Monday, November 3, 2014

Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014

Hello again everyone!
Another late post, but finally got around to writing about my time at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014!

Many of you may already know that this year was going to be difficult for me. Last year I didn't know that AWA 2013 was going to be one of the last few weekends I'd spend with my best friend. I had thought about not going again in 2014 around then, but after he passed, I knew it would be too hard on me to go. He's the one who really told me about AWA and I had seen him there every year. So I made the final decision to not go.... Or so I thought.

That was until I realized that he had to go this year. When I was talking about possibly not coming back for the con in 2014, he was very understand and told me that he was going to be going. I carry his ring around, and it's maybe a bit weird but I believe that the things we care for and interact with a lot carry pieces of our spirits. In the end, it helps me cope I guess.
So for a few days before the con, I was kind of battling out a fight between my selfishness and the idea of having even a part of his spirit at that convention. The con had already started before I made my final, final decision.

I had the idea that if there was even a chance I would be going, I should prepare a costume. So I picked out my nearly completed Youmu cosplay I had been slowly working on for years, and finished the details on that.  I had a bit of extra time after that and wanted to fill that time so I wasn't so frustrated with my lack of a final decision that I decided to go ahead and make a costume to cosplay with my friend. I chose this costume because I was a little sad that I wasn't there to cosplay together with him in the first place, and because it was majorly easy. Thanks to Goodwill and Walmart, I made this costume in less than a day.

On Saturday, I would arrive as Youmu. Because of my last minute decision, I didn't have very much time to tell anyone that I was coming, I felt bad about it, but in the end everyone really surprised me instead.  When I got to the convention, I called my friend, hoping he wouldn't be angry with me for not saying anything before, but he was actually really happy and spent the rest of the weekend to me. I think it turned out to be a nice surprise for him.

While walking around, I saw many of my other friends and acquaintances. No one was expecting me there (really I wasn't either), but the love people showed and the happiness upon seeing me nearly moves me to tears each time I think back on it. I had people that told me that it just didn't feel right without me there. Like, how is that for loved? <3 Thank you again everyone!

I attended the Touhou photoshoot that day as well. It was a lot of fun hanging out with friends during that as well. Everyone looked great! <3 Too bad I was being a bit shy and couldn't muster up the strength to ask the Okuu cosplayer for a picture holding the ring. It probably would have come off really weird anyway, right?

Later that day I got to eat at my usual, Umezono....Well, it's called I ♥ Sushi now. It's the same place, I just suppose that pronouncing it is easier for people and draws in a crowd who didn't know what it was before. I had their curry rice, which is delicious. I also had the nikujaga. I convinced my friend to get the katsu curry because he hadn't had Japanese style curry before (and had only tried curry for the first time at my house the week before). Food is always better when it is shared with the people you love!

The room I got to stay in was a suite at the Double Tree and it was huuuuuuge~! I loved it. I think I'll stay there from now on because it's so niiiice. Until they start playing really loud music on a Sunday morning at ridiculous times.

On Sunday I dressed up as....... Curly Brace from Cave Story! It was pretty nice because it had been warm out (but not hot). It was a lot of fun running around with a cosplay partner. I had helped him make parts of  his costume so I already knew how I wanted to do parts of mine. I wanted it to be a surprise costume but he had already figured it out (apparently I was accidentally dropping some pretty hard hints!) We both plan to work on our costumes even more over the next few years to really polish them!

I tried to play dance games in the costume but my pants were really loose and baggy so it was pretty difficult for me. I had to hold them up, which works pretty well  for "cowgirl" (DDR song) though.

Okay, so this is kind of big for me. I've been to cheesecake factory for the past few years and always got a cheesecake, but something has happened every time that prevented me from actually tasting or eating it. Well, this year, I finally got to eat it. It was tasty!! It was the Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake and was creamy goodness.

Speaking of sweets, I attended a sweets panel run by my friend Jessica! It was probably my most favorite panel ever in the history of ever. I keep gushing about it, but it's something I guess people need to experience for themselves as well.

A quick trip to the dealers room had me leaving with plenty of things from the amazing Chinanime booth (the girl who runs it is such a dear and recognized me from last year where she donated to our Trivia Panel), and a Patchouli keychain- all from my dear friend.

The convention day ended for me with the departure of my friend and I. He would be flying back to Canada and I would be going back to South Carolina. But not before I made a stop at the Super H Mart to pick up some sweets!

So, despite not wanting to go, despite how hard the convention weighed on me when I actually got there, I had a wonderful time and I have my friends to thank for that. So thank you to everyone who made this convention truly special and bearable for me. I love you all.

Oh, and here's some truck stop kitties. They were skittish but kind. I fed them a bit before I left.