The whole journey and experience that was BABSCon was such an amazing, miracle filled experience that a single wrap up post couldn’t begin to cover it. I could write an entire novel detailing the travel, friendships, and crazy random happenstance’s along the way. In fact, I just might do that.
Please, enjoy Part 1 of the adventure. I’m not sure how many parts there will be; but, I do hope you have as good a time reading about my travels as I had on them.
BABSCon 2015, Part 1- Childhood Dreams
There are some childhood dreams that we look back on with amusement and wonder how we could ever be so naive. Other childhood dreams stay with us well into our adult years, always dancing at the edge of possibility and sounding ever bit as exciting to us in our twenties and thirties as they did when we were eight. Finding a cave and becoming a Batman level superhero in downtown Denver, Colorado certainly belongs in the first category. Making a solo cross-country trip, seeing all fifty states before I’m forty, and publishing a novel are things I not only can do, but still want to.
BABSCon, the Bay Area Brony Spectacular, takes place in San Francisco, California. Driving to this convention will help with two of those three childhood goals— California is one of six states I have yet to visit. Not only that, doing this show feels like a celebration of surviving the hard times over the past three months. It’s living the life I’ve always wanted, the one I was always afraid of and allowed other people’s voices to hold me back from.
Some might say I’m a little crazy for doing this. San Francisco is about two thousand, five hundred miles and a thirty-six hour drive from Columbus. Estimating my Corolla’s MPG at twenty-eight, which is a fair bit lower than it’s average of thirty-two MPG, I would need approximately eighty-nine gallons of gas one way. At a cost of $3.50 per gallon, that’s about $312. After selling at the Columbus Toy Show and receiving my support check, I have $375 in the bank once all the bills are paid. That’s just enough to get me out there, but nothing to get me home.
Thankfully, I work at a grocery store and I’m not picky about what I eat. Peanut butter and jelly, carrots and hummus, chips, bananas with almond butter, Larabars, jerkey, and some bagels with cream cheese can stretch for quite a long time and end up costing under thirty dollars. I already have a can of tuna and some crackers; if I pick up some packets of mayo and pickle relish at a gas station, I can make some tuna salad on the road. Every water bottle I have is filled from the tap so I don’t have to buy anything to drink and will help fill air space in the cooler I’m taking.
My older sister, Susan, still lives in my home state of Colorado. She’s offered me some money to help make the trip as well as a free place to stay and some food. Colorado just so happens to be at the nineteen hour mark of the trip, a nice half-way stop. Not only do I get to actually do the convention, I get to hang out with my sister!
Four months ago, I would have panicked at the abrupt hurdles that threatened to put a halt to the whole trip a mere two days before I was supposed to leave. When I was hired at Earth Fare, I told my boss I would need April 2 - April 6 off for the show because I thought I would be flying. She agreed to those dates back in January. When the plan changed to driving, I suddenly needed March 30 to April 9 off. The schedule had already been made and I was to work two of the days I’d be on the road. My younger sister, who was supposed to watch the cats for me, texted to let me know that both her and her husband’s cars had broken down; she couldn’t reliably watch my fur babies. Two other major conventions I do every year still hadn’t gotten back to me on if I would be vending at them or not, which was also causing a lot of stress and worry.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past three months, it’s that miracles can happen at the very last minute and to never give up when you know you’re on the right path. The day before I was supposed to leave, I went in to work with the attitude that I would be driving out of town the next day. I didn’t worry or fear that this trip wouldn’t happen. Then, everything began falling into place. A coworker offered to take one of the two shifts I needed covered. BronyCon e-mailed nd let me know that I was off the wait list; not only did I get in, my space will be right next to the bathrooms. Another coworker took the second shift. One of the cashiers suggested I ask one of the guys who works in the pizza station to watch my cats. He said he would and the last hurdle was cleared. I was going to California.