Monday, November 3, 2014

Another day…another plane - Part Two

And Happy Halloween!

We blinked and another 2.5 months flew by.

Which means if we blink again it will be 2015. But we are not there quite yet.
It is absolutely crazy how fast time goes by when you are busy.
WARNING - long blog follows...

So since last we checked in on this blog lots more adventuring has taken place.

At the end of August Eric returned to Korea to break down, relocate and set- up the show in Busan. From there he flew to Los Angeles to meet up with me and the rest of our crew heading to Salt Lake City Comic Con. 

Salt Lake was an interesting show. It was only its second year and while it has grown in size, they are still trying to learn the logistics and so there were still quite a few issues. The biggest being that they were unable to get all of the fans processed, badged and into the convention center on the first day. The lines outside were city blocks long and apparently the staffed stayed through til midnight getting everyone waiting in line badges. Needless to say the first day was slow due to the low numbers of fans that actually got in. Overall the fans were great, the booth was well received, but sales were not what we had hoped for.

After wrapping up the show in Salt Lake, Eric flew back to NZ and I went down to LA for a week - a mix of a few days off, and some business meetings before heading off to Hong Kong/China. (yes -again)

LA was great. Enjoyed the nice late summer/early fall weather, and had some good visits with friends and family. 

The following week in HK and China went as expected.

The last two days in HK went by slowly and I was really ready to get back to NZ.
Feeling like it had been forever since spending any quality time with Eric - and Myztyc.

"I can't believe they left me again"

And knowing it was only a few weeks back before we would be heading back out again for New York.

Queenstown Escape
That said the very next weekend I was off to Queenstown! I took a 3-day weekend and went down to Queenstown with some friends to get in one day of skiing. I have been here in NZ for over 4 years and had yet to go skiing. Partly due to my crazy busy schedule and partly due to the lack of a ski buddy. Since Eric's knee injury he is not interested in skiing (I don't blame him). Anyway, I really wanted to ski - I had not skied since Seattle. And the 2014 winter season was coming to an end. This was the only weekend I had left if I was going to do it. And what a glorious weekend it was! The weather was beautiful. Great spring skiing conditions. No lift lines. The snow, while it was not great (snow snob) was good enough, especially for someone who was 4 years rusty and not trying to push herself too hard. Just wanting to have some fun and confirm I can still ski.

CONFIRMED! In addition to a successful and fun day on the mountain - Cardrona. We enjoyed walking around Queenstown in the sunshine. FYI it was a rainy weekend back in Wellington. Double bonus! We ate good food. I thought "Fergburger" was overrated- 
Found an amazing Chocolate Shop - Koko Black. The dark chocolate covered salted Carmel is heavenly.   It was a great escape and much needed break.

New York ComicCon
Another week back and then we were off to New York. This was the show that I was most looking forward to and most fearing. Looking forward to because it was a new show that I had not attended and was known for being a great one- second only to San Diego ComicCon. And feared due to the setup requirements and strict union/labor rules. 

It was also going to be a very long travel day -  28 hours door to door.
Arriving at about 1:00am New York time. Glad to have had the whole next day off to sleep in and acclimate. Eric and I took a nice walk up to Lincoln Center and wandered around a small arts & crafts show. Checked out the Apple store. If you have not seen it, it is a really cool glass box entrance and a jumbo size store below -and it's open 24 hours.

On our walk back to the hotel we stopped for some slices of NY pizza -sooo good.
And finished our lazy day in our hotel room on the bed watching Chargers football.

The next few days were all show focused. And as it turned out, it was a great show. There were a few glitches with set up, but nothing major and nothing I was wasn't prepared for. We had a great crew and we were able to complete set up on time. On time being a little early as a private tour of the Frank Frazetta estate museum had been organized and we really wanted to be able to attend.

So at 3:30pm on Wednesday a large Mercedes van limo pick up 9 of us from our hotel in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan and drove us 2.5-3 hours - there was an accident so we took a long route -and the driver got lost...into Pennsylvania to the Frazetta estate. It was a wonderful treat. 

I loved seeing the pencil work.

The next 4 days flew by with the convention. We were busy each day open to close. We were staffed well so we could enjoy some of the show as well. Lots of great booths to see. Both from a business stand point as well as from a personal one. Bought a few things. 

Too Cute!  - had to have.

And managed to see 2 panels. The Howard Shore music panel and the Sesame Street - 45 years of parody panel (the one I had wanted to see in SD but was not able to). We were a bit disappointed with the Howard Shore panel. An entire panel focused on music and we heard not a sign note or tone. It was interesting to hear what he had to say about the various themes and instruments, but it would have been helpful to have shared some short clip examples to accompany the discussion.
... And of course, I loved! the Sesame Street panel. 

Once the show was over and all the pack down completed Eric and I had a few more days to enjoy NYC together. 

We saw Aladdin on Broadway. The sets and costumes were amazing and the actor playing the Genie - James Monroe Iglehart was fabulous. We also went to see The Blue Man Group. It was my second time seeing them but this was a much more intimate performance as the theater only held about 150 people. Again it was very entertaining and we enjoyed it.

I took Eric to Serendipity, the ice cream parlor I remember being taken to as a child. It is still there and just as I remember it. Mmmmmmm sooo good.

As for things as I remember it…We went to see the Martha Washington Hotel - where I lived one summer … Not at all the same. ( I was there in 1987/88) Totally renovated and no longer the dump I endured.

Fao Schwartz toy store - it was sad to see what it has been reduced to. 
And Steuben glass gallery was also gone. 

We went up the Empire State Building, visited Ground Zero, walked Times Square, and the Highline. 


Really thought they were very impactful.

HIGHLINE in the Fall

The Library Guardian

Too fun!

I also went to see the Sesame Street exhibit - 45 years at the Library of Performing Arts and the Spectrum show at the Society of Illustrators. I was sad to learn that we had missed Brian and Wendy Froud. They were there for the week, but our schedule did not cooperate.


Guess who I found!

We had a lovely lunch with cousin Ann and I caught up with Alex Drosin - it had been 30 years since we had seen each other! It was great fun to catch up. And I also had lunch with a childhood friend.

The time passed by quickly but we packed it full before heading back to New Zealand.

Our Seattle house sold and we closed escrow on the 25th of October. The 26th here in NZ -kind of like an extra Anniversary gift. (18 years and still counting) Although bittersweet. We are thrilled not to be paying both mortgage and rent. But we will miss the house. We have learned a lot and both determined that we would want a very different type of house next time. It was exactly what we wanted in 2002. Now almost 15 years later, we would look for something smaller, with less stairs, and with less yard. We have great memories of our time there and we look forward to the day when we can do it all again. 

We had a lovely celebratory Anniversary dinner at a place called The Portlander. Not as good as our original place - Crazy Horse which has closed,  but still a good meal and dessert.

Eric left tonight for Mexico City. He will be there for 3 weeks setting up and breaking down in multiple locations. Then he is back to NZ for a quick suitcase refresh and off to Korea for the last break down there. (He will now also have earned the Gold Elite Frequent Flyer status!I will be off to Brisbane at the end of the month and then…(still pending). But we are both off for the Holidays starting the 19th of December. We will enjoy Xmas together at home...And we used our miles for Fiji! So we are looking forward to a nice tropical getaway for the New Year., and some much needed down time together. 

We look forward to sharing that adventure too.

Warm wishes to all,
Stacy & Eric