The past week has been a crazy busy one, mostly with work. We closed out our trip to Istanbul by getting a lot of souveneirs, heading to a fancy nightclub called Reina, an extensive carpet showing at a Turkish rug showroom, eating lunch & smoking Hookah (for my first time) on the Bosphorous and wandering around the Grand Bazaar...and when we were just getting used to life at Taksim Square it was time to head to Cologne, not without purchasing another piece of luggage to haul all of our new treasures home. It makes you wonder a little when the guy at the bazaar asks you" "Would you like to purchase something you don't need?" Regardless, we got out souveneirs our new USSARO luggage and headed back to Ataturk airport.
Now it was off to Cologne (or Koln), where Gamescom was waiting for me.
On Sunday evening getting to Cologne, we got on a train headed in the wrong direction and finally got to the Marriott Cologne at about 11:00 p.m. Cologne is a nice city, heading out to grab some food, the first thing we noticed was the Dom. Half of the building was covered in fog and just gave out this increadibly creepy vibe. Eat your heart out Notre Dame, these gargoyles were scary in the fog or in the sun, as it finally cleared up on Friday. The whole week consisted of light rain and overcast weather and me with very little warm clothing. Crossing the bridge to head over to a Gamescom event on Thursday, we noticed the love locks on the bridge. Naturally, we decided to give 'love lockdown' a new meaning and get our own locks for the bridge, throwing the keys in the river to seal the deal. Then the one day (Friday) I decide to wear the one pair of pants I brought...it is blazing hot and I am profusely sweating from transporting boxes to the convention center.
Gamescom itself was a whole different beast. Days were filled with media interviews, marketing meetings, networking and checking out the main halls. I must say, those media interviews are tiring. I had my first run at being 'on camera' (3 times in one day), definitely not my forte, and talking about the Free2Play video game business. I was surprised how much I knew. Once I started it just started flowing out of me. Good experience, but I'll leave the interviews for the producers, the networking is much easier. Gamescom had a huge event on Thursday night with 3000 in attendance (still only a fraction of the attendees). With live performances and buffet's of food set out all over the venue, there were some still there until 4 am. Being the smart one, I headed in at 12.
The biggest success at Gamescom though? Seeding out more little GamersFirst green bags out into the planet (4000 to be exact)! Those obnoxiously colored bags should be our staple, a different neon color for each year.
"Oh you got that green one? That was back in 2010. No, no, I have the orange one, 2012."
Finally, we dispersed Cologne and got on a train to Frankfurt. Unfortunately (like in Paris), the rain pretty much took over the last day there and the morning (right now). It was nice to have a festival near our hotel, where there was International food. Even nicer was the Irish bar we went to, where I could finally get some Guiness and Cider in my system. Now it is POURING. With the extra baggage we bought in Istanbul and that heavy 19" Alienware computer we're trekking home, getting to the airport will be no picnic, but it's a nice feeling to be heading somewhere that we won't have to leave in a week.
After 14,961 miles, 42 days, 13 cities, 10 airports, 7 hotels, 6 countries, 3 suitcases, 2 train rides, and 1 pandemic we are finally going back to the comforts of home. Still together, healthy and ready for whatever comes next!