Yes, even more quotes than last year! But, Traveling Valentine didn't go last year?! *confused* That's exactly the point. 

This would be my first time at Cherry Blossom Festival. It reminded me of the Issei Festival in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. Two things remain constant in both events: Japanese culture galore and lots of heat. I was supposed to go last year, but could not due to the Easter / Ostara / Bite a Choco Bunny's Head Off holiday. Anyways, speaking of weather, Tom had a tough decision which costume to wear. The cosplay.com picnic happened the weekend before CBF. As many know, it was quite rainy that day. Was the bay area in for some rain? No. Just golden sunbeams.

I settled on Tohru's summer uniform. Tom settled with Spike. So, Tom got me on Saturday. He showed up as Lupin. Why? We had to do a video recording session for a friend's Lupin III amv. Things got pretty crazy in the studio, but in the end, we didn't have the videotaping since the equipment was not working properly. So, we did yet another two hour drive to Milpitas. 

On Sunday, we took the Bart to San Francisco. Yay for cosplaying on Bart. Because it was still early in the morning, I napped on Tom during the ride. We got off at Civic Center, and I recognized the place quite a bit. It was where I saw The Producers and Mamma Mia a year ago. Well, lacking any sense of direction, I followed my instincts to get to City Hall. I just had to remember where the Orpheum was. We ran into a Farmer's market thingy and Japanese tourists. It looked like we were the first ones to arrive for the parade. In the meantime, we joined a few other cosplayers for breakfast at Starbucks.

By the time we arrived back, more people showed up to register for the contest. Ran into Al and Lionel. Yami gave Tom a huge glomp. We wished her a happy belated birthday. Ran into other peoples like Hanyaan Fairy's CCS group. (Wish I did Nadeshiko, but didn't want to wear it in hot weather again!) There even was a Fruits Basket group that I just had to take pictures with! *^^* We we just chilled out in the general area. Nice seeing people again. I was getting concerned for Masako (aka Maiyu) since she hasn't showed up yet and it was like an hour to parade time.  I called her up, and she just had got up from bed! As the wait for more people to arrived, it just kept getting hotter and hotter. The nearest place for any water would be like a McDonalds. There were ice cream vendors around and about. I fell victim to one. ^^;; 

 

It came time to start the parade. Masako showed up as we were about to line up. It got quite chaotic. To calm our nerves, Tom and I started ballroom dancing in line. We just had to find ways to cool ourselves down. The winners were announced. Congrats to the winners. Tom and I were trying to get pictures of the winners on the float, but we were getting yelled at by a staff member. <.< We eventually got in the line and the parade started. 

During the course of the parade, it was quite hot. There was a school group right in front of us doing that "Hey Ya" song. Chibi Hiku was about to skip the parade and let everyone take a ride in her car to Japan Town. Tom and I were up for the offer, but it never happened. Since none of us had water on us, several people in the line went to the nearest convenience store to buy some for the crowd. It was an interesting sight. Tom was taking movie stills of the CBF crowd. We finally reached Japantown and there were TONS of people out there. We spotted Ziggy, Katnap, Michi, and others in the crowd. 

The parade finally came to an end. It was about 3PM, and we were quite hungry. (Note to self: Eat before the parade starts!) Masako knew of a place where we can eat. We found this one place in the Japantown mall. It's right about on the bridge. I wanted to eat, Tom was crazy and he wanted to claim the prizes. Eh...so I tagged along with Tom to claim our prizes. The prizes just for participating in the parade were pretty spiffy - an Inuyasha plushie, Inuyasha keychain, Inuyasha poster, Bubblegum Crisis dvd (Lucky Tom, he got a CCS DVD), etc. I wanted to exchange the BGC dvd with something else, but Tom was in such a hurry to do things. I ran into Michi and Cathy. Didn't realize that someone from choir knew Michi. Small world isn't it? I also ran into Hitori and Stephi and asked if they could join us for lunch, but Stephi wasn't feeling too well. Tom and I joined Masako and a friend of her's for a late lunch. 

It was about time to go. Apparently there were no Muny or taxis to take us back to city hall to catch the Bart. We went back with two of our friends back down the parade stretch. It was yet another walk and Victoria was feeling rather nauseous. We finally reached Bart and Victoria took a long nap on the way back to Freemont. 

Cherry Blossom Festival was an okay event. I wish I stuck around more to see the actual festival. I wasn't expecting Japantown to be that crowded. Even during AG Mixer during a Little Tokyo Japanese cultural festival you could go to a restaurant and it wouldn't be so full. Here's hoping that next year won't be so hectic and that the weather will be much cooler. Cheers! 

Pictures are copyright by Victoria Erica. If I took your picture, feel free to use it on your site or cosplay gallery. If you want me to remove something, kindly email me. While you're here, do sign the guestbook. This con report was brought to you by the font Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me.