Thursday, August 11, 2022

Was it worth it?

Not going to lie: I was pretty anxious about going to BreyerFest. The thought of all those people crammed into all those tight spaces at a time when Covid numbers were spiking seemed like a recipe for a super spreader. I wasn't sure I wanted to be a part of it.

Then - entirely by happenstance - I found myself listening to a story on NPR about what to do if you got Covid while traveling. It was mostly logistics - how to find care, return your rental car and deal with hotel staff. At the end, the interviewer asked if maybe we should just not travel during a pandemic. The speaker said, no. This is life now. Get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in crowded places, but go on with your life. Literally, it might be like this forever.
That resonated with me. I realized that I am not willing to put my life on hold forever. I got on the plane and flew to Chicago.
Then I went to Kentucky and stood in all those crowds.
I hugged all those people.
I was pretty good about wearing a mask inside.
Not perfect.
Clearly not perfect.
As it turned out, my concerns were warranted. BreyerFest was a super spreader. For solidly a week, my Facebook feed was filled with pictures of my friends' positive Covid tests.
I didn't get it. I don't know how. I was right there in the middle of it, but somehow, I didn't get it.
Unfortunately, I did get a rip roaring case of Con Crud, which turned into a really nasty and persistent ear infection. I am pretty sure all my friends who got Covid have completely recovered. Meanwhile, I spent my morning at the ENT.
No one wants to see a picture of my nasty ear so here's cute Olive
It's been a painful, frustrating and expensive experience, and I've spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not it was worth it.
Let me tell you: It's not even a close call.
My answer is a resounding yes.
I'm pretty sure most all of my friends would agree. 
This was a fabulous, much needed BreyerFest. Despite everything, I would not change a thing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022


Even when BreyerFest is over, it's not really, truly, completely over until you're back home again. And when home is one thousand one hundred seventy seven miles away... Well, that's a couple extra days of BreyerFest.

I made the journey with my friends, Fabian Rodriguez and Angelo Žunić. 
I didn't think all of our stuff would fit in Fabian's little car, but it did!
It rained as we drove out of Kentucky and into Indiana.
Eventually the weather cleared and the scenery turned into this. Miles and miles and miles of this.
Unlike Tiffany, Fabian stayed calm, cool and collected while driving. There may have been one middle finger salute, but that was it, and it was abundantly justified.
Without any advance planning, Angelo and I both chose to wear our rainbow Mares in Black shirts. We must have looked pretty cute because we were stopped by a woman at a gas station in Missouri who wanted to know where she could get one for herself!
Fabian really wanted to make it back to Colorado in one day. 
He drove and drove and drove and drove.
We made it all the way to Oakley, Kansas before he decided enough was enough. We checked into a hotel just off the highway and crashed for the night.
We were right back at it bright and early the next day. We made it to my house before ten o'clock in the morning. Seth met us outside with a pile of Covid tests.
All negative, thank you very much!
We cuddled up for one last photo. Then Fabian and Angelo got back in the car and drove away.
And just like that, BreyerFest was really, truly, completely over.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Closing ceremonies

Officially, BreyerFest ends at the conclusion of the Sunday raffle. The next year's theme is announced, and everyone goes home. Unofficially, BreyerFest ends with a group dinner at one of Lexington's unsuspecting eating establishment. This year, the winner/loser was Osaka.

Lindsay and I arrived late. The restaurant was already packed with hobbyists.
photo by Christine Jordan
Somehow I managed to squish myself between Tara Reich and Yashka Hallein.
I was directly across from Heather Jackson-Lain and some pesky Canadian.
Jackie Rossi was over there, too.
This meant Beowulf was on the table right in front of me.
He also made it into my drink because of course he did.
The food arrived quickly and was every bit as good as it looked.
Everyone was giddy. 
This one told the wait staff it was her birthday, so we all got a round of ice cream.
Predictably, the pony went in the ice cream.
Then he went in Shauna. Canadians.
Poor Jackie was over there sympathizing with the wait staff. "No more white people," she muttered. "No more white people."
It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
It was the perfect ending to a perfect BreyerFest.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Sidesaddle sisters

Here's one more post about my fun, cosplay, sidesaddle ride at BreyerFest. This one is comprised of photos taken by friends in the stands. Thank you so much, everyone. I love these pictures and I love you!
photo by Rachel Nutter
photo by Rachel Nutter
photo by Rachel Nutter
photo by Rachel Nutter
photo by Tiffani Colvin
photo by Carra McClelland
photo by Lindsay Diamond
photo by Lindsay Diamond
photo by Lindsay Diamon
photo by Levi Kroll
photo by Kristian Beverly
photo by Kristian Beverly
photo by Kristian Beverly
photo by Kristian Beverly
photo by Kristian Beverly
photo by Kristian Beverly
photo by Kristian Beverly
photo by Kristian Beverly
photo by Kristian Beverly
photo by Kristian Beverly