We begin at the airport as I was leaving town! Not a place I normally expect to photograph things, but then I saw these peculiar signs. Was there a dress code someone forgot to tell me about?
You see all kinds of neat things on the plane. I hardly ever see actual classic factory type buildings from the ground, with smokestacks and everything.
And then this place. I photographed it because it looks freakishly exactly like a Sim City block.
My attempts to capture how cool cities look from the air completely failed. This is as close as I got
Chicago, on the other hand, turned out pretty great. The clustered together skyscrapers are really dramatic next to the lake.
I don't know what I was trying to photograph here, but the blue sky and the sea of clouds justify themselves.
These mountains were hardcore.
I don't think of mountains as happening in layers, which proves that it's a good thing I'm getting to see what they're really like from the air.
I still don't know what these are. Salt pits? Deserts? Quarries?
And finally, the convention! I wish I could convey in pictures how badly designed the hotel was for human habitation. All pretense of navigability was given up to allow for this huge, beautiful atrium. BUT, the atrium is not the point of this photo! Witness instead how we were greeted by random people we don't know! Folks arriving on the first day of any convention tend to be friendly, and they waved to us up on the balcony.
Here is Dana waving back. She will probably kill me when she sees how unflattering this photo is. I'm posting it anyway! You can't see me wave back because, obviously, I had to take the photos.
An old man wearing a Pinkie Pie shirt directs traffic. I knew we had arrived at a My Little Pony convention. The attendees covered absolutely every age, gender, ethnicity, and social group.
A slightly more flattering photo of Dana, taken because I thought the froth of her strawberry milkshake looked cool.
The view outside my hotel room window. I can only conclude that there's a villain's underground bunker beneath the hotel.
Setting up the vendor table was tiring, and I headed out to enjoy the California sunshine - something I have dearly missed. Poolside, I met this fine fellow, and followed him through his many attempts to escape the paparazzi.
Alas, eventually he succeeded.
COSTUME TIME. Little Girl Pinkie Pie, go!
The griffon chef from the train episode! Bonus coolness: This guy sold eclairs, and in many cases gave them away for free.
Not sure who she is cosplaying specifically. Didn't really care. Neat Wonderbolts costume.
Little girls, grown men, old men, young women, mothers, we had 'em all, in every level of costumery! Note the hooves. Much easier than three fingered toon glove costumes.
Not a costume. I just really liked this lady's dress. At the edge of the shot, notice the Artist Cage that Dana carefully built around herself.
The other side of the Artist Cage, and a guy with a horse on his shoulder buying art from Dana. Dana obviously cannot be seen in these pictures, because Artist Cage.
I didn't photograph many of the dealer displays, but these plush toys were incredible - and cost $400 minimum.
Princess Luna fondles her horn. I never claimed to be tasteful.
Just some really freaking dapper people.
One of Dana's customers. When I saw the braces, I had to get a photo. It turns out little girls like unicorns. Who knew? Oh, and check out the necklace!
All I had to do was yell 'Hey, Applejack!' and she turned around. True story.
So... many... little girls... in costume! CUTENESS OVERLOAD.
And finally, MY people arrive. I love cute and dark, and this Pinkamina/Cupcakes costume had me squeeing. This photo is presented in its original size, because there's so much detail in the dress.
Pinkamina poses, just for me!
Our next-table-neighbor was Ratgirl Productions. She didn't show up on Friday, but when she arrived on Saturday, she was SO friendly, and the costume head was cute beyond belief!
On the edge of this photo, note Dana's giant Heavenly Nostrils banner, which kept us cramped up against our table.
Dana, being Horse Famous, gets invited to all kinds of stuff. Just about everybody in this photo is a voice actor for MLP.
Babs Seed's voice actress is quiet, but friendly. The other CMC actresses gave her that hoodie. Yes, that is a copy of Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain that I shamelessly gave to her as a gift. Schmoozing! (Okay, I confess, I really liked her.)
Dana and Princess Celestia's voice actress talk about stuff.
Dana and Princess Celestia's voice actress, both drunk off their gourds and babbling about making a Heavenly Nostrils cartoon, pose for a picture.
The plushie folks switched up their lineup with this amazing Trixie on a rotating stand.
Flim and Flam costumes: Simple and classy.
They said they'd drop by our table. Brian and Brynna Drummond, posing with Dana, who gets to do all the posing. Also she's more huggable than I am. BAH.
The sourfaced Angel totally made this costume.
I thought Future Twilight was a pretty clever costume idea. This is Sunday, and as you can see everyone's packing up.
Monday! We tried to tool around San Francisco. Didn't really work. We couldn't get to the beach, but I love the ocean, love it dearly and fiercely, and we at least got to stop at some overlooks.
Here I photographed things on a cliff we never identified.
The sea, photographed as best I could over a fence. Still beautiful.
City lights at night, on the plane ride home.
Weary of mind and body and especially feet, in the Chicago airport I ran into someone even more worn out than me.
I had a wonderful trip. My deepest regret is that I never thought to photograph any of my customers, especially the ten year old girl who came back twice because she loved all my books and couldn't decide which to spend her precious $12 on.