Friday, August 22, 2014

Gen Con Part 2: "...there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."

Continued from Wednesday's blog post...

Friday at the convention dawned bright and early. Luckily our hotel had a continental breakfast for me to eat while I busted out an hour of work. The first class of the morning was yoga again, attended with Dee, and it was so awesome! We had two instructors there to help out the class, which was larger this time around, and they helped me get into a flying lizard pose and a handstand pose. I was thrilled since I've been working towards more intermediate yoga poses. I’m definitely not quite able to get into them myself, but it was fun to walk through the process with instructors.

Right after, I ran off to make fantasy wine charms, and was able to use neat beads, charms, wire, and tools that the instructor provided. I made an elephant, phoenix, Celtic triquetra, tree, cat, and dragon. The dragon was a pretty obvious choice; after all, this is the year in which the third Hobbit movie will be released.

I had time after the wine charm class to dash to a bathroom and change into my Lyanna Stark costume. When Aaron was making preparations for his Driver costume, we were at his Nana’s house, and we all decided I needed a costume too, and that I should be Lyanna Stark. Nana helped me make a headdress and a necklace, and we found cute dresses at Target in the Stark colors. 

Blue roses for Lyanna...
Then Aaron, Dee, and I headed off on our Indianapolis brewery tour! We went to four different breweries in Indianapolis, and found that the city has a thriving craft beer scene. Our tour guide was awesome, and since we hadn't eaten lunch yet, got the three of us po’ boys and beignets at one of our stops. As we drove around the city, our tour guide also told us some of Indianapolis’ history. We had such a fun time! It was a great opportunity to learn more about the city, because I’d bet most of the convention attendees only saw the inside of the convention hall.

After the tour, we went over to the vendor hall. It was incredible. It was huge and had just about any kind of nerdy item you could want. You could also play test several games, talk with some of the game inventors, and obtain free items from vendors. One could literally spend their entire convention in the vendor hall. We met up with the rest of our Santa Barbara crew at the Privateer Press booth (I had recently purchased a sweet Kromac pin) and explored the hall together. I’d missed them so much; it was fantastic to see them and hang out and laugh.

The amazing Privateer Press booth!
The whole crew had dinner at the Ram, which Aaron discovered two years ago when he attended Gen Con. The Ram creates a new menu for each Gen Con based on Warmachine/Hordes, a tabletop wargame made by Privateer Press. They name their food and beer based on characters from the game. Plus, they play geeky movies like Indiana Jones on the big screens where they normally play sports. I’d heard about the Ram for two years from Aaron, and it was so enjoyable to finally be there.

Saturday morning, I had planned to dress up again, but felt too tired to do so, especially since I had yoga in the middle of the day. So I forewent my costume, only to see a Jon Snow walking around the convention later. Missed opportunity! If I had been in costume, I totally would have walked up to him and said, “I am your mother.” That’s the kind of thing you can do at Gen Con. (Yes, R+L=J!)

Dominion was our first order of business, and I got to play one game with Dee. I got trashed, losing both of my games, but once again, thoroughly enjoyed the people I played with. So it was worth the losses!

My next activity was across the street in the Westin hotel. I began crocheting a Hobbit Hood! Oh, yes, precious! A Hobbit Hood! Unfortunately I am very much a beginner and did not finish it, otherwise I totally would have worn it. However, Aaron’s Nana told me that she would graciously help me finish it, so I plan to have it ready in time for the third movie.

It was at this class that I learned one of the best kept secrets of Gen Con: the craft room. Apparently there is a craft room at Gen Con where people can go and make crafts, for free. They have a sewing machine, paper, yarn and needles, and other craft items. The woman sitting next to me let me in on this little secret and offered to help me finish the hood if I had time to come to the room later. She said it had a really friendly atmosphere, where people could come and receive help and learn new things. She said that last year, a woman came in whose boyfriend had told her that if she could knit him a Jayne hat, she could spend $100 in the vendor hall. She’d never knitted or crocheted before, but the other crafters gathered around her and taught her how. She made the Jayne hat!

Read Part 1 and Part 3.

Quote in the title comes from The Fellowship of the Ring, chapter 3, page 74.

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