March 2020
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Social “Distancing”

I have no clue where that phrase was coined, but I suppose it’s apt. Quarantine, at least if you are not sick, is too strong a word. Yes, you can go out- if you are smart. My husband and I plan to go out in the late evening- less people- should we need anything, though honestly, we stocked up as best we could for 2-3 weeks (Though we didn’t hoard, and I let friends know if they needed anything like toilet paper, to send me a message!) worth of meals, snacks, wine, and supplies. So hopefully, we can just let this all pass while we stay in our little spot in the world.

But with 3 kids, even our moderate-sized home feels tight. We’re not in a warm spot in the world right now- temps are having a spring hissy fit ranging in the low 20’s and going up to the 60’s on occasion. So if we can get outside is hit or miss.

So today’s post is all about things to keep everyone occupied!

First, I’m 100% okay with my kids playing on the computer, video game consoles, phones, kindles, and other devices. Just not the entire month. (Did I mention our school district is closed until the 14th?)

My first priority was getting the kids settled with some sort of learning. Thanks to some wonderful homeschool friends, I tackled the task- I’ve got online references, apps, and some confidence to go with my gut. I’ll definitely be taking more of a relaxed approach- letting my kids work with their strengths and interests. Sure, there are a few things I’ll have them do that they aren’t great at, but that’s also good too.

Of course, my first grader is super enthusiastic about all of this!

Some places to look are:

  • Scholastic
  • Khan Academy
  • Adventure Acadamy
  • Sumdog
  • Zearn
  • Prodigy
  • Xtra Math

A few of these might already be provided by your school- check with your kids if they have accounts.

On top of these programs, I’m asking my kids to read 20-30 minutes a day, keep a journal, and being married to a history professor is nice because I asked him to prepare some special fun lectures for them. I’m searching Pinterest for science experiments- this week we will do some firework jars, and I’m asking my oldest to use Duolingo for Spanish lessons. We’ve also got documentaries to watch, cooking lessons and lots of arts and crafts.

We will get through this without going insane!

So what about us adults? These are things I’ve explored, looked at, thought about trying. No one is paying me for this, it’s just the stuff I’ve come across. Here are some things to explore:

  • My journaling project starts on the 25th. I was tempted to start it early…
  • Speaking of journaling- these look like some fun accessories to enhance journaling and papercraft! I bought the last one and plan on trying my hand at papermaking over the course of the next month.
  • Skillshare has great courses. It costs money- I was lucky enough to be gifted with 3 months. It might be worth it though to get a month if you want something to do!
  • Start planning a garden! If you have room to start seedlings, do it! I found these on some weird Buzzfeed article and I have to admit, I’m a little tempted.
  • Now seems like a good time to try your hand at making kombucha, mead, wine, beer, gin or even fermenting veggies and the like.
  • Candle making, soap making…Brambleberry is a bit pricey but you can find everything you need in one place.
  • Hey, we’re stocked up, and to get fresh fruits and veggies, I joined Misfits Market. (Use the code COOKWME-AD4GQK to get 50% off your first box, and I get a little bonus too.) And why not add a dehydrator to the list of things to learn to do so nothing goes bad!

And remember- this is social distancing- unless you are sick, it’s not a quarantine to your bed. You can go for walks, you can hike (just try to keep away from people.) Garden, clean the yard, wash the car, play in the backyard with your kids- please make sure to get outside for some fresh air and vitamin D.

And if you are a gym-goer who is missing your workouts, hit online workout videos. Youtube is invaluable for anyone not wanting to pay, but there’s a few services to use- I’ve used Daily Burn in the past, but currently, I’m with Beachbody on demand. Yeah, it can be pricey, but fitness is worth it. I can promise you, the videos can kick your ass. It has mine…

So there you go, a few thoughts on how to survive if you are like me. I think it all comes down to a balance of keeping busy and relaxing. It’s like…yeah, this sucks, but what’s the point of complaining? It doesn’t do anything. Keeping a level head, and looking at everything from the point of view that this is a good time to reconnect with family and explore doing things in a new way is more productive.

