After the experience with parking yesterday, I decided to get to the center a little after 6 AM. Yes, it is crazy and I was way too early. The good thing is we all got parking places.
Two of my granddaughters brought my oldest daughter to the Con and we were able to walk around the center and on the vendor floor. It was fun.
The Cosplayers gathered in the grass behind the center for a photo shoot and filming of the commercial for the con. By the end, there were over 100 showing off their costumes.
Back to meet some of the celebrities like the creators of the costumes from Dark Crystal, Star Wars (Ewoks, Java the hut, BB8,..) Starship Troopers, and many other shows plus many of the actors that operated those costumes. We met actors from Star Wars, Babylon 5, Tron, The Mandalorian, Shazam!, Home Improvement, MST3K, ...
Then back to the vendor floor. Everyone who attends Pensacon is ok with how a person wants to dress. No one will give someone a hard time for their choices. Even this guy.
Trust me that is not the most surprising costume. It is great that people who have an interest in a show can dress up without condemnation. I think some were just to see how far they could push what was accepted. Something I doubt they would feel comfortable doing other than at a Con.
Late in the day, Lisa and I went to the Voice Actor Theater. This is when those who specialize in doing voices for cartoons gather to perform using those voices to act in a play. The play is usually nothing like a performance where their normal voices would be heard. It was hilarious to hear Pluto, Donald, Pooh, and a lot of other characters as Terminator, Wonder Woman, ....
At the end of the day, the Con had a drama group called "Improbable Cause Mystery Theatre" who put on a great show. The characters of the play were superheros, detective, villain and "the manager" who became the victim. We all participated. The audience asked the actors questions and looked at evidence to try to determine who was the "murder" in the play. It was a lot of fun.
At the end, we were introduced to other members of the troupe that were not participating in this presentation. Aly, my niece, is a member and was part of the audience. She is an actor and has been in several plays. I am proud of her and hope her career takes off.
I arrived for the first day of Pensacon 2020, two hours before the center opened. The parking area designated for VIP's was almost completely full. I got one of the last spaces. When Lisa, my sister, arrived I gave her my spot and moved a few blocks away to park.
The entrance lines were long. The VIP's line was almost to the far end of the parking lot and the general admittance line was even longer. We were relatively close to the beginning of the line and arrived on the vendor floor just a few minutes after the doors opened early for VIP's.
I am always amazed at the work people put into Cosplay. Cosplay is dressing up as a character from a movie, comic book, or TV show. Some are very elaborate and accurate to the character, others are more simple store bought costumes, and some are what is called a mashup which is two different characters combined. I saw some great Batman, Cat Woman, Joker, and some amazing huge costumes that I did not recognize the character or the show they were representing. Of the mashup types, I saw Princess Leia ballerina and Deadpool Raggedy Anne.
Behind the center is an area set aside for several groups and a small stage for performances. The Society for Creative Anachronism had an area where they were demonstrating ancient fighting techniques.
Jonathan, Jon and I went to two Q&A sessions today. The first was with Jake Busey. I remember him from Starship Troopers and Contact but he was in a lot of other movies and TV shows.
He was funny and spoke on some interesting details of his work.
Next was the "Home Improvement "Q&A. The actors Debbe Dunning and Richard Karn answered questions and gave us insights into the show. Both Richard and Debbie dressed in something close to what they wore on the show.
We had a fun day. Tomorrow will be early start so off to get some sleep.
Tonight, the events start for Pensacon 2020. I have been attending the Con since its first year. This is the 7th year. For me, it is a lot of fun meeting celebrities, going to Q&A's, and seeing the Cosplay costumes. It is amazing how comfortable people are in what they decide to wear. Everyone accepts whatever people choose without judgement. Everything from the best costumes, I have ever seen to just something simple. I have seen Fat Batman, inflated Pikachu costume, to those who are almost perfect representations including acting out the character.
Many from our family get together for this event. Each year we pickup our passes Thursday night at the Center. This year it was cold and took much longer than is normal.
