I'm going to attempt to write a "bird's eye view" of my trip. There's likely to be mistakes, so feel free to point them out.
Wed 21 Jan: Long Wednesday is loooong. 42 hours, in fact! Flew from Brisbane to Sydney, Sydney to L.A., then L.A. to San Jose. United is shithouse, the flight across the Pacific was barely tolerable. We were all dead when we got to the Doubletree.
Thu 22 Jan: Set my alarm. Idiot! Helped out Rose by sewing most of my gryphon costume and some other sewing Rose needed done. Took a nap because I was dead. I made my first tail! I ♥ it. Picked up my registration pack.
Fri 23 Jan: Picked up my first con badge! California Sour Dough! Fry's! Finished my gryphon costume! Avian panel! Finally realised that I'm a furry.
Sat 24 Jan: Anthrocon promo video! Fursuit badge! Emergency fursuit repairs! Fursuit parade! Art room. o_O Dinner with Warp and Kreg at Spencer's! Chilled with Lux and Kynekh in fursuit (me, not them). Bought Mineta, the burrowing owl plush!
Sun 25 Jan: Computer History Museum. Gryphon panel (in costume!).
Abducted by Gat
Mon 26 Jan: Checked out of the Doubletree and left my stuff in Warp and Kreg's room. Met Gatcat and Lex! Had lunch at California Sour Dough, nomnom. Tried "Charbucks" coffee, ew. Got whisked away to a secret location in a
Tue 27 Jan: Got a cell number! Now that I've memorised it, I'm unlikely to ever use it again. XD Stupid expiring prepaid numbers. Tasted and enjoyed Stepchild red ale. Had my first experience driving a left hand drive vehicle. This is not a sensible combination. Post-FC party at Silver's! Hooray!
Wed 28 Jan: Post-post-FC party (technically the first party I attended was their second, so this would have been post-post-post-FC party). Got some tips for removing marker pen from my paws. IHOP for lunch! :D I was so impressed by the Bay Area furs I met that I wished I lived there instead of here. ;_;
Thu 29 Jan: Picked up and helped install washer and dryer! Dinner and beer sampler at Russian River Brewing Co.
Fri 30 Jan: Ravenswood Winery! Art supply store and Emeryville. Successfully navigated Bay Area public transit to arrive in Santa Cruz!
Sat 31 Jan: Mildly freaked out by staying in a hostel room with three other guys. Explored Santa Cruz Beach and West Cliff. Dinner at a Chinese restaurant with a HUGE plate of food. Phone call with housemates.
Santa Cruz to Sarasota
Sun 1 Feb: Successfully navigated Bay Area transit again to get to San Jose airport! Bummed around on free wifi. Met up with Felix and Daniel. Flew to Atlanta. Nommed Quiznos and got exercise at Atlanta airport (that place is huge!). Flew to Sarasota. Met up with Rose and her mum, Linda. Put my tail on at Sarasota airport. XD Picked up rental car, crashed at Linda's place.
Sarasota to Disneyworld
Mon 2 Feb: Wore my tail out in Publix. XD Picked up tickets for Disney and Arabian Nights. Linda drove us to Disneyworld. Went to Arabian Nights.
Tue 3 Feb: Magic Kingdom! Space Mountain!
Wed 4 Feb: Epcot! Fireworks!
Thu 5 Feb: Downtown Disney. Lego store! Rainforest Cafe! Puffibou!
Fri 6 Feb: Disney's MGM Studios. Toy Story Mania!
Sat 7 Feb: Animal Kingdom! EVEREST RIDE! Back to Sarasota. =(
Sun 8 Feb: Visited the house where Rose grew up, Sarasota trophy shop. Rose's grandparents' house for lunch, Siesta Key beach for sunset photos, Denny's for dinner where I made a pig of myself. :P
Mon 9 Feb: Circuit City. Hardware store. Panera for free wifi. Pet store. Best Buy. Craft store.
Tue 10 Feb: Panera again. S'platters for custom mugs (and gecko in Daniel's case). Should have taken photos.
Wed 11 Feb: Mote Marine.
Thu 12 Feb: Kennedy Space Center! 7 hours of driving there and back but soooo worth it. Saturn V rocket porn!
Fri 13 Feb: Barnes & Noble. Fursuit webcam antics. Took Daniel and Felix to see Coraline while Rose buggered off and did her own thing. I think she was sick of us! Coraline was fantastic.
Sat 14 Feb: Met some more of Rose's family. Lunch at Tomato Brothers. Craft store silliness. Dinner at Longhorn steakhouse! Gigglefits of doom! XD
Sun 15 Feb: Packed up and left Sarasota (good riddance!). Flew to St Louis via Atlanta wearing my tail! :D Got picked up from St Louis airport by Wolfwings in his gryphonmobile. :D Big Bear Grill for dinner. Caught up on Battlestar Galactica by missing a few key episodes. ;_;
Mon 16 Feb: Panera for lunch, got lost in Wonderland no thanks to Alice, visited Breese Illinois to pick up a fursuit. Steak N Shake! Outback Steakhouse! Crikey!