Journaling

So, while I was a regular journaler, in 2019, I began to journal daily. It was honestly great, a form of therapy. I’m still doing it. I’ve gone through 4 journals since I started- and that’s only a year and a couple of months. I include daily something I’m grateful for, as well as a tarot spread.

I include a lot in my journals, but as a stay at home mom, you can only write your day of cleaning and being a stay at home mom so many times before you grow bored of writing the same thing.

Got up. Drank coffee. Wrote. Cleaned something. Showered. Cooked dinner. Winter sucks. Can’t wait to garden. Went shopping today. Felt depressed. Played FFXIV. It rained. It snowed.

Ok, so it wasn’t that bad, or boring, though there’s definite repetition in my journal. Which is why I decided to dig deeper into journaling. If you go to Instagram, you can go to #journaling and find so much inspiration- people do such creative things! While I can’t call myself an artist, I do like creative endeavors and I like arty things.

The combination of word and art is magic to me, maybe because I am exploring my own paint and sketch side. That’s why my 100-day project is 100 days of 100 journal prompts with the intention that each prompt can be explored with both writing and drawing. My hope is to explore each daily prompt and explore myself. And I hope that it can inspire others to do the same.

The thing with journaling is that it can be anything you want. There are no rules, there’s no format. I’ve gone through my phase of daily work, and now I want to add on to that- create a journal that reflects me, that is an exploration of myself. There are no limitations, except your own- and even then- it’s a great practice of your skills and a way to help yourself improve artistically.

I’ve been watching a bunch of skillshare videos thanks to Polycraftual, who gifted me a 3-month subscription. There are tons of art classes and workshops, and journaling ones- and it’s all really inspiring. Everything from backgrounds to techniques, to themes and prompts. #journalmagic

And as I said, journaling itself is a form of therapy. You can write your hopes, dreams, frustrations, anger, disappointments, stresss and you can work through them with words. I cannot count the number of times I’ve written a problem down, only to continue to break down that problem and find either a solution or a reason for that problem that maybe I can tackle. Letting it all out, rather than keeping it bottled up feels so much healthier.

I’m honestly stupidly excited about this project, even though I know I’m terrible at the art part. I plan on using watercolors, markers (alcohol-based), colored pencils, sharpies, gouache maybe…whatever I feel like it. I’m going to aim to not feel bad if I can’t draw as well as I want, and instead focus on the prompt and conveying whatever that prompts leads me to write and draw.

And I’m really hoping it inspires others to do the same!

Oops!

Ah! It’s been more than a year since I last posted. My bad!

Actually, let’s be honest, blogging can be time-consuming. I was super focused on a number of things last year- my patreon, my spirituality and trying to be a more authentic and creative person. And for some reason, that didn’t translate into me writing blog posts about the process.

My Boar Prince

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to blog, but never had enough words and time (in one breath) to do it all. I still like blogging, and I game constantly still. Don’t ask I got over 230+ hours of Fire Emblem: Three Houses because the game is addicting and awesome. I played a lot of Stardew Valley over the winter break. I’m still playing FFXIV-Shadowbringers was AMAZING. I am looking forward to Animal Crossing: New Horizons and of course, Final Fantasy 7: Remake. The demo was so pretty!

I’m going to aim to blog again- it’s funny, I go from having very little to do to having a million things to do at once. Writing, journaling, working out, gaming, gardening, meditating, cleaning…you’d think I’d have this whole life thing down. That’s a big fat nope. Just like I still don’t quite have that parenting thing down…have I mentioned I have a 13-year-old now? -MIND BLOWN-

I’ve also recently dedicated myself to getting healthier and in shape. 2020 started off with 8 weeks of Barre Blend fitness, and now I’m about finishing the first 7 days of 21 day Fix. I’ve also developed a deep love of indoor plants, thanks to the discovery of how great grow lights are (Take that, dark winter!) And as I said, I’ve been doing a lot of spiritual work, so I’ve been *trying* to focus more of my time on various forms of meditation.

