Boy, this will be a long one! That is probably the sentence I will hear after this story, but it has been a great effort to get to this point so it is all worth it.
When I finally got to watch and totally was drawn into Supernatural's world and I heard all the great things about the Cons, an idea began to form in my mind. I am not a traveler and at this point the trip was just something I could dream about that would never happen. That was until I suggested we would travel to England and attend Asylum Con. We never made it to our honeymoon and our tenth year anniversary was ahead of us so I suggested that we would combine those two. Things happened and plans changed but we did it. So, welcome to my Con story.
Trouble on the horizon
It is weird to think the con is already over and I am safely at home. For me and my husband it has been a long strange trip that culminated 11-13th August. But I am getting ahead of myself so let me start at the beginning. Did you know that VanCon was not originally our target con? Not many do. We were first planning to head to Asylum 16 on Friday 6th May 2016 to Sunday 8th May 2016 but as we were going to rent a car to get around, my husband started to get cold feet because of the driving. He was nervous on how he could be able to drive on the wrong side of the road.
That wasn't the real reason though why we needed to postpone our trip that would have been our 10th anniversary and at the same time late honeymoon trip. I was taking our new puppy out on 21st of October 2015 and carrying it down the front stairs when he started to fight himself out of my arms. Split second later, I realized that I was falling down the stairs and I tossed him carefully on his feet on the ground. I hardly remember what happened but I do remember the pain that followed. Later I found out that half of the sinews that held my thigh muscle in place had ripped loose in the fall and it needed to be operated on or I would not walk without crutches and without great pain ever again.
That pretty much postponed our trip and it was the last thing on my mind a while. The operation was more risky than usual for me because of complications and I was given 50/50 survival possibility from it. I also needed to do the decision alone. So I made the call and thought about Jared and his campaign. Even though it is a totally different matter I decided to Always Keep Fighting, to not be afraid and quit. I wanted to walk again like I used to. Everything that happened is clear in my mind because I remember when I woke up my husband brought a laptop and we watched together Supernatural episode Baby at the hospital. I had waited for that episode for so long from when we first heard about it, and it marked the day I had made it. Everything went well and I have a HUGE battlescar to proove it.
When I got home to recuperate we talked about "the reward" when I got better - our postponed trip. Luckily, we switched from Asylum to VanCon because we would not have had a con to go to if you heard about the news. Asylum went out of business. We would have lost all our money because there were no refunds. So we started to plan and take care of things well before the convention. We also kept our thumbs up that the show would go on as far as our planned convention date.
Planning the trip
We decided it should be Vancouver because they were filming the show there so we eagerly awaited the season finales and the announcements for the next season. We were lucky as the show was picked up for season 13 already in January! We also found out the con date.
My husband had flown in an airplane before but it was only on the home front. This would be my first plane ride and it would be about 3,895 miles long (bird fly). The plane trip would take about ten hours + the waiting time. For me that had never flown before this was a huge deal. So I got our second credit card to buy the plane tickets first. (Also after this day and before the trip my eyes started to fixate on all horrible news that had happened in planes or with them, ICK!) That was our priority.
Then we started to talk what Con tickets to get. My husband suggested I would get a Gold Ticket and he would get a Copper ticket. He said that the Con is more important for me anyway. We thought about it some more and checked what we would get with each ticket. I also said that everything would be new to me and I would want him by my side there. That settled it for us. We bought two silver tickets. Because we were early we got pretty good seats reserved there.
Next we also bought Jared and Jensen photo ops and few months later the J2 photo op. So those things were set well before the con. My husband also reserved our hotel room for ten nights in Comfort Inn Downtown (Check out Part 5, Filming locations). Then we made a list on things we needed to get done because this was a first trip for us both. We asked our friend well in advance if she could take care of our dogs while we were away and she said yes. If we couldn't get our dogs to be taken cared of we would have no trip. Also, the younger one was not healthy because of infection so we worried how he could fare in a strange place. He had never been this long without us. My friend (and our driver) also took her vacation at the same time as us so it would be easier to take care of the dogs. My brother was great support where we could ask for help and tips as he travels a lot because of his job. We meant to borrow the suitcases from him at first because we had none and to also save some money. The trip would cost a lot. We couldn't though as they had a trip at the same time so that wasn't a possibility. In the end we bought our bigger bags and we got the hand luggage bags loaned/as a present from our friends. Our dog nanny loaned us one and we were given the second by our friend. We also needed to get our passports and my husband an international drivers license (In the end it was not needed) and also an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to get into the country.
My husband borrowed a better camera for the trip and we also had a laptop with us to reserve pictures. He was also going to buy an extra hard drive in Vancouver. We also went to take the needed medical shots (I hate needles!) for the trip and we consulted the doctor to see if it would be safe to fly with my leg injuries. My leg is still not normal on this day but it is better and my walking is better every day so we needed to take that into consideration. While the trip date grew closer bit by bit we got everything done. Our friends and family were as in on it and supportive not to mention excited with us that we could experience it. My mother in-law was going to check out our apartment from time to time that everything was alright and she was so worried about us and the trip.
