Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Seriously, I'm Done With Creative Titles: BrickCan 2019!

After having a wonderful time at BrickCan in 2018, I was eager to return this year.

On Friday, May 3, I boarded a mid-morning flight from Portland. When I arrived in Vancouver, the line for customs was about 8,000 people long. Gah. So that took about an hour. But as soon as I escaped from the customs line, it was time to eat donuts!

I got lunch at the airport, then took the light rail train to the hotel. I arrived at the River Rock Casino/Resort around 2:30pm, with just enough time to drop off my stuff in the hotel room (I was sharing with a friend) before a 3pm gathering o' LEGO fans.

As we AFOLs entered the theater, we were given goodies... free drinking glasses and ski hats...

This is my My flight was only an hour long, so why have I been traveling for 6 hours? face. 

Beyond getting these hats, I don't remember anything about this meeting.

At some point that afternoon, I set up my MOCs...

^"Quacktan" (first seen at Bricks Cascade '19) and "Escalation" (new.)

^2 of my kitchens.

I also brought 3 of my Fisher-Price toy replicas, which you can see if you look really hard...

All AFOL attendees got a swag bag, and the bags were quite nice (again) this year. I can't believe I didn't take any photos of the goodies while at the con, but I just remembered I had one of the bags sitting nearby just now, so here's a picture of some of the stuff I got (and/or traded for -- different people got different pieces.)

Lots of printed tile... and check out those heart-shaped pieces!

Around 5pm it was time for my first game of the con... The One-Handed Speed Build...

I didn't do too poorly... but yeah, several people had already called "done" by the time I finished. And then I realized I'd put the robot's arms on backwards. So at that point, I packed up.

That evening, a group of lady AFOLs (aka WAFOLs), including myself, rode the light rail over to a mall that has a LEGO store.

And I bought 14 of these packs. But I GOT SCROOGE MCDUCK, which is all that matters, really. 

I also got one of the duck nephews, and by the end of the weekend I'd procured a second nephew. One more to go...

Late Friday evening, we participated in Dirty Brickster...

New this year, they had a round of "Homemade Dirty Brickster," where all the gifts given/received were things that had been, you know, made rather than purchased. While I opted to participate in the normal version, I was very curious about what was going on in the "Homemade" game -- the variant games were held at the same time, unfortunately -- and I may have sneaked over to the other circle for a couple of glances & photos.

Next year, I might just do the Homemade version, if they have it.

I really failed on the photos this year. No pictures of what I acquired during DB, but... I recall that I got a couple of smaller sets, and I was happy with them.

* * *

Saturday morning I didn't have much going on, so I opted to do some Vancouver sightseeing. I decided I was finally going to check out the Vancouver Aquarium. I had passed by it during my 2017 trip, but had thought the price seemed a little steep. Now I was like, Hey -- let's do it.

I used Google Maps to plan the best way to get there. But something went awry, and the directions sent me to the waterfront, near the cruise terminal. I kept trying to find a certain bus that would take me westward, but I never did find it, so I ended up walking all the way to Stanley Park and the aquarium. 

Google Maps tells me the walk was fewer than 2 miles, but dangit, it felt farther.

On the way, I saw some cool things....

Docked at Canada Place was a Holland America ship, and I was like awww!!!... because this is where my Alaska cruise departed in 2017. 

Later, I found out that this very ship was involved in a mishap earlier that VERY MORNING,when it and another Holland America ship bumped into each other, right there in port.

Look at it sitting all innocently in the harbor like it doesn't know what happened.

Oh man, though, I sooo wanted to go aboard.

#cruiselife  #notashamed

I finally made it to Stanley Park, and (yay!) I remembered my way around from the last time I was there. So I found the aquarium quickly, and proceeded to buy a ticket, enter, and then eat.

And then I went inside to see fish...

And non-fish...

I went to several keeper talks, including one for walruses, and the keepers gave out a lot of good information. I probably wouldn't be in a hurry to go back to this aquarium, but I had a nice time.

Then it was back to LEGOLand... I mean, BrickCan...

So you may recall that, at Bricks Cascade earlier this spring, I had tried to put together a Team Speed Build team, but things had not worked out. Since BrickCan picks people for games via a randomizer (rather than the dreaded first-come, first-serve method) I thought we might at least have a chance here, so I recruited 5 friends. We dubbed ourselves WAFOL House. And we all registered for Team Speed Build as our first game choice.

Buuut something went wrong, and when the list of teams/players came out on Thursday night, only four of us were on the list and 2 of us were on a waiting list. Two members of the team who were there already talked to the management, and it was rumored that something might be worked out. We didn't know, until the game actually began on Saturday, whether or not we'd be able to participate as a team. (I wasn't really keen on playing at ALL unless all 6 of us could do it.)

So at 3pm Saturday, the Team Speed Build was happening, and while Team WAFOL House wasn't sure what was going to happen, we all showed up, ready to play...

And, thanks to some rearranging & adjustments by the games committee, our whole team WAS able to participate together! And we got to assemble this set....

3,553 pieces? NBD.

We all gave it a good effort, but were not the speediest team in the land.

After the game, we broke apart the builds and divided up the pieces.

(l-r: Laura, Arwyn, Krys, me, Jenelle, and Jean.)

That evening, at the Awards Ceremony, my name was randomly drawn for a LEGO set! Since it was May 4th, all the sets given out that day were Star Wars themed. 

* * *

The next morning, Sunday, was the final day of the con. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well. I joined some friends for a breakfast buffet, but afterwards, I went back to the room and took a nap. I did rally myself in the early afternoon, and I participated in the 101 Bricks Challenge....

I used 101 pieces from my swag bag & other pieces I'd acquired over the weekend. If I'd spent more time on it, I could have come up with a better selection of pieces, but oh well!

This was my entry for one of the challenges....

It's Snow White at her wishing well!


So anyway, I raked up a couple of points throughout the four challenges, but not enough to win.

I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at the show among all the MOCs.

Oh, hey, maybe this would be a good time to post MOC pictures! 

There were hundreds of cool things this year! It's amazing how many great MOCs can be present in such a (relatively) small convention.

^This was one of my favorites.

^This was made by some folks from PortLUG (Portland), and it won one of the highest honors!

Late in the afternoon, the show ended, and they began to close things down. We all got together for Closing Ceremonies. This was the view from the balcony....

During Closing Ceremonies, other LEGO Cons were promoted, prizes were given out, and then it was time to head out. For me, that meant jumping on the light rail and heading for the dreaded airport. Other AFOLs stayed at the hotel one more night and enjoyed some Cinco De Mayo-related activities.

Despite any setbacks, it was a fun and fabulous weekend, and I can hardly wait to go again next year!

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