I’ve also been doing a lot of art- acrylic paints, watercolor, sketching, mixed media. That’s been super fun to learn. I’m actually going to be running a 100 days project: 100 days of journaling which I am super excited for! 100 days of prompts for a mixed word and art journal dedicated to discovering the self. I’ve got all the prompts ready and am just doing some prep work- but I gotta tell you, it’s super hard not to just jump in head first!!

So there we have it. I’m hopefully back!

Renewed

I forgot my domain and hosting was up for renewal and had to debate on whether or not I’d continue to pay. In the end, I paid it because while I may not post often, I do like my little corner of the internet. And that’s what’s important.

So mostly I’ve been just surviving. Most of my attention has been on house projects and writing. I’m sure I put it somewhere that I have a patreon to help support myself while I write my first novel. A lot of my focus these days is getting chapters written, or working on the rewards I give my supporters. It’s exhausting, but fun.

Blue Mage Choco and Tomo

Game-wise, the raid group has been working towards beating Midgardsormr (we raid maybe 2 hours a week, so it’s going very very slowly right now, but we are close!) and I’ve been working on Blue Mage stuff. Getting level 50 was super easy, getting the last of the blue mage spells is more time-consuming. At this point, I have 41/49 spells. All the remains are the extreme primals and the last two tokens. Blue mage is actually sort of fun. I do wish they had made the job more game worthy, but perhaps it will be eventually.

I am excited, however, for Shadowbringers, and the news that the new gunbreaker job would be a tank job was met with screams of happiness. I’ve loved the concept of gunblades since Final Fantasy 8. You can bet I’ll be in-game cosplaying as Squall. It’s going to be fabulous.

Not so exciting are viera, and that’s only because at this point they haven’t released or said anything about male viera. I’m honestly a tad worried about them not including male viera, which makes the viera race nothing more than spank fodder for the fanboys. Which I’m tired of seeing. I’m already annoyed a lot when my new armor ends up being a short skirt because my character is female, while the male armor are pants. I’m not opposed to skirts and sexy outfits in general, but I am opposed to us not getting the choice.

And before anyone leaves a comment on how female viera is “lore”, mi’quotes were also female only in lore until they changed it, roegadyn’s were male in lore until they changed it and the lore found the latest Ivalice alliance raid indicates that male viera do exist. So eff that, and give me my damn bunny boy.

And with that, I’ll climb down my pedestal and go back to Blue Mage. Oh, and playing Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. I’ve never really been into the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Call it the wrong age bracket- I was an adult when the first was released, and wasn’t impressed. With all the KH3 hype, I decided to play the first ones. I finished Kingdom Hearts 1, and that was ok. Chain of Memories is also only okay so far. Honestly, not too keen on the card system, though it is a rather fast game so far. I’m heading towards Hollow Bastien after I finish up the 100 Acre Woods part. Perhaps the ending can change my mind on how “good” the game and franchise is…

More Blue Mage fun- Glower

Screencaps

Fenrir bike from FF7, got as a bonus for attending fanfest. It fits Choco.

We’ve spent a lot of time in Pagos, before and after fanfest. Tomo had a hard time convincing me to go in, but we decided to finish up so we could do Pyros. Grinding is not my style, although it sort of worked out. I could write in between NM pulls.

My axe…lacks glowy. Disappoint.

We did finally complete Pagos over the weekend. Who needs sleep, right? We were going to bed at like 2am every night over Thanksgiving vacation just to finish getting light for our kettles and be done with it all. Pagos is tedious. Ok, tedious, but I gotta admit, I sort of liked it because I was actually playing the game again, while doing other things.

 

Other than that, there’s nothing else going on in game. We resumed raid. 1 Shot Chaos, and are working on Midgardsomr. Learning that fight is annoying but sort of fun. I get to kill Skoje a lot if I don’t take aggro from him on time. Bwahahaha. It’s so easy to wipe the entire group too. Always fun times with our group. Be good if we beat it though.

 

Takato, Skoje and I on our motorcycles.

We also got our motorcycles from fanfest. I like it, mostly because I really like the music it plays- the crazy motorcycle chase music from Final Fantasy 7. I may or may not just be driving around pagos with no destination just to listen to the music.

