Oddities & The First Line

Sorry about the lag in post time. Back to school has kept me super busy this time around. This post is back to our Baltimore-NYC trip though. When we last left off Rachel and I were finally in Baltimore after all the flight issues.

Since we weren’t going to be actually around Baltimore for long (we knew we would be spending most of our time at the Con) we didn’t really look up things to do there. Was it a mistake? Possibly, but we found things to do. We wandered around the harbor and found a Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium. We found a few other things as well, but we decided that that was the most intriguing to us.

It's HOGWARTS!

It’s HOGWARTS!

A Different Angle

A Different Angle

Harry Made of Licorice

Harry Made of Liquorice

Yes. Yes I Can.

Yes. Yes I Can.

The pictures I took may have been a bit biased since I’m a huge Harry Potter fan so naturally that’s the stuff that would appeal to me. I did take some pictures of other stuff though!

Penny Made of Pennies

Penny Made of Pennies

Entirely Made of Cigarettes. Woah. And Yuck!

Entirely Made of Cigarettes. Woah. And Yuck!

Famous Sights

Famous Sights

At the end we went into this hall of mirrors area – it was totally trippy because we were wearing these special glasses to make it even crazier. I was a bit confused when they gave us gloves to wear inside, but once we got there it made sense as it was basically a maze. My gloved hands were always trying to feel my way through.

After we finished that we wandered around some more. Most of the afternoon was basically like a giant game of Spot the Brony – people wearing My Little Pony themed shirts were everywhere! We got a few thumbs up and some brohoofs (brohooves?) – which is basically a Brony fist bump (because ponies don’t have fists, but hooves).

We tried really hard to find a coffee shop and it was a major failure. We eventually found a Barnes & Noble which I insisted on going inside. It had a Starbucks, but it was WAY expensive in our opinions. We ended up just going for slushies at a nearby shop. I hadn’t had one in forever & it was amazing. It did turn my tongue blue though (I had blue raspberry).

Finally it was the moment we had both been waiting for – time to head up to the Hilton (the Con Center was connected to it) to pick up our badges for BRONYCON!

We arrived early and so we ended up being fairly close to the beginning of the line. We were not the only ones confused at first, but we found a bunch of our fellow Bronies and wandered around with them confused for a bit before we figured out where we were supposed to go. While we were waiting someone was pumping music by Brony musicians out of a pair of portable speakers – mostly super cool remixes of show songs.

The wait was long and it was kind of disorganized because of the different types of people going to the Con – regular attendees like us, sponsors, and vendors. They didn’t start different lines immediately, but after the line had already formed so yeah, a bit strange.

But, we were talking to people with at least one similar interest (PONIES) and they tended to be pretty cool. At one point a bunch of people decided to do this push up competition of sorts. I guess it really wasn’t a competition since no one lost – more of a showing off thing. One of the girls in line ended up joining in, she was the only girl. She got a lot of cheering from the crowd.

At the end it was all worth it though. There were options to go to a BarTrot that night, but as neither of us really drinks much (I don’t at all & Rachel does minimally) it didn’t really appeal and we knew we would be exhausted. So, instead, after we got our BronyCon bags (which had unicorn sunglasses, the BronyCon guide, etc) and our badges for the weekend we headed back to the hotel. We knew we would need an early night before the hustle and bustle of BronyCon began.

BronyCon Badge! Complete with the Con Mascots (from left to right) Blank Canvas, Hoof Beatz, & Mane Event!

BronyCon Badge! Complete with the Con Mascots (left to right) Blank Canvas, Hoof Beatz, & Mane Event!

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Run, Run as Fast as You Can!

This is the first in our posts about our trip to Baltimare-Manehattan. Though we came up with better titles while we were actually on vacation we neglected to write them down.

Our journey started with a drive to the ferry. We were flying from Vancouver instead of Victoria so we had to get over to the mainland. Rachel brought her car down and one of our mutual friends drove us to the ferry. The first indication of the travel part of our adventure not going according to plan started before we had even gotten off the island. We accidentally missed the turn off for foot passengers on the ferry and accidentally drove into the car area – oops.

Fortunately that was an easy fix. We explained the situation and the guard told us how to get out of there. I get the feeling it happens quite a bit. This is where our friend dropped us and it was just Rachel and I. The ferry came quick and we dragged our suitcases aboard. The soundtrack to our ferry trip was Discord (the remix by The Living Tombstone). In hindsight it was probably not the best idea – our trip certainly felt like it was being overseen by Discord himself, the God of Chaos. The ferry got a bit off track and we got much too close to crashing into a small island for my comfort.

The bus ride from the ferry terminal to the Vancouver airport was uneventful. We contorted ourselves around our suitcases so we could sit down which was kind of fun.

