in 7011 A.D. that had been partly designed by Bruce Sterling. Very fitting considering I was in town for an SF con. While the museum was only around 2 miles from the hotel, walking was probably not a great choice. Spent Sunday afternoon and Monday in Virginia City. You'd think somewhere in the tourist mateiral, there would have been some mention that NV 341 was 14 miles of twisty turns on the edge of a mountain on which your brain toggles between "wow, what a spectacular view" and "omfg I'm going to plummet to my death." Virginia City is a tourist trap but fun. I did the mine tours, stage caoch ride, V&T train ride to Gold Hill and the tour of a restored gold mill. Then I returned the car to the airport and hopped the hotel shuttle back to the Atlantis.
Was not able to set up the Capclave fan table before the convention, but did get a badge that allows me to get into the main hall to set up early every day. Been enjoying the GOH speeches and panels I've been able to get to, and enough WSFAns have signed up for shifts that I have not been chained to the table. Carrie Vaughn, Nick Mamatas and Michael Swanwick all stopped by to get their picture taken with the dodo. have been having a good time going to the parties in the evening, although these days I'm not staying up much past 1:30am. Best party overall so far has been the Klingon one. The room decorations were fabulous and the various specialty mixed drinks such as bloodwine, warp core coolant ad romulan ale actually tasted good. Of the panels, the liars panel with Connie Willis and James Patrick Kelly has been the most fun, with the Davies vs. Moffat Dr Who panel running a close second. Interesting panel on putting together years best short fiction anthologies with Ellen Datlow, Jonathan Strahan, David Hartwell and Gardner Dozois. Also went to the Lisa Goldstein reading and heard her read from her latest novel.
Been good so far about not buying stuff in the dealers' room. Have bought a convention t-shirt and a pottery jar from Mudcat studios. I'm also bidding on 2 Mudcat studio pieces in the art show. They're willing to mail them to me if I win.
Looking forward to the Hugos tonight.