Hi! I'm paco the panda bear :D
This is gonna be a very long journal. Probably I’ll spend hours writing this, but let’s start.
Between February 6th to April 1st (almost 2 months), I was away home. I was very nervous to make this trip, because I was very unsure if my economy was ready for this. I’m not rich, I don’t earn crazy amounts for doing art, but if I’m looking forward to do something, I work very hard to make it real. I’m very stubborn and, those who knows me very well can agree with this, incredibly workaholic.
Since I was younger, my goal in life was traveling the world, but funny thing is that I thought my excuse to know many different countries and towns, was going for exploring their theme parks and rollercoasters, I was a huge fan; I could be proud of myself if I told the Paco from 15 years ago that I’m really knowing many places, but for seeking other emotions that roller coasters can’t provide, that are the friendship and belonging to a great community as the furry fandom is. Yes, main excuse to travel the world: Furry Conventions and Furry Friends.
Here's the index of the topics in the journal, if you want to read them all or skip some, you’re more than welcome:
1. Disney World with my family
2. Tour guide in Mexico City.
4. Adventures in Stockholm, Sweden.
5. Furnal Equinox
6. Fursuiting in Niagara Falls
7. Going to Dallas
8. Texas Furry Fiesta
Disney World with my family
Since we were kids, my sisters and I dreamed to one day my parents told us that we were going to Disney. It’s their fault, we grew up with Disney movies that they purchased and they had three little critters singing Disney songs all day (in their Latin-American Spanish versions). My family never was of having lots of money, that’s something we could even notice, but of course we never stopped dreaming to go one day to the happiest place in the world.
We grew up and all of us are working and living in different places not only in the country, but the world. It was going to be a coincidence that in February we were going to be all together, that’s something that not even in Christmas happen. Knowing this, we planned it would be a great idea if we saved a lot of money with a bunch of time, and even paying my parents a trip to Disney. Also it matched perfectly with one of my sister’s birthday, so we could celebrate her there.
The only issue we had during our trip, it was how divided my family were, about how they wanted to spend their time on the parks. My parents wanted to walk and enjoy everything around, taking pictures, and my sisters wanted to see as much as possible of every park, so they wanted to be walking fast, and not spending too much time on each spot, I was in the middle of the two parts, I also wanted to enjoy the moment, but I didn’t want to miss cool things.
Many people told us that we were doing right, deciding going to Disney in February, because it was a low season. Lies! There were tons of people and we took lot of time in lines for the rides. On the Avatar’s ride, we spent 3 hours in the queue.
The most enjoyable part for me at Disney, was the characters. I did drawings for some of them, it was a friend who works in Disney who recommended me to do that, I appreciate he did, because that highlighted my experience with them too much more. Scrooge McDuck, Tigger and Pooh were very happy for the drawings, me and my family received special attention by them for that simple detail, that I think for them means a lot. Also I did a drawing for Ariel, since is my sister’s favorite princess, and at the time she gave her the drawing, Ariel almost cried of happiness, and yes, she also received special attention by her. She even dedicated something nice to her on the autograph.
We were saying that all the crew member of Disney World lives like every day is the best day of their life, they are always happy, kind, helpful, and make a good experience with them. Just when we were talking about this, it happened all the opposite with a worker, the one who was in charge of the line of the Meet & Greet of Stitch. I also had a drawing for him, and I saw in the distance that they were about to close the tie because his time was over. And I saw the person in charge allowed to pass a last group of family to see Stitch, and he saw me running, but when I reached the point, he closed it and said “sorry, this was everything for today, Stitch won’t receive anyone else”, the door was still open and I could see Stitch taking pictures with more people. I tried to convince this person that I was coming from other country, and I had a gift for Stitch, and his argument was “Can you imagine how many people from other countries are coming daily to Disney world? That’s not an excuse”. Not even showing him the drawing I had for Stitch he let me in.
Something similar almost happened in the Meet & Greet with Tigger and Pooh, for being taking pictures with other things, we were missing the time of closing, when we arrived, it was already closed for 2 minutes (if they closed at 4:30pm, it was 4:32pm), I told the lady who was in charge that I had something for them, and showed him the drawing, and she smiled and told us “Okay, you are the last ones! Enjoy!”. But the one who was in charge of the Stitch’s was not the same, so mean.
We went to Epcot on a rainy day, it was not a problem since almost all the rides on Epcot are indoors, only all the world pavilions are outdoors but we could walk them when it stopped raining. The problem of the rain was that every ride had a technical problem, they were stopping every minute, the Spaceship Earth didn’t allow us to choose our language, even if in the screen were the options, well, my cart had the narration in French, my parents’ in German, so we didn’t understand anything. That didn’t ruin us the day, they were fun anyway.
A very cute thing I realized about my parent, how much he loves some Disney characters. He loves Goofy (even if he calls him Tribilín), and every time he saw Goofy in the park, he took a picture. He was kind of shy to buy a plush of Goofy, in one of the souvenir stores, he was “joking” with my mom he wanted it, but he left the plushie back. So I decided to buy it to him, and asked to deliver it to the hotel. When we went back to the hotel that evening, and I picked the plush, he almost cried, he said he really wanted it.
It was a really nice experience, very expensive, I don’t know how some families manage to pay for all their kids, and they even buy them balloons (which the kids decide to set free in the air), glowing useless toys, and princess outfits (that I got to see the prices of how much it cost to make your girl a princess. whoa!).
Tour guide in Mexico City
We went back to Mexico City, and I knew that a good friend of me, Dumpling, who has hosted me in his house in Toronto, was going to come to Mexico, just for the adventure and to explore around, not having any specific plan yet. I asked my family if we could host him at least for some days, and they accepted gladly, even they offered to pick him up at the airport.
When I’m in Mexico City, I stay in my parents’ house, it’s very different than when I’m in Guadalajara. In Mexico I don’t have a car, so I’m moving all time by transit, so I’m glad they offered to pick him up.