 

Countdown to 4.5! I really should level my Paladin, Dragoon, and BLM to 70. I’ll end up doing War as usual in the expansion unless they make Drk better. Which I sort of hope. I liked Drk, but since you can’t really raid with Drk, I had to prioritize War. And don’t get me started on Gunblades. Because I want gunblade to be a tank SO bad, lol. And I still have hype for Blue Mage, even if it isn’t a raidable job. BECAUSE I DON’T NEED TO RAID ALL THE TIME. Blue mage just seems fun for killing time. I wish it were out not so I could say NO to pyros, and YES YES YES to Blue mage parties!

This. Is. PAGOS. Lots of death. Lots and lots of death because idiots pull and expect the tank to take it all and the healers don’t pay attention. Oh, we’re all dead??

Duel

I figured I’d include this little video. Taken by Takato, it’s me defeating Tomo at the duel pvp, using the handy little arcade stick keyboard. It was fun!

FFXIV Fanfest, aftermath

coasters and Namazu magnet

With fanfest over, there’s a bit of sadness, and relief. We were super busy the entire time, and expended a lot of energy, plus the time difference was taking its toll. I also missed my kids, but really, we still had an entire day to get through, plus an overnight flight and drive home. I was almost not looking forward to it, and dreaded the emotions of the group parting ways. That morning, we all slept in. Showered, packed, and then we met in Takato’s room since our Brazilian friend still had a few more days in Vegas without us. Once everyone else joined us, we walked over to the cheaper buffet, though because it was Sunday, it was pricier because they included all you can drink mimosas. It was a fun time, we talked a lot, and laughed and just enjoy the food. I think we all took as much time as we could, just because no one wanted to say goodbye.

Sadly we had to. Lael and Astraea had a long drive ahead of them. Apollo had a flight to catch. Tomo needed to walk around and find his missing license. Skoje and I escorted Apollo back to Takato’s room to get her stuff, while Takato made a run via uber to do some shopping. Once she got her stuff, we escorted Apollo back downstairs, and Skoje and I said goodbye to her. It was hard not to cry. It was hard not to cry when Astraea and Lael left. Our group clicked so damn well.

 

Choco and Takato enjoying some ramen!

Skoje and I hung out in Takato’s room, with Tomo who did find his license. At some point, I explored Masquerade Village and got Starbucks (without an hour line.) I opted to not get a tattoo- I sort of planned to get a moogle one. But I didn’t want to overpay just because it was from Vegas. My tattooist can do a better job, for less money.

 

At some point, Skoje also had his flight to get to, and then there was just three. We decided to get dinner and found a ramen place to hit. It was decent ramen, not the best, not the worse. It was warm, which was good- at some point during the day, my throat began to hurt, and I had a cough. Not sure if it was germs or the fact that our hotel lets people smoke on the floor. So gross.

RAMEN

Takato and I talked a whole bunch, while Tomo, who would need to drive home so needed more sleep, slept a bit. Finally, it was our turn and after some hugs, we left. The flight home was uneventful really. It was bumpy for sure, and the movie/screen system went down. They had Sirius XM but it sucked and I didn’t find a single music channel I liked. I finally put on Harry Potter, and that’s when the system went down. I didn’t get sick this time, though I still didn’t sleep well, and I really wasn’t comfortable until I shed my layers. I was so cold earlier in the day! I did discover sleeping with my head on the tray worked well. Tomo slept most of the way.

Good Bye Rio

My other complaint is that the dude who had our window wouldn’t fucking open it, so I missed the Vegas lights from the air AGAIN, and I didn’t get to see NYC as we landed. Jerk. Oh, and the flight attendant who skip my row for snacks. WTF!!

Once landed, we got food (thanks for being out of eggs, DD in JFK. I need protein!!), we got coffee (DD is so bad. I didn’t even drink half), we got our shuttle to our car. We drove home, and once we were past NYC, it was sleep time for me. I was so tired. Like omg seriously tired, I don’t sleep in cars, but once we were past the traffic, I put my seat down, told Tomo not to crash and slept. I felt bad, but Tomo did sleep on the plane so I think he was ok.

