Well, Expo has come and gone again and it was an amazing event! It had it's ups and downs, but I had a lot of fun and I was happy to see people I hadn't seen in a very long time and getting to meet new people too!
I'm gradually recovering from the weekend (It's taken me the past two days just to not feel completely exhausted from the lack of sleep I had over the weekend) but now I feel awake enough to tackle the big 'ol blog recap!
I met Tony at the top of his road at about 9:40am and we headed off to the train station, though the wheels on Tony's case starters to come apart no sooner than we had. Maybe a little omen that some of the weekend wasn't gonna be the greatest, but who knows. Luckily his case wheels managed to make the journey there and back.
So we caught the train from Worksop to Retford, then Retford to Kings Cross. Naturally, we had someone sat in our reserved seats who shouldn't of been there, but thankfully he moved. Then we spent the majority of the journey drawing :D
Once we got to Kings Cross, we caught the underground and DLR to the hotel where many people were already there! We hung around, saying hi to people and were joined by Rick who was sharing our hotel room with us.
Once we'd gotten ready and such, a big group of us headed into London for our usual trip to Forbidden Planet (Though we found a small park to mess around on for a short while before getting the tube to there :D), McDonald's for something to eat and then off to Namco for the Air-Hockey tournament, although Rick and I were the last to arrive since we decided to be tourists again and stayed a bit behind to take some photos of the sights XD
Anyway, yeah, the tournament. That didn't go quite how we'd planned it and was the first of a few things that didn't pan out during the weekend.
Rick and I arrived to Tony setting up and the first match began... only... during that first match, the Namco staff came over to us and told us we couldn't film there because of "copyright" reasons. Which is odd because we filmed the entire tournament last October, the security would of seen us, they were walking around, yet they never said a word! We asked if we could take photos, but the originally said no to that too, then later said as long as we didn't get the Namco sign, we could... blah :/
The tournament continued without the filming anyway and it was a lot of fun :) I actually did a lot better than in October! I won my first round, but lost in the second, but even the second round was a close one.
In the end, Daniel Pulley won the tournament, so a huge congrats to him! :D
After the tournament, we went to catch the ferry to the O2 arena which was tons of fun! I love going on that boat! Though I think we accidently left some people behind, but luckily the boat hadn't gone far and so went back to let them on XD;
One of these days, I'll get a new camera that can take pictures in the dark. Though I did get some very interesting "city blur" pictures :D; They actually look kinda pretty.
Anyway we got to the O2 arena and we stopped to take a huge group pic before setting off for the underground train to get back to the hotel... again we ended up accidently leaving people behind, but luckily they were on the next train after ours.
I don't think we did much at the hotel that night because we were due to get up early for the sunrise meet, so we decided to try and get some sleep.
We got no sleep XD I was tossing and turning all night but as usual I couldn't get to sleep. We all gave up sleeping at about half two Saturday morning, since we had to be up at about 3 or so anyway.
Anyway we got ready then met people downstairs and set off for the sunrise meet, the sun was already showing signs of rising as we left anyway!
We took a nice stroll up the side of the ExCel center, by the water and got to the entrance at the other side where we were all meeting. Tony gave out some fortune cookies, but my first one had no fortune for me :( Tony offered me another though and THAT had a fortune... though I forget what it said... I probably still have it in my bag somewhere.
After a while we all walked back the way we came. Though we had a person join the group who was completely drunk and this was before 5am in the morning, urgh ¬¬; But alas, we made it to the other side and we hung out on the new part of the ExCel center and just messed about doing silly things for videos and such, it was fun :) After that we decided to wait for the doors to open, some waited at one end and a bunch of us waited at the other. We stood about and even got some Pokéwalker connecting done :D
The side opposite to us was let in first, haha XD
Once we got in, the queuing began.
Oh god the queues on Saturday were murder X_X and since I was so tired, I was practically falling asleep in the queue to get in XD But yeah the queues were long and crazy on Saturday, so we had to wait around a long time as things ran late ect.
After we managed to get in, I stayed with Tony for a while, then decided to walk around on my own for a while to take a look at some stuff. I bought some things, got some photos, got to connect Pokéwalkers with an Asuka cosplayer (from YGO GX) and her friends, met Dragontattooist, who is a member of the pkmncollectors LJ community I'm also a member of. I also sat with Kelly for a while to watch some people performing on Japanese Drums, that was awesome!