I had already been tour guide of many friends in Mexico City before, it’s always fun, and now I know all the touristic sites very well. But this time was a little different, since he had a lot of time to explore, he was going to spend a month more after I leave the country, I preferred to start with the least known places, and being a tourist in my home town: Texcoco.
While we were walking Los baños de Nezahualcoyotl, Molino de Flores and Texcoco downtown, I was realizing that I had more than 10 years ago that I hadn’t been in those places, so it was like re-discovering all those sites. Also I enjoyed a lot how much he was enjoying his time even with simple things, like seeing a horse rider in front of the church, seeing lots of cactus and different trees, or taking those mini vas as part of the transit.
When he shared the pictures on Twitter of the sites he had visited that day, a furry artist on Twitter, Bubblegum, commented that all those places were very close to his house. I was very surprised; I didn’t know any furry in Texcoco. Talking with him, we discovered we had been in same schools, probably we would have seen each other many times and we had no idea. Some days after, I got this very nice surprise that put some tears in my face, it was like a punch of memories in one single picture. That's what art is about:
I showed him many parts of Mexico City; my friend Apolo also took us to the dam where the furry camp “Camping Paws” was going to be held, and we tried many authentic Mexican food: Quesadillas, Pozole, Enchiladas, Aguas de sabores, Cochinita Pibil, Tlacoyos, Tamales, Mixiote, and even Pulque (something that I don’t like, and Dumpling even disliked, hehe, I think that was the only thing he didn’t like). In my house, the last evening I was spending in Mexico before continuing my big trip, my dad opened a bottle of tequila and another one of mescal.
Dumpling continued his trip to Mexico, I’m very sure he can tell many amazing things of his adventure in this beautiful country. And I took a flight to NYC, my first stop before heading to Stockholm, Sweden. A country I had never been before.
It was 2016, I knew about the existence of NordicFuzzCon, SilverFox as guest of honor, and looking all the cute art he was doing for that convention; it was the year of Zootopia, and they were having the premiere on their convention, and a video of Mausie was released about the premiere gala, and immediately I fell in love with that fursuit, just to know that it was the mascot of such convention. Then I started watching videos of the furry con in Sweden, and thought “One day I should go there!”. Every year they released a new cool musical video, and I started turning a fan boy of the convention, wanting each time more to attend, and wanting to meet Mausie, he’s a really cool and cute mascot, I’ve love his personality and his energy. Secret not so secret: he’s one of my main fursuit crushes.
It was in 2018 when I decided seriously that 2019 was going to be my first NordicFuzzCon, even if it was very far away from me, and it was not going to be a cheap trip. I started planning everything, I got my flight tickets, my registration, and suddenly my family said that we were going to Disney World in that same month, in February. I was worried about my finances, because a double expensive trip meant double work on the year, so I had to step on the accelerator thoroughly with extra work to make it happen, I didn’t want to cancel my first NFC.
First experience coming down the flight, as if it were a Hollywood movie, there was my friend waiting for me at the airport with a printed picture of my fursona. It is the first time that I’m received that way.
Arriving to the Scandic, the main hotel of the convention, and just some few hours after my arrival, I get to see my first fursuiter: Mausie!! What an amazing welcome to the convention, he was also the first one I got to hug.
It was not my first time I saw Mausie, tho. I got to meet him a year before, at BLFC, and that’s when I couldn’t help but hugging him very tight, and I have some kind of luck, because someone recorded that moment, I didn’t notice that until some months after that happened, that I saw the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/XdjS40Txr9A (First 30 seconds). I think it was meeting Mausie in person at BLFC that convinced me at 100% to go to NFC this year. So yeah, Mausie was one of my main reasons I wanted to go to Sweden for this convention, and I’m so glad it happened, because it was my best furry convention ever.
Talking back about the Scandic Infra City, that’s an amazing hotel, it has a fountain with an artificial lake in the middle of the lobby, with lots of Koi fishes, which the staff and the hotel encourage the attendees to not touch, it turned into a local meme among the attendees: “No touchy fishy”. Next year they will held the convention in another hotel, I’m gonna miss that one, but I’m so glad I got to be in it. I’m very sure the convention will keep being great no matter the hotel.
The theme of this year was “A Winter Howliday, Youle love it”. Which meant we had Christmas in March, yaay! I love Christmas!! All the hotel and the area around had Christmas decorations, many trees, lights, Christmas posters, gift boxes, and outside was freezing (in the perspective of a very lost Mexican who is used to temperatures of +30ºC and that cold is +15ºC), so I could feel it was really Christmas.
Decorations had Mausie everywhere, so I couldn’t complain, I took many pictures of every decoration. Talking about Mausie, they had a big inflatable Mausie, it was amazing!! Alma Lilia, a mexican artist, made me a cute gift of me hugging that big inflatable Mausie: https://twitter.com/almiuxfloc/status/1102674376095395840
And talking about inflatable big things, the convention had a very cool bouncy castle, a big dinosaur or whatever animal it was, who closed their mouth and eat everyone who was playing on it, just look this video: https://twitter.com/SlyCat/status/1101932525809778688 . That thing ate me! D:
Another cool thing they had on the lobby, was a big welcoming poster with all the flags of the nations of the attendees, and I could spot the Mexican flag there. They told me it is the first year they included the Mexican flag in it, and also in the system for the spoken languages for the badges.
First day, we went to have dinner to a medieval place in the historic downtown of Stockholm, but it was not one of those medieval times restaurants that are in America, that was more like an authentic small medieval restaurant in the underground, with accurate dishes from those times, even the cutlery seemed accurate. There I could meet for first time their Guest of Honor, Kéké Flipnote, who was not furry so then he was in his first furry convention, but he was very excited to be there. He’s very cool and nice.
Oh yeah, I need to mention that the staff and crew (who was called “Stew”) reminded me the crew of Disney World, not the mean guy from the Stitch’s M&G, but the rest of the Disney crew: every time happy even if they are working hard, very kind with every attendee, and especially very helpful. Any doubt I had, they always worked on me to help me, there was a guy who didn’t let me go until he solved me my doubt, even if he didn’t know it, talking on his radio with the right people, and walking to them so he could get me answers. So, congratulations to all the NFC Stew! You’re doing an excellent job on making a great convention.
