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Looking Back on My Week (Cookie Part First)

I’m at home, exhausted but quite happy about everything that happened during my past week of travels. There is SO MUCH to share, that it will take a little time for me to put it all together, but there will be some good stuff on the way. That’s the middle part, like the double stuff inside the Oreo. For now, let me just give you the cookie part (meaning the start and end of the trip) with a little overview of what’s coming next.

This week could not have started out in a more unusual way. It has been (number of years redacted) since I last competed in a pageant, but I decided to throw my tiara back into the ring one more time. I competed for (and won!) my Rescue the Runway crown in support of animal rescue organizations with literally only two hours to spare before I was boarding a flight to Vegas for the Laser Tag Convention!

So yes, rather than chilling and relaxing before the start of my trip I instead put myself through a personal challenge that requires layering on a ton of additional planning, packing and focus. What was I thinking, lol?

Well, I was thinking that this supports a great cause and gives me a chance to show a different side of myself. Here are a couple of pics from the competition that kicked off my tag trip.

Riding the high of having actually won the crown, I boarded the plane just a couple of hours later and the adventure really began.

I arrived in Vegas late on Sunday night, planning on having Monday as a cushion day in between. Monday was my designated “eat sushi and play laser tag” day and I went off to play in several arenas I had previously visited.

Let the games begin! From there the short overview of my week includes speaking at the Laser Tag Convention on Tuesday, attending the Amusement Expo International on Wednesday, visiting with Britany (one of my best friends since junior high) on Thursday…

…and rounding things out with a Tag 4 A Cause night in Utah. From there I would drive back to Vegas to catch a red eye flight home just after midnight on Friday morning.

That much went according to plan and I’ll share more soon, but let’s pick the story up here with the flight home.

I never actually made it home on Friday. Long story short is some VERY heavy fog in Philadelphia (my connecting point) caused some flight cancellations, so people were being moved to other flights, which threw a wrench into my plans to get home. By the time I had been in the airport for a few hours I decided Philly is not so far away that I couldn’t just drive home instead, so I rented a car. However, at this point I had been on the road (or on a plane) going pretty much nonstop for about 36 hours, so I decided to stay the night in Philadelphia and drive home the next day.

When in Philly, there is one place I know I must visit!

This is where I found my second wind and played tag all night long! Yes, I was ready to drop when I got to the hotel, but this was the best night of tag I’ve had in awhile. It felt like the old days at FJ and I just wanted to have that experience for as long as possible. After six or seven games I called it a night, but my thanks to everyone at UZ for helping me turn an unexpected stop in your city into a fantastic, full night of laser tag!

The next morning I was ready to drive home, but not before detouring for one more adventure. When you are a total fan girl passing through NJ you stop at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. I got an impromptu photo-op with “Cousin Johnny” John Willyung (aka Cohee Lundin) from Clerks, Chasing Amy, etc.

Whew! What a trip! I will share more of the highlights in greater detail soon, but for now I will just smile as I think about what an amazing ride it has been. :)

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