After that, a bunch of us went to the DS World Record attempt, where again the queuing was poorly organized and it took us ages to get through it, plus it was just so cramped and crowded... it really didn't even look like a queue to be honest. Eventually we got in and we sat down but it took ages for everything to start because of the huge queue. We had a small free concert from Bentley Jones while everyone waited, but I kinda felt sorry for him, because he was performing to a crowd that was there for something else and not many people seemed to get into the music because of this, that and it seemed they had a few technical difficulties too. It was a lovely small concert though, Bentley Jones is awesome :)
Anyhow, the thing finally started and they did some giveaways, to which Tony was pulled up on stage for one of them and had to answer Pokémon questions (Since he was dressed as Prof. Oak) to win some prizes for people he chose from the audience. The first few questions were from the original series/the first 151 Pokémon, but the last question was something to do with the Hoenn series and asked what change there was to Misty's Pokémon line-up when she first met Ash and the others in Hoenn. At first I thought "Togetic" but the question was about when she first met them and not a change that came later in the episodes... so then I remembered that it must of been Gyarados that was the right answer. Tony didn't know so the question went to the audience I think XD Though granted the Farfetch'd question I was a little stumped on as I think it was an episode I haven't seen that much.
Anyway we actually beat the DS record that was originally held by Australia, so yay for us!!
After going back to the hotel and getting changed out of our cosplays, we walked around for a little while as we were told we couldn't queue for the masquerade until at least 4pm. At 4pm we went to the queuing area, but I lost everyone I was with, but I found Simon and Phil so I decided to hang with them, I even met another Professor Oak in the queue, he was so awesome! Apparently his daughter had convinced him to dress like that XD Tony had been told that there was an "older" Professor Oak around and wanted to see him, so I took a photo for him :D
The queuing for the Masquerade was so long! We met an awesome Joker cosplayer with a girl who... not sure what character she was cosplaying, but she was awesome too! So we hung with them for a while until both Phil and Simon decided they didn't want to wait much longer as they were tired and such, so they went back to the hotel. Soon after the Joker and the the girl he was with also left. About five to ten minutes after they left, we actually started moving in.
I got a pretty poor seat, but I was glad both Tony and Rick managed to get awesome seats for it, to film and get photos :) The masquerade was really long but there were some absolutely AMAZING cosplays in it so I'm really glad I decided to wait out the queue. I really loved the Spirited Away costume there was, Haku both in human and dragon form. The dragon was awesome and you just got an amazing feel from the walk on.
Anyway they also held the qualifier for the Euro Cosplay event, the winner was a girl named Liz Murphy, so congrats to her :)
The masquerade finished rather late, so we missed watching Doctor Who like we'd planned. Then we found it was still raining, so the Nerf war Tony had planned was pretty much off, again something that didn't quite pan out.
In the end, Tony, Rick and I decided to order some food from the hotel, which was pretty expensive but damn I was hungry! And then we went up to our room to eat, though they gave Rick the wrong pizza at first, luckily he managed to get the right one.
Tony went to sleep first and was pretty much out like a light. Rick and I stayed up for a while since neither of us really felt that sleepy after eating XD
Luckily I slept a bit better and was ready to take on Sunday. I cosplayed as a sort of Togepi Gijinka-ish thing this day XD The queuing was a lot better this day which was good.
