*PAX East 2014* – kitteh Goes West

It only took me about 3 years, but I finally made it to the US for PAX East 2014!

I must say that I was pretty curious, since I had heard and seen quite a lot of things from my friends and other acquaintances, so it’s needless to mention that I was thrilled about what this adventure would bring.

I will skip the flight to Boston, since all I can really say about it is that I went with *SlimKirby* and that it was kinda a bit of an ‘upsetting’ event, because I am somewhat of an uneasy flyer, but I definitely want to mention what happened from the Logan Airport in Boston and onwards! =D

# Destination: Logan Airport #
We were supposed to meet up with *Tommy* first. I was incredibly excited to finally be able to hug him, since we’ve been friends for years now, but haven’t had the chance to meet yet. So there he was! This utterly engaged, warm, inspiring, nice person I had only been talking to over skype so far. I hugged him tightly and just enjoyed hanging around him. I have to honestly tell you, that he has an incredible aura and that even just being close to him will completely change your mood (to the better). I love the guy. =)

Technically, we were supposed to go back to our hotel, drop off our bags and then come back later, so we could pick up *Nims*, but it all came different!
Since *Natalie* was on *Slim*’s and my flight too, we ran into all the other guys as well and so before I knew it, I had *Eric*, *Xenonia*, *Thomal*, *Fu*, *Jamey*, *Bethany* and some others stand in front of me.

I was a little perplex, since I really wanted to say ‘Hi’ and connect a bit, but wasn’t sure how it was gonna go, since we unfortunately didn’t exactly have a lot of contact in the past. That’s the very moment I heard *Eric* say “I know who THAT is!”, as I was hugged tightly. Well, that took care of that little worry I had there for a second, I suppose. xD
I “came back to” and went ahead to greet all the others, since it seemed like it didn’t matter that we weren’t in contact a lot, which I was really happy about. I was just too curious to meet everybody AND I also had some gifts to hand out, after all. =)

I gave *Thomal* and *Fu* their presents. They seemed liked they really liked them (especially *Miss Fu*), so I was thrilled and joyous, as I wasn’t completely sure about her favorite colors. I actually specifically went to look at her twitter the day I made it, since she seemed like a “purple person”, but I was trying to look for more clues on whether or not I was right. Glad that I was. =D

# Shock At Langham #
It got really late, so we went back to our hotel with the ‘promise’ that we’d all see each other again during the weekend somewhen (CHAI! <3), so our little group made our way to the Langham Boston, which was the hotel we’d be staying in.
I was extremely curious as to how it would be, though, when we arrived there was quite a shock!

We entered the room and it turned out that they gave us a “Jr. Executive Suite”, since they didn’t have our original room ready like we needed it to; which basically means that they upgraded us for free. Holy. Hell. I have never been in a room anything close to that, especially not in a 4.5 star hotel. o___o
Everything was incredibly detailed and arranged with care; we had a lot of extras and features in our room and I was now even more looking forward to having *Nims* see this all; which, speaking of, we now had to go pick up at the airport (Time flew when we talked to the others at Logan! Holy crap!).

We took the subways and whatnot back to the facility and I was almost ‘skipping’ at that point, since I just could not wait to hug him close to me for the first time. I think it is needless to say that – once we arrived – I ran ahead like a madman, trying to find him, but the place was huge, so I ended up checking the signs with the arrivals and figured out which plane he logically must have been on. I skipped (ran? xD) towards the stated baggage claim and thought I saw him sitting there, only to have *Tommy* say “That’s him” a bit later.
He got up; I ran and hugged *Nims* tightly; the world was good. ^-^

Since we all had decided to arrive on Thursday, there was still plenty of time left to do things. Once back at the Langham again, I set up all the stuff we’d need in the bathroom (I in fact had brought more than enough of everything to cover all 4 of us!) and made sure everything was stored in the closets we had, so that nobody would trip over suitcases and the room wouldn’t end up looking like a mess. That is also when I handed out the gifts to *Tommy* and *Nims*. I had brought them a black shirt with “Michelangelo” from the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (his favorite) and a selfmade ‘POW’ keychain with red beads (his favorite color!), based on the ‘joke’ of *POWerToMario*, which he seemed to love and get immediately, without me even having to say a single thing; while *Nimer* (xD) got a “King Boo” plushie keychain (I knew he loves that royal ghost!) and a Nintendo DS case with “Donkey Kong” that I had picked up in Germany during a shopping trip once, because I knew he would love it (DK used to be his old character on Brawl and other games ^-^). They both loved the gifts they got, which made me just happier. =)

When it came to food, we already had looked at places nearby, but this time we went to ask the staff at the reception for a neat place (it was soooo late and we definitely couldn’t make it to anywhere anymore xD), so we ended up going to “Umbria”, which was this really neat Italian place with seafood and other. It was a bit on the more expensive side, but the water, bread, food, everything was EXTREMELY DELISH and everybody loved the living Hell out of it. Some were even surprised at how filling their “small” portions were. We definitely all went back home happily.

