It's a very nice place, Minneapolis/St. Paul (I am assured they are different, really, and will glare at me if I confuse them, but darned if I can tell). We arranged for a rather long visit, relative to the convention, arriving around lunchtime on Thursday and leaving Monday evening. brooksmoses and suzanne took an extra day at the beginning, even, arriving Wednesday. So they picked us up from the airport when we staggered in Thursday, exhausted (The airport shuttle came to pick us up at 3:45 a.m. I'm told the flight was cheap....), and then went off to an art museum or something worthwhile like that while andres_s_p_b, chinders, and I lay around like lumps. At some point I revived enough to explore the hotel and take pictures of goslings, and eventually people collected up for dinner and took over a corner of the Chinese restaurant, where we had very tasty food and a funny waitress and startled the heck out of mrissa when she turned around and realized just how many people she knew had been sitting behind her.
After dinner was the play-reading. This year we did Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. We swapped Rosencrantzes and Guildensterns every act, so I wound up reading Rosencrantz in the first act and Guildenstern in the last act, which I'm sure confused no-one. I had a good time, but I think we should try to find more ensemble-cast plays. andres_s_p_b did a lovely job with the ending speech, but I think he was a bit bored just being audience until it was time for that.
Friday morning (well... nearly morning), andres_s_p_b, chinders, and I went to the Amazing Mirror Maze in the Mall of America while suzanne and brooksmoses went off to fetch emergency quilting supplies. The maze was pretty neat; it's set up on a triangular grid rather than a rectangular one, so nothing is ever in the direction it looks like it is. They give you plastic gloves to keep from smudging up the mirrors and interfering with the disorientation. We did it three times; the right way, backwards, and then back to the exit again. I'd be curious to look at a map of the place, because I think it basically just has the one path, rather than really having dead ends, but I couldn't keep careful enough track to be sure. Afterwards we poked around at a bead store and chinders bought jewelry and makeup stuff.
And then there were panels, which were great! And dinner and socializing, which were great! And not remembered by me in any particular detail. Saturday and Sunday likewise, really. Too much awesome all in one place; it kind of blends together after a while. I met neat new people and talked with fantastic not-new people and went to lunch with Lois McMaster Bujold and went rock climbing with Elizabeth Bear and Emma Bull (this has been your name-dropping for the post). Yay people! Hi people! If I have just friended you, probably it was because we had a fun conversation at some point, and if we had a fun conversation and I didn't just friend you it's because I didn't know your LJ name, so poke me and I'll do that. At various points there were games and chatting and listening to music and admiring interesting T-shirts and stuff and so on and so forth and I USED MY WHOLE BRAIN. Now I know what the dog feels like after an hour of class.
Monday there was lunch out, and ice cream, and then this little tea shop jonsinger likes, and eventually the airport, which delayed our flight about an hour, grr. Eventually we got home, where the dog was delighted to see us and everything was nice and comfy like we left it. Today I am resting; tomorrow I am also taking the day off work but intend to get up to useful things like cleaning and perhaps getting groceries. I may not need all of today to rest, although the rain is encouraging me to be very thorough about my resting -- I was more careful about my caffeine consumption this weekend than I was at FOGcon, so I don't feel any immediate need to detox. I have already regained enough strength to sit upright and type more-or-less coherently, so that's a good sign.
It was fun! You should go next year!
 Vertical Endeavors grades much harder than Planet Granite, and between that and the limited amount of time left between getting belay-certified on different equipment than I'm used to and their early weekend closing time, I did not figure out quite what I ought to be climbing there before it was time to leave. They've got a very different style of route-setting, which is probably more realistic in terms of actual rocks but takes some getting used to. Next year we will plan ahead and probably aim for climbing Friday morning before things really get going, or Monday after fish, or some other time where we can have more real climbing time. Also they will probably have opened the new, closer, location, so that will help.