Backpack with pins

Being home was nice. My kids all gave me huge hugs, even my almost-a-teenager “I don’t hug” kid gave me a good hug. And we pawed through our loot.

And that was the end of our adventure. Will we do fanfest again? Yes. For sure. I mean, as long as we save up, right? But our whole group’s goal now is to be together for the next two years so we can visit each other again. I hope it happens!

 

FFXIV FanFest, Day 2

Saturday morning started off with our bodies reminding us once again that we are from the east coast and 8 am there is 11 am. Unable to go back to sleep, and hungry as heck, we ended up heading to breakfast. Tomo found a buffet across the street that was a lot cheaper, and though no one else was up, we headed over. It was only 10.99 and a fairly large buffet. We also ran back to the liquor store so that we could stock up on wine for Saturday evening’s get together.

Gaming room, standing in line for Eureka

After breakfast and the liquor store, we went to the convention center and decided to do the Eureka challenge. Takato joined us, as the only other person up at that point. It was a fairly large line but moved fast. Our team lost, though I was second and the only one of our group that didn’t die. Sort of bummed me out, I was excited to be doing well. Stealth lala ftw!! Then we were going to attempt the challenge roulette but that line was super long. So we did the dueling, though I left the line at one point hearing that Soken was going pictures. The line closed as I got there. T_T This was not my morning!!

We went back, and I was a little freaked out because the dueling was mouse and arcade stick, which I’ve only ever used a controller. However, it was pretty intuitive, or at the very least, easy to button mash. Tomo has never played melee dps where I have my dragoon at 63, so I crushed him three times for a flawless victory. We gave Takato our raffle ticket prizes and I honestly hope he wins! We did Fashion Report next which was really silly. The woman was just letting everyone win, which was nice since I was thinking we wouldn’t get a chance to do the challenge roulette or Kugane tower.

Shrine to Haucherfante

We had signed the wall yesterday, but between then and now, someone had started a shrine to Haucherfante. It was fabulous! We cried, we made offerings, we /pray[ed]. Too soon, my friends, my heart still weeps.

We started to grab seats for the Q&A, and Live Letter for all our group so we could sit together. Tomo and Skoje went to grab Starbucks and a snack which was a mistake- the line was so long that despite leaving at like 1:30ish, they missed the start of the Q&A, much to Tomo’s dismay. He had a question and considering that someone sat next to me quick so they could rush to the mic and got her dumb question asked, he probably would’ve made it too. I’m so sorry Tomo!!

Q&A needed to be better vetted. People ask such stupid questions, and then there was the angry white mage who needed to get over himself. At this point, I was struggling to stay awake, lol. But we made it, and as Live letter was ending, we booked over to Yojimbo once more. This time we had 8, including our friend Havi, and we one shot it. Sticker get (remember when the special battle gave t-shirts? DISAPPOINT.) We walked around some more, got a stamp for Kugane tower and got our prizes. I didn’t win the mini cactpot prizes, but Skoje did. We should’ve gotten food, but didn’t, which would later lead to some problems.

BroFist

The Primals concert was awesome, except the soundboard was off and it messed with Tomo’s ears. He had to stand in the back, while I stayed in front with Lael. I love the Primals and the music, and my only complaint is the concert was not long enough at all. Less than an hour I think. Yoshida singing the Byakko theme was awesome and I’d LOVE to get my hands on that kimono, lol. Omega music, and of course Brute Justice.

We tried to leave ASAP to get to the strip and eat. We wanted to get a table asap and not have to wait 30+ minutes which was what the restaurant said would be the wait for a party our size. There was lots of yelling at one point between Hangry Tomo and I, and then we had a miscommunication with another group we wanted to get together with (Hello Mercury in Retrograde.) so it actually was pretty miserable. Our uber took us to another location on the strip and we had to figure out how to get to the restaurant while the other half of our group got left off right in front of it. The strip was sort of amazing- super busy, lots of scantily clad people.

Nacho Daddy was decent, a bit overpriced but the nachos were good. Tomo was shivering at this point, being tired, hungry and cranky. I wanted a drink but holy crap, the price was ridiculous. Luckily the other group we had a miscommunication with showed up anyways (thank you Elliott!) and we smoothed stuff over. Walking back to the uber pickup was fun, I even got an offer for some “warm titties in my face.” It was hard to say no.

