"KatSNOWCon" of 2003. Attendees trapped in the hotel a day after the con had ended due to a snowstorm. Though people have survived through it, it is the risk of planning to to travel to a winter con. Unfortunately, these things do happen in areas of the country where it snows. 2014's winter season has seen the polar vortex. Memes about a snowstorm hitting Katsucon were prophetic. Just the days before the con, snow was predicted to fall, but when?

Travel Time: Victory Road to Katuson 2014 by Scarlet
We took care of our travel arrangements prior to the con. Luckily, we were able to get a free flight via JetBlue because of our frequent flyer miles. We also booked a SuperShuttle to get to and from DCA to the Gaylord. On the Tuesday before Katsucon, we got the email we had not anticipated for - our flight for Day Zero was cancelled. SuperShuttle was also not taking any bookings for any rescheduled flights. However, we were given the option to reschedule for an early Wednesday morning flight. Our friends at Serephita Cosplay were able to give us a room for one night for the extra stay. After a long, rushed trek to Logan Airport, we arrived in DCA without any hassle. Thankfully, Shuttle Supreme was able to book us a ride to the hotel at a fraction of the price SuperShuttle was charging for. Lesson learned? In the height of a record breaking winter season, keep calm and prepare for Plan B.

National Harbor: Otaku Foodie's Paradise by Jared

One of the best parts about staying over in DC during Katsucon is that you have an opportunity to check out National Harbor right on the banks of the Potomac River.  Not only do you get some real scenic vistas for photo locations, but you also get a nice variety of restaurants and stores.  There is a great little tea shop, a candy store, and some nice souvenir shops as well along the river.  However, the biggest draw to most convention goers has got to be the food selection.

There are several pubs around the area, a Mexican restaurant, and the very popular Elevation Burger.  The different eateries range in price, but if you can manage a walk in the cold you can get some great happy hour deals at the pubs.  For dessert there is a Peeps candy shop and a cake shop just down the stairs by the river.  There are so many options around town that there really is no excuse for not eating during the convention.

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More Than a Gazebo: Location, Location, Location by Scarlet
Thursday was already kicking it into high gear as cosplayers and photographers started to snipe the gazebo area for photos. The Gaylord is known for its exquisite and unique backgrounds for cosplay photography. However, there was a controversial rule about no professional photography allowed. However, what constitutes as a "professional photographer" wasn't well defined in the rules. It did not stop hobbyist and the pros who enjoy photography to take photos of the many cosplayers that showed up during the weekend. Other than the infamous gazebo level, the fountains, forest, marble walls, etc were still available for various photos during the weekend. Take your pic!


Interestingly enough, the winter storm made attendees of a national pharmecutical conference stay a few extra days at the Gaylord to wait until flights were back up. While we were fortunate to have a room for the weekend, some late comers were unable to get to their rooms until later in the evening. While wi-fi was included in the resort fee, internet was spotty due to everyone logging in and using up the bandwidth.

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