I have officially been to all the cons Newfoundland has to offer. That’s right. This weekend I was at Atlanti-Con in Corner Brook. However, there won’t be any of the pro and con assessments in this entry like there was for Avalon Expo or Sci-Fi on the Rock. I went with a convention virgin so looking at Atlanti-Con and trying to compare it to other cons wasn’t something that we could do together.
My best gal and I decided to go on a road trip. I mentioned wanting to check out Atlanti-Con and so it was decided that we’d hit up Corner Brook. I’ve got family from down on the Burin Peninsula so I had a rough idea of what to expect from the long drive…
Nothing prepares you for your first eight hour drive. We left around 7:30 am on Friday (give or take a Tim Horton’s run) and ended up in Corner Brook around 3:30-4 pm. I had to go for a frigging walk once we hit the hotel just to get my knees back to normal. This is despite the fact that we stopped about four times on the road to stretch and/or eat. Also, almost all communities have a “welcome to” and “thank you for visiting” signs, depending on which end of the road you’re at. Scenic Green Bay only welcomes you. It does not appreciate you leaving.
It’s important to realise how much strain a long car ride can be on joints and the back when one’s planning to go to a con. We only did Atlanti-Con on Sunday so there wasn’t much physical stress to it but generally cons are physically exhausting. Costumes can be hot and heavy, floors are often unforgiving concrete and larger cons mean larger crowds to contend with. Conventions are fun but they can be hard on the body. That’s one of the reasons anyone with convention experience always emphasizes the need to bring plenty of water and snacks with you. So be prepared for the addition strain that certain types of travel can have on your body. Take lots of breaks. Eat well.
Once in Corner Brook, A and I had a lot of fun. That Saturday was A’s day so we went shopping and had hot stone massages before getting dolled up for a supper in the hotel’s restaurant. Corner Brook is absolutely gorgeous, by the way. The hills, the trees, the ocean, the houses. Especially the houses. We were driving around, wondering where the low income houses were. But all the homes were beautiful. Corner Brook was also filled with very nice and friendly people.
Then there was Sunday. Atlanti-Con day. This weekend was the first time the con wasn’t held at the university. It was in the Pepsi Center. My brother had warned me that the con was really small as he knows how much I dislike small cons. I can get through a con the size of Sci-Fi on the Rock in 15 minutes, if not less. And he wasn’t wrong. Atlanti-Con is so very small. Yet it is only in its fourth year and in a city with a substantially smaller population that St. John’s and Mount Pearl. I figured I would know a handful of people there but I ended up knowing almost half the vendors.
There was a big benefit to Atlanti-Con’s size though. My gal A is not a geek. She’s a normal, through and through. So she’s never been to a convention. Atlanti-Con was a little too small for my taste but it was a size that meant that A wouldn’t get overwhelmed. Small cons make for great introductory cons. I’m hoping to be going to school on the mainland or in the United Kingdom next year so I don’t see Atlanti-Con 5 in my future. But I would like to see how it utilizes its bigger space in the future. The Pepsi Center is quite large and Atlanti-Con wasn’t even using the whole thing. There were still hockey games being played out in the arena. If the con continues to grow, it can eventually use the arena for floor space by putting down the boards that get used for concerts and things.
I have to give a shout out to Box Cat, by the way. They have always been one of my favourites and they were easily A’s too. The jewelry is always beautiful. A also got some plushie dolls for her kids at a great price at another table (sorry that I can’t remember your name!) and a commission from Gaacha. We haven’t seen the commission yet but it’s Gaacha and it’s going to be Disney so I know it’s going to be gorgeous. And I got new tentacle earrings and a coffin necklace from Just Odd Enough Crafts. Shopping wise, we did pretty good.
I also entered my first costume contest. I had a steampunk Kida cosplay for Avalon Expo and had to make the skirt and sash myself. Sewing the pink strip onto the skirt took me SIX FUCKING HOURS. I was not impressed. Anyway, I had made more than 50% of the canon outfit which meant I could compete in the contest. Which I did. Six hours of work needed to be shown off.
Kida wasn’t the outfit I wore for the whole day however. Kida shows off a lot of skin and I’m a fat chick so that combination doesn’t work for me. In particular, I don’t like my belly. I’m good to run around with everything else exposed though. Anyway, I wore a gothic Lolita look with scar tights, purple lipstick and lace umbrella. It was cute as fuck. However, I did trip in my heels trying to show off the tights to Gaacha and his friend. I was saved by Iron Man though.
A and I didn’t stay for the closing ceremonies. Instead, we left at about 4:15, got some McDonalds and drove to Gander. We had made the decision to break up the drive and stay the night in Gander so that we weren’t as stiff on the way back. Then we completed the drive home to St. John’s that Monday.
I woke up in Gander to a sore throat and now I’m full on sick. Unfortunately, that much travel in such a short period of time can have a massive strain on the body. Was the trip worth it? I think so. Atlanti-Con was fun. I did get rescued by a super hero. And I also got to experience part of my home province that I hadn’t before. Newfoundland is amazingly beautiful. Just beware of cow crossings.
- Those tights were supposed to be one size fits all. They lie!!! Normally, I expect that because I truly have legs that are too fat for “one size fits all.” This time, however, my legs fit perfectly in the tights and I was too tall. I had to wear shorts to keep them on.