After a few days to catch my breath, a some ruminations.
Houston is a really neat town with some amazing food, particularly barbecue (decent barbecue is a bit hard to find in Seattle). The service was pretty but slow at Papa's barbecue, but once it arrived the food was yummy - and that was just one night.
Gun Bloggers are good people. I had the opportunity to meet friends new and old, to hang out with folks I'd only ever chatted with online, and to both teach and to learn - as well as shoot the bull till the wee hours with folks that I'd consider family gladly. Now, if I could just find a way to fit *sleep* in there someplace...
The NRA Annual Meeting show floor is big. If Houston is about average, it's about (for my WA readers) half again to twice the size of the WAC Show in Puyallup. Ended up walking the whole thing 8-10 times each day meeting up with one person or another and trying to do a little business here and there.
Related to that last - bring good walking shoes to 2014. REALLY good walking shoes. I'm thinking losing the boots in favor of a good pair of Ecco's. I've been recovering since Monday and only today are things starting to feel vaguely normal in terms of foot pain.
Getting your group all into the same hotel is a good thing. This is what I call "lesson learned." More on that much later.
Drunken South Africans who've learned their notions of both gun owners and Americans generally from bigoted anti-American media (all too much of it based in the United States) are tiresome but educable. And in general, every time you educate a bigot you make the world just that little bit less stupid.
The NRA convention is one of the friendliest and most polite events I've been to, with folks from all over the world showing up from every path of life - almost all of them polite, and an awful lot of them with similar giggle buttons. There is a distinct sense of "I AM AMONG MY PEOPLE" that only grows stronger when I hang out with the bloggers.
Blogorado will, not surprisingly, always have first place in my heart - however, NRAAM is well worth attending if you find yourself nearby.