After that, we go to the Fish House restaurant for a pre-con event. The restaurant puts on a small costume contest and decorates areas for different shows or movies. One room is Harry Potter, another is Star Trek, and the final area is Star Wars. They do a great job and it has gotten better each year.
The restaurant even has some memorabilia such as weapons and costumes used in the movies and shows.
I only took a few pictures and they only represent a small portion of the decorations. The local TV station was interviewing some of the stars at the restaurant.
Specialty drinks were available in each unique room.
I decided to head home and get some rest knowing that it is likely that tonight would be the best sleep I would get for the next few days.
Shawna had a flight planned for tomorrow and I have tickets to Pensacon 2020.
Our daughter, Phyllis, had surgery and Shawna is going out to help for about two weeks.
Up until Friday I will be helping Mom and Dad around the house with projects or repairs.
Shawna sent me several pictures from the AIrport. They always decorate for Pensacon. It is great that they join other local businesses in support.
Today, we have our last day of seminars and really it is the last day of the Rally. Sunday is almost exclusively the day to get ready to pull out and move on down the road.
I take off for the last of the RV Electricity seminars. As with the other two, this seminar was fantastic with a lot of questions answered on issues with use of generators, inverters, batteries, and solar.
Once again, we split up and Shawna's seminar was on Propane Safety. Obviously, this was an important source of information to keep us from problems in the future.
The next seminar we both attended. Bob Wells was the presenter and he was speaking on the Philosophy of Nomadic Living.
Bob is known as a guru of the Nomadic Lifestyle. His life philosophy was very interesting and we were intrigued by many of the things he said. In large groups, people tend to be less humane to one another. In small groups, we tend to care more for each other because we truly know members of the group. He has recently started Homes on Wheels Alliance. The goal of the group is to make a trailer for people to live in that cost under $1000. The group teaches homeless or otherwise disadvantaged people on how to live on free public lands.
The next seminars were on the US Army Corps of Engineer parks and on using the Instant Pot.
The class on the Corps Parks was given by YouTubers "You, Me & the RV" Phil and Stacy. They did a great job at presenting the way to find, save money, and select COE campgrounds.
Shawna has so many ideas on how to use our Instant Pot. The people presenting the class were the founder of Potheadz a producer of products for use in the Instant Pot including the steam diverter of the same name.
In the afternoon, I attended the General RV Maintenance seminar presented by Jim Koca
Escapees Education & Safety Director. From what I learned, we have changed our Fire Extinguisher type to Foam and plan to create a formal calendar of maintenance schedule. I hope to have the calendar finished soon and have already started work on several areas of our RV. Shawna did not feel well and stayed back at the RV for the afternoon.
This evening Shawna was feeling better so we were able to see the presentation by the cast of the RVers TV show and the creator of the show. The show is very well done and the producer was also the creator of “The Aviators“ a show that we did not watch but was extremely popular on several networks including PBS and Discovery.
We finished the Rally at the Firebirds listening to the band "Wicked Truth". It was great to spend some time visiting with the many people that we met for the first time during the Rally. The band was playing Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Van Halen, and Guns ’n Roses. They were very good but we were exhausted and headed back to the RV to rest.
Tomorrow, we pull out and head closer to Pensacola.
Off we go to more seminars. I went to the second RV Electricity session with Mike Sokol. Most of this session was on how to test a pedestal for good power and protecting the RV from damage.
Shawna was off to "Thinking outside the Box" presented by Chris & Cherie from Technomadia. We have been watching their videos for years. They were speaking on not limiting yourself to your current RV, type of RV, or even moving to something other than an RV entirely. They have three types of nomadic transportation: Bus, Boat, and Class B.
Next was a session on RV Solar by RVgeeks and Morton's on the Move. We have been watching both of their YouTube channels for years.
Shawna was at the RV Safe Driving seminar that was subtitled "Making your loved one a better passenger". If these two were not at the same time, I would have attended this one with her. I think it is important for the primary driver to be aware of what they could change to have their partner more comfortable while on the road.
