The first weekend of the month saw my sister, our friends, and me making our annual trek to A-Kon in Dallas, Texas. As in previous years, we arrived on Thursday ready to enjoy the convention and hoping for a better experience than last year, when the Hilton Anatole and A-Kon were newly acquainted.
As far as organization goes, from what I experienced, things were much better! We didn’t have to wait in lines to get into Artist Alley and the Dealers Room. Of course, I can’t say anything regarding wait times in registration lines because Chantel and I donated to A-Kon’s Kids Need to Read charity initiative, allowing us to skip the regular registration line. When we first saw the charity table there was a line of perhaps 20 people waiting to pick up their badges, but as we headed downstairs to see how it was while we waited for Liz and Bobii to make their way down so we could do some running around town, there was nobody waiting! We were able to walk up and get our badges, and we only had to wait as long as it took for them to pull our badges out of their little box and check our confirmation number. It was great, and something I would definitely do again next year.
Also, before we headed out we gave Liz and Bobii their very belated Christmas gifts, and Liz gave Chantel and me a box full of awesome goodies (also late Christmas gifts), which was fun! She didn’t label anything, so we had to guess which items were for each of us, and we totally got it right. Liz knows us both so well! ❤
I was disappointed that With Photo, the purikura place that had become a traditional Thursday stop for us, had relocated to a mall that looked like the set of a zombie movie and was closed when we stopped by. Additionally, over the course of the weekend, we were informed via email that the shop is going out of business. How sad! It was so much fun! Other stops on our Thursday jaunt around Dallas included lunch at Panera, the Galleria (Sephora, LUSH, Godiva, and more), H-Mart, and Mozart Bakery, before heading back to the hotel to relax.
I used to be all about waking up really early, getting ready, and heading down to enjoy the con and quickly as possible every morning. Now, I think we all take a more leisurely approach. We ate breakfast in the room every morning, took our time getting ready, and didn’t worry about how early we could get to the Dealers Room or any other area of the convention. Most of what I did this year was the same as last year. I wandered the shopping areas of the convention (including DollAKon this year), and didn’t really take in much other than that. I would really like to start taking part in more aspects of the convention again, like checking out the concerts, dances, and seeing if there are any workshops or panels I might be interested in.
But I do enjoy shopping, and I picked up quite a few cute things in Artist Alley and the Dealers Room, including an adorable AlPacasso plushie I’ve named BonBon (he’s so cute!), the yummy smelling Satsuma Samurai salt scrub from SkullSoap, kawaii stationery grab bags from Shop Kawaii, and a number of other items. Also, I loved just walking around and seeing everyone’s costumes! I should have taken more pictures. The Attack on Titan cosplayers were particularly entertaining.
Friday night, we ordered pizza, drank some very strong lemon drops (thanks to Liz), and talked until we decided we were hungry again and went down to the food trucks to get sliders, which were super yummy! Also, on our way to the food trucks, we got stopped and scolded by Professor Snape for wandering the corridors after curfew! Oh no! Commence giggling like school girls!
Saturday was mostly the same as Friday, except that we dressed up as our own versions of princesses from Adventure Time. I was Princess Bubblegum, Chantel was Raggedy Princess, Bobii was Flame Princess, and Liz was Lumpy Space Princess. Oh my glob! It was pretty fun, especially considering it was my first time cosplaying and I was a little unhappy with my wig. However, I had my picture taken with some guys dressed as the Banana Guard (see first set of images), who were totally in character, sounded like the Banana Guard, and addressed us all as princesses (foxy princesses at that!). That was probably my favorite part about my cosplay experience aside from the fact that I was dressed up with my friends. Good times! I’m glad I made more of the little accessories I wanted for my costume myself instead of buying them. Additionally, using boots I already had and hand-painting a solid black shirt allowed me to save money, which was really important to me.
We ordered Thai for dinner, had a couple of drinks, got a visit from another Dallas-area friend) and played a couple of games of Cards Against Humanity. I won both games, and I’m not sure what that says about me. Haha! And at about two o’clock in the morning, the fire alarms went off in the hotel. Thankfully, we weren’t asleep, but Liz had just gotten out of the shower, and we were all in our pajamas. But, we did as told and headed to the stairwells where we were informed that it was a false alarm (apparently some people were smoking in the stairwells somewhere in the hotel). Excitement! Adventure! Thus, concluded another day at the con.
Sunday was a usual convention Sunday. I didn’t put as much effort into my makeup or my hair, and I spent most of the morning packing up, cleaning up, and getting ready to check out. Then we spent a couple more hours wandering the convention space, had some lunch, and we our separate ways. Chantel and I had a 6+ hour drive home that, once again, ended up being more like an 8+ hour drive. I don’t know what it is about leaving the Dallas area on a Sunday afternoon that delays our getting home so much. Hopefully that will improve by next year.
As usual, I felt sad at the end of the weekend. I always start to miss and feel nostalgic for that convention atmosphere, all the people gathered to enjoy common interests and interact with new people, and the company of my wonderful friends. I’d like to start attending more than just one convention throughout the year (I may have said this last year too), maybe check out some events I’ve never been to. But until then, I’ll be looking forward to next year’s A-Kon and the adventure we’ll have when that time comes.
To those who attended A-Kon, how did you feel about this year’s event compared to last year’s? And for everyone, tell me something about your favorite convention!