Sunday, December 5, 2021

Matthew's Kumoricon 2021 Report: Part 2 - Day Zero


This part of the report says "Day Zero" but in all honesty this part actually begins at the tail end of what is called "Day Negative One," aka the Wednesday before a convention. Like in 2017, the drive between Sacramento and this time Portland would be a two day trek - do one leg up to Medford, rest up and hang out in the morning, then make the other leg through the mountains through Eugene and flat out until we get to Seattle Portland. And like in 2017, Nate is with me as we meet up in Sacramento and road trip together.

Up in Medford, we meet up with Ryan, Dalton, Jeriko, and Jeriko's friend who also came with us to this convention. We gather everything we need for the weekend that we brought up, eat at MOD Pizza & end up ordering a salad because god knows the next time I would get any sort of greens in my system prior to Sunday night, and end the night playing Mario Party Superstars where Nate gave up a 300 coin lead and allowed me to come back from certain defeat to win the game. To be fair though, it was a 50/50 shot - either lock the game up or allow someone to get back into it.

Miku and Sadie at the hotel

Day Zero began with a visit to a place that Ryan suggested we go called Crackin' and Stackin' known for their "gourmet" pancakes. 

I ended up ordering a Meat Lover pancake topped with country gravy and both Ryan and Dalton were not exaggerating how big these pancakes were, even for a single let alone a double.

The Meat Lovers 

With that meal out of the day and willing to wait until we got into Portland, we made a couple of stops to stock up on food, drink, materials needed to finish some cosplay, and gas - most of it done at a Fred Meyer, or Freddies for short.

With noontime hanging over our heads, we depart for Medford to make the "short" trip to Portland.

For a moment, we made our way through the streets of Portland in an attempt to get around a traffic accident on the I-5. Eventually we make it past it and head into downtown and the convention center to check into the Hyatt Regency Portland, which is a beautiful hotel and ready for all of us to stay in while we attend this convention. We didn't expect hardwood flooring though and that would come up throughout the weekend.

A map of the Philippines at Magna Kusina

After checking in, settling into our room, and getting parking situated, Jeriko and his friend depart to see family while the remaining four - me, Ryan, Dalton, and Nate - head out to SE Clinton Street and a spot that Ryan noticed while looking for food spots in Portland, a modern Filipino restaurant called Magna Kusina.

The menu at Magna Kusina

One thing not listed on the menu was the Tito Boy Shot - a shot of what is usually Hennessy but instead was Oregon Whiskey and a lumpia chaser - and the only way to know that is through their Instagram account. One of the waiters noted that a previous group ordered the shots and did it the wrong way: lumpia then shot. We did it like champs: shot then lumpia, which the waiter noted "you did it better than the previous group."

It felt like we ordered the entire menu that night and since this was Dalton's first time eating Filipino food outside of what Ryan cooks for him, it was a treat to get his reactions.


##kumoricon ##kumoricon2021 ##tastetest ##filipinofood

♬ original sound - California Conventions Blog


##kumoricon ##kumoricon2021 ##tastetest ##filipinofood

♬ original sound - California Conventions Blog

It was a great way to start out the weekend and to start out Kumoricon 2021 with the people that I haven't seen in quite sometime. The food was fantastic and the variations to classic recipes astounded me - for example, the Oxtail Kare-Kare uses pumpkin seed butter instead of peanut butter to get around food allergies. And the local craft beer was amazing and and just the start to tasting the region. 

As everyone heads back to the hotel and we attempt to rest up, we get some news from the convention staff that for sure we would have to address in the morning. But for now, we stare out into our view of the convention center and downtown as we cross into Friday and the beginning of the convention.

-Day Zero End-

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