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For some reason I had chosen to bring 5 cosplays along, including one huge one, so my adventure started when I left my house and tried to carry my bags to the train station in Den Bosch. I succeeded, but by the time I arrived my arms were hurting and I was already pretty sweaty from holding one bag high up so it wouldn't drag on the ground. Luckily, I only had a short train- and bus ride ahead of me.
In Eindhoven, I met up with 2 cosplayers I knew and after a short waiting period, the bus showed up. There were probably about 4 or 5 people in the bus who weren't going to Abunai, and all other space was occupied by congoers, bags and props. Once again, my huge bags proved to be problematic, but some very friendly people offered to hold on to stuff and eventually, we all made it safely to the convention, even though some turns were pretty exciting.

I arrived about 20 minutes early, and check-in for both the convention and the hotel went very smoothly. After finding my hotel room, dropping off all my stuff and checking my 3DS for streetpasses (nice!), I changed into my Painty the Pirate (Spongebob) cosplay and went looking for the Spongebob cosplayer I was going to hang out with.
I walked around a bit first, re-familiarizing myself with the hotel layout, and it was fun getting recognized and seeing smiles and laughs when people saw me. I met up with Spongebob fairly quickly, and also met some other friends and acquaintances along the way.
We didn't do much except walking around, goofing off, posing for pictures and singing some Spongebob songs. At around 7ish, our Patrick arrived and our tiny group was finally complete.

Dinner was had in the food court (small noodles for the ladies, large noodles and soup for me) and afterwards we did plenty more of nothingness. Listened to some karaoke, did some ballfishing (we weren't allowed to use Spongebob's net, so we cheated in different ways) and did a round of the dealerroom.
We also met plenty of other friends and familiar faces along the way, so there was a good amount of hugging all around. I also carried my 3DS with me the whole time, so I processed some streetpasses every now and then (so many streetpasses! <3 )
Spongebob and Patrick had to leave in the evening, and I changed into my casual Luigi for some anime disco dancing. On my way there, I met up with 2 friends, and we had a great time even though the music wasn't incredible. We left together at around 1am, had some tea in their hotel room, and then went back to my room to get some sleep.


The big day! First, a nice shower, then I took a little walk around the hotel, but it was eerily quiet in the early morning. Met up with a friend at breakfast and we talked while we ate. The food was plentiful and varied, just what I wanted :)
Now it was time to put on my dragon cosplay, so I texted a friend at around 10:15, and he showed up even faster than I expected. He helped me get into my costume (mostly putting on my wings) and everything went smoothly. He went back to his room to change as well, and I started my slow lumbering walk to the main convention hallway.

I was supposed to meet up with some other Fire Emblem cosplayers that day and maybe do a photo shoot, but I also wanted to see a good friend who would only be there on Saturday. However, I wasn't allowed to wait by the entrance because it was too busy and I'd take up too much space with my big cosplay. The Soren cosplayer found me very quickly, with Ranulf not far behind, and that turned out to be our entire group. We spent the next couple of hours slowly walking around because I couldn't really do much else. We visited the Nozlan photo stand for some nice shots and took a few breaks outside to cool down.

I was sweating like crazy in my dragon suit; little streams of moisture just dripping down all over my body and collecting in my dragon claws and underwear, or dripping out of seams. Once I took off my claws, I noticed that my fingers were actually wrinkly, as if I'd taken a bath for too long. There was no way I could wear it all day.
The weather had gotten worse and it had been raining a bit, but a momentary dry spell to go into the woods for a little photo shoot. It was good fun, and we got some nice pictures out of it.
After that, I just had to get out of my costume, so I waved goodbye to my buddies and went back to my room. Going up the stairs wasn't easy, and it took some time to open my door because the keycard that I'd kept in my dragonfoot (nowhere else to put it) had gotten all dirty with sweat and flaked off paint/latex. I think I drank about 5 glasses of water and then took a well earned shower before I went back out.

Next up was my Facebook cosplay, a last minute decision because 2 friends (Spongebob and Patrick from friday) were doing Twitter and Tumblr) I must be good at finding people because we were together quite quickly again. I also went in search of my other friend and found her in the gaming room. The rest of the day consisted mostly of losing people and finding others again. We did a social networking shoot at the photo stand and those pictures turned out really great.
I ended up having dinner with 4 friends at the buffet restaurant. Not too special, but some good healthy food is always welcome. We had to say goodbye to the one friend who was only there on saturday, and I decided to change back into my spongebob painting cosplay for a bit again. Saturday is a much busier day than friday, so I figured there would be a lot of people there who hadn't seen it yet.