Tue 17 Feb: World Bird Sanctuary! Papa John's for lunch and Fitz's for dinner.
Wed 18 Feb: Flew direct to Las Vegas wearing my tail. :D Took it off at the airport, caught a taxi, helped the driver navigate to Saoirse's workplace. Met Sao, dropped luggage off in her car, had brunch in Panera leeching off wifi for a couple of hours. Poked around REI. Got a lift to Sao and Tad's apartment. Walked to the shops, caught a bus to Fry's, bought a pair of SD cards because I lost one in St Louis, and bought some RAM for my laptop. Caught the bus back, had dinner with Sao at a diner. Got to chat with Sao. ♥ Didn't see Tad for two days because he was sick. >_<
Thu 19 Feb: Las Vegas Strip! MGM (lions, booked Cirque show), New York (lunch), booked the Grand Canyon heli tour, Miracle Mile Shops (eagle sculptures!), Paris, went up the Eiffel Tower, did remote tech support to help my housemate set up internet at home, had La Creperie for dinner, then watched Cirque du Soleil's Kà!
Fri 20 Feb: Helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon! Freaking awesome! Checked out Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. Wandered back up the strip. Had a strawberry daiquiri of doom. Ow, headache. Dinner at McMullan's pub with Tad and Sao. Magician guy was funny! Also, I ♥ Blackthorn's cider. Went to a liquor store when drunk, bought some booze and didn't drink any. XD
Sat 21 Feb: Hoover Dam! No Transformers there, though. Ripped off. XD Archi's Thai for linner. Watched Emperor's New Groove for the first time! Saw Over The Hedge again. Saw Zoolander for the first time and thought it was funny!
Sun 22 Feb: Bummed around on my laptop all day. Lazy Sunday FTW.
Mon 23 Feb: Walked 8 miles because I had nothing better to do, had seen enough of the Strip and didn't want to tackle Vegas buses again. Visited Ethel M's chocolate factory, which sucked, then decided to see a movie and walked to Sunset Casino, which also sucked and didn't have anything showing. Walked to Barnes and Noble and had a mocha frappucino, got photos of a swarm of bees, peeked inside Pet Smart, bought a toiletries bag from Walgreens and waited ten minutes while they checked my debit card. (Nice one, Whyrl - wait until the end of your trip to buy something useful.) Had dinner at Olive Garden because I had to do it at least once. Olive Garden = death by cheese and carbs, but a very tasty death. Picked up my rental car: a Pontiac Grand Prix.
Vegas to L.A.
Tue 24 Feb: I drove to L.A.! 320 miles, and most of it was scenic. I took a detour off the I-15 through Big Pines, as suggested by Wolfwings. Unfortunately from there the road to Glendale was closed, so I ended up in Littlerock. Whoops! The drive stopped being scenic past about San Fernando. The traffic got crazy at that point too. Dropped the rental car off, caught the shuttle bus to LAX, met up with Rose at 3pm, and braindeaded until our flight left just before midnight.
Wed 25 Feb/Thu 26 Feb: Flew from L.A. direct to Brisbane with Qantas. ♥ Qantas made United look shithouse. I actually managed to get five hours of sleep on the flight home and found the flight to be quite tolerable. The company certainly helped. ♥
The last five weeks have been incredibly awesome and it wouldn't have happened without the support, time and generosity of many people. Thank you to the organizers of FC09, it was a blast and I'll definitely be back! (Hopefully next year!) Thanks to Kreggan and Warp for hanging out, the meals and company (and Fry's!), the photos and the trip to the Computer History Museum, and checking up on me. Thank you again, Gatcat and Lex, for letting me hang out for the post-FC week, and thank you for organising my stay in Santa Cruz, that was a great idea! Thanks to Silver and Bob for the party and letting us crash there and tour your workshop! Thank you, Linda, for letting us invade your place, for driving us out to Disney and back, and for encouraging my silliness in spite of Rose's protests. XD Thanks to Daniel and Felix for the photos and the memories. Special thanks to Wolfwings for getting lost with me in St Louis, plus all the chat and trip advice! Thank you to Buran and Snowdog for letting Wolfwings and I crash at your place (I'm sorry I didn't stay longer!). Thanks Tad and Sao for letting me stay with you, for taking me out to some great places for dinner each night, for Hoover Dam, for the company, and for letting me unwind at the end of a long trip!
Finally, hugs and ♥ to Rose for convincing me to take this trip at all! A big thank you to everything you organised for us throughout the trip! Thanks for the company on the flights, for making me sew my suit (no, seriously!), for having my costume ready in time for FC, for hanging out in your room at FC, for being awesome at Disneyworld and not teasing me too much, for being keeping it together in Sarasota, for putting up with me the few times I was cranky and antisocial, and for just generally being awesome.