Talking about staff, I helped one to go to the supermarket, for groceries needed during the con for the rest of the Stew team. I accepted to go mainly because for me, is always interesting to see supermarkets in other countries, and that was the perfect chance to experience it, and yes, it was a new experience, in how they have those devices to be charging yourself while you are putting items in your cart, and how in Sweden they have lot of food in tubes: caviar, cheese, cheese with shrimp, cheese with bacon, cheese with ham… and thanks to help with the supermarket thing, he invited me a Semla, a delicious Swedish bun, they are very yummy. Thank you, Lightfox!!
One of the coolest fact about NordicFuzzCon, is that most of their attendees are not from Sweden, so you have a huge cultural meeting in a single place, it was awesome to meet people from Norway, Finland, Denmark, Israel, Japan, Spain, Canada, USA, Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Netherlands, of course Sweden, and many other countries. Most of people had another first language that is not English, but since it has turned in the universal language, the convention was completely in English, not a single panel or a single event was in Sweden, which was very cool, that was a real “English-friendly convention”, and made it very inclusive for all the world. But of course it was interesting to know some words in other languages, to share our cultures, our different point of views of the world, and respect every ideal, being open for anything.
The What The Fuzz newspapers, that was something really cool!! They were daily publications that you can pick next to the entrance of the breakfast room (oh yes, breakfast was included for everyone!!), this was apart from the Conbook, which also was very nice. But this newspaper told you what was going on the current day, what interesting activity was going to happen, or what interesting thing happened a day before, some curious facts about Holidays in Sweden, and the best Tweet of the previous day. I collected all the 5 papers.
Opening ceremonies happened in Wednesday, because yes, it is a 5 days’ convention!! Another thing to love NFC even more. It was a very creative opening ceremonies, with theatrical plays and cool videos with an amazing production, just look at this: https://youtu.be/U0RB7XGtp5w
During the opening, they introduced a new mascot for NFC, it was Iris, the Mausie’s cousin, who is really adorable (but not as cute as Mausie, he’s still my favorite).
Even if you looked their itinerary and seemed that there were not many panels and events, Oh, you never got bored at NFC, they had lots of activities, like those curious blip stations, which with the help of your convention badge, you could blip on them to get some random achievements, that you could see on your NFC app (the app was very useful!); also you could be catching fursuiters with the app like if they were pokemons (unfortunately I didn’t get to play that too much, and I only caught two fursutiers: Boltee and… of course, Mausie). In the convention they were some random drawings by Flacko Weasyl, all those characters were playing a snow war, those were real attendees of the convention, I was included, I found my own picture. Those pictures had codes, and you could put those codes on your app to get more achievements.
Another cool activity was collecting stickers on a card, there were many ways to collect stickers and fill your card, if you fill it, you could enter a draw to win a free illustration by Johis. I collected them all, but I didn’t win the raffle.
They had very strict rules about fursuiters, it is not allowed at NFC to ruin the magic. Maybe some people can complain about these strict rules, but I agree with them, I don’t like to put out my fursuit head when I’m not in the fursuit lounge or in my room, that would be like if the person who is performing Mickey Mouse decides to show their face in public, everyone knows that there is a person inside, but it is cool to keep the magic and being The Character while you are in it. So I really appreciate they are that strict with that. Wish more conventions could do the same but I know there would be some drama around that.
Also they shouldn’t complain, fursuiters have lots of special preferences, their fursuit lounge is amazing, the best fursuit lounge I’ve ever been, plus the basic rules that every convention has: the fursuiter is first, especially in elevators.
Another strict rule they have (and now I have the knowledge that’s in general in Europe), you cannot share room with more or less than 2 people, so every room must have 3 people. I was very lucky to be rooming with two amazing guys: Yamavu and Shorty. I met Shorty a year before and immediately he turned in a very good friend, one of the things that excited me the most to be at NFC was rooming with him, and I didn’t know Yamavu but now he’s a great friend too.
Talking about Yamavu, he’s also an artist, and I spent lot of time with him and other artists on the artist lounge, probably the best artist lounge in a furry convention that I’ve ever experienced. It is a big table with lots of art materials that anyone can take for using them. There were times we were at 2 or 3 am, and that room was still packed with artists who were doing art jams and art trades. I could get many awesome art trades, from the same Yamavu, from Flacko Weasyl, Christmas Wah, Kéké Flipnote, and two of my heroes I got to meet for first time at NordicFuzzCon: Henrieke and Karpour, two artists I’ve been following and admiring from many years ago, and now that I know them in person, I can say they are really great people, and for some reason they were also happy to meet me. I spent a lot of time with them and all the group of toony artists, all of them really nice people, I miss them a lot.
NFC also has one of the best Arcade rooms in a furry con, as great as the BLFC’s, with a huge collection of consoles from every generation, from the oldest to the newest. I rarely stop to the Arcade room at a furry con, but this stop was needed. I got to play Metal Slug and Bomberman with Karpour, it was a big pleasure since I admire him a lot, just imagine playing videogames with one of your biggest heroes, that’s what I was living. I’m a terrible player, but that’s a moment I’ll never forget. Uff, if I know Karpour read this journal, I’m gonna blush so hard.
Even if my main goal of attending furry cons is having fun, meeting friends, and being a fluffy panda; as I said in the beginning of this journal, I’m not someone of too many resources, so for me is more than needing to work during conventions to help the expenses of the trip, that’s why I always join to the dealer’s den or artist’s alley. But I don’t complain about this, I really enjoy being in the table, drawing, talking with people, meeting fans, or people who have never seen my work before and tell them a little about what I do, also meeting other artists around… I really enjoy it, I don’t see that like a job, but of course, is very needed for me to do it.