I mostly decided to walk around on my own and then I ran into Dawn so we walked around together to look at Pokémon stuff :) Then we both headed to the CCN meet by the doors and by pure chance, a bunch of people going to the meet for the pkmncollectors community just happened to come across us here too! XD
We eventually moved to our meeting spot outside and after standing around for a short while, we sat down to have a chat, share some snacks, do some Pokéwalker connecting and do some trades/sales people had arranged! It was so awesome! I'm really happy so many people turned up! (About 14 of us, including Louis who briefly turned up as he accidently forgot about the meet XD) This was an amazing turn out and much better than in October. We even came across some Team Rocket members who had a giant Pokéwalker!! Selim also joined us with his cousin as well, who battled David on their DS' :)
After a while we decided to move in-doors and check out the stalls and some of us pretty much hung around until the event closed :)
After that, we all hugged and said bye to each other as we parted ways. This meet alone made me hugely regret the fact that I decided to not attend the Expo in October... which I would do now, but with it being a half term there's no way I'd get the holidays off now. Oh well! I'm hoping to go to both next year :D
Anyway, after we all said bye, I decided to walk back to the hotel. I'd decided to just miss the masquerade which had apparently been running an hour late and was still going on after the event closed. So knowing both Tony and Rick would be there, I decided to just hang out in the lobby of the PTI for a while (Since I didn't have a card for our hotel room! XD) And just talked about the Yu-Gi-Oh card game for a while with people in the lobby :D
After Tony and Rick came back, we got ready to go out for our usual Sunday meal from the takeaway down the street, then we headed over to the ExCel to eat them. We sat on the grass and met Luna there. There was supposed to be a glowstick picnic that she had arranged for Sunday night, but again, I think it was one of those things that just didn't pan out :( Plus there were Chavs hanging around the outside of the ExCel. Apparently Chavs and such had been causing a huge problem at the entire event this year. I never saw any problems myself, but I heard stories of cosplayers being bullied and actual fights happening in the event itself, which were apparently pre-arranged. I think behaviour like this is absolutely disgraceful.
Anyway, we went inside the ExCel for a short while and some people played Russian Roulette with Nerf Guns which was funny! Eventually we went back to the hotel and decided to play some football outside. I helped film the first one, though the footage was dark so it was hard to follow the ball XD We had a rest then went out for another game, but we eventually got moved on :/
After this we decided to do the after Expo talk, but it unfortunately didn't go so well due to there being too many of us. Though it was fun to hang out at the ExCel at midnight! XD We eventually went back to the hotel and those who were left decided to do the talk in Simon's hotel room. I decided to skip this as I was tired and wanted to get some packing done.
I slept better on this last night, and didn't really wake up until one of the hotel workers was knocking on doors asking what time we were all leaving, she apologized to me for waking us up.
After this we started getting ready to leave, though there was a lot of noise coming from upstairs so we thought it was someone in the room above us doing it on purpose, turns out it was one of the hotel maids, but damn she was pretty heavy footed to make that kinda noise @_@
Eventually we all left the hotel and a big group of us started to head off back home, which was a nightmare since part of the DLR and underground was closed >>; Luckily we had Rick, who had looked at the map of the underground the night before, so was able to guide us all to where we were going :)
A bunch of us got to Kings Cross and got to visit Platform 9 3/4, then we went for food, but the line at Burger King was pretty long and was taking us a while to get through. Tony and I ended up having to run for our train... except we both ultimately failed big time. We got on the wrong train. I even noticed the train we were going on (Though not the time of it) and just assumed I was mistaken in what train we were getting and that Tony knew it was the right train, after all they were both going to Retford ><; I feel kinda bad that it didn't click with me straight away that it was the wrong one and didn't start questioning it until we realized our seats weren't adding up. I'd also put my drink for burger king in the bag with the rest of the food I got from there, but it spilled over and leaked over everything and arrrrgh! It was a nightmare. I can only guess this mistake came from the fact both of us were just exhausted from such little sleep.
Alas we got off the train and questioned where ours was... and we were told it was the one just pulling out.
We went back to everyone else and we ended up having to get new tickets, £35.00 each. But it wasn't all bad, the wait for our train was a couple of hours, but we had a good time just hanging out with Joey who was so awesome and decided to stay with us.
Once our train was ready to go, we said bye to Joey and got on the train. We decided we weren't gonna stuggle to find seats, especially since most of them looked reserved, but then we found the most awesome seats ever. By some of the doors in one carriage were pull down seats, which means not only did we get our own personal seats (And they actually were quite comfy), but our own personal windows (On the doors) and we got to stay with all our luggage. granted the one down side for me was that I was sat in front of the toilet, which wasn't so bad until we got idiots deciding to be lazy and not shutting the door >:| But otherwise the seats were freakin' awesome!
But I lost my seat when we pulled into Grantham, since the door opened on my side and someone took my seat :(
And that was the end of the Expo adventure. Yeah there were some down points, but otherwise it was an awesome weekend which did make me regret that I'm not going in October. Though I do plan to go next May and hopefully next October too.
But that said, I've still got Amecon to look forward to in August and I'm really damn excited for that!! X3
Pictures themselves will all be up on my facebook soon, they'll be located HERE!