Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Nashville Trip: Day 7

12:00pm- It's been a lazy day so far. I think we're all pretty tired from the week's events, so most of us slept in a ton, myself included.

12:30pm- Matt conducted some mad science in the kitchen!

2:00pm- Jordan got super excited about the hand soap at our rental house… Now Everyone has to smell our soda scented soap.

3:09pm- Guitar hero at our house with Josh and Jordan and a bunch of the crew :)

3:30pm- Joanna and Jordan are really killing it on those fake guitars! They amaze me.

3:37pm- Setting up for a round of King of Tokyo with Josh and Victory and some of the others!

4:57pm- Did the design for “BlimeyBear’s” shirt.

5:16pm- Spock and I have been talking since February that we needed to have a duel this summer. We are finally fulfilling that, and I managed to rope Matt into taking photos of us going at it. I just hope I survive… haven’t felt super amazing today and thus am running on very little food.

5:30pm- We tied in our duel. I won the first round and he won the second. I want to do a tiebreaker round, but I fizzled out completely due to lack of energy. Blah. I hope we have time to go at it again before we have to part ways. Meanwhile, I shall just lay in the grass. I think the guys are mildly concerned.

5:33pm- I am really loving Jer’s massive stash of Otterpops right now. Great energy boost when I am having a low! Thanks, Jer :)

5:47pm- Jordan is helping Joanna keep cool and look like a real rock star.

6:08pm- We all love teddybears in this house. Blue is great too.

8:17pm- Said goodbye to Josh and Jordan for the night, as well as Victory and Susan. What a great time! Was nice to have a relaxed day at home after all the adventures out and about from the past several days.

9:30pm- I’ve been here for an hour. Like this. Spock completely crashed. I feel kinda bad waking him up, but I am ready to stretch...

9:36- Went outside and noticed that Joanna and the others had found this little frog. How cute! I’m gonna play with him now :)

9:49pm- Such a pretty night for a moonlight swim! I don’t really feel up for swimming, but I found a lovely spot on top of the brick wall to watch them and watch the sky. There is a gorgeous bright moon and I keep seeing shooting stars. How fun!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Nashville Trip: Day 6

9:02am- Still so tired… Most of my housemates are up though. Haha I was just told by Joanna that I need to get up because Spock wants me to come eat waffles with him.

9:15am- Josh just swung by to grab Abbie, who is flying back to Canada today. We will miss her! Lots and lots of hugs going around.

10:30- So much packing and tidying up to do! We’ve been working on it for a while and are fairly well done though. I wonder what we will do with the overlap time between when we have to move out of this rental and into the next?

10:40- We found a pair of sandals. Everyone looked at them, tried them on, and decided they were not theirs. Must be Abbie’s! Whoops.

10:57- It has been decided: we are off to The Soda Parlor! A few of the housemates haven't been there yet. I am excited that I get the pleasure of going twice :)

11:20am- Chilling with my “little bro” :)

11:21am - We had a brilliant addition to our game of Mafia: before the narrator tells the story of how someone died, they have to pick a red card and a green card from the Apples to Apples deck and somehow include those words in their tale. It was so hilarious!

11:49am- I played my first ever old-school arcade game! The only other time in my life I've done an arcade game was when I played Dance Dance Revolution, probably 8 or 9 years ago.

12:03pm- I was going to take a photo of myself and Matt, but then Joanna and Nathan photo-bombed and made it even better! :)

12:05pm- Matt told me he doesn't know what to expect his face to look like in photos, so I got out my iPod and we made faces at it.

12:20pm- Our friends Victory and Susan showed up and hung out with us at the Soda Parlor for a little, then we decided to explore a little around the other shops in the big brick building we were in. This is the Garage Coffee Company. I never would have dreamed up an automotive themed coffee shop!

12:21pm- This table in the coffee shop is pretty cool! Creative minds set this place up. Also, their lemon loaves are amazing.

12:30pm- We discovered a little store called Island Cowgirl Jewelry. Such a neat place! I just want to buy everything in this store. It’s all adorable.
12:55pm- Victory and I made the discovery that we qualify as interesting people :) Yay!

1:00 pm- We found a clever Nashville shirt in another shop!