# BAM-BAM! Dawn Of The 1st Con Day! #
Being the smart people we are (xD), we already had figured out an order of who showers when etc. at home, so getting up as early as 7AM was no issue for us. So, we created this ritual that we’d go to the “Squeeze” at 8-ish AM each morning, which is a smoothie shop that was right across the street of our hotel. *Tommy* really insisted that we’d get our breakfast there each day (him and his smoothies, I swear xD) but unfortunately the selection wasn’t very big, which is why *Slim* and I ended up just picking an iced coffee (not really recommended, BTW. “Dunkin’ Donuts” and “Starbucks” taste better =3) from it.
Every day after our “meal”, we always also had a lot of time to change into our cosplays or whatever we decided to wear. That day I went as a “human form of *FiyahKitteh*”, which I was really looking forward to and *Slim* went as “Mario” / “Kirby” (zep, both in one!).

The original plan was to take the shuttle from our hotel to the convention, but (as expected) it ended up being so full, that we just decided to walk instead. Might as well anyway, right? =3
The problem was, that our dear *Tommy* was so overly excited and eager, that he ended up more “running” than “walking”, which honestly would have been fine with me, but *Slim* just isn’t THAT trained yet, though, I DO want to mention that he really lost a lot of weight the past months already and he is doing a lot better. ^-^ Still, *Tommy*s march was just a bit too extreme, given how hot it was, so unfortunately both *Slim* and me already arrived at the con a tad grumpy (me mostly because I didn’t like that *Slim* got so stressed out; I could keep up with the pace just fine).
We entered the building and my first instinct was to be disappointed, since honestly, with all people have been saying, gushing, showing etc. I expected it to be way more of an “active” place. I thought there would be more to do, see, chat and just more going on in general; which left me quite a bit underwhelmed, especially because our group kinda kept losing itself a bit all the time (people were just too excited, which I understand, but still).
We had stumbled across some people who mentioned that the “downstairs” was incredibly busy, so eventually *Slim* and I decided to go there, in hopes that we’d feel a bit less disappointed, but unfortunately nothing changed, which led us to go back to the hotel quite a bit earlier than what we had anticipated.

We talked about it for quite another while and just felt that everybody was overhyping the event quite a bit, since it was – as others have said correctly – more of what *you* make of the convention and that “if they’d have nobody to go with, they probably wouldn’t even bother”, to which I definitely agree. It was just too bad, because the way everybody made it sound, it seemed like it would be like some of the cons I have seen before, so I was definitely left a bit disappointed. I think it also didn’t really help that I was a tad tired from the previous day, since we went to bed pretty late (whoops! xD) due to a “night talk” with *Nims*. It’s definitely harder than you’d assume to go to bed at max 1AM to get up at 7AM again. I think we actually finally went to sleep at 3 – 4AM. Yeah. xD

*Slim* and I took it easy for the rest of the day and brainstormed a bit instead. It seems that both *Tommy* and *Nims* had enjoyed themselves a lot during the day at least, which made me happy. =)
A quick dinner at “Brandy Pete’s” and a few comments with *Nims* about how apparently Boston is bad at frying bacon the right way and on we move to the next day!

# BAM-BAM! Dawn Of The 2nd Con Day! #
What comes first every morning? Yep, breakfast at “Squeeze”! *Tommy*, you really got us all there. xD
Today I was going to take what I learned yesterday and do it better! No more disappointment and chaos, instead a good, smooth day AND a “Tenth Doctor Cosplay” from “Doctor Who”. HELL. YES! =D
I couldn’t wait to fight of all the evil companies that try to steal our nerd-geek money with my…SONIC SCREWDRIVER! Bwahaha!

I had brought FiyahBuddy pins to hand out for Friday, while on Saturday I was going to reward all the fellow Whovians with my selfmade “Doctor Who” keychains! ^-^
This was also the day *Tommy* would put his cosplay on: “Apollo” from “Smite”! I was so, so, SOOOOO incredibly excited and I had been looking forward to seeing him in that thing since weeks now, so when he was all done and I saw it, I almost bursted with joy! I loved it so much and couldn’t wait to see the people around us react to it! <3

After getting ready, we once again walked to the con and helped *Tommy* fix up some last details. I had brought safety pins, needle and thread and of course hair gel, just in case. It all seemed to come in handy, since one of his velcros came loose, whoops. Easy fix though! =D

We went to catch our panel on “how to make podcast the right way” (I loved it, because it really confirmed the stuff I already knew to the point where I’d like to make it an actual thing!) and we also went to hang out a bit in the “3DS Lounge”, which was basically a hallway with huge beanbag pillows to flag around on, so you can StreetPass other people. =)

