Friday, August 22, 2014

Otakon 2014

Two weeks ago I was in Baltimore for Otakon! This was my 3rd year attending the con and I had a really great time once again. :) Though I must confess it was a little sad for me to have my sister not attend a con with me for pretty much the first time ever. :( (She's moved to Japan, so there will be more cons sans-Alex in the future.) This is so far, the only American con I have attended, but I always enjoy it, so the trek down south is definitely worth it.

Thursday: We made the long drive down, picking up our roomies on the way. Special thanks to Mike, aka EleventhPhotograph for driving us down! (I don't even know how to drive, so I probably would never make it there otherwise, because planes are expensive.) Trivia: How many American flags did we count on our way from border crossing at Niagara Falls to Baltimore? Answer: approximately 886.

Sadly, I didn't get my cosplay lineup completely finished for the weekend, as I ran out of time. I finished my essay for school in the car on the way there, and arrived at the con absolutely exhausted. With some difficulty we got our hotel room sorted out and then went to pick up badges. Unfortunately they had already cut off the line so we didn't get badges that night. Instead, Mike and I had dinner with the lovely ladies of Pro Voltage Cosplay at Kona Grill. :) I finished Sakura's wand in the hotel room that night! XD

Friday: I got up pretty early to get into costume and then go get my badge. I wore Sakura for friday. I did a short photoshoot in the afternoon with Mike before going for lunch. I explored the convention and looked around the Artist Alley. We met Mike's friend Andrea (whose cosplay handle I have subsequently forgotten! D:) and her boyfriend for dinner at PF Chang's.

Saturday: I wore my more casual Asuna outfit, complete with harisen (because my sword doesn't fit in the car). Funny enough, because I was in the same hotel again this year I made my way over to the same café for breakfast and bumped into the same gentleman that my sister and I had become acquainted with the year before. I was pleasantly surprised! :D And also amazed that he recognized me in a completely different costume, without my sister. Apparently he's a regular, so who knows, we might meet again next Otakon? Hahaha We chatted for a bit before I went off to enjoy the con. I finished the Dealers Room and wandered around the con before going for lunch. I made the trek to Chipotle in honour of Alex! And also because its delicious. I spent some time in the games room that afternoon. We met with Andrea and friends again for dinner, this time at Cheescake Factory. Mmm Cheesecake <3

Sunday: I attended a panel on Cosplay and Identity that was fairly interesting before heading out to get lunch (Chipotle again!). Did some last minute shopping before helping our roomies pack up their Artist Alley table. The drive home was fairly uneventful; only some minor detours due to construction (and no trips to Best Buy). We got to see some fireworks and the super moon on the way home, while singing along to Mike's crazy playlist.
My one serious issue with Otakon this year is that they didn't provide a paper schedule, instead they wanted you to download an app that I couldn't find. I went to the information desk for help on the saturday afternoon and they gave me a paper schedule, only for me to discover that I had missed pretty much all the panels/videos that I wanted to see. I wish they could have given us a paper copy in the first place, for people without smart devices, as the intermittent access to wifi would have meant I wouldn't have had much luck accessing it anyway. >:(

Other than that, the weather was much nicer this year (less hot and not rainy!). Definitely planning to attend again next year (providing nothing unexpected happens to me in the meantime).

[Can you believe I forgot what day of the week it was and only realized now that I missed my Thursday post? hahaha]

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