Our Long Expected Party

This past weekend I met up with the other US members from Middle-earth News and we had SO. MUCH. FUN. I’m so upset it’s over, I miss them!!

Okay, let’s start at the beginning. Rachel and I met up the day before and headed into NYC on Friday early in the morning because our bus to Philadelphia was at noon. Since we were so early, we hung out at Port Authority with our Starbucks and sat around texting everyone else to see how they were all doing. Rachel and I were texting back and forth with Britta, laughing so hard over Spongebob lines. You know, adult stuff. Well, while we were laughing a group of cops walked over and one approached us kneeling down and said “Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble!” Even though Rachel and I are 21, he thought we may be runaway teens.  Haha, he said we look young and to Rachel, “YOU especially!” I kept looking over at Rachel mouthing “WHAT is happening???” We had to show him our IDs so he could take down our information. This was a very interesting way to start the weekend.

An hour or so later, and we were on our way to PA. The bus ride was only about two hours and 20 minutes, but it felt like it took forever. We were so excited, I kept nudging Rachel and saying things like “We’re gonna see Lily!!!!” “Oh my god, we’re gonna get to hug Britta!” We were so jittery, we couldn’t wait to see everyone else.

The first people we saw were Lily and her husband, and as soon as we got off the bus, we set off to find them. All of a sudden I hear Rachel yell, “I SEE HER!!!” Seeing Lily in person was so surreal and we RAN off to see her and pretty much tackle-hugged her. I was so excited to see Lily that I punched Rachel in the face(??)…BY ACCIDENT I SWEAR. Hahahaa, I still feel so bad. I’m still not all too sure how it happened, we hugged Lily at the same time and I must have reached around and hit her. My bad, haha.
We got into Lily’s car and headed off to the bed and breakfast where we would see everyone else. On the way we sang lots of Disney songs and played a lively game of Cows and Graveyards. How it basically works is you count how many cows you pass on your side, and if you pass a graveyard, you lose all of your cows. Lily and Rachel were on one team and they kept passing all the cows, but luckily for Lily’s husband, John, and I, they got most of the graveyards, MUAHAHAHA. So John and I won with six cows. Good game, good game.

Oloriel and her husband got to the B&B first, so as soon as we got there and parked I RAN OUT to see her. The first thing she says as she comes out of her car is “ARE YOU GUYS REAL?” Lots of hugs and smiles were exchanged. The next to arrive were Britta and Mr. Britta. I was so hungry because the only thing I ate that day was a fruit cup, and I jokingly asked Britta to get me hash browns from Dunkin Donuts, and what did I see in her hand when I ran to hug her? A bag of hash browns. God bless Britta. More tackle hugs were exchanged and then Valdis came and MORE hugs happened. The last to arrive were Arwen and Amanda, and I didn’t see them come in. I was in my room when I heard voices, and then I quickly ran downstairs to see them. After we all hugged and said hello we left for dinner. Not before taking some photos of course.

We got to the restaurant and one of the first things we did was pose in front of a sign that said The Shire, because of course we would. Everyone in the restaurant was not ready for us.

Dinner was so much fun, everyone was talking and laughing. There was never a dull moment. Even though we all met on the internet, and the majority of us have never met each other, it all felt so natural, like I have known these guys for years and hang out with them every week (we pretty much do, if you count Google Hangouts). Since we were celebrating Arwen and Oloriel’s coming of age, they gave each of us gifts, like true hobbits! Arwen made the beautiful boxes and Oloriel made the beautiful necklaces. Each of us got one with our name and a tiny pipe, like in the Middle-earth News logo!
After we finished eating our dinner, it was time for dessert. Obviously we couldn’t have just any cake, we needed to have a cake inspired by the one at Bilbo’s birthday! This cake was DELICIOUS.
 After dinner we headed back to the B&B, but not before a little fist pumping at the rave that was going on at the restaurant. Once we got back, we all got into pj’s and just chilled in a sitting room together talking all kinds of nonsense. I didn’t head to bed until after 2 am and other people were still talking.

