Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ryan's Review of Taiyou Con 2015: Final Days and Final Thoughts (Changing Me)

"Like all good things....they have to end, right?"

Me in the hotel room Monday morning.


It was early morning on Monday and like all good things, they have to come to an end. At this point, at 10:30 am, this is where we said farewell. Snowflakes aside, due to a failed attempt to go to Alice Cooper'stown the previous night we ended up going back to make sure this was our final business here in Phoenix.

Me at the front of Alice Cooper'stown.
By the time we arrived, they had barely opened and lunch was just being served; and soon enough, the "Big Units" were flying out of the kitchen like crazy! It's an interesting feat to see these come out of the kitchen especially when the restaurant staff rings the alarm bell followed by the chrous of "BIG UNIT," you'd have such a great time here as shown in this video below. It's no wonder why people love this beloved hot dog so much!

After seeing some Big Units come out of the kitchen, it was our time to order up. We also ordered a Big Unit, but this wasn't the ordinary But Unit, it was the "Man vs Food" Bases Loaded Big Unit! And by golly we filled up, filled up so much I'm willing to bet next time we come back we can eat one of these by ourselves. I would highly recommend this spot to anyone in the area who loves hot dogs and any kind of bar food and/or some con-goer who's very hungry, like us, who haven't eaten anything over the weekend. The environment is fun too if your into music or anything related to Arizona.

The "Man vs Food" Bases Loaded Big Unit in its full glory.
Signed guitars, a wall signed by famous people, and the actual hardwood from the Phoenix Suns' 1998 season.
A rare photo of the restaurant not busy.
Menu signed by Alice himself.
By the time we're done at Alice Cooper'stown, we had to stop for gas at a nearby gas station and found out there was a Dunkin' Donuts not too far from the gas station. Since this is our first time at a Dunkin' Donuts, we figured we'd stop by and see what the whole rave was about their coffee, donuts, and sandwiches. Let's just say I'm a huge fan and cannot wait 'till they fully expand into the West Coast or the Pacific Northwest (whenever that happens); that coffee is to die for. Now that the "Foodie-Con" portion of Taiyou Con was over, we finally start heading back closer to where I can call home - the O.C. We visited my old neighborhood visited a few friends in Westminster and then headed out to Huntington Beach to hang out the rest of my friends before we would head out back to Long Beach later that night at midnight.

Traveling Back to Sacramento and Southern Oregon

Before having to head back on our obligatory trip to Sacramento, I'd spent some time on the beaches of Long Beach since we stayed on a beach house right next to it. Given the recent events prior to the convention, I was finally able to relieve myself from the stresses and struggles I've been facing beforehand. For once in my lifetime, it has been a long while since I was at peace and complete serenity. For what time I had to think on the beach, left myself a message. I for once had a moment of clarity much needed for the trek home. I gave in and let all the negativity wash away with the waves; by then, it was 11:00am and it's time to finally head back to Sacramento.

Something I wrote to rememeber by.
We wouldn't immediately go back to Sacramento as we made a stop in Valencia to go to Aaron Brothers for frames for our signed memorabilia. After that long and boring trip up the 5 which contained a lot of CHP patrol stops, we had finally made it back to Sacramento, well more Elk Grove to be more precise. After many failed attempts to get Korean BBQ over the weekend, we met our match at OZ Korean BBQ, a joint that Matthew knows. Mind you, this will be my first time ever eating Korean BBQ; I would be surprised by how many K-Pop videos and plates of BBQ we would go through. Let's just say the next time I find someone who wants to go to Korean BBQ, I am totally there because it's such a fun and unique thing to do with a group of friends in such a fun environment, not mention great food.

Matthew digging into the appetizers even before the grill got hot.
After a much needed meal, we finally arrived back at Matthew's house where the remainder of the night would consist of him falling asleep because he had work the next morning, me loading up music on my phone, and unloading the rest of the photos and videos were were taken over the weekend. By the time morning came, the news was on and I had finally figured out how to get everything assembled properly in my memorabilia case. I will say that this was the turnout I was really hoping for.

