Ryan and I drove out to Phoenix, where we were staying with Erin which is a delight in and of itself! The drive was really smooth and we went straight to the convention center to set up. Ryan dropped me off at the curb with all of the stuff while he went to park the car. While I was sitting on the bench waiting for him to come back, a guy stopped by to chat with me. He recognized my peg people (in a clear box, sitting on the ground) and said he was excited to see me because he bought some last year and wanted to see what was new. So that was a great ego boost! There was a really good turn-out for the preview night, which is always fun (most shows have a mild turn-out for preview night but Phoenix is always really strong). The time went by pretty fast and I actually did a decent amount of business for preview night. Exciting!
Kate flew in that night and came to meet us at the convention center. We actually found her on the street, dragging her GIGANTIC SUITCASE. No shit, she could have brought 3 other people in that bag. Did she? No! You can go be mad at her for not bringing you. She was on the opposite corner, waiting for the signal to change and we were all antsy and wanting to run in front of cars to go hug her around the neck. We finally all connected and hauled all of our gear a million miles away to where Ryan parked the car. The drive home to Erin's house was all giggles and ridiculousness (Ryan was driving, not knowing where the heck he was going and we got mixed up downtown, where there is First Street and First Avenue, only blocks away from one another!). Back at Erin's house was no different. We settled into the guest house and then dragged Randy with us out for dinner.
There is a great Italian place, Riga Tony's, near Erin and Randy's house where last year we had this gigantic buffet of... um... well, we couldn't remember exactly. It was cheese? And delicious? And maybe it was melty? Was it alfredo? possibly... so we told the waiter BRING US ONE OF EVERYTHING IN THE KITCHEN. And he did. With extra bread, with a side of bread. We literally ate 400 servings of bread. It was AWESOME.
The rest of the convention weekend was kind of a blur... it was all just fun all the time! Well, except for Ryan. He was working on an extremely high priority project, which meant that he had to work at the kitchen table every night, all night, so he was in a grumpy mood. But... we didn't let HIM ruin our weekend!
Highlights of the convention:
- Kate was a superstar! There were people coming to look for her, to buy her book - even returns the next day to buy other copies for friends. It was awesome.
- Seeing people from last year. Several people came by again, which was super sweet. It's always nice to have people who appreciate your work.
- Erin's success! Her whole booth, that she shared with Stacey and Brianna was crazy busy all the time. Brianna even had a special celebrity guest who is determined to popularize spats again! Sock Zombies sold like hotcakes! It was amazing.
- Ryan's success! He had people looking for him and during the show it was announced that he's the inker for the reboot of Detective Comics with Tony Daniel. So his stock was climbing! (Ryan's recap)
- QuikTrip! We don't have these near us so it was a special treat. It's basically a giant convenience store and gas station, except it's GIANT and they have tons of awesome stuff and the people are soooo nice. It's completely odd. Have you ever been genuinely greeted by someone at a gas station? NO YOU HAVE NOT! The guy there? He even went into the back and made breakfast sandwiches for us. Service! With a smile! Randy swears by QT and he's been known to give gift cards for Christmas. I have to agree. You know what they have there? A MILKSHAKE MACHINE! Kate bought one. There's a video of it somewhere... I have to find it!
It was so much fun! My favorite parts were hanging out with everyone back at Erin's house. She has a fantastic patio that is like an outdoor living room, that just makes you want to settle in and never leave! And we hardly did. It was great just to chit chat with everyone and hear all the stories and catch up face-to-face. Plus, we got to talk about the scariest movie in the world: Event Horizon! Yeesh! Why is it so scary? I dunno, but man we were all on the same page about never seeing that freaky ass movie again!!
The whole weekend was amazing. Kate flew home on Sunday night, but Ryan and I stuck around for another day. We spent some time with our friends Mark and Deborah and their new baby - Max Danger. I just wanted to squeeze him so much! But since we were coming off a convention weekend and were probably crawling with cooties (and the usual desert laryngitis) I didn't want to freak out the new parents too much. Next time, though, I am going TO EAT THAT BABY. You've been warned!!
Before we left on Tuesday, Ryan and I went to lunch with Erin to another Italian place... sooooo good. We decided that the best thing to nosh on before driving across the desert for five hours would be gnocchi with alfredo and pesto. No regrets!