What a weekend! I thought I wasn't going to do one like this any more but it happened anyway. I spent the whole weekend either away from home or at home asleep. Sunday night, I just came home and went to sleep, so other than a bit of checking up on things and looking up geocache information on my cell phone, I wasn't online for over 56 hours! Anyway...
Saturday: Kidz Expo
On Saturday, I did a mascot gig with the combined membership of Hi-4 and New England Fursuiters at Kidz Expo in the Empire State Plaza Convention Hall. (under The Egg, a landmark about which I knew nothing until I saw it in an aerial photo a few weeks ago. I haven't been to Albany since Albany Anthrocon years ago.)
It was a snowy day. By the time I got going, however, it had already stopped snowing at my place. It was still snowing in upstate NY, although not in any way that would make the roads dangerous. I did two geocaches on my way to the event. The travel bug hotel was by a rest stop on the Northbound side of the Thruway, so I had to do that one on my way up. The funny thing is the next two visitors that same day to that geocache were also from Northern NJ. Quite a coincidence.
After picking up another geocache in Bethlehem Center, also along the way, I arrived at the underground parking area of the Empire State Plaza. The very first thing was we all queued up to enter the P-1 parking lot because the state police had to check our IDs. Met up with freakylynx, grizz593, coyoty, cliff_husky, happypup, rapidtrabbit, kalixwyntircat, axelwolf, and lilpup at the event and we went to our changing area, which was one of the back-areas around the convention hall. We shared the dressing room with a bunch of other characters not from our group, including Snoopy, a wall socket, and Smokey the bear.
I thought it was a good event. Lots of kids and all quite well-behaved. We had our own booth in the exhibition area. We didn't have any materials for the booth but we did sit there a bunch of times in costume and we also used it for a photoshoot. By request of the organizer, we also did a photoshoot with all the mascots and performers. Only problem was they told us to meet up at the OGS booth and there were two OGS booths, so only some of us made it there.
In addition to the convention hall, we also wandered around through the outside hallways and meeting rooms where the rest of the exhibitors were set up. Hannaford, the main event sponsor, provided food backstage for the performers. They had run out of meat items by the time I got there but considering that I wasn't expecting anything, I really can't complain. It's great of them to put out a spread. I also picked up a bunch of freebies, most notably a reusable shopping bag, a mug, and some change purses, from the exhibitors.
After the gig, I dashed out quickly to see a virtual cache on the plaza level. It was right above where we had been performing! Then we went for an after-gig dinner at Metro 20 Diner. Due to my inexperience with Albany, I took the slowest possible route there via US-20. Albany is a city of a thousand traffic lights and we must have hit 999 of those! :) The irony is I only figured out how the highways connected after dinner, when I took a side trip to the SUNY Albany campus to do a geocache at night. That's when I followed a ramp out from the campus to I-90 to the Northway. Have to remember that for next year.
Got home too late to do much of anything so I just laid the costume out to dry and went to sleep.
Sunday: SJG Breakfast geocaching event
Woke up extra early on Sunday to make it to Golden Corral in Audubon by 8am for the South Jersey Geocachers breakfast geocaching event. I'd never been to a Golden Corral before. It was fantastic! They had all kinds of breakfast foods, and also some lunch and dinner foods and a salad bar too. Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Well, I had both chicken and egg on the same plate! :) The donut and fried rice was just as delightful. Anyway, I had a good time there seeing a whole bunch of people I'd just seen the previous week at the Lehigh Valley breakfast and also many other South Jersey geocachers. The funniest story I heard was one of the geocachers at the event didn't even know that there was an event this morning. By coincidence, he happened to be at Golden Corral for breakfast and so he joined us.
After overeating at breakfast, we went out to do a special geocache placed near the restaurant for the event. Then we went our separate ways. At "Big One", I ran into PuppyDogFound and debjoey at the cache site. There was a slight problem with the coordinates so it took quite a bit of looking but we made the find. After that, I teamed up with debjoey and we attacked half a dozen more geocaches. Some of those geocaches were reputed to be difficult but with two pairs of eyes looking, they weren't as much of a challenge. After that, we split up.
I went off on my own to do a bunch more geocaches. I hadn't been to this part of Camden County in quite a while so it was no surprise that I could get quite a number of geocaches in the short time remaining before dusk. There were just so many new geocaches since my last trip there. Once it got dark, I decided to head on over to Wawa in Runnemede to get the Sunday newspaper and chocolate milk. Even then, I picked up two more geocaches, both of which were along the stretch of Route 168 leading up to that Wawa store. I just can't help myself! :)
Long drive home. By the time I got home, I was so tired that I went to sleep early and didn't get to log the geocaches and travel bugs until the next day. Any weekend that I'm not finished with until Monday night is a busy one indeed!