The end result. Yay!
The last time I would see him would be at Walgreens downtown to get the final pieces to my memorabilia case. As we are rushing out the door at Walgreens, we would say our goodbyes I would head back up north on the 5 playing "Memories of You" and "Changing Me." My last stop would be in Redding as I made my last trip to In-N-Out Burger to pick up some lunch and a doggy bag for Amanda who demanded her craving for her burger. About an hour and a half later, I would arrive home; I was supposed to donate that day, but due to a long travel I refused to do so and fell asleep the minute I got home and unloaded. Sadly, this would be the end of my con journey.

Overall and Closing Thoughts of Taiyou Con 2015

First and foremost, I am glad, rather blessed, by the people I met over the duration of the con. I personally would like to thank Michael Schuetz and Danny Nguyen for coming all the way from Portland and staying with us the majority of the con. If it wasn't for you guys, it wouldn't had felt like a group experience and it really would have been a bland room crew. I'd also humbly like to express my gratitude to Michael and Gackto for inviting us to such a wonderful event and a big one for us at that. If it wasn't for you guys there, this glorified "Persona-Con" we were looking for would've never happened. Our biggest shout out and sincere thanks to Lotus Juice, Kawamura-san, and Hirata-san for making their first trip outside Japan to the United States and playing as a group, singing their hearts out to us at Taiyou Con. I am grateful to have met you guys on a personal level and have a drink with you. I hope that one day soon we'll all be able to see you and chant your names again. As far as the convention goes, despite how small the location is I had a great time with all the events that were happening over the weekend. There were some hiccups here and there but as every convention has hiccups whether it's just starting out or a few years in, even the big ones do. In moderation with this year's event, given how big it was, I'm hoping this Arizona convention really lit its fire and can keep its momentum going and not be the one hit wonder I heard some people mention after the convention. All in all, we had a great bunch of guests there and I appreciate meeting all of them.

Would I/We Return?

I think that's the question a lot of people are asking after this convention ended, but in all honesty do you want my opinion? I'm sure you all do. I will honestly say that I will return back to this convention because of how much fun the environment was with all the themes that were going on over the weekend and at the cafe; it really seems like this place was a hospitable location to have fun at. I really look forward to seeing what Taiyou Con can leave for us next year because this convention is definitely one I'm keeping an eye out for.

This will be the end of my complete coverage of Taiyou Con 2015.

I'll leave you here with the lyrics to "Changing Me" (the ending theme to Persona Q) featuring both respective guests Yumi Kawamura and Shihoko Hirata. Until our next convention coverage guys, this is Ryan signing out.

I wasn’t able to draw my very own map
Because I couldn’t blame anyone else for it
I could never find the right answers
All I’m good at is making excuses
If I’m going to get hurt otherwise, I’d rather stay as I am
But because I met you
I found myself
Your voice, your weakness, your gaze
Even the bold front you put up, and that smile of yours - those will become my wings
Let’s set flight from this neverending night, shaking ourselves free
From the border of cowardice, for changing by me
Let us seek the light of tomorrow
I thought I was stuck in a dead end
Trapped, unable to go anywhere
But you told me the path was always open
Once I stepped forward on my own
I feel the gentle breeze on my cheeks, carrying me forward
I’ll share these wings engraved upon my back
With you, struggling amongst sadness and suffering
I hope that you’ll soar to even greater heights in these endless days, for changing by you
And so I pray
Though there were lonely nights when I cried
I know that, in the ongoing future, there is someone waiting for me
In this long journey where everyone falters, I’ll take a step forward with thoughts of you in my heart, and my faith in dawn
Hey, I want to tell you something
To the fact that you were born; the fact that we met
And this world with you - thank you

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.