Time to enter the into my runner up for favorite cons: Anime Weekend Atlanta.
Like Metrocon, AWA was another convention I had long been looking forward to. Unlike Metrocon, AWA avoided the pitfalls that doomed Metrocon to its dead last ranking.
The drive to AWA was less than ideal. I had decided to take the I-20 through Augusta all the way to Atlanta, Ga. And the good state of Ga thought it would be a great idea to close down one lane of the 2 lane interstate for a solid 3-4 miles. Without the use of an alternate route, I lost an entire hour of travel as I became bogged down with traffic. I took note that the other side was suffering the same problem and on my way home I made sure that my GPS routed me through Greenville instead.
The hotel room was quite nice. For the first time ever, I was able to obtain a room on a low floor *4th floor*. The room was very spacious, have a bed room, 'social room', 'makeup' room, and of course the bathroom. Each section, other than the bathroom, was separated by sliding doors, allowing for privacy while dressing up.
But the hotel was not without its flaws. There was no free breakfast. And since any sort of meal at hotels cost an arm and a leg, we had to go out and buy our own food. And then there was the whole indirect route to get to the con. Ya see, there was a '4 lane each way' roads between the hotel and the convention center. And cops were specifically set up to prevent AWA attendees from crossing the road. So if you were at the Sheraton *the hotel we were staying at*, attendees first had to ride the elevator to the top floor. Once there, they had to walk another floor to the top of parking garage and then follow this sidewalk for a good quarter mile to gain access to the con. I personally did not mind it too much until Saturday rolled around. And I'll get to that later on.
The walk to the convention center did bring up a rather embarrassing moment in my lolita life. So when you open the door that leads to the top of the parking garage, you don't want to take an immediate left to follow the sidewalk. You wanted to jump onto the road first, walk along the sidewalk for about 10 ft, and then get on the sidewalk. No one ever sent me this memo the first time I did this and I made the immediate left right at the door. Next thing I know, my dress and petticoats are flying up and I'm showing off my bloomers to everyone around me. There was a rather large vent that I had walked over and caused me to have one of those Marilyn Monroe moments. My friends said I was quite beet red from the incident XD Its unfortunate there were no pictures of this.
Speaking of outfits, here is what I wore:
Ok so I decided to stick with Night Fairy Fantasia for most of the con. But could you blame me? This was, and still is, my favorite dress.
For the most part I enjoyed the convention. It was a tad confusing at first. With the con as big as it was and the map as useless as it was, I essentially spent much of the first day getting a hold of my bearings and finding out where everything was. Despite its size, AWA was packed. There was an area right outside the artist alley and dealer's room that was especially bad. Unlike EXP con's similar issue, I believe that AWA's issue stemmed more from people forming huge groups in the hallway and just straight up blocking traffic.
TBH I only attended a few panels at the con, most of them lolita panels. There was the "Introduction to Frill" by Megan Maude. This was a friday night panel that introduced Megan Maude's new line of lolita, Frill. but the introduction was only part of the panel. The other half was was a meet and greet with the Atlanta lolita(s). That was awesome because I had been informed that this group had been keen to keeping to itself. And so it was good to be able to chat with some of the locals.
Another panel I went to was the H.naoto fashion show. I showed up early, trying to get a seat in the front. My efforts were rewarded, as I was somewhere in the first 30 people in the line. It was here I met Riannon, who was astounded to meet a brolita. She was very nice and we were both able to secure a front row seat for the H.naoto fashion show. It was an excellent show that showed off lots of different outfits, outfits that were available after the show.
This was the outfit that I bought at the H.naoto panel. Forming the cornerstones of my new visual kei closet, they have served as a platform for now expanding lolita closet, male side.
Afterwards, Riannon, her friend, and I went to the nearby mall to grab a bite to eat. It was very nice getting to know a Riannon and afterwards, we stayed in contact up till sunday afternoon. Its unfortunate that I have not stayed in contact with her. Hopefully we can meet again in the future.
The final panel I attended was the Frills fashion show, showing off the new lines being released by Megan Maude and other local lolitas. It was short but still rather fun. Here were some of the outfits:
Outside of the lolita panels, I spent much of my time at the con in the dealer's room. There were several wig store booths *including GLW and Arda*, the H.naoto booth, steampunk booths, and pretty much booths for just about everything that interested me. Most of what I bought centered around the $500 I dropped on the H.naoto outfit and an additional $200 I dropped on wigs.
O and I got my picture with Mint and Ibi
These two were super awesome. They helped me pick out the pants and cardigan that I bought from them. I must say, I was rather impressed with how fast I was able to change out of my lolita outfit into the visual kei then out of the visual kei outfit and back into my lolita out.
Overall, AWA was a damn good success and if I had the chance I would definitely go back again.