1. All of the people I gamed with are awesome. Not merely good -- awesome.
2. Eating only when hungry works out well, but keep a bit of emergency chow in the bag.
3. Traveling without electronics I know I won't need works out well, and means I can get through security checkpoints faster, and with fewer bins.
4. That said, and with apologies to all, next time I really must bring the wheeled suitcase for the main shopping run. I tried to do without this time, and my knees are still paying for this, as in going up and down stairs hurts them. Today is Monday. My shopping run was Thursday, and ended at 1 pm, when I sent most of the loot home via the friendly UPS booth.
5. The further one gets from the action, even on the same streets, the less crowded the restaurant. Josh and I had no wait to get into Ruth Chris on Friday night during prime dinner hours.
6. About those five hour energy drinks -- there is danged well a crash at the end, and I only had half a bottle. While it did prevent dozing in the middle of a game, I'm going to have to find a different way to do that.
7. Pre-convention research really pays off. I had a focused list of the booths to check out and the things to buy. The online walk through of the Exhibit Hall, even though it was utterly bare bones, using a map, not the actual territory, meant that I knew my way around most areas. I only got lost once, which leads to...
8. Yes, Virginia, it really does take 20-30 minutes to go from the Exhibit Hall to the JW Marriott, at least if one is set on avoiding going outdoors, which I was. (I also allowed 25 minutes for the trip, so I was fine.)
9. Signing up for no or few events (i.e., 3 or fewer) is totally viable, especially if you like impromptu demos. Once you have scheduled events, pick up gaming becomes harder to coordinate. This doesn't mean one shouldn't sign up for events, but it's a trade off.
10. I need to be more focused in my roleplaying. I don't suck, but it's more like tossing a bucket of paint at the target. I generally do hit the target, often really accurately, but I also slosh beyond the target, and I'd like to rein that in.
11. It is harder not to corpse in tabletop than in a larp. In a larp, people generally save the laughter and praise for after the game. In a tabletop, this is not always the case.
12. Simon Rogers of Pelgrane really, really gets good customer service.