Vacation Day 8: Toronto to Rhinelander

The trip home was relatively unexciting once you forgive the Saturn (Paul’s car) of it’s lack of air conditioning. The most exciting part was crossing the Mackinack bridge and, honestly, picking up the dogs. Their really isn’t much more to say than that.

Vacation Day 7: AnimeNorth Day 3

The final day of the Con was quiet, which was as I remembered them being. Friday is like a winddown day with a handful of panels and great opportunities in the dealers’ room. Paul and I left for the con pretty early, with Alex and Nicci (who are also early risers). Nicci’s job on my hair was astounding. Utterly, astounding.

So, we did the final day of the con, which went by quickly, with out costumes extra perfect. We did a short photoshoot in costume and I look forward to seeing Ruth’s pics from it, in addition to my own.

The whole group sat around shooting the breeze for a good bit, waiting for Brian’s pictures of his Doctor cosplay to get printed. Then it was off to see the 404 preform their last show. The 404 is an improve group from Toronto, and they were fun to watch. From there it was to the opening ceremonies. During the opening ceremonies I realized that Paul and I had not only met, but been photographed in our cosplay, by one of the Japanese VAs!

Vacation Day 6: AnimeNorth Day 2

Today was incredible, and as it should be. Saturday is the one full day of the con, so that one is as it should be. As it used to be, Saturday is still the most amazing day for costume watching, too. Some amazing costumes walked by us, though to get to the convention we had to brave what was some shockingly thick Saturday traffic. And all this after spending the start of the day with my head hung off the end of the counter so Nicci could Vash my hair.

I got my introduction to My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic. We missed the beginning, but what I got to see makes me want to see more. I’ll be on YouTube soon enough. Following the PONIES the group split up for a bit. Or more correctly, the dealers room split us up, but the cross was impossible in there. We were photographed a ton of times, and that’s part of what split us up.

Paul and I ended up sprawling on the grass eating Tim Horton’s Donuts and taking pictures as people wandered by. Donuts are awesome: food and donuts! Unfortunately, however, the wind blew Paul’s cross over and the top bit got all loosened up. Opps.

Then it we organized and managed to meet up with everyone else over full metal alchemist pictures and chilled in preparation for the rave. Part of rave prep was more food (Yay Food!). While relaxing we actually found a person dressed as a doctor who weeping angel! Her costume was stunning! Too bad the doctor wasn’t around to save us from it…

Then it was rave time. Which meant standing in line for ages. The line was fun, though, and we made some new friends! Random new convention friends are fun! It was raining, though. Ruth, Nicci, Alex and I all popped some breath mints and joined Dani under her umbrella. The rave itself was fun, but my head couldn’t handle it for long and Paul was really tired so the two of us left early. Nicci and Alex came with us, which is understandable. It had been a long day with tons of stimulation already and I think sleep was the best thing to be done at that point. We had one day of early mooring hair standing on end to manage, aft all. Paul and I stayed up just late enough to get his cross put back together. The others getting home hours later didn’t even disturb anyone. I applaud these sneaking skills!

Vacation Day 5: AnimeNorth Day 1

Today was a true blast at the convention!

Prep was a crazy mess. My hair came out pretty mutilated, but that was just a detail issue, and did prove the concept. In the end, though, I ended up laying on the countertop with my head hanging off the end of it. There are photos that I will acquire copies of as soon as possible.

Then it was pack into the car and get badges for Dani, Nicci, and Alex. It worked well and from there we went and met Rai at the airport. Then he needed to get his badge, and Paul needed to assemble his cross. So, the party split, but later successfully reconvened in time to get in line for the skit contest.

We mostly just goofed around in this line, with about half of us playing in the Nintendo DS Pictochat. It can be an incredible challenge to figure out who on earth your chatting with, apparently. I shall have to remember my DS next time, and join in on this crazy. I’m too used to no one else being anywhere near the Pictochat.

The contest was decent, but some of the acts, even from masters division, wee really subpar. Sure, I got to see the cast of kingdom hearts sing song parodies, but I also had to sit though an interpretive dance. And no. I did not just make that up. Someone did an interpretive dance.