Vancouver airport started with troubles for me and they basically just continued. When I tried to check in it would not let me so I had to go talk to the agent. Fine, not a big deal. Soon our bags were checked and it was time to go through the dreaded security. I had been expecting to go through security in Seattle the way I usually do when I fly from Victoria, but instead we were able to do it in Vancouver.

Then something terrible happened – something that’s never happened to me before. I BEEPED! It was, embarrassingly enough, terrifying. Lucky me it meant I got to go in one of those super fun (not) body scan machines which determined there was something in the back of my knee (HUH?). Obviously there wasn’t, so after the woman guard patted the back of my knee I was free to go.

Onto our gate where everything in the airport was closing. We had a couple of hours to kill, but it wasn’t so bad. And then the real fun began as our flight from Vancouver to Seattle was delayed. Okay, not a huge problem. We had a decently sized layover in Seattle. We would still be good as long as we weren’t too delayed. The delay ended up being about half an hour. That was… less than ideal. In an ideal world we would still have about 30-45 mins to get to our gate.

We needn’t have worried. When we arrived in Seattle we were running a bit late of course. However when we got to our assigned gate we realized we had a bigger problem. Our flight from Seattle to Chicago had been delayed as well – by an hour and fifteen minutes. This could be a problem.

We went to the United service desk and I can’t speak of the staff there highly enough. We explained the situation – we were on the super delayed flight to Chicago and if everything went perfectly after the delay we might have 10-15 minutes to catch our plane to Baltimore. She booked us on a backup flight that would only get up into Baltimore a couple of hours later which was not a big deal, and she even made sure our seats would be together for the Chicago flight which they had not been before.

We had some time to kill in Seattle, but just like in Vancouver everything was closing. The excitement was beginning to fade. It was late, we were tired, and everywhere we went we seemed to have more problems.

The flight from Seattle to Chicago left on time (well, the delayed time at least) and as we pulled into Chicago O’Hare the stewardess made an announcement. Two planes were being held for passengers on this flight and people were to let those passengers out first. One was a flight to Orlando and the other was ours!

I don’t think I have ever booked it so quickly through an airport. The entire time Rachel and I were saying to each other that we wished we could savor the airport more since it seemed pretty cool. We even got to go in this area under the ground where the ceiling had all these cool tube lights.

We made the flight, both of us huffing and puffing. We then got to sit on the plane and wait. After about ten minutes a couple showed up on the plane with Starbucks. Rachel and I looked at each other incredulously – they were holding the plane for these people and they just ambled over and stopped to get coffee on their way. It just seemed so disrespectful. They were already holding the plane, did this couple not think everyone else on the plane had places to go as well.

It didn’t truly matter however as we had to wait another 15-20 minutes for what we’re assuming were some minor repairs.

After everything however we took off and eventually landed at our final destination – Baltimore, MD. Our suitcases had made it too. Now we just needed to get to our hotel because we were both exhausted. It was approximately 9am Baltimore local time on August 1st. We had started our journey at 11:30am Victoria local time on July 31st. Yes, we were just a wee bit ready to do a little relaxing.

54 Days!

Stuffies

One of these things is new – and it’s Doctor Whooves.

Time flies when you’re having fun I suppose. It’s been far too long since either of us posted.

Plans for the Baltimare-Manehattan trip are coming along nicely. Passports are valid, flights have been booked. Really the only thing left to do is find a hotel for NYC. I’m super excited and I’m pretty sure everyone at work wants to kill me because they’re tired of hearing “Guess What? __ Days!”.

School is out for the summer and I’m working full time again. Oddly enough it seems very different from last summer. Not only is Rachel no longer here, but I’m spending more time with other friends including one I’ve made at work. Even work seems less stressful and like it goes by a lot faster than it did last summer. I suppose we’ll see if that’s still the case after our trip.

As always I’ve got my timetable all picked out for next year. Actually, I have two picked out in case something goes wrong (I can’t get into a class or something) and I’m looking forward to school. It seems like this past year went by really fast and it’s crazy to think I’ve only got two more years of school. I’ve got to actually start studying for the LSAT soon (even though I’m not even sure I want to be a lawyer anymore) and my friends are even beginning to graduate. I’m trying not to worry about it too much, but sometimes I can’t help myself.

Rachel seems happy at her new-ish job and she successfully booked the time off for our trip as well. I’m still surprised I got the time off to be honest, I really thought my request would be ignored considering it usually was when I asked for one day and this is 10 of them.

Other than being excited for my trip I’ve been doing some reading again – I have a no reading for fun during the school year policy – and it’s good to be returning to my favorite genre (fantasy). And I’ve been mostly keeping up with writing 500 words a day as I swore to after NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve missed a couple of days here and there, but I can count them on one hand. The once a month meetings with my fellow writers had helped in that regard. I also got to fill out the form as a returning ML last week so it should be another fun, but busy, November.

Looks like I have a lot to look forward to!

-Kali

Cupcakes!

Hello!