2:15pm- Driving with a Canadian looks very dramatic. I think I’ll have to send this photo to my mom later and see if she freaks out and doesn’t notice that we are driving in kilometers. Haha. Now, onward to our next rental house!

3:00pm- Our new rental house is definitely smaller than the last, but it is lovely! I’ll have to get a photo of it sometime later when we aren’t so busy unpacking.

4:11pm- We have a pool here, so of course we are going to use it! I knew I wouldn’t regret choosing us a house that offers swimming. I love how excited everyone is about it.

5:23pm- What a time we had in the pool! Somebody had the crazy idea of having me and Joanna get on the guys’ shoulders and try to see who can wrestle the other team over with a pool noodle first. Haha we only did a couple rounds. It was exhausting and exciting! Close match, but I got pushed off my teammate first.

6:15pm- And we are back at the Opry Mills Mall! A bunch of my housemates and a few of the crew who remained in town all wanted to see the new Star Trek movie. Spock and I have already seen it, however, so we went to dinner at Johnny Rocket’s.

6:30pm- We are the kind of crazies who will dramatically rock out and sing along with the songs on the radio. Ahh, fun times!

6:51pm- Turns out our friend Caleb has already seen Star Trek as well, so now we are a trio- though soon there will be five of us, once Victory and Susan meet up with us.

Gordon Jabe creation.png

8:40pm- We found an odd stand in the mall where this guy will print a photo of a person’s face onto a plastic 3D plastic piece and insert it into a small plush toy so that the toy has the face of you or your friend or relative (or enemy?). It’s super weird! We laughed and passed it at first, but Victory wondered if they had one that was a cow, and upon running back, it turns out they do. So guess what? We’re putting Jordan’s face on a cow plushie. Oh my goodness!

9:00pm- The Jordan cow plushie is… wow… creepy. We didn’t have a good shot of Jordan on hand, so we used the above face-swap of Jordan and our friend Gabe. Below is the result…

9:00pm- Yeahhhhh. Hahaha. It’s gonna be fun to give this crazy thing to Jordan.

9:03pm- Waiting for the movie to let out so that we can show our “Gordon Jabe” cow to the other half of the group.

9:10pm- That cow was kind of expensive for what it is, but man… the reaction from everyone is SO worth it.

9:11pm- “WHY IS HE SO ATTRACTIVE!?” - Joanna, as she gazes upon Gordon Jabe.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Nashville Trip: Day 5

6:20am- Jer: “We’re all bringing our build-a-bears! You should too.” Me: “And this is home school peer pressure.”

6:45am- On our way to the Dollywood Theme Park!

8:27am- Jer: *hands me his dragon* Me: *Makes my dragon hug his* Jer: “Were you making them kiss?!” Me: “No, they were hugging… This is kissing, this is hugging. Why do we need to demonstrate different types of PDA with our plush toys?!”

8:32am- Tim: “How would conjoined twins have a love life? It would have to be like polygamy.” Caleb: “If this were Solomon, it wouldn't be an issue.” Jer: “HEY LOOK, A TREE. AND A BUSH. AND ANOTHER TREE!” Caleb: “Trying to change the subject?” Jer: “Um, yeah.”


9:35am- Time for fast food and buying gummy worms at a gas station mini mart. Also time for a small group photo of those of us who wore our BlimeyCon shirts (Caleb, Chris, me). I love how all these extra little touches were added to the weekend by fellow Patrons rather than the Taylors having to plan and execute everything. Really makes it a team effort, and all the more special! Our friend Lily Wright had the shirts made for the event.

11:00am- Time flies. Especially when you fall asleep in Central time and wake up in Eastern time. Guess all of the weekend’s action really tired me out, because I slept for a good chunk of the drive. Also, a fun side note: this is the first time I’ve ever been in Eastern time!


11:20am- We’re here!! Now, to see where the other carloads of people have run off to.

Dollywood 50's Collage.jpg

11:37- I suddenly have ended up in a 1950’s town. This is my favorite architectural/fashion era. So far Dollywood is making points with me! It’s so cute!

12:11pm- Been having a great time so far! I have to say, I’m really thankful for the raft ride. It felt amazing to get soaked first thing. It’s hot out today! Starting to dry off a little after having ridden a few other rides, though. Maybe I’ll have to make another trip back to the water rides.