I had a blast singing the Spongebob theme song to large groups of super enthusiastic people who'd yell 'SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS' at the right times. Lovely. Later in the evening I also ended up following a friend who I'd only met recently to her hotelroom where we just talked in peace and quiet for almost an hour I believe. Somehow, it felt like that was just what I needed at that time.
She wanted to check out the Liar game, but when we got there, there was a huge line and a few minutes later, some paramedics had to get through so people were being pushed out of the way and I completely lost her again.
I think I walked around aimlessly some more, and went back to my own room after a while to change for the 4th time that day. Back to my casual Luigi for some Deshima Sounds dancing. The music was better than on Friday, and the place was quite packed at first, though it had gotten a lot emptier by the time I left again (around 2am)


I actually slept fairly well and wasn't a total wreck like at some other convention. Another shower and another nice breakfast to start the day. Then I got into my Toad cosplay, which is actually pretty comfortable to wear and one of the few cosplays that doesn't reduce my vision.
Another day of doing very little besides posing for pictures and hanging out with friends. I also constantly ran into this girl who would poke my Toad hat every time, which was fun.
I don't think I did anything else that was noteworthy, except maybe watching a bit of the cosplay dating show and the exciting finals of the ballscooping game. Had an early pizza at the food court and decided to leave during the ending ceremony in an attempt to beat the crowds. Just before I got to the bus stop with my massive bags, it started pouring rain, and on top of that, the first bus was completely packed and a lot of us had to wait for the next one. Luckily, the next one arrived some 5 minutes later, and it turned into an awesome bus ride with everyone singing silly songs together, and even though the busdriver was taken aback a bit, he didn't seem to mind too much.
I'm not sure how, but the walk back home was much easier than the same walk the other way around on friday. Maybe I was just too tired to notice sore muscles, but it was good to finally be home again knowing I had a great weekend to look back at.
Last Saturday, I went to the Summer Efteling Cosplay Meeting. I was dressed up as Luigi, because that's pretty much my only easy to wear, non-facecovering cosplay. And my large Luigi pluche went along for the ride.
The meeting started early, so early that there weren't any direct buses from Den Bosch to the Efteling yet, so instead of taking a really slow bus, I decided to take the train to Tilburg and catch a bus there. Luckily, this turned out to be a great idea, because Tilburg central station was already filled with cosplayers when I arrived. After a quick busride, we arrived at the Efteling and the long waiting began while smaller and larger groups of cosplayers joined us.
At about 10:30, we finally went inside, took some massive group pictures, and then I immediately lost most of the group because a few friends were going to wait for someone who was late.

I think the Piranha was the first actual attraction we went in, with enough cosplayers for 3 boats, and afterwards I was sternly reprimanded by an Efteling worker for hopping from one boat to another at the end of the ride. (Weegee's gotta jump, but I won't be doing that again)
At Joris and the Dragon, we met up with another split-off group of cosplayers, and I somehow lost most of my original group and never saw them again :( But this second group was also fun, and we went all over the park and lost and gained cosplayers here and there.

After a while, Luigi's popularity started to become very apparent: especially little kids were saying 'Hey Luigi' and 'Where's Mario?' a lot, but many adults would comment positively as well. My replies were mostly the same: Mario was busy saving the princess, or somewhere in another castle. And yes, I'll pose with your little kid :) Some cute girls also wanted their picture taken with me while we were waiting in line for Vogelrok, and soon my groupmates were commenting on how much 'swag' I had. So I kicked it up a notch when I noticed a girl in a princess like dress, who didn't seem to be one of the cosplayers. I asked her if she was a princess and if I could 'rescue' her, and she said yes, so I gently picked her up and walked around with her in my arms a bit while her girlfriends took pictures. It turned out that she was having her bachelorette party there, and she needed a man to remove her garter and asked me to do it. I obviously said yes, and after that we parted ways and luckily my group had waited for me. I'm a shy person around strangers, so I felt pretty good about that little moment.
Another cute moment happend while we had just finished eating in the restaurant and a man came up to me asking for a picture. He explained that his son was a huge Luigi fan and actually showed a picture of the kid wearing a Luigi hat. So cute :)

Dinner was yummy, especially the salad bar, which I'm always a fan of, and pile up as high as I can. After dinner, we went to Vogelrok again, but I waited outside because I wanted to let my stomach rest for a bit. I did go for another ride in Joris and the Dragon after that, where we met up with some more people. By that time, it was getting kinda late (nearly 10 in the evening), so we said goodbye to some people and I tagged along with another group which quickly got lost in the fairytale forest while it was getting rather dark. After much confusion, we ended up back at the exit where we met a bunch of other cosplayers again and partied with some crazy mustached musicians. It was about 12 at night, and closing time, so hugs and goodbyes while the music was still going on made for a perfect end of the day.