So, today I decided to bake some cupcakes in true PinkiePie style, and they turned out delicious!

They didn't rise as much as the recipe said they would...

They didn’t rise as much as the recipe said they would…

I’ve only heard that they are delicious, though, since I haven’t tried any myself, yet. I’m waiting for the icing to be done to do that (I thought we had icing sugar, but we don’t, so I’m waiting until we get some and put it on the cupcakes to eat one. And maybe some food dye, too.)

My Aunt was over helping me a bit, reading me the recipe and offering advice about certain things regarding baking in general. Like, the fact that she mixes her egg(s) and milk together before adding them to the rest of the ingredients. It was also an adventure, since today I used an electric hand mixer for the first time. I would have sworn that when I put it in, all the ingredients would go flying around the room. They didn’t, and I almost feel sad about the fact. Though grateful I don’t have to clean it up.

A view into the oven while the second batch baked; that's my dad's mini pizza.

A view into the oven while the second batch baked; that’s my dad’s mini pizza.

I only got two batches out the recipe, which is less then last time, but the actual amount that the recipe said it would make. I just don’t normally pay attention to that kind of stuff on a recipe. Though I didn’t really follow this recipe, which is just for plain white cupcakes, to the letter. I substituted the granulated sugar for brown, we didn’t have any vanilla, and I put other things like cinnamon and nutmeg in it.

Finally, after a 10-12min baking period (which surprised my Aunt) the last of the cupcakes were done!

Finally, after a 10-12min baking period (which surprised my Aunt) the last of the cupcakes were done!

I’m going to finish off this post with a song from MLP! The cupcake song! XD

EDIT: And with Icing!

I quite enjoyed drawing on these cupcakes their various squiggles. :)

I quite enjoyed drawing on these cupcakes their various squiggles. 🙂

The icing was simple to make, just icing sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. It takes great and applied super easily. I started with the idea of just covering them all in icing, but it didn’t take long (3 cupcakes to be exact) for me to get bored with that and start drawing different designs and patterns on them. A smaller hole in the ziplock bag’s corner would allow for more intricate designs then I was able to manage this time.

Aren't they all pretty? And I have icing left over for the next time I bake!

Aren’t they all pretty? And I have icing left over for the next time I bake!

Enjoy!
-Rachel

Funding Baltimare to Manehatten

Hello!

I know you’ve all heard about our big trip planned this summer, and I am so excited for it, but all the things that need to be done before we can go cost money. Lots of money. And since I’ve been out of a job for multiple months now… you can see why I’m concerned about this. I have a job now, and I start it in little under two weeks, but that still means that I’m starting from scratch in creating my cosplay, paying for al the hotel rooms, flights, and then there’s the money I’ll need for food plus any merch I may want to buy. Spending money I feel will be a necessity.

In an effort to be able to afford all of this, I have opened an etsy.com store called Tea and Cozies. I looked around my room and realized that I had a lot of yarn just laying around, so I decided to make it into products, which are mainly going to be small and cheap to ship, to sell. I realize that I will not make enough money to fund the whole trip, but if I could get my spending or food money out of it, I would be ecstatic!

I’ve also decided that a portion of all proceeds from the store will go to my local bethel of Job’s Daughters International, which I’ve talked about before in another post. This decision was made in an effort to increase the amount of patterns that I can sell in the shop, since a lot of them ask for them not to be used for personal gain, but for private use, gifts, and charitable events. I was thinking about it before, but that made the decision easier. I am still asking for permission to use some patterns, mainly the ones that don’t specify, and that is taking a lot more time then the actual making of the patterns.

If anypony wishes to support me in my adventures to Balitmare and Manehatten (THANK YOU), then please visit my shop. 🙂 I am thinking about selling some stuff on craigslist, but that’ll be in an effort to avoid shipping costs, which are insane. Please do not feel pressured in any way to help me with this trip, that is not what I want anypony to feel.

Thanks, and happy moments to you all!
Rachel

Baltimare to Manehatten

Rachel and I are planning a trip!

This summer, the first week of August we’re going to Baltimare (Baltimore, MD) to go to BRONYCON. That’s right, we’re going to a My Little Pony Convention. And then, since we’re going to be in the area, we’ve decided to go check out New York as well.

There’s about a million things to do before we can go. We’ve got flights to book, and a hotel room to get in Baltimare (that we will hopefully share with others going to the Con) as well as one for NYC. We’ve got to figure out what we’re going to do in NYC and I have to get a passport (handed in the forms today, but it will still probably be another 2-3 weeks until I get it). Not to mention getting actual passes for BronyCon and getting our cosplay outfits together. Good thing we still have a lot of time to do it in.

I can’t wait, but it seems like it’s even farther away than it really is. I still have papers to write and exams too – and then there’s still 3 months to wait after all of that is even done!

We’ll keep everypony updated as our plans progress, but right now I’m just busy being ridiculously excited.

– Kali