Here we are. My 3rd visit to MCFC, and it is all made possible thanks to Brian Burrito and friends. Many, many, MANY thanks go out to him. And now for the travel report!
This holiday is the aftermath of an extremely busy and hectic period in my life. Work was pressing, and work weeks of 70+ were more of a rule rather than the exception. But all in all I left with a good feeling and started to prepare for the big trip.
During the weeks prior I already ordered more than a few things for friends, but this day I spent packing up. I was pondering bringing some of the famous Dutch old cheese, but due to US customs and regulations I replaced it with stroopwafels and more Dutch candy. Stroopwafels are always a hit!
The big day! Taross was so kind to bring me to the airport. The roads around Amsterdam are currently under construction, and despite me being familiar with the area, I saw a few changes that caused me to have a detour (a major intersection was closed). But no harm was done. The flight itself was a bit bumpy, but it actually provided an extra dimension for the movies I was watching (Secret Life of Pets, Fear of the Walking Dead, Alice: Through the looking Glass), the timing sometimes was impeccable. After 8 hours of bumpy the bump I landed in Detroit.
Brian was quite pleased with the traditionally made pink wooden shoes I got him. It is a fun thought to know someone in the Netherlands was making those, including ‘Burrito’ and ‘ass’ on them in glorious comic sans.
04-04 2017: Monday
Monday was mostly getting acclimatized to Michigan. I spent most of the time hanging out with Brian, and drawing. Brian is an amazing host, and his kittykat is amazingly derp. In the evening I went to visit Noodles & Stuff. Which was quite nice.
Tuesday I slowly got adjusted to the new timezones. This was the day we got our rental car, a Jeep with a really convoluted weird voice activated interface. I managed it to switch to French just by asking to connect a bluetooth telephone. I started to think Titash possessed that thing. Not to mention it was an automatic-manual hybrid. But after a few drives I’ve gotten the hang of it and I drove to the local mall searching for Paneera. During the evening I was drawing and photoshopping some fun things. Around this time also the new metric ton of Dutch Angel Dragons came out. Which made designing it a bit more challenging.
After slowly acclimatizing, today was Thabos’ debut outside of a convention in the US. Tycho was so kind to invite me to Frankenmuth, a former German colony in the state of Michigan, known for its atmosphere and cheese. I recall last year Lunden Otter spoke of its magnificent cheeses, and boy, he is was not wrong!
First we had a lovely lunch at one of the local restaurants. I had some noodles followed with a very well done chicken sandwich. The restaurant itself kind of reminded me of the Efteling. It had the look and feel of it. Very friendly personnel as well. After lunch we walked through Frankenmuth. Unfortunately it was raining, but when we reached the car it was calming down. We went down to Bronner, the biggest Christmas store in Michigan, if not the world! The staff was very nice and so kind to allow us to fursuit. Even though it was for a short time, it was really fun and an unforgettable experience. Afterwards I returned to homebase.
In the morning we started to pack for MCFC. Brian would travel in his own car, and I would in the Titash-posessed Jeep. The drive was fairly uneventful, not overly long. Just 45 minutes. After we arrived we had to wait for a bit for the rooms to be ready. I saw a whole bunch of old friends, and made some new ones. It was truly a pleasure to see people like Taya, Abrahm, Begger and Tender. Later on I also ran into Lunden, who tried his best to get me and Fox Amoore drunk. But ha! Eastern European Meerkat, you won’t get me down that easily 😉 as for Fox. He is Scottish. Nuff said.
I was very surprised to run into a very well made Nick Wilde by FireStorm. I had a quick chat with him. Despite not having cheese this year, it was lovely seeing him.
Fox Amoore and Thabo
Abrahm Lion, me, and Nick Wilde
The first day of the convention was at hand. That morning in the dealers den it was a pleasure to see Mary Mouse and Donryu again. Both wonderful artists with hearts.
After some chatting I had to drive to the airport to pick up Tiger. Unfortunately his plane was delayed for a bit. And thanks to this I missed the sketchbook exchange.
When I finally found him, we got back and had a little lunch at Paneera before entering the hotel.
Today I got to bounce around in the hotel together with Tiger (wearing Tonks the Sabertooth Tiger)!
After a fun fursuit filled day I had dinner with Lunden and Tos. It was really neat to run into Tos! I’ve met him at Timdurus place in France years prior and it clicked. He brought his family along fur the fursuit parade, and they all had a lot of fun.
Both Lunden and TOS are from Pennsylvania, and it was a very interesting dinner. Both were talking about the history of Centralia and the events leading up to the mine-fire that almost entirely wiped it off to the map. This town has served as an inspiration for the Silent Hill videogames.
During the morning Tiger and I had breakfast with Abrahm and SparkyBlueFox before a lovely photoshoot. Abrahm really outdid himself to make some good photos of both Tiger and me. The photos of this lovely shoot will be uploaded at a later time.
After the shoot we had a lovely dinner with FoxAmoore. After doing quite some antics in suit, the food was more than welcome.
Sunday was the day of the charity auction. Unfortunately Brian was unable to attend the con due to back problems. He did express how much he would have love to have the first vinyl print of Fox’s new album Hashtag, so during the auction I intended to win the auction.
Right after the auction I had to drive Tiger to the airport. I hate goodbyes, I really do. Those few days we spent together were truly wonderful. Hugs were given, and driving back to the con was a lonely drive for sure.
Later on that evening I went downstairs to have some fun. It was a good ending of a lovely convention.
After saying a round of goodbyes in the Hotel I packed up and drove back to Brians’ place in Utica. The remaining day was just relaxing.
More relaxing. Had a nice trip around Utica. Also, United dragged itself into the news:
A relaxed day, ending at Buca Di Beppo with Lunden. It was a wonderful dinner at an awesome restaurant.
Slowly going home
The remaining few days I spent hanging out with some friends, going to shoot some rounds at the local range and in general enjoying Utica and surroundings. It was fun going to New Baltimore, seeing the comic-store. It was really awesome to see the owner still recognising me after so long. During Easter I flew home, to arrive in a sunny Netherlands.
Thank you everybody who made this trip awesome. It was rest and relaxation that was direly needed 🙂