So trying to do both my RF and my AFC write-ups in this post, because I hadn't gotten to RF yet.

Rainfurrest continues to be one of my favorite conventions.  Its just the right size, the people are fantastic, and the food is always stellar (okay, okay maybe thats just that Seattle has good food and I've found some real gems but FOOD man.  That stuff is important.)  So this year I flew in on Thursday, and the wonderful, noble, heroic, Davecko *grinz* helped me haul my luggage from the airport to the hotel... I'm stubborn and probably would have tried to haul it all over there myself otherwise, which probably wouldn't have ended terribly well ><. I need to learn from this, and know that if someone can't help me next year, I need to call a cab. After weighing all my luggage I realize that it outstrips my own weight by, well, quite a bit.  In any case, he helped me get my luggage over to the con, I setup, and then went to dinner with that awesome fellow and his friends, and I am in fact AWFUL with names... so... I'm sorry for not calling you all out individually *sorrrrry*. (Also, I got furry and real names and that just means I am twice as likely to forget)

Con went great for the next few days, pretty productive and I limited my commissions so ended up being able to do a good amount of socializing every evening, which was lovely!  Hung out with the ever awesome, Kit, Kyell, Kenket, Teagan, FoxAmoore, Vantid, Xyk, Davecko, Jack, Path, and more... again, horrid with remembering names so if I forgot yours, my most sincere apologies, you know you are loved, and appreciated, and that my mental filing system is just horrid.
After the Con I spent a couple days just outside of Seattle proper with a friend who I hadn't seen in a few years, which was lovely. Had the best sushi I've had in my life, saw harbor seals, and sea lions, and wandered about Seattle a bit, but mostly hung out with her, (introduced her to Doctor Who, because thats what I do) and caught up on all of our crazy life gossip.

Then I came home for 2 days, and my dad got into town, so I promptly went up to Frisco with him and his girlfriend. Unfortunately, due to Frontier Airlines horrid screwups, he got here 8 hours late, so I only got 2 days with him, but we had a lovely time.  Did a few light hikes, wandered around cute little mountain towns, and generally enjoyed each others company.

Two days after that I started my road trip to AFC with my dear friend Liz.  First day was just a pounding of road beneath our wheels. Fourteen hours of driving later (all me, she doesn't drive stick) we hit the hotel, punch drunk and still silly happy with each other.  Met with the guest liaison Arielle (who is a wonderful human being and was terribly helpful all weekend), got shown our room and around the hotel, setup in the dealers room and then settled in for what was to be a gorgeous weekend.  The weather was a bit hot for my tastes, but then I'm spoiled by Colorado.  The view was exquisite though, looking out over a golf course with the mountains behind that and the huge dark desert sky above us.  This con is the first (to my knowledge) to give dealers a lunch break, which just made it that much more awesome in my book. The fact that we, as dealers and guests, could retreat for an hour or two to our rooms. Collect our thoughts, and recharge afternoon was invaluable. I absolutely loved that!
I continued my tradition from Rainfurrest and strictly limited conventions to allow for socialization, and it worked out so well. I actually had a chance to enjoy my evenings with my friends.  Hung out with such wonderful people as Myenia, Rukis, Liz, Fuzzwolf, Teiran, and more.

On our way back we didn't do the crazy long haul of the first trip.  Stopped for a picnic lunch detour at an offshoot of the Grand Canyon (didn't got to the Canyon proper, b/c it was quite a bit further, but even our little offshoot was glorious).  We had gotten a rather late start, but made it to Moab by evening, where we found a place to pitch a tent (ended up in an RV park which isn't as nice as proper campgrounds but DID have a hot tub, so bonus points).  The next morning we had adventures in Arches National Park.  We were up and out by 8 and got to Arches by 9:30 or so and it was everything I could have wished for.  Liz and I both hoped to go there to get a good solid center spiritually (yes, sounds flaky but having that quiet outdoor time is important to both of us, and our lives have been pretty tumultuous recently so it was soothing to our souls to just sit and enjoy that exquisite piece of nature).  Luckily the day before our arrival Utah opened its national parks with state funds, so we were able to make it in, and there were hardly any people there. Only about 12 of us or so at Delicate Arch, and we had lots of time to just sit quietly, to enjoy, to take it all in.  We picnicked at the 'Windows' area, and then started our stuttered trip back home.  That night was spent with Liz's family in Grand Junction, and the next morning puttered our way from a diner, to a winery, through Georgetown to one of our favorite restaurants in Colorado, then back home.

