I live about an hour from Baltimore, and I remember the first time I went to Otakon. I didn't know what to expect at all, since I'd never been to an anime convention before. Thinking back to that day, and remembering how I saw all the cosplayers mixed with the day to day Baltimore crowd was pretty funny.
I sorta felt like a normal person staring at everyone in the strangest way, and thinking, "Why?!". But by now, I've grown to love it. I get up at five on Saturday morning and get ready because I can't stand to get up at five thirty. We leave at six and get to the convention building.