At the moment, I am sitting in my dad’s minivan on some highway in Missouri. Or perhaps it is Arkansas now… I’m not entirely sure.
At 6:30 this morning, my mom called up to my room and woke me up so I could pile into this vehicle with my family and spend 12 hours driving. We are on the 5th hour right now, so there is quite a long time left to go. I figured, though, that talking about VidCon would take a long time, and am thus getting an early start. If you will kindly continue reading, you will discover whether or not I was able to collect my thoughts in a coherent and interesting manner.
VidCon: The week before
Before VidCon, Celine came to stay a week at my house. All weekend we kept it a secret, nearly dying when we wanted to share our hysterical exploits on Twitter, and on Sunday night we posted this video. It was strange to have Celine at my house all week, only in that it wasn’t strange at all. If that makes sense. She was really the first internet friend that I had met in person, and it calmed the nerves I’d had that it would be awkward or bad or that my friends wouldn’t like me as much in real life.
VidCon: En Route
On Thursday afternoon, Celine and I finished packing and then blasted music and danced, because I needed to work off some of my antsy energy. Waiting was agonizing, because I knew that there were just a few mere hours between me and some of my best friends.
At 1 in the afternoon, my dad came home to take us to the airport. We got there and snuck through security without hazard, but our flight had been delayed by 40 minutes. So we sat and listened to Celine’s iPod: Ministry of Magic, Starship soundtrack, etc. When we eventually boarded the plane and ascended however many dizzying feet into the air, Celine pulled out her laptop and we watched Anastasia. For the next couple hours I had one line from Rasputin’s song stuck in my head, and at random times I’d burst out singing, “In the dark of the night, the creatures will find you! Ooh-waa-ooh!”
When we landed at LAX, we walked toward baggage claim, which was where the shuttle we were taking also claimed to be (see what I did there?)* Soon we boarded the shuttle, which already had three other adolescents. I entertained the idea that they were VidCon people, but decided not to ask. Within minutes, however, it was completely obvious that they, too, were VidCon bound. They dropped tumblr and twitter terms like it was nobody’s business. They even talked about Vondell Swain. Definitely nerdfighters.
At one point, the conversation in the general shuttle called for everyone to turn and look at something, and as I turned back, I was shocked to see that not only had these people been talking ABOUT Vondell Swain, they were talking TO him. I turned forward again and smiled to myself. So this is what going to an internet conference is, eh? You ride on a shuttle with people who make t-shirts and postcards for notable names in nerdfighteria, and thusly become notable themselves. But then I kind of made an idiot of myself by trying to crack a joke about a smurf, and he just didn’t think it was funny.**
Upon arrival at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Celine and I beelined for the check-in desk (and by beelined, I mean looked around very confused trying to figure out which desk was the FRONT one).
As soon as we checked in and got on the elevator, Hank Green rushed on behind us. He turned to us and the few other people and uttered a deliciously awkward “Hey guysss…” accompanied by a sheepish smile. A moment later, Dave Days walked on, and Hank said, “Oh! I’d just been looking for you!” We went up a couple of floors, they chatted, exited, and were replaced by Dan Brown. I felt like I was in some sort of weird joke. I texted Luke to tell him, and he thought I WAS joking. But I wasn’t. This was all very real. I was at VidCon. After months and months of anticipation, I was finally, actually, physically, and excitedly there.
VidCon: Thursday night
It was a long time before I saw any of my friends, much too long. They had arrived a lot earlier than me and Celine, and had gone to the Contour show at a library. But we did see Diana, who scared the bejeezus out of me by sneaking up on us and glomping Celine, which nearly barreled her into me as I was focused on sending a text.
For the next few hours, Celine and I hung out by the pool talking while being mad at the others for going to the Contour and getting stuck there without a bus to take back. But we finally met up with them in the lobby. I cannot say how elated I was to finally see them. After months of being friends with someone, a hug is so long overdue.
There is absolutely no way for me to write down everything that happened this past weekend, nor for me to express how great it was to just BE with these people. I wasn’t at VidCon to follow around my favorite youtubers, to get pictures, or ask for autographs. I was there to be with some of the best friends a silly undeserving girl could ask for, and to experience it all with them. Experience ALL the things.
Love you: those at VidCon, those at noCdiV, and everyone in between.
*I should just learn to let a joke be.
**The seeming irrelevance of this joke is played up to make myself look like more of an idiot, but also to spare you the time of reading the entire explanation. I promise, it wasn’t terribly irrelevant or weird.