We both attend the same afternoon session on Fire Safety. It was very informative and the primary thing we realized was that we should change Fire Extinguishers to Foam. The reason is that the power in the dry extinguishers packs down as we drive down the road. The result is that when used the power does not spray out and the fire is not put out. Also even if the power does work it is very dangerous to breathe and the foam type is easier to clean up and non toxic.
Later, we attended a dance lesson to learn "The Shag". It was a lot of fun though Shawna was more successful than I was at learning the dance. Maybe with more practice I can stop my feet from trying to break out into freestyle dancing.
After dinner, there was a concert by Tracy Grammer. She is very good and we enjoyed the folk music.
Later, we stopped at the Firebirds where a very nice band was playing called Remedy Tree. Their music was bluegrass style.
It has been an exhausting day. Time to go back to the rig and get some sleep.
Today we start the training sessions of the rally. We are going to be incredibly busy.
I started the day by going to the Master Classes of RV Electricity :Part 1 - Hot Skin. The presenter was Mike Sokol. It was an incredible class and I learned several important things about avoiding electrical problems with RV's.
Shawna went to the RV Safety and Security Tips class. The presenter, Ramona Cox, had a history of being a bush pilot and wilderness camper. She had some very good information on what to do for security on the road.
A great start to the sessions.
Next we split up again and I went to the "Finding boondocking spots" by the founders of Boondockers Welcome. They had a lot of good information even if we may never make use of the service. They did have some good sites to find free camping on IOverlander.com and Freeroam.app
Shawna went to "Solving the mystery of holding tanks". She got some very useful information and the presenter dispelled some misconceptions we had on maintaining the tanks.
Before lunch, we both went to "Maps and Apps for RV trip planning" by Geeks on Tour. I have watched their YouTube channel. They gave a good presentation. The primary sites were Roadtrippers.com, Rvparky.com, Allstays.com, Iexit app, Theclio.com, and Furkot.com. We have used most in the past.
In the afternoon, we split up again. Shawna went to the Instant Pot seminar. She found it was very useful and she learned several things about cooking with the Instant Pot. I went to the presentation on the benefits of becoming an Elk member. I did not think we would have an interest in the group but information is never a bad thing.
In the evening, we were able to go to an impromptu concert by two really good musicians. The first was Kyle from drivin' and vibin'. He was great and we really enjoyed the music. I did not get the name of the second performer. He was a keyboardist and was fantastic.
Looking through the schedule, we realized that we could not get to everything we would like to attend but would definitely not be going to the same seminars. I was focused on going to all of the RV Electricity Master Classes. This means that I would not be able to attend some other great seminars that were scheduled at the same time.
Today, we are focused on finding new friends and sharing.
Our first seminar was on organized Caravans. They are expensive but in many ways appealing. We found the Kentucky Bourbon tour interesting. The RV trip to Scandinavia and the one to New Zealand peaked our interest.
The day ended with the opening ceremony and our first live music.
We will be at the RVillage Spirit Of The Road Rally 2020 (Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park), Live Oak, Florida until Sunday. It should be a lot of fun. There are hundreds of RVs coming.
In the evening we walked a few sites down the road to visit with several people who were having a get together. We met a lot of interesting people. We met some youtuber's and really great people with interesting stories. A couple were starting their own YouTube channel and were great people. One recently retired as the manager of the Lowell observatory. She and I talked about the astronauts we had both met and crazy celebrities. There was a lot of sharing ideas on travel, campgrounds, and other issues.
Above is the map of the rally. Most of the events were in the Amphitheater, Music Hall, Main tent, Grand Hall, and the Fire Central where the Fire birds were each night.
During the day the Fire Birds are seen as large welded structures about 20 feet tall.
At night they are very different and produce a lot of heat. Everyone gathers together around them and share stories.
We stopped at the Suwanee River Hideaway campground for a couple of days to get everything ready for the RVillage Rally. Washing clothes and purging the tanks were the high priorities.
We did take a day to hike at Manatee springs state park and of course see the Manatees.
We are a couple who have started on a new adventure...