I never saw the store on Friday. Instead, we spent the morning jockeying for unloading position behind the Sharonville Convention Center – we were greeted by an amazing sight . . .
This is the view from the loading dock – for those of you familiar with this building, the loading dock and the ramp next to it are all that’s left. Or all that’s left besides a big hole in the ground . . .
This is where the vendors used to pull in to unload and park. Eventually, new construction will make the convention center twice the size it is now. But it’s a mess these days.
Ryan was off work, so I had a helper to unload the truck and give me time to put up the gridwall. He has lots of experience – Ryan was only eight when we started on the circuit. But with his job at Best Buy, he hasn’t been on the road with me for more than three years.
It was entertaining watching Sue, Frankie, and Crystal set up the USArtQuest portion of our booth. Sue was directing traffic from her ground-level throne.
I got a kick out of watching their sign go up – especially when they realized that it was a little off-kilter . . .
Finally finished setting up and everyone headed to the hotel next door to get ready for the Preview Party. This year’s theme was My Superhero. You could make that mean a lot of things – for a long time I have wanted to to “Geriatric Superman” with worn and frayed tights, gray hair, and a cane. But Karen came up with an idea I liked better – why not pay tribute to her daughter Ashley, who is in the Army? So we did a little bit of both . . .
Karen and I went military, and Tweety Jill and her daughter Lindsay went as the Mad Hatter and Wonder Woman. And for those of you who are disappointed, keep in mind that these are Ashley’s fatigues, so technically I am still gender incorrect!
Once inside, Jill and Lindsay did a make it/take it in our booth, and Sue did a USArtQuest demo on her side.
But there was still time for fun and games . . .
Self-portrait with cell phone at arm’s length so I could send a shot to Ryan at home. Was instructed that we were “on duty” and shouldn’t smile . . .
Entertainer for the evening (he was really good), and the best vendor costume I saw – this is Dallas from Custom Wood by Dallas as Captain Sully, with his flight attendants.
And this was the runner-up customer costume (at least in my opinion) – these ladies said they were dressed as “Captain Art” (I made the mistake of asking if they were Alvin and the Chipmunks).
For obvious reasons, these were our favorite customer costumes, worn by the gang from Christy’s Main Street Memories. And neither we nor they knew what the other was wearing . . .
. . . but the outfits certainly went well together!
One final set of images at the end of a long day. After the Preview Party ended, we all trooped back to the hotel next door. Karen and Tammie were staying overnight, and I stopped for a quick change before driving home. I think Karen was just about done . . .
Almost a little bit of a Cruella DeVil look there . . .