Well, another big compliment to NordicFuzzCon (if you have read my journals about my experiences about furry cons, you know that I try to be the most honest possible, and sometimes I complain about things I didn’t like about the events, but I can’t find anything bad about NFC, this chapter of the journal is only about compliments to NFC, I promise they are not paying me to write this, it’s completely honest), it has been the best Dealer’s Den I’ve ever been in a furry con, or even in a convention in general. The dealers are treated like VIP, they offered us tablecloths if we didn’t bring one (and they don’t charge for it), the tables are personalized with our names, the opening time of the dealer’s den is not all the day, so we have time to even enjoy the convention when it’s over, and I think the best part was: we have a break time for lunch. TwT
For the weather, I caught a cold, it is the very first time in my furry life that I get sick during a convention, I was feeling terrible on Saturday morning, and I was with a horrible face in the dealer’s den, a friend noticed it, and he called a medic. Oh yes, NFC has medics!! First time I get sick during a con, and first convention I know they have doctors. He was very helpful, he gave me some pills and recommended me to drink sparkling water, I got absolutely better in some hours later, so I could enjoy the rest of the convention as always. I gave him one of my art books as thanks.
NFC was full of cool events, like powerpoint karaoke (a very creative event, you should check a little bit of it on this video and see what is it about: https://youtu.be/jkLzgQwYXDc ), fursuit charades, where I was in it and was terribly fun: https://youtu.be/nPZM9Bf-_-M
Participating on the fursuit charades I could notice why NordicFuzzCon events are that awesome, we had to be 1 hour before the event, so they could check who exactly was going to participate (I feel so bad that they had to choose someone random to not play because we were too many, and seeing his reaction of disappointment when he was chosen, broke my heart and I tried to volunteer to be the one who was not gonna play, but this guy insisted me to not do that and play anyways, that he was not that really sad), also they checked if all of us had a good level of English, if we could act in fursuit very well, and they explained us how exactly the games were going to work, so having everything planned before the show started, we just showed up to have fun and entertain the audience.
Someone randomly gave me an inflatable candy cane, so I was playing and goofing around with my new plastic giant candy cane. But for some reason, people tended to lick it, leaving their saliva on the cane, but there was not only one, there were many who was doing that, haha, that was disgusting, but there was no time enough to tell them they shouldn’t do that because other people had done it before, they just came closer and licked the caramel. When I was back to my room, Shorty saw my new toy, and his first instinct was licking it, I told him “You have no idea how many people did exactly that downstairs”.
Wow, I’ve written a lot, probably until this point it has been my longest journal I’ve ever written, and I’m just halfway of the things I need to say about NordicFuzzCon.
Next event I participated was the international candy exchange. Mexico is also very well known for their candies, so I wanted to share my most favorite candies from my country, and I didn’t want to be mean, I brought non-spicy candies, so people really could have a good impression of the candies we have in Mexico, I brought: alegrias, jamoncillos, guava candy, tamarindo and borrachitos. But well, I didn’t want to be mean, but I think that was the idea of this exchange, to be very mean with the other attendees, there were exotic and horrible candies, I suffered a lot trying those black liquorice candies in many presentations, that some of them were more like a prank than anything, especially those that looked like innocent chocolates but they had liquorice inside; or Japanese candies that were caramelized fishes. There were many good ones too, of course, I loved the Belgium and Norwegian chocolates.
We had a candy shop just in front of the hotel, I wanted that my friends tried those horrible liquorice candies too, haha, so I bought some few so they can taste them and record them trying them.
Fursuit parade!! I was missing fursuit parades, many furry conventions are trying to get rid of them, which makes me sad because I enjoy them. I’m so glad there is still a fursuit parade in NFC, even if it was very confusing. The conbook explained something very different as how it happened, I was heading to the spot where it was supposed to start, but the staff was re-directing all fursuiters to outdoors. Even if it was confused, I just followed everyone and suddenly we were in the middle of the parade, when I thought we were just randomly walking. The best part of the parade was ending up in the Fursuit Zoo, a place where we could be playing with lots of props and lots of fursuiters, a good place to be the perfect goof.
Talking about goofing in fursuit, I couldn’t suit up next to Mausie during NFC because that raus is incredibly busy, of course, he’s in his con, it is his event. But I could suit up next to Baseball the Bat, a very fun critter to be goofing with, I enjoy a lot when other suiters are good performers and we can play together, being cartoon characters, and that’s something I could be with Baseball. We ended up in the artist’s lounge making a doodle collab in a paper board. Hours later, I could take that paper (with the permission of Baseball) and saved it as one of my precious memories from this con.
I also got excited to see the concert for charity, because they played the song “A winter with you”, a song by Baxxter & Burrs composed for the convention, and me, as a good fan boy, I knew the lyrics and I could sing along.
I was part of the Doodles for Charity event, it was not my first time participating on that event at a furry con, I’ve done that before and I know it is fun and I’m glad that it is always for a good cause. Well, before me, there was Baseball the bat doodling, and I got a drawing by him, which is absolutely adorable. And then it was my turn, I took with me a big sketchbook, many crayons, and I was ready to draw like a 5 years old kid in fursuit (as I’ve learned from the great master: Barley Mutt), but then I noticed that around me, on the table of the event, I was the only one in fursuit, and the other artists were doing the doodles for real, they were not being silly as I was, and also the event was not like in the previous Doodles for Charity that I had been on, where the doodles are for free, encouraging the people to tip, and those tips were for the charity. Nop, here was not like that, here, if you wanted a doodle by any of the artists in the table, you had to pay 100 SEK (which is around 10 USD). So I was kind of embarrassed at that moment to have decided to be in fursuit, definitely the doodles I was planning to do, were not worth 100 SEK. But when we started, people loved the idea of having a silly doodle by a fursuiter, that the result looked like a little kid drawing, and I was busy all the time. There even were people who didn’t get a slot because the time was over. Also it is very tiring to be drawing in fursuit, especially on that event, that we barely had light so I couldn’t see the colors of the crayons very well, so was not even drawing in fursuit, it was like drawing blinded.
