AniMore 2016, a.k.a BlizzardCon!

Friday, January 22nd was probably one of the more stressful (note I didn’t say most) days in my life. With the inevitable oncoming of Blizzard Jonas on par with a family unit that was adamant I didn’t drive down to Baltimore for the weekend, I was feeling overwhelmed and unsure. I felt if I didn’t go, I would miss out on some really fun experiences but at the same time, if something did happen, my family would be pretty upset.

It was a chance I was willing to take. Plus I had the car packed…so…

So at 3:30pm, I set out for my friend’s work to pick her up. At this point it was just starting to flurry. I’m okay I thought. My friend hopped in the car and we headed down to Baltimore!

Driving southbound from South Central PA wasn’t difficult. It was definitely starting to come down and lay a bit, but it wasn’t enough that it worried either of us. The difficult part came when we were finally in Maryland. It was around 5:00pm at this point and the sun was setting. We even passed by a truck that had hit the traffic median! Even in the slick conditions, we made it safely to the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore! We were welcomed warmly by the staff and were secured in our room by 6:00pm!

After David (one of the staffers! He was so helpful!) brought in our luggage, Hillary and I trekked down the street to Kona Grill for dinner. We were both starved, wanted sushi, and it was within walking distance. It was about 6:15 at this point and already there was a good half inch of snow on the ground!

We were greeted and seated and told that it was still Happy Hour and that meant half price sushi! Well by golly we were on that!!! Yes…I did just say by golly.

After our stomachs were full, it was about 7:45pm at this point, we again trekked back to the hotel. There was now about an inch of snow and we just laughed. We had missed the worst of it just by Hillary being let out earlier than she had expected!

We got dressed and headed down to the con floor, which at this point in the evening wasn’t very active. There was a panel going on that we attended called Voice Actors Play Cards Against Humanity. They also read a raunchy fanfiction. If you’re curious Google “A Shronic Thanksgiving.” Do it.

We quickly checked out the rave scene and looked at each other. Not for us. We headed back up to our room and conked out for the night.

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Saturday morning I woke up around 7:45am to start vlogging a bit and also get ready for my second (and best!) outfit for the weekend. I put on my makeup and I could hear Hillary start waking up. We both had our complimentary Starbucks coffee as we finished getting ready. I was finally in Angelic Pretty’s Elisabeth Unicorn and Hillary in her swagalicious outfit for the day. We spent a lot of the morning checking out the Dealer’s Room, contemplating what panels to attend (most were cancelled due to the weather and hadn’t been filled in with replacements, hence gaps in the schedule.)

We had a quick Lunchables break and headed down to the con where we became enthralled with the Sleeping Samurai Foam Sword matches. The owners were incredibly professional, and the entertainment was fun, fast-paced, and friendly! You can check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/TheSleepingSamurai. Hillary and I quickly grabbed some snacks to watch the matches with. I vlogged the entire tournament which you can check out on my YouTube channel.

Immediately afterwards (around 4:00pm) we headed over to Vic’s World, a panel room entirely dedicated to Vic Mignogna’s Star Trek Continues screenings. We didn’t realize it at the time, but were about to become the biggest STC fangirls. We waited outside the panel room for a few minutes before we saw Vic himself walking towards the room, phone up at his ear (most likely trying to figure out flight plans as we later heard) opening the doors and ushering people in. We seated ourselves in the third row and waited.

The screening was of Episode 4: The White Iris. I was never a fan of Star Trek. But the production quality of this single episode made me crave more! You can watch all episodes and extras here: http://www.startrekcontinues.com/.

Immediately following, Vic had an autograph session and we were in line quite a ways to the front. I wasn’t feeling butterflies until we were the next people in line. My heart was beating quite fast and I tried to enunciate my words as best as I could.

“Oh you look lovely!” he complimented.

“Thank you! I’ve been wanting to meet you for a while. A friend and I had been racing to meet you and she won!” I said.

“Really? Where did I meet her?” he asked.

“Zenkaikon 2013 (it was actually 2012 where she met him).” I answered.

“Oh wow, that’s in Philly!” he said as he began signing my Fullmetal Alchemist print.

When he was finished signing, Hillary had her camera ready as I asked for a photo. “Of course!” he said. He came around the table and put his arm around me. Then the other. “Omigod!” I thought! I could even feel his stubble against my temple! Haha, I was fangirling hardcore at this point. Hillary was even kind enough to stall and take another photograph, saying her flash made the picture blurry (which wasn’t a total lie 😉

After my heartmelting experience, we were hungry for real food for dinner as by this point it was around 5:30pm or so. We headed up to the third floor of the hotel which held Bistro 300, the hotel’s restaurant area. They were having a special for the weekend: An all you can eat buffet for $15 (originally $30!!!) We chowed down on the night’s meal, consisting of soup, salad, and sandwiches (and dessert if you were feeling frisky!) Whatever bread I got…it was da bomb.

At this time, I decided I wanted to dress out of Elisabeth Unicorn into Dreamy Jewel. We headed back up to the room and redressed, then back down to the con floor to do a little more exploring. There wasn’t much to do at this point. After Hillary went to the bar to grab an adult beverage, we headed over to Voice Actors Play Cards Against Humanity 18+. We sat in the front row as we had the night before and began to laugh. We sat there for quite a while before Hillary decided to head off to bed early. I remained until the very end and caught up with her, around 11:00pm. Hillary was barely awake and I showered, trying to not scatter my belongings all willy nilly.

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Sunday morning I again woke up fairly early. It was about 8:00am and I pulled up my laptop to send my mom pictures of my encounter with Vic. She joked that he was very attractive and not to tell my dad! After Hillary was fully awake, around 9:00 or 9:30am, we started packing up our things. I wasn’t going to wear Lolita this day, as we had a 12:00pm checkout and I wanted it to be chill. We walked around the Dealer’s Room one last time and purchased some last minute items. It was around this time Vic had seated himself at the piano after his Refections panel and was about to play some tunes.

Around 3:00pm, we checked the service desk to see if we were able to leave the city, and that was the case. We said our goodbyes (as we heard Vic start playing from the second floor) and headed back to good ol’ PA! I dropped Hillary off at her place and was finally back home by 5:45pm. Our mini-vacay was over. And boy was it a blast.

Until Next Time,

Knoel

You can check out the AniMore craziness here!

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