2:00pm- There is this cool old looking church building here. It smells like cedar and reminds me of being at summer camp.

2:15pm- Man… this heat and all of the exhaustion from the past several days has really hit me. Been laying around on a pew in the church building for a while and still don’t really feel like moving. Everyone else we were with went on to meet up with some of the rest of the crew, so that leaves me, Spock, and Matt here. I would feel bad, but Matt looks like he needs the rest too. So, I guess that just means Spock can keep playing the piano for a little while until we are rested up and ready to move.

2:40pm- I finally got rehydrated and better rested, Matt looks to be feeling better, and Spock has been begging us to do SOMETHING for a while now, so off we go! It’ll be all good once we actually get going on some rides and get in the mood again.

3:00pm- So, Spock, Matt, and I ended up becoming a mini team for the afternoon. Mostly because none of us felt like doing anything too huge or crazy, and also because these two are pretty much the coolest. There’s also been a running joke for the past several months that Spock and I are bro & sis and Matt is our dad. So of course the three of us had to have a “family” outing, right? ;)


3:27pm- We found a “graveyard”. It’s full of headstones that have limericks on them about how the people died. A few of them read:

“Here lies the body of Big Louis Free
His axe fell himself instead of the tree”

“When Israel was in need of food
The Good Lord sent them manna
Old looker Wallace wanted a wife
And the Devil sent him Hannah”

“Cutting trees and
trimming limbs
With saw, his axe, or knife
One day he cut the long end first
And then cut short his life”

Coffin Collage.jpg

3:36pm- I wondered if we could all fit in the coffin. It turns out the answer is “almost”. We then requisitioned another park guest to take a photo of us being the undead- because hey, how are we to pass up that opportunity!?

3:50pm- There is this one ride here that I am told is set up a little like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, called Burning Fury. It is sort of like a slow moving roller coaster that takes you through this eerie burning old west city. It’s actually rather hilarious; there are all these little details they put in. Like a sign on the restaurant that says they sell burnt toast and scorched eggs. It also has a couple short but unexpected drops that make things a bit more interesting!


4:15pm- We found our favorite roller coaster. The Firechaser Express. It’s so fun! Even shoots backwards at one point, though not for awfully long. (Had to pull this image off the internet though, because I forgot to take a photo of it while we were there, and this is the only thing I can find that isn’t under copyright.)

4:45pm- Spock really wanted to ride the carousel at the mall, but it was expensive. So, I promised him we could ride one here. The three of us had a grand time of it and made jokes almost the entire time. We also were the only people our age on this ride. Everyone else was either way older or way younger. Good times, haha.


5:15pm- Ran into Josh and his mom, Laurie! They invited us to do the park train tour ride with them. Felt good to sit down again for a little while and take in the scenery!

5:48pm- How is it getting so close to park closure time!? Man. Must shut down earlier on weekdays, because the theme park I live near (Silverwood) tends to not close until dark. Ah well. Let’s see how many rides we can do before it’s time to leave!

6:07pm- For a bit we talked about hitting the raft ride again, until we realized that would mean going home in mostly wet clothes. So, we went back to hit The Firechaser Express again! Got to enjoy riding it three times in a row, because it was late enough that there was basically no line. What fun!

6:40pm- On our way back to meet up with the group, we hit Burning Fury again, and were the ONLY people on the ride. So what do we do? The three of us look for all the details and make goofy sarcastic remarks the entire trip. It was great. One sign we saw was in a woman’s front yard: “Looking for husband. Any shape, any size.” and off to the side there was a deranged looking woman chasing some frightened man through her yard. Haha!!


6:50pm- I think this is the first time all day that I’ve actually seen EVERYBODY in our group who came out here! It’s great catching up with everyone and hearing their stories from the day.

7:05pm- Lots of goodbyes on the way out of the park. Hilarious thing is, we all ended up on the same ride back to the parking lot because it turns out we all parked in the same lot! Nice surprise!

7:15pm- Goodbyes for real this time. So glad a bunch of these people are still sticking around town for a few days, but we will miss the ones who have to go back home! Officially, BlimeyCon is now over, but the after-party will live on for a few more days, and for that I am thankful.

