Only one more day. Where’d this con go? Oh yeah… the dance comp group practice is this morning, isn’t it? I forced myself awake “early enough” and got as light a breakfast as possible – a pastry and a coffee – something I would soon regret.
These event rehearsals take a good chunk of time. I arrived at the main stage to see a whole group of us outside practicing warm-up stretches before heading inside to take care of positions. I think it took a good amount of time before I realized where I was supposed to be. Combine that with a suit and you have a clumsy bobblehead. Miraculously, on the final run before the show, we all pulled it off (relatively) well.
A quick break before the dance comp begins and the lite breakfast gets to me. I was a bit peckish, so a light snack was called for… but with the short time, it seemed like a bad idea to eat anything. I guess another cracker wouldn’t hurt.
I felt the anticipation of being backstage. A peptalk from JD Puppy, plus the roaring crowd outside added to the mix of emotion. Our opening act came. The result: Overall? Not bad. Personally? I’m a left shark!
Just hearing the song again brings back every single muscle memory... every bit of rehearsal.
I recall seeing a forecast for snow today and, as a Californian used to sunshine, the very idea was exciting! Just after doing the opening number, I walked out in suit and, logically, pranced around in a Winter Wonderland.
The whole scene just felt magical. I wanted to play around further if it weren’t for being reminded that snow is effectively frozen water and wondering why my suit was getting wet and chilly… and later thoroughly thawing in the fursuit lounge (which, props to MFF for offering heated wet towels to us suiters. This was much welcome).
I had a bit of lunch at the café with Aiko, a longtime friend whom I finally met. He seemed like a cool dude, and we later spent some time doing final shopping in the dealer’s den before he had to leave.
I wish I spent more time in the den/mall… thing. There was just a bit too much to look at in a short amount of time for the confusing layout it had (which may be an advantage so as to make the den feel bigger than it really was). This was probably the first time I opened myself up to actually buying a few random items and books that I otherwise wouldn’t, so yay splurging!
Not one of my major purchases, but I was still amused by how cute this was.
Aiko and I soon parted ways, and I decided to play some more in-suit, in the snow. I would, again, regret coming into the hotel soaking wet, but holy marf that was a blast.
The one Major Hotel Roadway, all covered in a big, white blanket.
Assorted cats (yes, cats)
Soon, all good things had to come to an end. I made it an effort to try and attend most closing ceremonies of the cons I go to. It adds, of course, some good closure and drives anticipation for the next event (coincidentally, PepperCoyote’s See You Next Year comes on as I type about this). In my opinion, you can have all the fun in the world, but it’s the ending that will make (or break) a lasting impression.
One of the many, final congrats in the closing ceremony
The ceremony was long for Furfest, but you can really sense the passion that those who ran it had, and it shows by getting just a hair below Anthrocon’s attendance. What really struck me was when they announced how much they made for the charity, just enough for a new animal shelter, but just a few thousand below a nice round number of $70,000. Soon, various furries in the crowd began walking up to the stage, handing out various bills, whatever loose change they had, just to raise that number. The sudden generosity this fandom brings can be very heartwarming. All in all, seeing such an enthusiastic crowd, it was a great end to the con. By far a very unique and memorable experience.
Warm Red Bar, Chilly Winter Night
The weekend, however, wasn’t over. I had some dinner at the Red bar with Laveur as a bit of an early mutual birthday gift (as we both shared tomorrow as the birthday), courtesy a Liko fox. I didn’t have that much of an appetite, but enjoyed the company, the drinks and appetizers. Plus, there’s something very magical about seeing snowfall at night.
Various final goodbyes were given (or a see you next week, to my Cali folk), and I headed back to the hotel room to do some final cleanup… and seeing an inebriated lion. I forgot about the leftover drinks, and Lakota was on a drive to get us all to dunk down the last of the booze, mixing up various alcoholic concoctions just to get rid of it all. I was hesitant, being a light drinker. I was worried I would lose all comprehension, and I still needed to pack.
No. I won't show photos of us drunk. I did go up to the top floor of the Hyatt well prior though. I have some regrets about looking down.
Screw it… I said. Fraddas decided to open up Jackbox for some delight as we got ourselves wasted in preventing waste. I could pack before leaving tomorrow, I’d just get light sleep.
I love this snowfall.
Muffle returned late into the night. I was feeling tipsy, and Lakota was in borderline Sheen from Bedfellows that somehow still managed to hold himself up… mostly. I was feeling it after two cups. Muffle had a breathalyzer on hand for some reason. Surprisingly, I was below the minimum limit, and even more surprisingly, Lakota was at the past the point where most would pass out around.
At the point, sleep was needed. Fraddas, Muffle, and I all had the same early 8am flight. I set my alarm to 3am for ample packing time.
And so the night ends.
Click here to continue to Epilogue – Monday – Sleepy Birthday