We had arranged for breakfast for around 8 so we showered and made our way down to the nice breakfast room. It was surprisingly empty except for our friends Claus and Andrea. On the tables were printed out Imperial and Rebel cogs and the excitement went up a little more. I always love hotels that serve fresh fruit as well as the usual cereals and the coffee was hot and good. Breakfasts with a bunch of people all going to the same event are so much fun. An hour later we were back in our room getting ready for the 1st big day.
There were a lot of people though not as many as would be there on Saturday and it was pretty amazing what we saw.
Many of the props were fan made, in fact most of them were and it was astonishing to see the detail and love that went into them. We spent a lot of time, like kids in a toy shop, just staring longingly at things....
There were a lot of merchants, though not as many as I had expected still more than enough to satisfy the hard core buyers ( which we are not). I saw some things I would loved to have bought but really just cannot justify spending 300 euros on. So it was enough to look and smile at everything starwarsy and iconic.
We tended to spend a lot of time near the 501st area. It's where most of the people we know were hanging out and it felt like a safe haven.
We have taken our time with the whole integration thing I think. We both feel a bit burned out by our other costume hobby so the 501st was a hobby to get away from our other hobby. But that's changed. Right from our very first official troop until now slowly we have been getting to know people, especially people in our own squad. I like to hang out with people, period I don't much care where they come from but I notice a gravitation towards the Nordic Garrison mainly because we always go to Legoland in Denmark and have a lot of fun, and we hang out with the Swiss garrison because really without them we would probably have never gotten off our asses to get the 1st costume done to join up. What took us both a long time was to get to know our own squad within the German Garrison. Partially because we didn't go to a lot of local troops and partially because the troops were limited to certain costumes or bad timing for us. But slowly that changed too and we've found ourselves part of the group in a small way so it was especially nice to see so many all in one place and really get to talk a bit more as well as put faces a to forum names.
What I remember about this day was being overwhelmed. So many people and so many things to look at it sort of blew a fuse in my brain. One of the highlights of the day though was when we swung by the artists row and stopped to say hullo to one of my favourite artists ever, Tsuneo Sanda. His work is stunning and his use of colours never ceases to amaze me. We met at Fedcon a few years ago and since then we've kept in touch. I wish I could speak Japanese so that we could just talk about art which we tend to do when we meet but it's always through a translator. At CEII his translator was a wonderful woman who did a great job putting my rapid fire babble into Japanese sense. He was genuinely happy to see me which I didn't expect at all, he sees so many people all the time that I didn't expect to receive such a lovely warm welcome.
I look kinda teary eyed because he has just given me an incredibly lovely present. Totally unexpected and then he asked for pictures. After this moment I wandered about in a daze because I was a bit shell shocked. Marcus thought it was all terribly funny and sweet that his wife got all fan girl and speechless.
The rest of the day just sort of happened but it's a bit of a blur. In the evening we ended up back at the pub to meet friends for supper which eventually led to us meeting up with them at a pretty sweet sushi bar. We stayed until late but eventually headed back to the hotel because Saturday promised to be even more....