Closing ceremonies were as spectacular as the opening, they gave rewards for many things: the one who captured more fursuiters in the catch them all game in the app, also who got the most quantity of achievements, the best photography, the best decoration in a room door in the main hotel, and even the winner of the raffle from the stickers. They showed a video of the next year’s theme and venue, which was a very good quality video, you should check it: https://youtu.be/dV3m5U4mtDc
I was telling my friend SkippyFox that it was a really bad idea to open a Surströmming can, but he really wanted to do it, it was good that he received the correct advice about how to open one of those cans so it can’t be an odor bomb. I decided to accept and going to his alternative event of opening the Surströming and try it. I had seen and listened horrible stories about this stupid challenge, so I was kind of afraid to try it, but...what’s the point of this life if we don’t try new things, and also, when will be another chance that I could try this.
If you want to see the result of this challenge, there is a video, and I’m in it: https://youtu.be/ehCfeD0NyS8
Of course it smells so bad, it is a horrible smell. But when I tried it, at first it doesn’t taste too bad, it is like sardine but a little stronger, that’s only the flavor that your tongue is detecting, but when you swallow it, is when it tastes like how it smells: horrible. I’m so glad I only tried it a bite, that was enough to have the smell on me all the day. I had to wash my hands for many minutes, same brushing my teeth, and I took a shower. I wanted to suit up later and I didn’t want to be a fishy panda. That’s what I get for touching the fishy.
Last moments of NordicFuzzCon were getting closer, I could see many people leaving the place, which was very sad, there was a time the lobby was almost completely empty, and the Dead Dog Party was some minutes away to start, so I thought it was going to be like in Furrnion, that Dead Dog was literally dead, nobody was there, so for a moment I thought it was not worthy to suit up again, but it was a big mistake, the dead dog party started an many remaining fursuiters showed up, so yes, I was a panda again, and they were great last hours of this amazing convention. I got to see the real Trax and hug him.
Probably I’m missing to tell many great things about this convention, I did a lot during that week, and I’ve also written a lot, and I still need to tell you about the other two conventions I attended on this trip. As a quick summary of the things I missed to tell about this, were the print bot machine, where you could print anything you wanted by a telegram bot; people leaving Christmas cards on the Christmas trees, so people could pick them, of course I left some cards too; the last free breakfast of the con was until 9:30am, too earlier than the rest of the days, it was funny that at 9:25am everyone was running from their rooms to the breakfast room to get something (includes me); Max Burger was always full of furries, it was cheap and fast food, and very close to the hotel.
I remember the last time I cried because the furry convention was getting over was MFF 2016.And now in NFC 2019 I couldn’t help my weak feelings when someone I had met was saying goodbye. Definitely the best furry convention ever. I recommended it highly.
If you want to see my pictures from NFC (and also I collected some pictures from other people, credited on the names of the files):
Adventures in Stockholm, Sweden.
I can’t imagine traveling so far away home (the farthest away I’ve ever been from home) and only going for the convention, and then back. Nop, I really wanted to stay and explore around, I’m so glad that Trax offered me to spend more time after the con, and the best was that Shorty and Miles were doing the same, so I was staying with really great people. First days after the con were very relaxing, we just explored not very far away, there was one day that we walked a lot for going to a coffee shop, with really good pastries, so it was worthy, and heading back it was colder and I had to wrap myself as a burrito. I couldn’t complain, I enjoy that kind of weather that I never get to experience when I’m home. Something else that I enjoyed a lot was using the local transit, that’s something I enjoy a lot of traveling, to figure out how to move around the town, how all the transit system works, and especially in Sweden, that the train stations are beautiful. Something interesting for me was using ferries as part of the regular transit, we could pay it with the same card that we paid for the buses, street cars or subway.
We ate Semlas again, those delicious buns that with a coffee are the best, especially with that weather. And we visited the Vasa Museum, an impressive museum with an original ship from the XVI century, a ship that belonged to the royalty, that sank in the river when it was scarcely resting, and recovered it almost in its totality around 50 years ago. I bought a rat plushie, as the same as Trax, so we had our own rats for the rest of that day. That rat traveled with me for the rest of the trip.
We visited a childrens museum, which was very cool, but the only problem is that everything in there was in Swedish, with the exception of the story train, where you could pick your own language to hear and see a story while you were advancing, like one of those Disney rides, even with the same high quality of any of the rides from Disney Parks, I enjoyed it a lot.
Here starts an odyssey we lived:
Have you ever traveled with a bunch of friends with fursuits? If the answer is yes, you know how much luggage each one is always carrying. If the answer is no, well, let me tell you how is that. Every person space counts at least for 2, one for their person itself, other for the fursuit, sometimes even more, it depends how big is their fursuit.
Have you ever traveled by transit with a bunch of friends with fursuit? I really hope your answer is no, but if it was yes, you know how an adventure that is.
We were 7 people, most of us were carrying a fursuit, and we were traveling by transit in Stockholm to arrive to the port, we were about to take a cruise. Yes, furries in the sea!! It was a really good idea!! But of course we were carrying with all our luggage, which was a lot, those who didn’t have a fursuit, were carrying some groceries we bought for that trip. We were very packed. Using escalators, using a lot of space in trains, carrying with them in the streets with lot of people walking around us, but finally we made it, and were in the cruise to start a new adventure.
It was my very first time in a cruise, or in a ship, I was always used ferries for short distances but never a big ship, and it was like a floating hotel. I discovered that if I were not with very cool people with me, cruises wouldn’t be my thing, it is like being on a big hotel but not being able to go out of it, and it is moving very constantly, a movement that at least I never got used to it. Good thing I was with the right people, and it was too much fun.
People were not walking outside because it was terribly cold, everyone preferred to be indoors and seeing the rivers and the ocean from the circular windows. But Trax and I are crazy, and we went out, at evening, to run all around the ship. When we entered back, we were popsicles.
One of the great things of the ship itself was the buffet, it was delicious, I could eat caviar for first time in my life, just to discover is not my big thing, but the rest of the food was yummy.
For most people in the ship, the big thing seemed to be the Duty Free. Well, I bought there three pairs of socks that were cute, especially a pair which have some cats, and there were very inexpensive, and now I can say I bought some socks in a cruise in the middle of the Baltic ocean, not many people can say that.
