Tag Archives: friends

Days 14-16: Visiting Indy and Chicago

On Sunday morning, Whinnie and I woke up early (at the crack of dawn, basically) and ate at Mel’s Cafe for breakfast. A cab drive later, we said our goodbyes in the airport. Many tears were shed (actually none were, contrary to what Whinnie feared). We had a great time and saw a lot of the city in just a day. I hope we are able to visit each other again sometime. ūüôā


(This was something I LOL’d at in Canada.)


Now, unfortunately, I didn’t have a direct flight to Indianapolis from Toronto… so my first destination was Chicago airport (which I would end up visiting later on, too). The flight was only about an hour or so, but when I landed and go to my next gate, I discovered my flight had been canceled and that I had been bumped onto a later flight….

What did that mean? I had to spend 4+ hours in an airport. So I watched the MLG stream of Super Smash Bros. Melee (which was very entertaining).

Finally, FINALLY we boarded (it was delayed, too, which meant more waiting) and flew. For 45 minutes. I could have driven up there in a fraction of the time. But wait, it gets better! When I landed, I had to wait twenty minutes for my bag to appear in the baggage claim! And after that, the taxi service was so inefficient that I had to wait another fifteen minutes in line until a taxi showed up! And then, even though the cab driver said he took credit cards, at the very end of the ride he discovered his card reader didn’t work. So I had to stop by an ATM and grab cash!

Needless to say, I was a bit frustrated at this point. But the room I had to myself at the hotel made up for it. SO. Much.

My room had a living room area, bathroom, kitchen, and lounging space. Whoa baby.

I slept comfortably that night. But it would be my third night in a row of getting 4.5 hours of sleep. Ohwell.gov.

The next morning, we had the AM event that was at a great venue in downtown Indianapolis. It was spacious and had great air conditioning (perfect for the warmer temperatures in Indy).

Because he found out I was in the area, Taylor Brazelton reached out to me via Twitter and asked if I was available to meet. So during my break, Taylor picked me up and showed me around downtown Indianapolis. It was great to finally meet him, since we’ve been following each other on Twitter for quite some time and have a shared passion for Microsoft and technology.

We went to Rocket Fizz which is a candy and soda shop first, and went to the mall in the area and hung out at his place. I ordered Chick-Fil-A for the first time! Taylor and I talked tech, life, and other things.

He was also able to go to the PM Surface event that day, which had an especially active, responsive audience. It was a great event.

Here are some of the pictures I drew with the Surface Pro 3, via the Pen, on OneNote.

Eventually Taylor and I had to say our goodbyes but it was great to meet him in person. Hopefully he can visit me in Seattle sometime!

WP_20140603_08_49_18_Pro cropped

Stephen (MSFT guy) met Ariel and I at our hotel and we began our drive to Chicago. After several hours of driving, he gave us a great tour of Chicago and bought us lunch at Al’s #1 Italian¬†Beef which serves legendary Chicago-style¬†beef, hot dogs, and more. Delicious!


I love this city so far. I want to explore it more for sure, so I might edit this blog post later with embellishments on the rest of the day’s activities.

Edit: So I have decided to do so.

Ariel and I explored downtown Chicago. There was a large amount of people near Cloud Gate (location of The Bean) because some band I didn’t know was playing. Here are some pictures!

Then I met up with Destiny and a few other folks for dinner at David Bruke’s Primehouse. Fantastic place!

Tomorrow is the final event of the series for me. I’m excited but saddened at the same time. There are supposed to be a lot of people at this event – should be great!

Days 11-13: Oh, Canada! (Sorry, I just had to)

LA’s event was a good one, I got an opportunity to create some Surface Pro 3 art:


Maybe I’ll post more of what I drew later. ūüôā

The next day I got up early (incredible early…) and got to the airport. Ariel and I were about three hours early to our respective flights. So I watched a movie on Netflix to pass the time.

I went on to Air Canada because my next stop was Toronto, Ontario! I decided to go visit my friend Whinnie, because I’d never been able to meet her in person before!

So going through customs was interesting…because I had to explain to the officer that I was going to Canada to visit a friend, who I had met online, specifically Twitter, and was a fellow Sonic the Hedgehog fan…yeah, anyway, luckily he told me that he’s heard¬†much weirder stories before.

So eventually I got to the lobby of the airport, and met up with Whinnie! Since I’ve known her (about two years or so) this was the first time we were able to meet in person.


So that evening she introduced me to one of her roommates, recommended a Chinese restaurant for dinner, and showed me around her university, UW (not University of Washington, University of Waterloo. Apparently the two get confused sometimes).

The next morning, we¬†hopped on¬†a buss and headed to downtown Toronto. Whinnie had a planned list of things to do there, so we went to the CN Tower (which until 2010 was the¬†tallest building in the world),¬† Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and to Eaton Mall.¬†The view from the tower was breathtaking! There were also glass floors that we could look down through¬†and see to the bottom. We also embarked on an exciting motion ride that had seemingly nothing to do with the tower, or Canada, or…much else. But it was fun nonetheless! Then we went to the aquarium which was very impressive. We probably spent like an hour and a half there!¬†Here are some of the pictures below.

We spent the whole day down there, and it was so much fun!¬†Getting ready for sleep now, because I have yet another flight to catch tomorrow…

Day 1: To New York!

This morning I woke up at 3:30am, said my goodbyes to my mother,  and left SeaTac around 7.

Typically, accomplishing something as simple as finding my gate would be a difficulty considering my directional competence (or lack thereof). Luckily, however, my comrade Ariel Zlatkovski met me at the airport and helped lead me to the correct gate.

Ariel is part of the team with whom I will be traveling on this trip. I better be careful what I say about him because he might read this sometime. But he is now sitting behind me in the plane and cannot see what I am writing for the time being.

After the plane landed (and at least one complete listen through to Epica’s newest album, The Phantom Enigma), Ariel and I met up with Steven who’s a Microsoftie¬†in charge of our team (and a whole lot of other things), took a cab, and headed to our first hotel in New York City.

Once we settled in and got our rooms in the Hilton Fashion District hotel, we ventured to the heart of NYC and saw some awesome places. We ended up visiting a farmer’s market and eating pizza in Madison Square Park. See the pictures below!

Although New York is a fun place to visit so far, I must say…it may not be some place I’d want to live necessarily. ūüôā And I thought Seattle’s traffic was bad…

A few days ago I had contacted the competitive Smash Bros. Melee player Lil Chen (or “Milktea,” to which she is referred in the Smash community) and asked her about meeting up in NY and chatting (since that’s where she lives). I had discovered her on the web via Twitter and a part of the renowned Smash Bros. Documentary, and as a long-time player of the Smash series (since ’99) and a recent admirer of the competitive scene myself, I thought it would be fun to meet a real Smash champ.¬†During the evening, she and I met and talked about the Super Smash Bros. Melee community and how we could find new ways to be more welcoming of new members (she also agreed to sign my GameCube controller). Super stoked to have met her!

Now I am ready for the event tomorrow…or at least, I think I am. My blazer and slacks are hung up and ready for tomorrow and everything (that means I’m ready, right?)!¬†Time for some sleep!


PS. Let’s play a game in the picture above called “I Spy Ariel.”