mortonfox: (rakket)
This past weekend, I went to FA United 2017 at the Hyatt Regency in Herndon, VA. There was also a pair of Flagstack events on the other side of Washington, DC, so I left the con Sunday afternoon to attend those.

I arrived in the DC area Thursday afternoon, so there was time for a Munzee-capping spree in downtown Washington DC. I took the Metro from Reston Station. I hit the National Mall and saw some sculptures. The boulder with a face on the car makes me think it's time to start paying attention to those "falling rock" signs. I also went to Chinatown for dinner, which was something I didn't get to do on my previous DC trip in April.

As for FAU itself, I treated the con as a relaxacon, just like I did in previous years. It looked like the con had a bit more programming this year than last year but I didn't feel like I had to go to everything. I hit a couple of panels, went to both loot brawls, and walked in the fursuit parade. Also fursuited in short bursts a bunch of times, went to the dance but only on Friday, and played some tabletop games. Also had a lot of couch time. Hey, I had a hotel suite all to myself. Might as well enjoy it!

Then on Sunday, I went to the Flagstack events in Fort Hunt and Alexandria. They posted two events a few miles apart, because apparently, they could deploy more party flags this way. The eight of us met up at a picnic table in a park in Fort Hunt. Then we split up into three cars. From there on, it was a drive around town with everyone capturing as many flags as possible. We went around the Fort Hunt area first to capture the first batch of flags. Then we went to the second event site in Alexandria and then drove around that part of town to get the other bunch of flags. Then we returned to Fort Hunt via a different route to get more flags along the way. The only snag was we had some problems with cell phone reception in Fort Hunt and between Alexandria and Fort Hunt, which is surprising considering how close the area was to DC. Aside from that though, it was a lot of fun, almost like a video game in the real world. And we're already planning another Flagstack event in Laurel this October.
mortonfox: (selfie gif)
Or more like a Munzee trip with a side of furry con. I'd actually planned to use this trip to get the emerald garden in Anacostia Park in southeast DC, since I'd never captured a virtual emerald garden before, and then get the vast collection of virtuals in and around the National Mall. That's what I did Thursday afternoon. Instead of I-95, I took the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to Anacostia Park. After getting the emerald garden, I took a little walk on the bike path by the Anacostia River for a bunch more munzees. My original plan was to park at Anacostia Metro and take the Metrorail in to the National Mall, but after seeing the somewhat sketchy area, I decided it would be better to park at the hotel and take the Metrorail from there. So that's what I did. It was my first time using the Metrorail and I thought it was fairly modern and impressive. The silver line follows Rt 267 and I-66, and it's a lot faster than traffic on those highways in the late afternoon. Since I wasn't driving, I was able to capture all the virtual munzees along those highways too, at least on the stretch before the train goes underground. I got out at the Smithsonian Metro Station and started walking towards the US Capitol, capturing munzees and even finding a few geocaches along the way. I hit a new one-day record fairly easily with over 6,000 captures and 111K points. Then I took a Lyft to the South Capitol Hill area to find my friend's puzzle geocache, "Roll Call". Had dinner there too because it was a restaurant row area, before returning to the hotel, also via Metrorail.

I did the same thing Friday afternoon, except this time, I walked towards the Washington Monument. Not as many munzees this time - 3,300 captures and 90K points, but I only wanted to get 2nd place on the leaderboard to get the 2nd place badge. (Thursday's munzee run got me the 1st place badge, so I didn't need to do that any more. Yes, it's a weird badge optimization. :) )

Okay, enough about munzee. What about the con? It's my 5th year attending FtM. This time I brought the raccoon and coyote fursuits. I intended to alternate between the two but I wore the raccoon more than the coyote because the latter needed some repair work. There were fewer events/activities of interest this year because they canceled the fursuit parade (replaced by fursuit menagerie + photoshoot) and fursuit games (probably had to make way for floor wars). On the plus side though, the 18+ (i.e. mature/adult) panels on Saturday night were pretty good this year. The lighter schedule allowed more time to hang out, socialize, and get anything I needed done. Just like last year, the convention hotel was the Sheraton in Tysons Corner, within walking distance of a number of restaurants, a Walmart, and the Spring Hill Metro Station, so I was able to leave the car in the hotel garage the whole weekend.

The caches... )

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Morton Fox

September 2017

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