Well, that was a longer hiatus than I planned….
Ryan and I were fortunate to take a (much needed) vacation that was 50% relaxation and 50% Final Fantasy Fan Fest.
That’s right, we spent 5 days in Las Vegas – two of those days were spent at the Paris soaking up all the nerd we could. I lucked out over this break with Food Holidays – they were literally all so easy to celebrate in Vegas and only required setting foot outside our hotel!
The unfortunate part is that I drank a lot on this trip and forgot to take photos of most things….
So instead of a bunch of food photos, here’s a break down of all the weird shit that happened in Vegas (I know, it’s supposed to stay there…) and the holidays that happened around the weirdness.
I should clarify something too: I don’t actively play Final Fantasy at the moment. I did, about 2 years ago, but my need to sleep and the kids need to be parented outweighed my desire to be a sweet White Mage in Eorzea. Plus, I’m really bad at it. There’s so many buttons and dungeons are the worst!!
Even without playing, I still enjoy some parts of the game: talking to strangers over a sweet headset, talking “lore” with Ryan, and being the angry voice in the background when it’s midnight and he’s STILL talking on the damn headset!!!
I went into the Fan Fest experience assuming that I would be bored out of my mind and would spend a great deal of time at the pool, avoiding all things FFXIV. Instead, it was the highlight of the vacation!!!
On the first day, (National Dessert Day) some guy that everyone called “Yoshi-P” and appeared to be the creator of the game shared some info about a new update that’s happening.
I think that’s what he was talking about anyway…
While none of that mattered to me, being in a room with 1000 screaming fans is incredibly infectious. Plus 25% of them were dressed as characters from the game and it was incredible!
^ Yoshi-P took a selfie (awkwardly) which is apparently a big deal?
This day also gifted me with something magical: a moogle.
I fucking love moogles. Other than Chocobos (more on that later) they are the best part of the game! Not only was there a giant moogle, this moogle danced.
Amazing. Simply amazing.
We followed up the convention with what will forever be known as “the night Ryan had the time of his life.” Also known as the Limit Break Radio after party.
Limit Break Radio is a podcast that Ryan listens to… about Final Fantasy. Because he’s that kind of awesome.
In honor of their 10th anniversary (how the hell have they been doing this for 10 years!?!?!) they hosted the weirdest dance party I’ve ever been to in my life. Imagine only the nerdiest, most amazing people descended on a nightclub. 30% still dressed in costume.
With an open bar.
It’s hard to tell what’s going on in that video, but it’s a man in a giant wizard costume. Dancing.
I know, I know, he’s not really a wizard but I have no fucking clue what character he is supposed to be. And he looks like a damn wizard.
Needless to say, we partied. Some of us harder than others. I danced, I lost Ryan amongst all the people, met some badass people who were SO unbelievably nice to me – no other dance party will ever compare to that night.
Around 10 am when I woke up, I heard an interesting sound coming from the edge of the bed. It was singing.
“Cause I… had… the time of my life….”
Ryan was singing.
I tried really hard to take a video of this but only managed to capture him flopping around on the end of the bed. I’ll recreate this moment in real life if you ask – it’s worth it.
Later that day, National Wine Day, we conventioned, gambled, and attended the greatest metal concert of my life.
Oh, and this happened.
ITS A GIANT CHOCOBO!!!!
Literally the BEST part of the game. Hands down, no argument could convince me otherwise, I love chocobos. Regular chocobos, fat chocobos, all of them. They are like majestic chickens and quite possibly my spirit animal.
Why am I saluting? I have no idea, it’s what everyone in line in front of my did… so like the joiner I am, I did it too.
After the chocobo experience The Primals, a metal band comprised of the guys who write the music for the game, performed/closed out the convention. A concert of music from the game. Best. Show. Ever.
While taking it in from the back of the room (with the other people who had no idea what was happening), I drank the worst glass of wine I’ve ever had. Including bad communion wine.
I love wine, like deep down in my soul love it. But there were several things going wrong with this wine. For starters, it was sealed with a plastic Tupperware lid. As someone who loves cheap wine from a box, I thought this wouldn’t matter…. but I’m pretty sure a Tupperware lid does not properly seal a wine container. There was a funk.
The second problem was really more of a personal preference… it was warm. Not just warm really, like above room temperature. That’s probably how wine is supposed to be served, but I’m a cold wine or nothing kind of gal. Red wine, white wine, I like it all straight from the fridge.
I’m classy as shit.
After several rounds of “Fuck you, Titan!” from The Primals, I headed back to the hotel to catch up on sleep while Ryan went out with some of his game friends.
And apparently attempted the worst karaoke rendition of “Ice, Ice, Baby” that Las Vegas has ever heard. If I didn’t love sleep so much I’d be sad that I missed it.
In the morning, Ryan slept it off while I celebrated National liquor day by the pool.
I may have celebrated a little too much… because as the day went on I began to declare that “I just want to dance!” (I also fell asleep in the sun and got a sweet sunburn on half my body…)
Ryan, kindly trying to fulfill my overwhelming need to dance, brought us downtown to Fremont Street. We walked, we listened to a weird Halloween themed band, and then I announced that I ONLY wanted to dance on the strip.
Because fuck it, that’s how I roll.
Since he must love me, Ryan went along with this and ubered us back to the strip. And walked past at least 15 different clubs, bars or other dance options – all of which I deemed unworthy for one of three reasons:
1. The girls looked mean and the men looked douchey
2. They didn’t have karaoke
3. “I just don’t want to dance at this place okay?!”
It was definitely irrational… but in hindsight I think I was trying to relive that first dance party – where there was no judgement or pretense, no weird mating ritual where the men stand to the side and watch as the women dance – determining their conquest. It was just a group of people having fun, letting loose. Perfection.
On our last night, national pasta day, we enjoyed one final Vegas pasta dinner at the Rio before fulfilling Ryan’s childhood dream of seeing Penn and Teller live. We had waited in line for tickets, one of us had on their sequin shorts, we were going to end this trip with a bang!
Then we saw the show.
For an hour and a half we laughed politely, were mildly delighted and somewhat amused. It was cheesy and corny – exactly what most people would expect from a Penn and Teller show. Most people didn’t arrive with 30 years of expectations and anticipation though…
It took all of Ryan’s willpower not to flip out immediately after exiting the theatre. If we hadn’t been surrounded by a crowd of adults who all seemed blown away by the show he probably would have! On our way out, we stopped for a photo and autograph from Teller…. who spoke to us…. and Ryan LOST IT!!! Here are some thoughts he had about the show:
“30 years ago, he caught a bullet in his teeth on live television!!! They couldn’t even make a real elephant disappear! Did you see it? He caught a fucking bullet in his teeth on national television. That’s nuts. AND they made fun of Chris Angel but they didn’t even mind freak me! What the fuck!? And then he talked to us?!?!?!?!?! That’s fucked up! He’s like the best mime in the world and he fucking talked to us! Penn fired a gun and Teller caught the fucking bullet in his teeth with some guys name on it… on LIVE TELEVISION!!! What the fuck, man!”
I think Ryan may have overlooked a few important things about the show:
- It’s a cheesy, corny magic show. It always has been, it alway will be. Penn and Teller are not performing death defying feats.
- They probably don’t let you bring a real elephant onto the stage in the Rio.
- They probably also don’t let you fire guns at people and hope they catch the bullet in your teeth. The world has changed a lot in the last 30 years….
All in all, it was a life changing trip – I’m so grateful for our time away and our families for watching the kids so we could party like 21 year olds.
As much as I loved the warm weather and palm trees, it felt good to land in Minnesota!
For the record, I wanted to see Britney.