Hey look! We went on vacation!

[I made the pictures on my last post BIGGER because I finally figured out how to use this newfangled contraption I’m on. So go have a look if you actually like being able to see who is in the pictures.]
Last November, Fred had a conference in Hawaii. Or as I like to call it, vacation. But last November was… not good. We canceled our trip.
Fast forward a few months when we realized that our condo in Kauai was still paid for and the airfare was paid for and hey! Let’s go on vacation! So we did.
We asked Emma where she wanted to eat dinner at the airport before we left. She picked Macaroni Grill.
Whatevs. They have beer.
Our flight out of Chicago was delayed and we very nearly missed our connection in L.A. Fred is not a religious man but even he was praying that we wouldn’t because he did NOT want to deal with me if we weren’t going to be landing in Hawaii THAT NIGHT.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen, and when we woke up, this was the view from our lanai. Good morning, happy island.
I highly recommend renting a condo for vacations, especially if you travel with smallish children. We would sit in the morning and watch the turtles play in the waves. Like so:

On our first morning on our way to breakfast we saw this mama hen with her chicks. 
Our first day there was beach day. So I slathered sunscreen ALL OVER and off we went. We drove all over the island trying to find a sunny beach, and when we did the waves were insane. So we bailed on our plan and decided to head back for dinner. On our drive I noticed that my legs were itchy but I figured it was from the sea water.
Until the next morning when I woke up covered in hives. COVERED. Remember last year? Yeah, not even close. No matter! We had adventures already booked and paid for! I popped a benadryl and Emma and I went horseback riding.
The ranch dog. She was adorable.

Emma prepares.

Her trusty steed!
We rode out on a trail that led to these falls, where we stopped and had lunch and the guides told stories about Hawaii and its natives.
Emma wanted to swim but the water was FREEZING so we settled for feet.
If you look closely you can see that my neck and face are covered in bumps. Horrible, itchy bumps.
This jackass stole a woman’s cookie right out of her hand.
After a long day of horseback riding, I always like to relax with a local beer.
The next day was my birthday. Happy 35 years! Here’s a skin rash! The plan was for me to have the morning to relax so Fred booked a bike ride for him and Emma. 
I KNOW. It was adorable. (Later, they got matching tattoos.) 

I went in search of coffee and found a sign that obviously was made for me.

Um, it was windy.
But I found a nice stretch of beach, and contemplated it and other things until it started raining. And then I ran back to the car and read my book.
Later that day we made our way to the sunny side of the island for some serious beach time, HIVES BE DAMNED. And we saw this guy there.

HAWAIIAN MONK SEAL! He. Was. Amazing. They’re highly protected so as soon as one comes up on the beach, men appear from nowhere and erect fencing around the seal so no one bothers it. He (or she, as it may have been) snoozed the whole time we were there, rolling around and snoring. 

The next day was Sightseeing Day! We drove out to the lighthouse…

…and then continued to Hanalei…

“Dear god, that mermaid has THREE arms!”

The next morning we left the condo for our single day at a resort. I highly recommend this as well. They bring you drinks at the pool!
There was some boogie boarding…

…and some lazing around in the pool…

Then we had dinner and watched our last Hawaiian sunset. 
Our flight left the next night so we crammed the day with souvenir shopping and coconut milk drinking.
Yeah. I’m ready to go back.

The day the internet came to Chicago

I snagged a pass to go to C2E2 this April (free! professionals! pass! for librarians!) and then the internet all said THEY were coming too and plans were made and lo! It was exciting. Allow me to tell you via pictures since I really can’t remember what happened at this point.
I took a picture of myself in the morning with my requisite comic-y shirt and brightly colored sweater so the internet would recognize me.
We’re here! At C2E2! This was my first comic con and I really wanted to soak things in so I wandered by myself for a bit. Toby texted that he had spotted Sean Astin by the Captain America display so I wandered very quickly over there, but I missed him. So I took a picture of the display so as to make it seem that, yes, I really WAS interested in thissssszzzzz…
There is no picture of it but it was after this that I saw Anne and made her hug me like the creeper I am.  Then I ran into Sarah, we squealed, and off we went to the next photo. I mean, session. Whatever.

Bill and Gene, the Unshelved guys. Funny. They made a bunch of people stand up and pretend to be specific types of library patrons, and in return they were given a hat. I was the loud drunk guy.
Then it was time for lunch! Sarah and I found Anne and Karl, located Toby, stood around for a bit staring sadly at the food options on the main floor, and then took off for better eats. We were joined by Lisa! and Rob! and Kristin! and Val! and we all hugged and talked all at the same time and marveled at the sounds of each other’s voices.
Done with eating! Time for working! 

Here we are waiting for Toby and Kristin’s panel on libraries working with local comic shops. 

Really blurry picture of Toby, the other person on their panel, and Kristin. And some dude. Hey, dude. (Ha!)
Sitting next to me but not pictured is Leah, who snuck into the panel. We attempted to scan a QR code unsuccessfully, which caused us to break into a fit of giggles. Then Leah left, the panel ended, and it was time to hit the exhibit floor!
click to embiggen!
First we stopped by the ALA booth for a group librarian shot. 

Then there were hats. Rob tried them on. ‘Allo, guvnor.

Prepping for steampunk day at work.
Then I creeped some more. This time, my subject was Chris Hardwick. The line to meet him was hilariously long but I can attest that he’s not a large man but super cute. Like, you want to put him in your pocket.

Creepers be creepin’, y’all.

Then some more solo wandering.

These two were adorable.
And suddenly, it was night. Yep. Just like that. So it was time TO SING!

Margaret and Rob twist and shout.

Kelly and Robin ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

Possibly one of my favorite pictures ever. Lisa tweeting and Val looking at Kristin in disbelief. Because really, what could possible cause Kristin THAT MUCH happiness?

Leah got a YAY! sticker and if you know Leah, then you know this is just damn perfect.

Lisa and Kristin: Just small town girls, living in a lonely world. That’s all.

Yay, Val is going to sing! Wait, no. Just getting up to get another weird drink that tasted like banana runts.

Toby, Mike, and Julie are motorin’.

Kelly and Kristin are trying to explain that their hearts WILL go on. Probably in 3D, in fact.

And Val finally DOES sing, channeling her inner Pat Benatar.
Did I sing? Yeah, but I don’t have any pictures of it. I seem to remember a group number of Hangin’ Tough, and two duets: me and Kelly singing 9 to 5 and Val and I reminiscing about college with Wonderwall.
The room was the size of a closet and a million degrees but it was AWESOME.