Technically we wanted to see another panel with “awesome videogame data”, but for some reason the theatre got over-filled, so we went to watch “how to pitch an idea” with *Nims* instead. It was supposed to be about how you pitch a company your gaming idea, but I drew parallels to other things, such as making good descriptions for videos on YouTube, shop items on etsy or alike. It works on the same principle, so I liked it in more than one way. =D

The rest of that day was spent together as a group, enjoying having people ask for photos every other minute when they saw *Tommy* (You’d think I would have wanted people to take pics of me, but I was actually happier when they asked about him. I am not really one of the people who dress up for attention or something. I just express my likings with it. =)). I think the funniest was when he tried to get a hot dog, but it took like half an hour, just because people would constantly interrupt him for pics. xD

Towards the end, we ran into *Eric*, *Natalie* and *Bethany* again. He wore a super cool “Ezio” cosplay (yes, the one from “Assassin’s Creed”! <333). But boy, those plastic knife ends in his sleeves were sharp! I am not sure how he passed security with them, but hey. xD The girls had cosplays I didn’t recognize, but I was later told by *Nims* that they were from *Fire Emblem: Awakening*, which makes sense that I wouldn’t know. They were cute though! I especially loved *Natalie*’s bow and boots. So puretteh! <3
I believe *Eric* mentioned how we all should play “Smash Bros” together sometime. I’d actually really like that. ^-^ <3

Since this was our last con day (neither of us had a Sunday pass, which was honestly really good), we took the shuttle to the hotel. We were just in time in fact, because it was gonna be the last for a while (lucky us! xD). I don’t think I need to mention that all our feet hurt like Hell. *Slim*’s 3DS measured about 17’000 steps during one of the days, so go figure. xD
Back at home there was a bit of time for a foot massage (*Tommy* and *Nims* skipped, so I only gave *Slim* and myself one. They totally regretted it the next day =P) aaand we went to “Quincy Market”, which is this really cool place in Boston full of food courts. SO MUCH TO PICK FROM, but since they were about to close (did I ever mention that we were always kinda late with stuff in the evenings? xD) we had to hurry up a bit. The food was really great though! Sicilian style pizza! Mmm! Let’s not forget *Tommy* and his damn “Clam Chowda” and *Nims* with his “Half Pound Burger”. xD

# Let’s Play…Life? #
Sunday was going to be our “group day” and also the time to rest-up a bit.
The plan was to play some stuff on the 64, sleep in a bit longer and just take it easy. *Tommy* still went to get those smoothies; *Nims* still took half an hour in the bathroom (xD) and everything was as always, except that we didn’t have times or schedules. =)

We ended up recording some stuff which will partially go up on *Slim*’s and also my channel. Dinner was found pretty quickly too. We went to a place called “Trade” and pretty much went for entrees, main and dessert. Boy was it good and what an excellent last dinner for that wonderful trip. <3

Bedtime had to be a bit early, given that *Tommy* already had to leave at 8AM to catch his plane on Monday. *Nims*’ was around noon and *Slim*’s and mine was around 3PM, but we left with *Nims*, since it honestly didn’t matter whether we’d sit around in the hotel or at the airport anyway.

It had been a hard time for me to think about the goodbyes. I was sad all Saturday and Sunday already, because this was literally the first time I have seen everybody (even the people outside of my group) and since I currently still live in Germany, I am not gonna see people in a long time. I can’t just decide to come meet up, mostly due to distance, finances and also country-specific regulations that prevent me from coming back too often. =(

I had the guys write something on my backpack and one of my Pokémon cards though. The quotes ended up being really sweet, even though I feel a bit like my heart is missing a few pieces since we parted. I had been hugging my Pikachu plushie during all the days I was sad, because it almost physically hurt on the inside and I really needed to cuddle something, to make it a bit less bad.
I’ve been missing those guys since so long and wanted to be able to hug them and just experience’em with all of my other senses (I am a very physical and affectionate person) so bad. It just feels like – after all those years – you want to move to “the next level” and said layer is to be physically around people; being able to touch, feel, talk, play; much like what we did on Sunday. There were so many high-fives and whatnot while we played our games and it just felt really “normal” and also somehow “familiar” for once. I think it is especially difficult when you live alone and don’t see any people as it is, so the thought of going back to that when you had this very pleasant and great experience is saddening. I enjoyed it all. The insider jokes; making fun of each other; sharing a bed; playing games; the high-fives, pats on the back, petting of heads, hugs, cuddles; the late talks; brainstorming and making decisions together about where to eat or go…everything.

In addition, I feel similar about the people I had JUST met this weekend, such as *Miss Fu*, *Natalie*, *Eric*, *Alicia* etc. Although not known for long, I definitely connected and cared, which is why I hope they’re all doing well (or as well as expected, given the recent goodbyes with friends) and that we may see each other soon again.

From Boston signing out is kitteh. Much <3!

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