Except that it wasn't really the end for me. I still had to catch a bus to Den Bosch, and unfortunately I was the only cosplayer left who was traveling in that direction. Even more unfortunately, there was also a completely drunk musclehead there who threw some beercans around. He quickly took an interest in me and swung at me a few times, trying to remove my mustache from my face. Luckily, he was slow and unsteady, so I could easily avoid him, but he wasn't exactly nice company. My bus arrived 15 minutes later, and the ride and walk home were blissfully uneventful.

I'm sure I've messed up the order of some things, and forgotten about others, but I had a great time, met a bunch of nice new people and I'm looking forward to CastleFest and Abunai :)
AnimeCon 2012 was pretty amazing. I'm so glad I had a last minute change of mind and decided to go the whole weekend instead of just one day.


Everything went better than expected! I woke up way too early, so I also decided to take an earlier train than I had planned. When I arrived at the hotel, I was pleasantly surprised that there was no line and I was able to get my badge and check in to my hotel room right away.
I quickly changed into my Perry the Platypus cosplay (after admiring the luxury room which I obtained only a few days before the convention) and went back down again. There wasn't much going on yet, with both the dealer room and gameroom still closed, but I walked around a bit, posed for some pictures and hugged some people. After a while, I ran into a friend and let him use my hotel room to change into his cosplay and walked around in the gameroom a bit after that.

At around 6, I changed into my casual Luigi cosplay, so I could enjoy the buffet (which was pretty good, except for the lack of desserts) Then back to Perry again for some more walking around. Had a look in the dealer room, which was super crowded, and spent a lot of time just hanging out in the gameroom with old and new friends.
At about 9 or 10, I had about enough of wearing my Perry cosplay so I switched back to casual Luigi again, and it was time to party!
Deshima Sounds was very enjoyable this time. I didn't really like them at Abunai last year, but at AnimeCon, I had a blast! My legs were sore 2 days later from all the heavy dancing.
Went to bed around 2 at night...


...and woke up around 5:30 in the morning again. Why can't I just sleep anymore? :( After a nice refreshing shower, I actually didn't feel bad at all. Luckily, the gameroom was open all night and day, so I went there early in the morning and enjoyed some peaceful gaming time. Breakfast buffet was delicious, but I tried to restrain myself from eating too much. Because Saturday was Toad-day, and I didn't want to have a visibly huge belly ;)

This was the first time I wore my new Toad cosplay, and it was really nice. Got some great reactions from people and a lot of people were curious about how I made the hat (foam, duct tape, latex and paint) I didn't really do anything that day, but the weather was fantastic and so were the people I hung out with. I completely missed the cosplay competition, the voice actress lecture and the M.O.V.E. concert, but still had a good time. The outdoor Insert Coin concert was a bit of a mixed bag, but enjoyable. And it was nice that one of the band members wanted to get his picture taken with me :)

The buffet was even better on Saturday, but I felt a bit bad that none of my friends stayed at the hotel, so they were all eating somewhere else. In the evening, I felt like mixing it up a bit, so I switched to my Facebook-man cosplay and got a lot of people to write all kinds of nonsense on me. The night ended back in the gameroom again, and this time I actually went to bed fairly early...


...and had a hard time getting to sleep and woke up several times during the night because some people were being really loud outside. Finally woke up around 6 and crawled out of bed around 7, feeling pretty crappy. Once again, the shower was a life-saver and casual Luigi went down to have some more breakfast.

That's where I ran into my brother (who's always a gopher at AnimeCon), so we had a really nice breakfast together) I decided to check out early to avoid any lines, so I quickly packed up a few last things, brought all my bags to the bagroom and checked out. The last day was going to be another Facebook-man day, which is fairly comfortable to wear and easy to travel back home in. Had a lot of stuff scribbled on me again, and spent most of the day outside, because the weather was still amazing. Did some origami with friends and taught some random people how to fold a jumping frog. I also sort of entered a drawing competition, because we heard they only had one submission so far and in the end I actually won a cute stuffed tiger.

It was still really hot, so me and 2 friends went on a quest for ice cream. I don't think the lady helping us at the ice cream stand liked us much, but we ended up ordering 15 large scoops in 14 different flavors and eating it all together. Nom!

Then it was time to go home, but luckily I had great travel buddies and we used some special tickets to switch to first class.
All in all, good times were had, and I can't wait till the next convention/meeting.

I'll upload a Toad cosplay picture in a couple days, and maybe a new Perry one as well.
Let's just write a journal piece here because it's so empty. Animecon 2011 was fun, even though double-sided tape proved to be stronger than my cheap 'good' shoes. (when I pulled off the tape that held my flippers in place, part of my shoes came off as well)
Best part was all the little kids in the shopping center looking at Perry and wanting to take a picture with me. The food was great too, especially the Chinese restaurant in Hengelo :)

And I should really upload some of my cosplays to deviantART as well...