It’s been five years since we’ve had a vacation without children, and I was completely thrilled to have it be Gen Con, in Indianapolis. The last time we went was in 2010, so it’s been awhile, and a lot has changed! It would probably be best to start from the beginning of the trip though. We decided to leave on Tuesday afternoon so that we could get a day to relax before the conference, which ended up being a pretty good decision. I’ll admit we probably didn’t prepare enough for our trip, since we only booked a few events to play in, but it was too late to think about and we were off!
We decided to cross to the US in Windsor, and our first sign that this would be an incredibly nerdy and geeky trip came at the border. We told the guard where we were going and that we were playing board and card games, and he asked if one of those games was Magic: The Gathering. After discovering that he played, he asked what I thought of the latest Core set. I’ve never had such an easy border crossing! Emily was in charge of finding a place to eat dinner on the way to Indianapolis, and we found an amazing fish and chips place. While there, our server noticed that we were playing Pokemon Go, and gave us her friend code on the back of our bill. We could feel the cloud of gaming following us!
When we arrived that first night, I was pretty exhausted, but I still found the time to sort through the magic cards that I had brought, so that I could easily find what I was looking for. Luckily, the airbnb we rented had netflix, so I sorted cards while watching the Reboot reboot. Live action, who’d have thought?
On the first day that the exhibit hall opened, I lined up with Joanna to be one of the first few people to get in. There was quite a crowd outside, and everyone was incredibly courteous, despite being very, very excited!
Highlights of the trip included:
Playing in the Magic 25th anniversary birthday qualifier (and doing terribly, but we still got cupcakes and a beautiful playmat!)
Learning to play games in the Rio Grande play room, and also getting fed!
Playing and actually enjoying some of the party games by CGE (for those who know me, you know I hate party games… but somehow these were fun!)
Listening to some nintendo themed buskers:
We also hit up the Indiana State fair to enjoy some deep fried butter and bacon, again! Sadly the hot air balloon show couldn’t happen because it was too windy, but we did see a cow parade, a tractor parade, and a to-scale lego cornfield! We capped off that night with a stop at the beer tent, and sampled some amazing beers. We enjoyed them so much that we drove straight to the brewery to see if we could buy some!
On the Saturday, we decided to avoid the exhibit hall since that day was the most crowded, and we ended up learning to play some games in the Rio Grande room. We also met a service dog named Gandalf, and you’ll probably be able to see why he was frequently the centre of attention.
Our final night playing games also included the most delicious meal of the entire trip, and we didn’t even have to pay for it… it was coffee encrusted prime rib roast, and the flavouring was some of the most intense that I’ve ever had! And to top it all of, we were able to play games while we enjoyed that fantastic meal!
The final day involved wandering the exhibit hall in search of deals, and we found some really good ones! Emily saw and fell in love with one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever seen called Everdell. I’ve never seen her so excited to buy a $75 game, and the second she asked me if we could get it, I said yes! The art was evocative and the mechanics combined several different mechanics from some of our favourite games! We even got our copy signed! After that, Joanna competed in a puzzle contest to try to win a 40,300 piece puzzle, and though she didn’t win, she ended up buying it anyway.