Tuesday, June 3, 2014

15 Hours

Fifteen hours is a fair amount of time. I spent a little more than fifteen hours in the car this weekend engaged in various and sundry adventures. It was pretty great. For my own memory, here's what happened:


Thursday was a normal baking a decorating day. Nothing exciting. But I made some cakes:


Friday, I finished up the wedding cake, baked and decorated the wedding cupcakes, and baked the Saturday cakes in the morning. Then, I drove to the Marriot to deliver the wedding cupcakes (car time: 40 min).  Then it was back to the shop to grab the wedding cake and head to the lake for delivery and set up (car time: 3 hours). Then back to the shop to finish decorating the Saturday cakes. But the wedding cake set up was at a beautiful location. Check out the view:

On Friday night, while I was decorating the Saturday cakes, I had the old Facebook open on the shop computer. I kept seeing pictures of friend after friend getting to Birmingham for the Alabama Phoenix Festival. I had no idea how many people I knew were going. I started to get jealous; I hate missing a good shenanigan. Naturally, I talked to Doss about it and we started to look into the logistics of making it to Phoenix Fest for the last day. The hotel wasn't terrible, the registration was pretty darn reasonable... it was just a matter of getting the dog boarded somewhere and then getting the family packed and loaded and driven to Birmingham on Saturday afternoon. Why not? If everything happened exactly right, we could almost just make it in time to check into the hotel and put the kids to bed. It was worth a shot.


5 o'clock in the morning, with the help of the Hello Kitty alarm clock, I dragged my slightly sleep-deprived self out of bed and went to wake up mini-me. We put on our dresses, curled her hair, looked for our shoes in the dark, and hopped in the car. A quick stop at the bakery to grab a little cake and we hit the open road. We stopped in Newnan for coffee, croissants, and a cake pick up (car time: 1 hour).

It was just a little shark cake for Icing Smiles, for the brother of a kid with brain cancer, but it turned out to be one of the toughest parts of my weekend. We didn't know the brother was going to pass away that night. But I really hope the birthday boy was able to enjoy his shark pool party on Saturday.

From Newnan, we went back on the road up to a little church in a little town where an old friend was getting married (car time: 2 hours).
Yes, we stopped at a gas station to change her clothes on the way to the church. 
Then it was back in the car to head to the reception (car time: 30 min). There are not many people for whom I would willingly enter this building.
Just... no.
Since the bride and groom both have library science degrees, books figured heavily into the decor. My mom actually chose this table... I didn't tell her about the Star Wars.

From the reception, we hit the road again, the girl full of M&Ms, and drove back home (car time: 3 hours). We almost made it... see, mini-me has a history of car sickness. She slept most of the way home, but once we got on the exit for home... KABLAM! It was one of her best performances. I'm never eating M&Ms again. A quick scrubbing of the car and child, some packing, and BOOM! We were on our way to Birmingham for Phoenix Fest! (car time: 3 hours) Well, after a quick stop at CVS for baby Dramamine.

We stopped for dinner at a diner that had this on the wall. Love.
Now, here's my favorite part of this shenanigan: I had been whining and complaining to my friends who were at Phoenix Fest that they were there and I wasn't. I asked them for pictures and stories and souvenirs... but I didn't tell them that we'd decided to come out there for the last day of the convention. In the car on the way there, I kept up the pretext of sad, sad jealousy and requests for pictures and whatnot. I was actually talking with three different friends at APF and the plan was to sneak up and surprise them by actually showing up. But... that's a weird and awkward risk. I had visions of tracking down friends and saying, "Hey!" and them being super stoked to see us. But... what if they weren't? What if we were like, "Hey!" and they were all, "What are you doing here?"? I worried about that a bit on the three hour car ride.

Happily, nobody seemed disappointed to see our motley crew roll up into the Birmingham Sheraton. At least to our faces. And I enjoyed announcing our arrival so much, I want to remember them. These three stories were happening simultaneously:

Friend 1: I'd been messaging this buddy and lamenting the fact that I couldn't be at APF because of all those darn wedding shenanigans. So, when we got to the hotel, I sent him this pic and asked, "Do you like my glasses?"
Oh, hotel lighting.
Weird and random, right? But ever the nice guy, he responded with a yes. Then I got to say, "How about now? Do you like this shot better?"
This bed was comfy, too
It's the hotel bed! He understood, was happy to hear we were there, and invited us to join them for dinner. Yay!

Friend 2:
This friend I had also been checking in on, asking for updates all weekend. After check-in, while we were exploring the hotel a little, I was texting this buddy to try and find out where he was. With absolutely no stealth, I straight up asked him where he was. A nearby restaurant. Alright. So I said, "How come you don't ask where I am right now?"
And do you know? That dorkface said, "Does it matter?"
So I replied, "I don't know. Does it?" and attached this picture:
The hotel logo in this pic shows up better on a phone.
Then my phone rang and he tracked us down.

Friend 3: This one might be my favorite because I have no idea how it happened. This buddy I'd been bugging, asking him to get me stuff at APF. One of the things on my list? A hug. Get me a hug at Phoenix Fest. That makes no sense, right, because how is he gonna hug me from three hours away? Reasonably, he said no. So, like a good friend, I called him a jerk. Then, I swear this happened, he sent a response pointing out that I was in Auburn and unhuggable and then entered a hotel lobby at the exact same moment we were entering that lobby from another entrance. Magic. Also? I got my hug.

Enough with the words. These are the rest of the pics from this weekend off my phone. Let's see if I can remember why I took them. And they're even in the right order of events. Kind of.

Oh! One of my projects for APF was to make a video postcard for Shanna. Here's Matt in our room after we recorded his part. I love this picture because mini-me is snugging her stuffed Vader. Next to Vader. How precious is that?

We told them they could pack and wear whatever they wanted for Sunday. This is what she chose:

Ah, this friend. This little guy was in the club lounge. I spent a lot of time with him even though he was a little temperamental.

I'm sure the 6- and 7- year olds were the target demographic Game Stop had in mind when they set this thing up.

This. This is precious. ALL the kids wanted to see was the Tardis. They're geeky little things, and coming along quite well. So they just plain old wanted to see the Tardis. They didn't know they'd be able to touch it and go inside it- they just wanted to see it. So here we are, at the Tardis, when the girl spots the eleventh Doctor across the room:
 And they were a little stunned:
 And excited:

 And then Dr. Boo got a picture with him and they decided Phoenix Fest was the best thing ever:

Now see... what are the odds of four of us wearing the same shirt at the same time? That's straight up whimsy right there:

 Also, there were a lot of Legos. So many. It was awesome, look at his face:

OH! Even though most of the costumes were on Saturday (while we were in the car), I managed to find a Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer! And I may have frightened them with my joy at seeing them. But they were nice enough to give me a picture anyway:

I know I'm already forgetting things. Bits of wonder and whimsy started slipping away during the ride home (car time: 3 hours).  But the cakes got done, I got to go to a pretty wedding, we made it to Phoenix Fest, and I got a t shirt. What more could you want?