12:00am- Here we are, pulling into the driveway and I’ve got Spock asleep on my right shoulder and Matt asleep on my left. But I’m good with that. I was kind of chilly from the air conditioning earlier and the two of them are keeping me nice and warm. Fair enough anyhow- I’ve fallen asleep on both of them between the drives to and from Dollywood. I think we’re all very ready for bed tonight.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Nashville Trip: Day 4

9:20am- me: “Jer was getting my build-a-bear out of the car while I buried you in couch pillows… We are super mature here.”

9:30am- Having a disco light party to The Lego Movie Soundtrack! This is how Christian twentysomethings roll.

9:45am- I have to applaud two of my housemates. Gabe and Nathan definitely know how to look spiffy!

10:45am- Jer: “My ex girlfriend couldn't convince me to get an Instagram, but I will for this plush dragon. That's how special it is. And to be fair, he is cuter than my ex.” Everyone: “OOOOOHHHHHHH, BURN!!!!”

10:56am- Jer: “We should all go back into Starbucks and sing veggie tales!” Me: “What a way to get kicked out of Starbucks.”

11:30am- Filming videos with Doctor Bear and Toothless. Haha. Don't mind us- we are just a bunch of overgrown children.

11:40am- Matt and Spock performed “Lullaby For Mr. Bear” by The Doubleclicks.

11:45am- Several housemates are leaving today, so we had to be sure and get a group photo of everyone who has been here this weekend! I love this crew.

12:15pm- Heading over to Jordan and his parent’s house for lunch and more visiting with the big group. It’s going to be so funny walking in and recognizing the place from their old “Brother Brother Time” series.


12:30pm- Sensing a real theme today with stuffed animals. It’s continually amazing how many of us bring Build-A-Bear plushies around town with us. This is Matt, me, and Lily at the Taylor’s house.

12:45pm- At the group events that take place at houses, Josh always has this playlist of Relient K going. It’s fantastic. What makes it even better is that so many of us know the songs! Victory, Tim, and I just stood around next to the speaker singing “Be My Escape” together.

1:30pm- So many great conversations to be had. I've had a blast discussing anthropology with these two guys this afternoon. To the left is Samuel and the right is Chris. Two of my favorite people that I just got to meet this weekend!

2:30pm- If someone had told me a couple years ago that I would be standing in the Taylor brother’s childhood home discussing Adventures in Odyssey with Kevin McCreary, I probably would have laughed at them. But guess what? Here we are. Also, Jer is photobombing.

3:00pm- The Taylor’s rope swing is really fun. Although I heard it broke earlier… That makes me mildly nervous.

4:30pm- Been having a fabulous conversation outside with Chris Seekel. It's so cool meeting people here and hearing of their adventures. This dude has gone on two cross country road trips in the past year! Wow! I've totally enjoyed hearing his stories. He also runs the Star Wars Underground podcast.

8:30pm- Jordan is crazy amazing at using that rope swing. It's like watching Tarzan!

9:10pm- Now that it is dark, Caleb decided he wanted to teach us all how to play with fire properly.

9:20pm- A couple of others have done it, now Caleb is trying to convince me to try fire twirling. I hope I don't mess up and catch myself on fire or something :-o

9:30pm- So, I did it. And I did not catch myself or the lawn on fire. Fantastic! Thanks to Chris Seekel for getting this photo of me being a fire twirler.

9:40pm- Now that Caleb is out of supplies to do his pyro-acrobatics, Jordan’s dad is getting a bonfire and s’mores stuff set up for the remaining few at this party (Mostly just my housemates and a couple others left). So fun to be able to have bonfires, since where I came from there is a burn ban that will last until well into October.

11:00pm- Earliest bedtime we’ve had all weekend! We left the Taylor’s house close to 10. Came home and I began packing up most of my things, because tomorrow we will spend the entire day at the Dollywood Theme Park and then Tuesday morning we have to clean up the house and move to our smaller rental, because half the housemates will be going home and our time will be up at this Air BNB. Time passes strangely here. It feels like it's speeding by, yet at the same time it's almost like we have all lived here with each other forever.