It was evening, and all around the cruise was noisy, with loud music, normie people drinking and dancing, some drunk people trying to talk with us, and as shy as I am, I preferred to avoid them, and we couldn’t find a quiet place just to chill and talk, so we went back to one of our cabins to play cards vs furmanity, because we’re very furry trash. It was funny.
Next day was the best day in the cruise, because we went out in fursuit, we were Mausie, Hiyu, Trax and me. It was during a family hour, so all the kids were joyly crazy with us. It was too much fun, despite we didn’t understand what the kids were telling us, they were speaking Swedish or even other languages like Finnish and Norwegian.
I made a drawing about this: http://fav.me/dd207s8
And you can see some pictures from the cruise here: https://twitter.com/milestfbaxxter/status/1105415153682661377
And then, when we got back to Stockholm, we had to live the same odyssey back with the fursuits.
I was lucky to be in Stockholm during their monthly Furry Fika, a furry meeting in a coffee shop, some of them are in fursuit, others are drawing, and everyone is talking. I got to meet new people, and listening adventures from other guys who were also coming from far away out of Sweden. They have a notebook where the attendees always sign, it can be only with their names, and some of them doodle something. Of course I doodled my fursona with a Mexican flag, and people drew a wall around me. I couldn’t stop laughing for that.
I drew some people around the place, I was kind of inspired that day to be drawing.
After the Fika, we went to the supermarket to buy ingredients for tacos. It was the last day of many of us in Sweden and they wanted to make a taco party, I’m not sure if they decided to make it as that in my honor, or just because they really wanted to make tacos, but of course I can’t complain, I love tacos (as good Mexican) and I’m always curious how are tacos in other countries. This was in the Lightfox’s house, and it was funny that I was told that I was making my taco very wrong, and they taught me how to make a taco, but….I’m Mexican, I’m supposed to be a taco expert, haha. Of course they were really different as a taco would be in Mexico but they were incredibly good. I enjoyed a lot that evening, surrounded by cool furries who a day after I was going to start missing a lot. Lots of good memories of Sweden.
My very last day in Sweden was in a butterfly garden and aquarium, I can’t remember was the name of that place because I barely can remember some words in Swedish, even if I tried. But it was very relaxing.
Awesome thing is that to my flight to Toronto I was not alone, I was traveling with good company, and since we were only fursuiters, once again, and we were moving by transit to the airport, we lived another odyssey of moving all our luggage by train and bus. But we got it.
In the flight, we had some screens in front of our seat, and I was very millennial trying to touch the screen to select the language, but it was not working, until I noticed we had some controls next to our seats. Derp.
This is my 3rd year attending Furnal Equinox, and funny fact is that I just discover the hotel has a sauna. Advantages of arriving days before the convention, before everything started, so I could explore the hotel, I could use for very first time the swimming pool, and yes, I found the sauna and used it. I know that NordicFuzzCon’s hotel also had a sauna, but I never got to use it because there were tons of things to do during the convention.
I met Dumpling back, he was just arriving from his trip from Mexico, and we were sharing our adventures while we were buying stuff in the supermarket for the convention, and then he took me to a beach of the Ontario lake. Part of the lake was frozen and I could see some blocks of ice floating, that looked very cool.
I suit up next to Dumpling, he was performing Clowy, his blue bunny, and I decided to take with me my Christmas outfit from NFC, and including the inflatable candy cane. Guess what? People started licking the candy cane. So that cane had an international collection of saliva and germs.
It was very curious how the line for regular attendees was very short comparing the sponsor and supersponsors, it is usually the opposite way. And when I received my goodies for being a sponsor I was very disappointed, it was a cheap mini flag that said Furnal Equinox and a plastic red cup, I kind of regret to have paid for the sponsor level. At least the T-shirt was very cool, probably the best design of shirt that I’ve seen in a furry convention, but I could have paid for it appart.
It was Thursday evening, and there were not any fursuiter around the lobby, I had nothing to do, and started missing to draw next to Yamavu, Henrieke and Karpour. So I took my art materials and went to the artist lounge, but it was completely empty and clean, I felt very bad and I just went early to bed.
My time at Dealer’s Den was kind of quiet, my queue was filled, tho. And I received some nice visiting during my time there, I could see Mosfet, Vinh Panda, Pancake & Syrup, Dogcula, Kurtt, and Paco Panda. Wait, what? Paco panda visited you, but… you are Paco Panda!! Yes, that same confusion had many people, and it was very funny. People saying hi to Paco, and some minutes after seeing me in my table drawing, or even when he visited me, and people seeing a double panda, one cute and fluffy, and other ugly XP hehe. The confusion of the people was priceless.
Fursuit games at Furnal Equinox 2019 has been the most tiring fursuit games I’ve ever participated on. Fursuit games at FE were usually excellent and super fun, probably the word was spread because many furries were interested in participate this time. Too many that some of them couldn’t get in. Fortunately, I arrived early, Mausie was in Furnal Equinox too, and I got to be in his same team. So for me it was the best team ever.
But this time fursuit games were kind of different than previous years, the audience were not cheering the teams anymore, this time they didn’t allow us to cheat, which was always funny because we were more like little critters having fun, but this time they were very strict that we couldn’t be cheating.
First game was interesting, we needed to score to the opposite team’s goal, but we couldn’t grab the ball with any part of our bodies but with a pool spaghetti tube that each one had. The game turned very aggressive, furries tackling each other, running, falling, crawling, it was very fun but I had never been on a very aggressive environment with furries before. We were the blue team vs the yellow team, as soon as we knew the rules of the game we started that match, at the end we won by many points of difference, but we were terribly exhausted. Oh but guess what? There was no time to rest, only the yellow team was lucky to have some time to rest but we, the blue team, were playing immediately after versus the red team. On the read team, there was Gale, if you know her, she’s a very energetic girl, and she started organizing a plan for beating us with her team, choosing who was going to be defenders, midfielders and forwards. While that team was making a war plan, the blue team, my team, were all on the floor, dead, defeated without even beginning the next round. Of course they beat us for too many points, they were fresh and active. Very unfair for our team, haha. But I don’t know how we managed to win the general games, and the blue team was first place. So I keep saying, my team was the best, mainly for Mausie.
