We began this year's gaming experience with a game called "Interaction", which was on the lists as AD&D 2nd Edition but turned out to be more of a round-the-table freeform. That sort of thing can work well with the right group, and this group wasn't at all bad; we were invited to decide on characters with a reason for coming to the abandoned Temple Of The Ten Thousand Eyes Of God, and winged it from there on in. rotwang played the librarian of another branch of the Temple, and I played a hedge witch whose aunt had absconded with the family book of lore many years before. We had one younger guy in the group who seemed a little bit thrown by the freewheeling nature of the game -- I think he might have been expecting dice, or stats, or something -- but he managed well enough. rotwang managed to find the books which had been stolen from his library, and I was reunited with my aunt (sort of ;)).
A brief round of the trade hall found us plenty of stuff to come back and look at more thoroughly, and we also ran into anubisgrrl's friend B (the one who performed their wedding), which was both pleasant and unexpected. We then headed off for the Open.
The US Open is run a little differently from the UK Open. The UK Open is an individual event (or was, when I last played or DMed it, now some years ago) where everyone round the table scores the other players. The US Open is a team event which does tend to make for a slower start as they try to marshal those people who don't have pre-existing groups of six into such groups. Our team didn't quite finish the scenario, partly because we started quite late and partly, I have to say, because the GM himself wasn't the fastest; quite good, but he had to look some stuff up from time to time and that tended to make things drag a bit. Not surprisingly, we didn't progress to the next round, though it is my impression that far fewer teams did than was the case in previous years; I think there were four teams progressing and four alternates from our slot, out of a total of perhaps 25 - 30 teams playing (rough guess).
The theory was that we would then get some food and go off to the event we'd booked for which started at 8pm. In practice, rotwang and I stared blearily at one another and came to the conclusion that starting another 4-hour event at 8pm and thus finishing at midnight, or 6am as we would call it in UK time, was not really feasible, so we cashed in our tickets for that. (Aside: I liked the fact that you could explicitly get refunds on tickets you weren't going to use so long as you did so at least 30 minutes before the event; that way, someone else could take your place.) We thought briefly of going to the Party In The Plaza -- which was in fact not in the Plaza for reasons I never quite figured out, but in the hotel across the road -- but looked at the queue to get in and decided not to bother. Instead, we stopped in at the local Japanese restaurant and ate edamame, sushi and sashimi (so, no surprises there then) and then staggered back to the hotel to say hello to oblivion ("Hi, Oblivion, how's the wife and kids?")