Connooga: Retrospective

Connooga, 2010.

First off, I’m going to get this off of my chest. The internet at the motel where they hold the Con? It sucks!

Ok, now that that is off of my chest…the important things.

Like the fact that the hotel has a coffee shop in-house. Excellent coffee. The reason you HAVE to stop by? The Lemonberry Mascarpone cake and the Bourbon Pecan Pie. Yes, I went to a convention in a beautiful city, met lots of fascinating people, learned some great new things, and I’m giving the pie and cake priority. What? I’m a sensual girl. There are certain things that I value more highly than others in life. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have the Pecan Pie for breakfast Sunday morning, and the Lemonberry pie for dinner Friday night…Priorities, kids.

Also, the tiny Riverfront Art District has lovely restaurants. Sadly, my appetite was badly suppressed by outside reasons, but we stopped at the Back Inn Cafe for dinner. Mom got an espresso-rubbed steak with truffled mashed potatoes and asparagus, and I got the eggplant rolls over penne. The fried green tomato appetizer was the best part of the meal, but don’t bother with the Caprese salad. Also, they have a small but lovely wine list.

Oh, the Con itself? Oh yeah, there was one of those, wasn’t there?

Well, the difference between Connooga and Dragon*Con is, well, slightly vast. It’s a good difference though. DC is just overload. I couldn’t make it to half of what I wanted to do, and half of the time is spent fighting through crowds. Not to mention, getting everywhere early to get good seats.

At Connooga, it’s lovely and relaxed. The smaller number of people means that you get to know people. Also, on panels, there’s the chance to interact with the panelists and other members of the crowd.

I’m pretty predictable when it comes to my panel choices. Literary, Horror, Dark Fantasy or mythology. But Connooga had a great Paranormal track, and that’s where I spent half of my weekend.

Connooga somehow attracts a great Paranormal group. Deborah Collard, TAPS, Ghost Hunters of the South, etc, all top-notch people who know damn well what they are doing. They were quite happy to answer any questions and go out of their way to educate people.

I also have to plug the concert venue. There is SEATING! Sorry. I don’t like being in the pit. Music is a sensual, energetic thing. I savor every note. And if I savor while standing up, I am liable to fall over. I had the chance to see both Hazmat and Bella Morte there. Seeing Bella Morte this weekend more than makes up for missing them at Dragon*Con.

I have reservations about recommending Connooga. On the one hand, I certainly recommend the Con. But the hotel is nothing particularly special for a very high price, and the internet is unusable, at least for me. I’m not sure what hotels are nearby, but it might be worth checking that out, if you plan to go.

I guess, final word is…go, but plan to see Chattanooga while you’re there. I know Connooga is planning to add some stuff, so there will be more to do, but the atmosphere of the city and the con both lend themselves to naps, sight-seeing, and socializing.



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