Following the skit competition Paul and I darted off for food and then rejoined the others in time for the AMV top 20. Whited turned into the AMV top 10 when they realized how many people really wanted to attend, so they just did the same show twice and planned to do the other half of the top 20 at another time and just drop something else. We also caught AMVs that made me buy the anime, which has Paul and I looking for two animus that I dint think would have otherwise caught our eyes.

Paul and I were photographed quite a bit, as was Brian, who was dressed as the Tenth Doctor. This did make moving about a very fun challenge. As was getting home. We have more people than car space. It ended up needing two trips, but we didn’t need to break the cross down, which will save a lot of time tomorrow, making it all good. Tough with the second trip were not actually saving any time, being honest.

I can’t wait for tomorrow to start. I have money down on how much better my hair will be. And I’m getting donuts.Yay Donuts!


Vacation Day 4: Toronto Day 2 – Cakes and Lattes

It was another day in which Paul and I cracked out a few details and then went to bop about Toronto with Dani (and this time Nicci came, too!). Aaron and Lindsey worked (it’s so hard for teachers to get random time off, especially this close to end of term, so we completely understand) so after a bit of costuming we gathered up the eight tons of crap we carry around and migrated to Dani and Nicci’s to move in for the duration of the con. Well be joined by a full army soon enough.

From there we went out to enjoy Toronto some more. This time it was downtown to enjoy board games at this really neat little wifi free cafe called Snakes and Lattes. They’ve got thousands of board games and you pay a cover and can play all you want to. It was alot of fun, and they make a really good mocha, so bonus for me! We were joined by an army of people Dani and Nicci know, and it was tons of fun.

From Snakes and Lattes we went to a bakery called futures that sells cake by the slice. Dani has been talking this place up and I had feared the cake would be at least a disappointment, if not a lie (that’s a joke about the game Portal, if you’re reading this, Mom – not me worrying about the honesty of the person I drove so far to see). The cake was, in fact, not a lie and extremely delicious, as was the stew Nicci made for dinner. It was very nice of her to make sure everyone got one good meal before our diets turn into the monstrosities of fast food eating that will happen at the convention.

We attempted to watch Scott Pilgrim vs the World, but Paul and I failed completely and sleep won.




Vacation Day 3: Toronto, Day 1 – Soaking up the city

Today we’ve mostly tooled around Toronto with Dani. Which was a blast!

We got to play around the campus of her university. Her campus is amazingly pretty, and it was a great place for photo hunting. We also got to see parts of the city and acquired excellent poutine from a place called Smokies Poutinerie. They took the poutine base (cheese curds, gravy and fries) and added other things. Mine came with nacho fixings.

From there we made our way to the subway and back to Aaron and Lindsey’s. We went out to dinner. There was an attempt made to pay, but we ended up loosing the fight for the check (thank you Aaron and Lindsey!). Maybe next time we’ll win.





Vacation Day 2: Kalamazoo to Toronto

We traveled from Kalamazoo where Nathan lives to Toronto, where Aaron, Lindsey, Dani and Nicci all live.

The trip itself was fairly uneventful as we went along. For the most part none of the roared terrified me until we got right outside Toronto. Some of the other drivers terrified me. But, we survived and managed to reach Oshawa, the suburb Aaron and Lindsey live in, without me tearing the armrest off the door.

From there we were able to get some rest and make some plans with Dani. Tomorrow will be a blast.



Vacation Day 1: Rhinelander to Kalamazoo

Today was long, but fun. We drove down and made good time. Were now at Force’s house and lounging about. Mrs Harpe’s dinner was awesome!

More to come.




EDIT: More is here.

The drive itself was very uneventful. The weather was pretty nice and the traffic was really reasonable. We found Nathan’s house without trouble thanks to the GPS and were greatest by his family, who are all very nice people.

Mrs Harper fed us, and Force got back from class. We spent the evening hanging out. Paul ended up borrowing a guitar and we just had an all-around good time. The night was pleasant, and I slept pretty well, though the trash truck woke Paul at 530.

And now it’s morning and I’m awake and things are quiet. From here it’s just breakfast, some bumming about and then on the road to Canada! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing everyone there soon!