Back to Skoje and Apollo’s room (in comfy clothes) for another night of Avalon and laughs. It was a great choice of a game by Astraea and I really want to get my own copy now. Finally, it was bedtime, and with nothing scheduled in the morning, we made plans to sleep in, and we promised that we wouldn’t change plans this time.

FFXIV Fanfest, day 1

Continuing on!

Namazu adventurer!

So we had agreed we’d all meet for breakfast. Tomo and I ended up waking early, thank you body for reminding us that we were from the East Coast and 8 am was actually 11 am. It was probably a good thing because the lines for breakfast were incredibly long. We let everyone know the slight change of plan (And I hope they didn’t hate us for it.)

We ate at some place called Hash-a-go-go. It wasn’t that great a place. We got our first price tag shock- it was so overpriced that it was ridiculous. As someone who can’t eat more than a single cup of food at a time, paying 14 bux for a scramble was painful. But it was better than the 8.99 for oatmeal. The waiter hated us, that was apparent as well. He messed up one of my friends’ orders, and then actually tried to argue about it. In the end, he didn’t even right it, he shrugged it off completely. He didn’t even give her silverware.

I’ll try to be fair and note that we did keep adding people, but we told them we would be. *shrug*

Keynote fun times!

The good thing was watching cosplayers coming and going into the convention center. We had prime seating for that one, and I took quite a few pictures. When we were done, we headed into the convention ourselves, me dressed as a namazu. It was full but there was a lot of standing room. We got to watch the Keynote opening video. There were a lot of cheers. Shadowbringer looks fantastic, and I’m so hyped!

The reveal of Blue Mage was awesome as well. While we might’ve been disappointed that it’s a limited job that no one can raid with, I’m still super excited to play it. I want to learn all the abilities! And be fabulous because did you see blue mage? He was FABULOUS.

We decided to skip the welcome ceremony part, and rushed over to the gaming room to hit Yojimbo. We were literally first in line, and we were world’s first wipe. I kid you not! It sucked having only a 15 minute timer, and our random dps may or may not have had bad dps. Plus, my hot bar was messed up and I was so bad lol. I even missed deliverance on my hot bar the first attempt. I swear I put it on!!

Just hanging in Kugane- Me, Lael, Skoje and Takato!

After that, we hit the prepaid merch line. Tomo and a few others went to a panel, I stood in line with Skoje. Met a few other players, talked to them and took pictures of the many cosplayers. The merchandise was so cute. I got an otter <3

After that, we explored. I attuned to the aetheryte! The sitting area in Kugane was fabulous. We got to watch the rest of the panels from there and sat and talked. I found an old friend, Havi, who I met about 15 years ago on a whole other fandom. We checked out the art (omg, so much talent!!) and the games, and I got a picture with Yoshida-san!! I was super excited and got flustered as can be. I couldn’t even speak a damn word, but luckily Tomo was there to make Yoshida laugh. I believe Tomo kept saying “Ultima 4.5? Ultima 4.5?” Yoshida only laughed in that way that said NO WAY DUDE.

Yoshida-san, Mister Atma, Tomo and I!

After that, we decided to skip the costume contest because we were all super hungry, and food was expensive at the Rio. So we all walked down the street to a little pizza place that looked good. It was called Little Italy Pizzeria, and it was tasty. The owners were nice, didn’t mind our loud group, and honestly, it was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle and just enjoy each other’s company. We also hit a small little mart and the liquor store for some after concert gaming. After a small rest in our room, and a failed attempt to get starbucks (those poor starbucks employees, the convention goers kept them busy all day!) we went to the piano concert, featuring Keiko and Soken.

It was beautiful stuff. I love piano music and more when it’s Final Fantasy music. Soken was brilliant and so funny. I was laughing so hard at times with his silliness. It was a great concert, my only complaint being I wish it was longer.

The awesomest of raid groups and friend! Tomo, Astraea, Apollo, Takato, Lael, Me and Skoje!