So I've been home for a couple days now and am about to leave again (Wednesday) for another week.  I'll sure be glad to be home for a while after this next trip, and am hoping I will be, but I just got news that my grandmother is in rather poor health, so I may be making a trip to Philly to see her. *urf*

I have a whole 'nother post I want to write later about centering and such but thats for later, I think this is more than enough for now.
Soes I promised a report...

Before-Con Adventures.
Well as most of you probably know, I took the opportunity of going to CO as an excuse to visit a dear friend who moved up there. Unfortunately didn't get as much done (work or play wise) as I would hope due to her BF's grumpiness. But did get to have some adventures... Two hikes, one up grizzly creek, which resulted in some sweet photos, the sighting of a dipper bird, a trout tinier than my pinky nail, and a snake. And one hike up the VERY STEEP mountain behind her house, which resulted in the finding of MANY bones. Unfortunately most were too old (i.e. crumbling) or too new (i.e. still covered in fur/hair/sinew) for me to take home.
Also did a really nice trail ride for about 18 miles on her horses in the park by rifle canyon, which was pretty awesome. Also resulted in fantastic photos, of aspens, of horses, of a bird of prey as yet unidentified, and me nearly loosing myself and my very nice camera into a morass of mud when my horse misstepped and went into the mud up to his belly. Wheeeeee....
Sooooes took a ton of pics, still sorting through and figuring out where to upload...

Then drove to Denver, with a side trip to Mount Evans which is the highest scenic byway in the US at 14,000 ft. So cool. I remember doing that trip with my parents as a kid and loving it. We used to ALWAYS see bighorn sheep, and occasionally mountain goats. So that was the goal. Which was not realized. By the time I made it to the top it had started sleeting so I turned around and went back down. My various pulloffs got photos of fantastic scenery, lots of atmospheric perspecitve, marmots, pikas, chipmunks, and woodpeckers.

Then into Denver!
And the people I was going to stay with ended up still out of town so I stayed at a Super 8 - which was okay, but I realized I accidentally left my favorite down pillow there so I am a bit bummed... and the room was rather overpriced for what it was.
Then the con started!
Got there at 8
way before staff was ready for me, oops! But they were SUPER COOL! Mad props to the con staff and volunteery people for just being awesome. Got set up. Realized I had a 1/2 table not a full table (oops) felt all squishy as the other 1/2 table was a group of two people.
BTW - 3 people PLUS con gear do not fit well behind one table. Oh well. They were cool.
Cool things that happened at/because of the con.
Got to stay with a family that is basically like second family to me that I hadn't seen in years.
Met the fantastic wolf-nymph  wolf-nymph wintersoul  wintersoul vantid  vantid kitewanderlust  kitewanderlust and more that I haven't found you on FA yet so apologies. All of whom are not only great artists but fantastic people too. So if they aren't on your watchlist go look them up.
Got a chance to chat with the fantastic guys from Sofawolf, and even made them some badges, hope they like them, I was pretty darn pleased. BTW I LOVE doing couples badges, and they tend to get a bit involved just because I LIKE THEM! Anyhow.
Chatted with Heather Bruton quite a bit, and Dark Natasha. Love those ladies, wish we had more time to hang out.
Got to GO TO THE ZOO WITH ARTISTS. Rocking hells ya. Love it. TONS OF PICS - Ladies who went with me, if you want copies let me know where to send them.

The bad/indifferent/weird
There was a moment of panic when it was thought an artists money bag was lost. It was found, life was good.
Thou shalt not steal thy neighbors customers. I'm just saying. It's rude.
Had a couple foot in mouth moments that I rather regret. I swear I didn't mean them how they came out, so if you think I said something mean, I apologize I don't always speak well - especially when I am exhausted at cons and getting odd questions when I am trying to get details from another customer. I really am a nice person though I SWEAR. Or I try to be :( I hope I didn't hurt anyones feelings.

As always a HUGE thanks to everyone who helped me out at a con, either financially by getting prints/commissions/etc, or by being sweet chipper people who take the time to stop and say hi. You all rock.

Drive back was long.
I almost cried when the mountains disappeared. The rockies will always be my home I think. It is my goal to move either to CO (preferably) or Northern NM/Western PA in the next year, at most year and a half. I NEED the topography. It makes me calm and happy.

Now, I need to get back to my commissions.
BTW - Next Con I hit will be OKLACON - I hope I will see you ALL there!

May 2016

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