That was a great highlight during the con, but suddenly I was kind of down again, many plans were not resulting, I know that we shouldn’t make plans during a furry con, or better said, we shouldn’t depend of plans to make it a good con, but I couldn’t help it, I was having a hard PCD during a furry con, something completely unusual, I was at a furry con but at the same time I was missing so much NordicFuzzCon, I couldn’t help but being comparing all time a convention with the other, especially because that previous con had happened some few days before.
I attended a weird panel about bananas, were they were telling very seriously facts about bananas, was kind of interesting but I never expected to be on a conference about bananas.
Other thing I liked was the masquerade, Furnal Equinox always host a really good one, with most of their participants that are very talented, so it is always great to see the show that now it lasts more than 2 hours.
During closing ceremonies, they showed the video of what FE means to us, I had sent my submission and of course it was shown.
That Sunday after closing ceremonies, were everyone wants to stay awake because they don’t want to let the night be over, I went to sleep at 9pm.
If you want to see some pics I took from Furnal Equinox, here’s the link (some pictures were not taken by me, on the name of the file are the credits):
Fursuiting in Niagara Falls
There were many furs from outside who wanted to spend more time in Toronto after FE, so I booked an Airbnb apartment, with a great view to the CN Tower.
Cornwall was riding us to the places around, I appreciated that a lot, and on Tuesday after the convention, we went to Niagara Falls, carrying with our fursuits, but gladly this time by car. I had done that trajectory from Toronto to Niagara Falls by train, so I knew how that worked, but I’m glad we could make it by cars this time.
The falls were especially beautiful this time, the color was cyan with blue, part of the river was frozen, the falls were clear, weather was cold (good for fursuiting), I’ve seen 3 times the falls and this has been the most beautiful one.
When we started our walk in fursuit, just starting a police patrol stopped next to us, of course all of us thought we were in troubles, that maybe they didn’t allow to be in suit on the falls, but he asked us if he could take a picture with us. We accepted.
We were Mausie, Sparky, Koidel, Yugo and me. We got very cool pictures of us in the falls.
If you want to see the pictures, here’s the link, the photographers are credited on the name of the files:
After this, we went to some museums in Toronto, my most favorite this time was Casa Loma, it was the second time that I visited that place but seeing how much my friends were enjoying the place made me feel great, and enjoyed the place even more.
After that we had to say goodbye to some friends, again that feeling of having a knot in my throat and I almost cried. I think this trip made me very sensitive.
I spent some few days in Dallas before Texas Furry Fiesta in Tiger’s house (thanks a lot for all your hospitality), most of my time there was to advance work, because I had to do lots of things that I hadn’t done for being traveling. We went to a brewery, where Dario, Tiger and Rabid were inviting me everything, I was kind of embarrassed, and I didn’t bring any kind of art material to make them some drawings as thanks, at least I doodle them with a sharpie and a crayon. In that place I tried cream soda for first time, something that Shorty had told me that I should try in USA, and it is really good.
I was invited to participate on the podcast Suitable Conversations, I don’t know when it will be shared but for sure I will let you know, at least in my telegram channel: https://t.me/panda_paco
Another great experience before TFF was going to Carrolton, TX, to eat fried chicken in Babe’s, it was a really good fried chicken, something that I usually don’t eat because I consider it is too greasy, but that one was incredibly good.
And maybe something meh that I can tell of this mini trip, that it is for sure it is not interesting, but I want to tell it anyways, I had a haircut. Being almost 2 months away home, my hair had grown a lot, which makes the fursuit experience kind of uncomfortable. And as a curious shitty fact, it is the first time I have a haircut out of my country. I had no idea we needed to tip the haircutter in USA, but well, I did.
Texas Furry Fiesta
Yay!! Also my 3rd time attending TFF, and it was as great as it always has been, probably this was my most favorite TFF of the 3. It is not as impressive as NFC about activities and high quality production, but it is more about friends, meeting new friends, old friends, and those friends who I had never met in person.
It’s a huge convention, with almost 5,000 attendees, but it doesn’t feel as such, I can hang out with friends, spending enough time with each one of them.
Oh, once again, in my first fursuit show up, I went down with the candy cane, but I was very disappointed with that, because nobody licked it :C I already had European and Canadian saliva, I needed American saliva to complete my collection, but nobody did it.
But something I enjoy a lot of TFF is that I usually spend lot of time fursuiting there, more than the average, I don’t know why, if not even the temperature is cool for that, all the opposite, it is warm.
I have a very nice experience, that I was coming back from outside, in fursuit, and I saw Loomy and Keno, they seemed especially happy to see me, it was a very nice moment. The best thing of that moment, it was recorded, I still don’t get what exactly this person was recording, or if he knew that this moment was going to happen just seconds after he started recording with his phone, but well, just check the video and make your own conclusions: https://twitter.com/Arrow_Fox1/status/1111425545458184192
I’m also glad that TFF is still doing fursuit parades, despite having more than 4K attendees, almost 5K, because is always fun to be waving to people with a lot of joy, I don’t know how exactly to explain why I enjoy fursuit parades a lot, because any kind of description could sound not so interesting, but for me it is. But it is the very first time that I’m one of the last fursuiters who is in the parade, and it’s the first time that I experienced to be waiting for around 40 minutes standing up until it’s my time to show up, and I could see how all the fursuiters were coming back from the parade, drinking water, chilling, taking pictures, and I was still in the line to go out. Maybe that was not fun, but when I was walking in the parade, my positive perspective about parades came back.
Again, I wanted to participate on the fursuit games, I had never been on the TFF’s, this was my first time. And I was incredibly disappointed, probably the worst fursuit games ever. The games were confusing, all the instructions were explained by a megaphone, which makes very hard for us, as fursuiters, to listen. My complaining was not about that, maybe those were technical issues with the microphone, but the games by themselves were confusing and not very fun, and the worst part is that they allowed some young humans, without fursuit, to participate. The victories on the games were individual, and guess what? There were always the guys without fursuit who were winning all of them. What’s the point of FURSUIT games, then? Of course they have all the possible advantages, they have a perfect view, there is not any kind of challenge for them, they can move with all freedom. Fursuit games are challenging for having a full suit and being playing performing as a character, and usually are not really serious games, if we look more silly and dumb, the best; and it is not about who is winning, but having fun. Probably the most fun fursuit games I’ve ever participated was at Furnal Equinox 2018, and my team got the last place, so winning is not the point of this event.
