Let me tell you a story about my weekend in Melbourne at Space Coast Nerdfest 2016.
I headed out from Naples after having lunch with a friend and receiving the most accurate fortune from a fortune cookie ever. “You will soon be surrounded by good friends and laughter.” The family that I stayed with in Melbourne are some of the greatest people who have ever walked this earth, and whenever I spend a few days with them I always leave with priceless memories and positive experiences. Also, they’re hilarious people who have an unmatched sense of humor.
So after driving through severe thunderstorms, back roads clogged with fruit transport trucks, and far too many speed traps, I arrived in Melbourne, Florida. I was able to spend some time catching up with my friends before being introduced to other people who are just as amazing and inspiring as my friends are. This family that I stay with can act like a magnet for other people who, like them, possess loving souls. So I was lucky enough to meet three more incredible souls before finally passing out well after midnight to the sounds of laughter and energetic conversation.
Saturday was the first day of the con/fest, hosted at a Hilton hotel, and it was actually a lot bigger than I expected. The organizers ran out of advanced tickets online months ago, so most people had to wait in line to get their passes. Including me. But the wait wasn’t all that bad because I had a view of people dressed up like knights beating the crap out of each other the whole time. It made time pass rather quickly.
After getting my wristband I explored the inside of the venue with the hopes of running into a few local authors. An author I connected with on twitter decided not to go at the last minute, so I was planning on meeting and connecting with new people. Unfortunately there were only two local authors there, not counting comic book artists. I felt bad for both authors because their booths were the only ones being actively avoided by people. One writer covered many genres, but they all had a young adult vibe to them, and almost all were female protagonists. The other author had a zombie trilogy that seemed more cheesy than scary. The first author was nice enough when I spoke to her about the biz, but we didn’t click at all. And the second author seemed hellbent on getting me to buy his whole trilogy. When I made it clear I wasn’t going to, he shut down the conversation pretty quickly. Meanwhile, the comic book artists and writers seemed to employ aggressive advertising techniques where people could not pass by their booths without being handed several cards and fliers and being bombarded with plot summaries whether you asked for them or not.
After being a little disappointed in that area, I decided I would just browse for the remainder. I saw converts from Warhammer in full armor, Mandalorians with custom weapons, pirates, aliens, and countless princesses. “The Russian” from the The Punisher movie was there, and trust me, he’s just as intimidating in person. I met hot elf chicks, douche bag dinosaurs, Jack Sparrow impersonators, and a kilted creature from the Black Lagoon who played bagpipes. I purchased some pristine nerd paraphernalia then called it a day. That night I was able to enjoy even more great times, great food, and great company before hitting the hay well into the next day again.
Sunday at the Nerfest was just as impressive as Saturday, but after seeing pretty much the same things over again and stopping to chat with a super hot Misty, I called it quits and headed back to my friend’s place. Check out the pics I collected while I was away.
The time I’ve spent away from my usual place, where I’ve almost been tethered to while I heal, has been incredibly refreshing. It’s gotten my mind to see things from a different perspective and focus on things a little differently with more gratitude. The only way the weekend could have been better is if I didn’t have a broken rib the whole darn time. That really put a strain on the enjoyment factor…