So I go to bed, went to sleep and then I hear this INCREDIBLY LOUD NOISE. I grudgingly turn over to look at my phone and see that I’ve only slept for one hour. Then I look over and see Rachel on her side of the room frantically packing at her bed. I’m so out of it I don’t know what’s happening. We were freaking out over this loud LOUD noise. I get up and go out into the hallway and see other people walking around just as confused as I was. We’re all covering our ears yelling out things like “WHAT’S HAPPENING??” This wasn’t a normal fire alarm, you know, when it’s like a beeping noise. It was one. Long. Never ending. Siren. Mr. Britta was by the stairs looking so out of it, Valdis was at her doorway and we’re both exchanged, “what the hell” faces. Lily and John were running up the stairs with the inn keeper, and Oloriel and her husband walked passed my door just like, “WHAT THE ACTUAL ****????” And while all this is happening Rachel was still packing and we all laughed so hard. I feel like I should have been a little scared over this alarm, but I was so tired and out of it that all I could do was laugh.

After the inn keeper figured out how to turn the alarm off, me, Rachel, Lily and Amanda were hanging out crying tears of laughter over what just happened. Eventually we all went to our rooms, and before falling asleep Rachel and I were still laughing and said “You know what would be really funny? If the alarm went off for a second time.” And about three hours later do you know what happened? THE ALARM WENT OFF. FOR A SECOND TIME. I woke up and just looked over at Rachel “Is this really happening? Is this REALLY HAPPENING???” This was a very annoying scenario, but I couldn’t even feel annoyed because it was hilarious. When we all met up later for breakfast, everyone was either asking “So how was your sleep?” or “Did that really happen?” I still laugh when I think about it. Anyway, breakfast was delicious.
Our next event was a cosplay photo shoot. While picking out outfits and getting ready, we did a quick Google Hangout with Alice and Maria, some of the European Middle-earth News members. I wish they could have been with us!!! After everyone was ready, we all got into cars and met up at this beautiful trail. A LOT of photos were taken.
After everyone changed back into their boring non-Middle-earth clothes, we went to eat lunch and then ice cream. The first to leave that day was Valdis, our fellowship was already separating! Our next stop was a hotel in Philadelphia. There we ordered a few pizzas and played LOTR trivial pursuit. My team had some really easy questions, except for one. “How many seats were at the council of Elrond?” WE DIDN’T KNOW.This obviously meant that we were not true fans. Oh, and the other team got a question asking which LOTR cast member had the nickname “Elwood.” My team was laughing so hard…I still laugh about this! They guessed Orlando Bloom, and I remember Arwen looking on the back of the card to check if it really was Elijah Wood, “Can it…it’s that easy, right?” Well, once the pizza came, the game was forgotten. Then we just all crowded around some beds and chairs and ate while laughing about a bunch of random stuff. Oloriel and her husband left soon after. It was upsetting to see her leave. *single tear goes down cheek*
After sitting around talking some more, we all agreed it was time to go to sleep. I didn’t want to because that meant I would be saying goodbye to everyone else the next day. For breakfast, some of us went to a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts and had some very interesting conversations. Mostly about peacocks.
 When we all got back to the hotel, we put together all of our luggage and agreed to meet at the bus station where Rachel and I were leaving from. Sadly, the only people we were able to properly hug and say goodbye to were Lily and John. I was doing pretty well with the whole “not crying while saying bye” thing. But Lily texted Rachel and I that everyone was waiting next to the bus exit to wave goodbye. Seeing the rest of the gang yelling bye and waving made Rachel and I cry. We weren’t ready for the wave of emotions that would hit us. I miss everyone so much, and I can’t wait till we can all be together again. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long. I HAD SUCH A GREAT TIME. I WANT TO GO BACK. I WANT TO SEE EVERYONE AND HANG OUT MORE.

I hope I didn’t leave too many things out.

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