After the concert, we all headed to a Korean BBQ place, and we apparently picked well because the place was super. The food was great, and because Lael spoke Korean (and is Korean, so she knew all the food), we knew what the food was and how to enjoy it all properly. Seriously, the place was FANTASTIC. I ate so much and was super sad to not be able to eat more! There was so much food, most of it meat (happy happy happy protein!)

When we were done stuffing ourselves to capacity, we headed back to the hotel, where we hung out in Skoje and Apollo’s room and played a game called Avalon. I honestly need this game and more people in my life to play it with. It was so much fun. I think we got to bed full of wine and laughter at about 2:30 am.

To be continued, again!

FFXIV FanFest 2018, day Zero (aka, getting there)

I can’t remember exactly what day it was, but sometime in early 2018, Tomo, the husband, decided to jokingly put a gofundme for Fanfest. You see that sort of thing, and I sort of always just laugh. Help me travel to ______, etc, and you sort of wonder if anyone ever gets all the money to do that. We showed it to a few friends, the plan being to haha, and then delete it.

We had the money in two hours.

Being silly as we rode our shuttle to the airport.

I mention we have made the greatest friends on FFXIV? Seriously, we had $1500 bux to pay for fanfest tickets, flight and hotel for the two of us within two hours of our gofundme. To each of those people, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Getting to go to fanfest was super awesome. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was amazing and I really have to save to be able to go again. If only to hopefully get together with my raid group members because they are awesome and were the best part of attending fanfest.

So we got tickets in July, for 7 of our members. We were lucky! Thursday, November 15 came. We left our kids with their grandfather, who kindly agreed to take care of them for the entire weekend, and in fact, took them on their own adventure to a hotel and hockey game. They had a lot of fun! We left around 9:30 am and headed to NYC for our flight. Sadly, driving 4 hours saved us about $200 per ticket. It was a mostly easy drive, except driving through NYC, which is always a bit slow. Tomo found a long-term parking option that was cheap, and we got there safely…just as the snow started.

Our flight still said on time. It said on time when we boarded at 4:35. We got on board, got as comfortable as we could get. I was unlucky and got a window seat without a window! They closed the cabin doors and…announced that loading luggage was behind. It would take 20-30 more minutes. Thaaaaat’s fine. 20-30 minutes pass, and the snow is still falling, and they announce that because of the delay, and the snow, we need more time, cause the luggage still isn’t on (the carts get stuck apparently in the snow) and we needed snow removal. But they let us watch movies, so we watch a movie (Ant-Man and the Wasp was our choice) and wait.

About an hour later, they are still waiting and now throw in the fact that we need to de-ice as well. Tomo and I are getting really worried now. What if they cancel the flight? Keynote is at 10:30 am!! Our friends are waiting for us!! Beginning to worry and feel from stress, we keep watching our movie. The flight had been scheduled for 5:15. We left around 9:15. But we left! And that’s what’s important.

We were a bit into movie 2 (Deadpool 2) when the flight took off, which by the way, was scary AF. We took off in a snowstorm, and the plane literally felt like a rollercoaster, only worse because it was a plane and visions of being a smoldering pile of ash in the middle of the snow came to mind. I’ve never been that frightened while flying before. Once we were above the clouds though, it was only a bit turbulent, and the rest of the flight was pretty smooth. It was hot though, and being too hot, I did nearly pass out. That was not pleasant either. I had to strip my layers off in the airplane bathroom while trying not to faint. Visions of being found half naked in the airplane bathroom came to mind, and I’m pretty sure that’s the only way I powered through without passing out. I asked the flight attendent for some ice, and that helped too.

We tried to sleep, but that didn’t happen, so I watched Avengers: Inifinity War and FINALLY, we got to Vegas. Uber to the Rio and all our friends were waiting up for us. Which was awesome!! As tired as we were, we stayed up longer, meeting, chatting and becoming fast friends with our raid group.

At that point, I was grateful that we arrived safely, and happy as could be that I was meeting my friends and attending fanfest. As it neared 2am, we all headed to bed, visions of Yoship dancing in our heads.

To be continued!!!