This past week I happily took time off for Summer vacation. While most people like to visit a tropical island and bask in the sun on a sandy beach, I much prefer my vacation time being jazzed up in Japanese street fashion, parading amongst the con folk and nerds in cosplay. Mr. Right and I have been visiting Mechacon convention every year since I graduated college, in 2015. Although I still consider myself a casual anime watcher, I am definitely captivated by all the other aspects of Japanese culture.
This year is pretty special for us, as we decided Summer 2019 would be our last time going to this particular convention for awhile. As Mr. Right’s interests grow more in Twitch streaming (and mine, in doll collecting), we decided that branching out to other conventions during the summer would be fun. In the future, I’d love to attend the International Doll & Teddy Show in Florida, while he would like to go all out and visit Twitchcon in California. Nevertheless, we looked forward to Mecha as we’ve done for many years in the past. Mechacon holds a special place in my heart. Not only because it brings together folks who have the same interests as me, but because it’s where Mr. Right and I got engaged. We expected this visit to be like any other..filled with fun and great memories. Honestly, it was quite the opposite. 😐 I’ll give you a break down of how my vacation went (some parts were actually good!)
Day 1 Thursday July 25, 2019
Its customary for us to arrive at the convention hotel a day early and for good reason. The hustle and bustle of traveling and unpacking all on the same day the con starts can be overwhelming, so we go early. The trip there was longer than usual since we moved, but it was a nice ride 🙂 I’m so glad my car didn’t have a moment, as Raven is a pretty old vehicle. On our arrival, we immediately realized the hotel suffered water damage from the recent Hurricane Barry, so only one elevator was working from the parking garage. 🙁 We checked in, being taken by surprise with the over $1K hold on our credit card for the weekend’s stay. We’ve never had such an expensive hold before! We can only assume the hotel must have had issues with Mechacon participants in the previous year, and was taking precautions. The good always suffer for the bad.
Day 2 Friday July 26, 2019
The first day of the con! Shopping is always my favorite part of the convention, because there are cool vendors with special Japanese snacks, candy, drinks, and merchandise that you can’t get anywhere else (or at least you can’t get without spending a lot on shipping costs). This year, my spending limit was cut down by almost half since….well, we bought a house! I have bills 😆 so I was much pickier about what I purchased. My goal was to collect more kawaii enamel pins and at least one plush. I also had money from my boss, as she wanted to shop for her daughter..sadly, they couldn’t attend.
Day 1 of the con is nice as you still get to check out the cool cosplays and venture around without being too uncomfortable and in elbow-to-elbow traffic. My major disappointment overall though, was the lack of interesting panels that were being hosted! All weekend long was filled with Kpop dance/sing-a-longs; which isn’t my cup of tea. 🙄 If BTS or Black Pink were there, it’d probably be another story.
Anyway, Mr. Right and I did get to meet the lovely voice actress of the popular anime show RWBY, Lindsay Jones Tuggey. 😀 She’s super sweet in person! We also attended the annual burlesque show, which is always entertaining. This year, there were dancers with all kinds of body types..including plus size! It’s always nice to see your size represented in things. 😛
Day 3 Saturday July 27th, 2019
Day 2 of the convention is when literal hell breaks loose. There are a lot of people around and some of them not with the best of manners. This, for me, is expected. What wasn’t expected is for the hotel elevators and escalators to be out of order in a hotel with four floors and a lot of foot traffic. I also didn’t count on the handful of panels I did end up going to, to have technical difficulties. It’s quite embarrassing for celebrities to visit a venue in your home state and then they not be able to conduct their show or presentation, because the con didn’t provide them with the proper equipment 🙄 Every panel that required a slideshow or microphone, simply flopped.
I also found out the month before going on our trip that Japanese fashion (namely, Lolita) isn’t “supported by Mechacon any longer”. WTH!? That’s the only reason I wanted visit! Talk about major disappointment. I have been working to get two coordinates together to where to the con since last year! What’s even sadder is that the entire local Lolita community pretty much boycotted the con. There weren’t any there or Lolita vendors/artists. 🙁
Nevertheless, I tried to enjoy myself despite these setbacks. I had fun wearing my Lolita coordinates and I did meet a couple of other Lolitas who were new to the fashion as well. My shopping experience went relatively well as I got all the things I set out to get, in the end. I have enough pins now to create a new Ita Bag.
One of my greatest memories was having my first Ball Jointed Doll Meetup! It was so much fun meeting all the friends I have made online in the BJD community. We sat together chatting, taking photos of each others dolls and just generally keeping good company 🙂
Day 4 Sunday July 28, 2019
The final day of the convention was pretty chill for me. There was only one panel for me to attend pertaining to more BJD (ball jointed doll) goodness. It was nice to be able to go to this panel and actually have a doll to show off. I have been collecting dolls for a long time, but only recently acquired my own BJDs. It was fun to connect with newcomers and those interested in the hobby. I got such lovely compliments on my dollies 😛 I hope to have another meet up with this group of collectors soon.
After my panel, we packed up our gear and headed home. Once again the hotel elevator posed an issue. We left a day early and still got charged for our booked stay 😡 I am glad this was our last year of going, for awhile. Some bad, some good…but I was glad to get away for awhile and spend time with my love.
Now, I am back to work! I have some exciting work news and some horrible work news as well, but I’ll save that for another time. ❗