That First Night

I’m gonna let everybody in on a secret, but you have to pinkie-swear promise that you will tell absolutely no one.  Okay?

Here’s the secret:  I like to write, although in present-day terminology it would be more accurate to say that I like to type.  And one of my favorite things to type each year is the posting about TeddyCon.

In years past, I’ve written lengthy recollections about the convention.  But as TeddyCon has grown each year, in exponential ways, more and more people have begun to post about their experiences there and of the memories so fresh on their thoughts.  This is a wonderful thing and I am once again looking forward to reading all the postings.

For this reason, I will focus this posting in on one particular chunk of the TeddyCon weekend.

———-

A hotel takeover may only seem like a fancy name for a fancy dream.  And that may be all it ever is imagined to be … until you actually go to it, see it and become a part of it.

TeddyCon 2017 covered every square inch of the inside of that hotel, from the bar and breakfast area and the lobby to the banquet room, the pool, the hallways and everywhere else.  Even the courtyard was included, a makeshift wall being created for privacy.

Having watched all of this being put together, I stood in awe of how all-encompassing this weekend was going to be.  And, added into the fact that no one had to cover up their little appearance in the hallways or any other place inside the building, the atmosphere was electric.

With a stream-lined registration system under way, people arrived in droves – a good portion of people having already been there prior to the 1pm opening on Thursday and having already pre-registered the night before.  Right from the start, a system was in place to handle the masses in a timely fashion.

Classes began that afternoon as did crafts-n-activities.  And people were everywhere.  It was amazing to see.  And the best part of all of it was how our glorious attendees cooperated with the process.  In order to have real security, there had to be a general attitude of wanting the system to work.

And the TeddyCon 2017 attendees were fantastic about this.  They were fantastic about everything.  And that made all the difference in the world.  

The bar opened at 4pm.  More people arrived and as the dinner break began, I got the sense that the first evening of the convention was going to set the tone for the whole weekend. 

A delicate balance had to be created to have multiple activities and events happening simultaneously.  This is what made the takeover work, from a scheduling and programming stand point.  There were always several options of things to do, some being structured and some being unstructured.

And that first night, a dive-in movie was shown in the pool area as people swam around.

At the same time, the courtyard was open – providing a unique outdoor experience with a fire pit, marshmallows, a direct line of view of the movie in the pool area and accommodating weather.

But wait!  There’s more because that’s not all that was happening just then!

In the main con space, round after round after round of a human hungry hippo game was taking place.

Also in the main con space, the doctor’s office was taking patients.

The vendor hallway was open, people milling from room to room and shopping.

And by 8pm, the bar began to get packed – in lieu of the forthcoming activity there that night … karaoke!

Oh My Blue Heaven, have I wanted karaoke at an ABDL convention forever!

So, of course, I volunteered myself to kick the thing off – going up there and belting my froggy voice into blissful hoarseness.

I would leave the bar then and go back to the con space to watch the hungry hippo activity some more.  Then I wandered into the pool area.  Then I wandered out into the courtyard.  And what I began to notice was how I had the same idea as everyone else.

People were wandering freely from one area to the next, taking in the sights and sounds of it all – then getting into a bathing suit and swimming for a while before getting out and going to the courtyard for a few toasted marshmallows … then having a drink in the bar while listening to the karaoke fanatics.

A lot of these activities would eventually wind down as the first day of the con came to an end.  But the night was young and the room parties started hopping.  The bar was still open and people were mixing and mingling and takin’ over the hotel.

And before I finally turned in that first night, I knew that we weren’t on to something good at all.

We were on to something great.

What I’ve always loved about these conventions was the feeling of family that was ever-looming in the air.  TeddyCon 2017, like the past three years, was a collection of ages, preferences, races, genders and crinkles.

This convention has always done everything humanly possible to keep the atmosphere inviting.  Challenges arise as the numbers increase each year.  But with the help of the willing attendees that were there, differences – perhaps even passionate ones – were able to be handled – long enough to allow a convention to do some good.

Oh wait! … I mean to do some great.

This was the final thought in my mind before I went sleep … that first night. 

 

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