I remember arriving in Milwaukee the night before GenCon of 93. Paul (miss ya lad), Tony and myself apparently got robbed by the car service we used to get from the airport to the hotel (as we were told by a later driver who refused to take out cash).
Our hotel was no where near the venue, but that mattered little. The room was relatively cheap, although we had to remind the staff we had asked for a roll out bed. We were good friends, but not "that" good.
It was a restless sleep, knowing we wanted to get there early so we could get our badges and get inside to the Con goodness.
The next morning we learned something important - apparently New Yorkers are the rarity in ignoring "Don't Walk" traffic signals. The looks we got were interesting if nothing else. The homeless guy picking thru the trash can wished us "good morning" and didnt try to shake us down for pocket change. Truly we were in the midst of culture shock.
We hit a diner for a quick and cheap breakfast (especially compared to NYC pricing) and got on line for our badges. I had signed up for way too many events, including workshops and tournaments and lord knows what, but the biggest thrill was just to be there. We had never seen so many gamers together at one time, and that was just the line for the badges.
I have pictures of that line with us on it packed away somewhere, but the images are burned into my mind, especially the goofy smiles we all had.
The smiles just got bigger as the days went on.
Next - of Rifts and Dangerous Journeys...