I was kind of annoyed of these games, the humans were winning all games and they never stopped them, so I preferred to abandon the games, for sure there were more interesting things to do out the con.
After the games, in that same room started the inflatable furs panel, which is a big meeting of inflatable toys, a perfect playground for fursuiters, where we can be playing as little kids. This time the room was incredibly full, more than average inflatable panels. My thought is that everyone is spreading the word that inflatable fur panels are not about any kind of fetish, but about having fun, and more people is attending it. It was fun, despite the one who was in charge was desperate because people were throwing some beach balls to the air very close to the chandeliers, where the balls could pop, until the point he prohibited to throw the balls to the air.
I participated, for second year, in the Cutthroat artist, first time I participated was at Furnal Equinox 2018, I was in the first place. This was the first time of this event at TFF.
They are 3 rounds, each round lasts 10 minutes and in each there is a challenge, first round was drawing someone from the audience, a fursuiter, in this case was a Griphon, with a theme of a famous movie. At the end of each round, a judge eliminates a competitor. The interesting thing is that during each round, there are 1 or 2 sabotages that are up for auctions. Each artist starts with a certain amount of money (fake money, only for the contest, called “Nbowa dollars”) and this money can be used to bid in the auction and to buy sabotage for one or more of the competitors. I received three sabotages during the game: to waste time throwing some dice until getting three pairs, before continuing my drawing, another one of drawing with my left hand (I’m right handed), and the last one was changing my drawing with the other participant, and completing that drawing as mine. The final round only remains between two artists.
When we were warming up, I could see that all the other artists were really good, a very high level, so I thought I was going to be disqualified at the first round, but I got to be on the second round, and there is when they threw me two sabotages: drawing with left hand and changing the drawing to the other participant. It was funny that the best drawing, in my opinion, was the one that the judge decided to disqualify. So I got to be on the final round, where we had to draw a hybrid between coyote and cougar, I don’t know what happened to the artist who was versus me on that last round, but she did a not very good job on that one, of course I threw her a sabotage, which was not very serious, she had to draw with a marker instead any other kind of art material, but she even accepted it was not a good one, and the judge decided I was the winner. So yep, for second time I’m winning the Cutthroat artist, it was a surprise for me, since all the artists around me were really good.
At the con, I planned an activity of hiding a picture of my fursona, and behind it, it said that whoever found that picture, they had a free drawing by me.
I think that was a cool idea, and of course I’m going to give the prize to the guy who found it (Tye the pony), but I failed at the time of my first clue, my idea was showing some few clues of where the picture is, but in my first clue, stupidly I revealed exactly where it was.
Next time I do this game; I’ll plan it better. I think it can be a fun secret activity.
Night dances are always fun, this time was not the exception, this time I got to dance with that cute mystery bunny who never wants hugs or photos, but I gained his confidence and he’s a very interesting person. And with Drake Quackburd, who is crazy, him and his dances, but it was very fun to dance with him, I ended up very exhausted after dancing with him. Also I like his performance, he’s always quacking.
Another highlight of the convention was that random person who approached to me and told me he was great admired of my work, that he was following me and he liked how I draw, I’m always shy with compliments and never know what to say but thank you, blushing and some stupid giggles, and suddenly I read his badge, it was Kyell Gold. Author of amazing books like Waterways or Out of Position. If I try to remember what I told him after realizing who he was, probably I’m going to embarrass myself, so I prefer to think that I told him how much I also admire his literature.
I also did art jams with more artists, something I missed so much at Furnal Equinox, because as an artist, it’s something I always enjoy a lot to do during furry conventions, to be drawing next to other cool artists, chatting with them, and have the chance of doing art trades. I got some cool art trades from Monty, Kipper, RedWulf and Dogz R. Barkn, who I got to meet him for first time in person.
I participated once again in Doodles for Charity, this time at TFF. It was too much fun, I drew many critters, we raised $459.67 for charity. I had bought in Carrolton a big pencil, I thought it was going to be cool to use it during the charities in fursuit, and it was a great idea. I was in fursuit with my big pencil, everyone thought it was so cool, and once again, I had a full queue of people who wants me to draw them as if I were a 5 years old kid.
Remember the black liquorice candies I bought in Sweden? Well, it was the chance that people could try them, muahaha. I gave some to Koidel and Sander, and of course for being solidary, I also ate one at the same time than them. It was as horrible as always, Koidel almost threw up, but we managed he ate it as the same we did. Then we took the remaining of the candies to give to their friends around the con.
Talking about gross candies, that was not the only bad one I tried during the con. Some guys gave me warhead, a very sour candy. To be honest, it was not as bad as the liquorice, it is only a weird feeling starting the candy and then it is just caramel; with liquorice, the bad flavor is all the time.
If you want to see the pictures from TFF: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/u1x89bsbe7vf7cn/AADLpFNOWOru1_pcObOWGRR-a?dl=0
Once again, you can see the credits of the photographers on the name of the files.
Many great memories of this trip, probably it has been the longest journal I’ve ever written. I really hope that you, one of the minority of inhabitants of this world who read this journal, enjoyed reading all my silly adventures. If you did, what was your favorite part? I would love to read your comments.
TFF was my 23rd furry convention. Looking forward to my 24th, that it is going to be BLFC. If you are attending there in Reno, NV, I’ll see you there.
I’m finally back home, even if I was enjoying this trip a lot, I was missing terribly my bed and my boy. So I’m glad I’m finally back. When I was back home, I found lots of Christmas cards in my mailbox, so Christmas is like continuing for me, even in April.
Hope to see you in my next adventure.
Joined 28 December 2012