I was going to make a Fan Video for the con too but I noticed I was too late to send it when the time came. I did not let that trouble me that much because I was planning to create a few posters to give to Mark, Misha, Jensen and Jared at the con at a good time. One would be the one where I would collect their autographs. I also had some extra posters and cards with me to show and give/sell to other fans. The poster/card series was called "Road So Far" and the main piece had silhouettes of Dean, Sam, Castiel and Crowley on it with all 1-12 season's episodes written on it. Other pieces had just the characters or Team Free Will. Some I was planning to send to two fan sites and some to Nightsky and Alice as they lived the con excitement with me and they have been supporting my writing and me through tough times. I also wanted to give a few to Lynn from Fangasm because she is a great fan whose writing I follow and because she had also delivered to me Nightsky's present "Supernatural Comic Con magazine 2017" . Hopefully I am able to talk to her later at some point!
I made the posters because I wanted to show the cast and crew what Supernatural had given to me. For a long time my love for writing and art had been lost because of the weight of unemployment and the depression from it. Even when I finally got work it did not bring that joy back. Supernatural did it for me. I started to write for fun again and also create art and design different kinds of things like fan videos! I wished I could show and tell all this to them fast because I really didn't want to take time from other fans at the same time. How I succeeded you can read later.
The due date!
We had cleaned our apartment so it would be nice to come back from the trip. I honestly can't remember the last few days before the trip because we were still battling to get everything ready for it. But as you can understand from what I wrote before, this trip meant THE WORLD to me. We packed everything and drove to our friend's house. We were both tired and did not sleep as much as we should have. We were also worried about our dogs and how they would behave and fare the first time this long away from us. (Everything went great. My friend was awesome!)
We woke up to our twelfth year anniversary trip about six o'clock, ate breakfast fast and headed out to the airport. I was so nervous! Our plane was parting 8.45 am and we would be arriving to our first pit stop Iceland at 9.10 am local time. Because of my leg I needed more room to sit and my husband that is 198 cm tall needs more space too. The first seats were on the aisle so those worked well. My first flight was not that bad! In Iceland we needed to wait for eight hours for our connecting flight so we stopped by outside a bit and checked the scenery (Actually we made a mistake and we ended outside by accident). It is a beautiful but also naturally rugged land. I was dozing off most of the time at the airport. It was time to move on and it had started to rain outside and wind was blowing pretty hard at the landing field. Little exitement happened for us because we were taken with a bus to the plane and we needed to run to it and up the stairs because it was raining. We got to the next flight and I could not sleep at all on the plane. I watched the beautiful scenery from the window as we flew over the sea and the ice and mountains of Greenland. It was so beautiful. Sometimes the ice looked like molten tin. I am afraid of heights but watching out of the window did not have the same effect. We also could have the seat row just for ourselves. The flight to Iceland took about three hours and from there to Vancouver it took about seven hours. We arrived there 5.50 pm local time. The air was filled with smoke from the bad forest fires when we landed and it was humid. We took our luggage and taxi and headed to our inn. It was eight o'clock when we could not fight the sleepiness anymore so we just crashed to sleep and we slept to the next day.
They were actually filming a television show the next day at the bar that was connected to the inn. My heart started to race but no, it was not Supernatural. It was a show called Ice. I haven't heard of it or know anything about it. They needed to use our breakfast area for the shooting. I can tell you this - I come from a city that has 40,000 people living there so everything in Vancouver with 600,000 people was too big and new to us - The traffic, people on the streets, the noise, the huge buildings and parks. Needless to say my husband checked out with google where we could eat close by and we headed there by feet. We had Wednesday and Thursday to take a breather before the Con anyway. We also heard that we missed Jensen by a day at the airport. He was returning to film and was there on Wednesday afternoon.
On Thursday, hubby headed out to check out how long it was to walk to Westin Bayshore Hotel and to also get our tickets and wrist bands. (I would get it on Friday). He came back and he had already bought a shopping bag and four T-shirts. He also said it was too humid to walk there so we decided to use a taxi so we wouldn't feel awful and sweaty every day because of the walking. I made the posters ready so I would know what to take with and I was soooooo exited for tomorrow! Kim Rhodes was indisposed because she was filming none other than Supernatural season 13 episode three at the same time. We did not have any Meet and Greets or VIPs so sometimes we did have a lot of time on our hands.
Next up First day at the con - Friday!
Editor's Note: LK's story is being presented to you with only minimal editing. As her country of origin, home culture and distance to Vancouver is part of her convention experience, I thought it important that she be able to tell her story in her own words, without extensive English language translation revisions.