New York and KCon NY 2016!

Wow is all I can say.
So a few months ago I agreed to go to New York for KCon with my friend Jasmine. I didn’t really know what to expect. Jasmine is really the one that is a huge fan of KPop and so I knew she would probably appreciate the experience more than me. Especially since her favourite band Seventeen was going to be there.
I’m not saying I’m not a fan of KPop though. I got into KPop around 2013 with Girls’ Generation however I never really listened to anything other than SNSD, so you can imagine how upset I was to find out this was going to be the first year Girls’ Generation was not going to be at KCon NY. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the people who were attending KCon NY this year. It’s just that I didn’t know a lot about the artists that were attending. But I did my research.
Anyway, fast forward to June and soon enough I was on a plane for the first time on the way to New York.
I couldn’t believe this was happening. Until this trip I had never left the country, never been on a plane, never even been to a concert. And so, to say this experience was a life changing one is very much true.
As soon as we got to New York, we passed out. It was only around 9 p.m but we were exhausted. A lot of travelling will do that to you, so we called it an early night and woke up super early the next day. We arrived into New York a day early which gave us an opportunity to explore the city and see the sights.
I was super excited about this because I have always wanted to go to New York. It’s one of those places you have to go to because you see it so much on TV and in movies. And in particular for me, I wanted to go to New York because it’s where the TV show Gossip Girl is set. All I ever wanted on a trip to New York was to be like Blair Waldorf and sit on the steps of the MET. And I got to do just that.

Of course we got to see a lot of other great sights when we were in New York. We got to see Times Square, Central Park, 5th Avenue and so many more things. However since we were only there for one day we didn’t really get to explore any of these places. We sort of just whizzed passed them on a tour bus. But I hope that one day I get to go back to New York and experience everything properly. I did however get some nice photos that day.

Later on in the day, Jasmine and I headed to the Prudential Center in Newark to check in to KCon and also attend Klub KCon. Which was a show the day before the convention started where one of the performing artists would make an appearance. We had no idea who was going to be showing up there but Jasmine had hoped it would be Seventeen. And as luck would have it, it was SEVENTEEN.
I had looked them up once I had found out they were going to be at KCon and that Jasmine was in love with them and I can completely understand why she loves them. Their music is catchy, they are good looking and there are thirteen of them. What’s not to love?
So it’s safe to say the fangirling started early with us haha.

Seventeen!

After Klub KCon we met up with some friends Jasmine had made online and hung out with them. They were all super nice and of course, huge KPop fans. One of them actually makes KPop reaction videos on YouTube and so we actually filmed a couple of reaction videos for his channel which was really cool. We also found out that some of the artists were staying at his hotel and he ended up sharing an elevator with some of them which was crazy. I don’t know how he stayed so calm in that situation as I know most people wouldn’t haha.

The next day was KCon day 1 and Jasmine and I had 2 fan engagements that day, Seventeen and Ailee. Jasmine really wanted to get the Seventeen hi touch but unfortunately we ran out of time to be able to find one but at least we got to go to the fan engagement. I think they were the artists we saw the most at KCon haha.

After the Seventeen fan engagement, I got to go to the Ailee hi touch event which was amazing. Ailee is one of the artists that I had known about before attending KCon and I really loved her music so it was really exciting to get to meet her. She’s so pretty in person and is also super charming and funny. I just love her so much. And so to be able to meet her was amazing. I have no words to describe it.
The hi touch experience was pretty crazy too. It went by so fast. It was literally just a second because I couldn’t think of anything to say to Ailee when I approached her. I just grabbed her hands and then just like that it was over. I know that at these events you don’t get long with the artist and if you do spend too long with them security do tend to move you along but still I wish I had thought of something to say to her haha. Other than that it was a pretty amazing experience.

Ailee!

 After the fan engagements came the first concert. The concert was incredible. I’m sure everyone says the same thing about watching their favourite artists perform live but this concert was insanely good. And even the artists we didn’t know that well, such as Crush and Dynamic Duo we ended up loving. There are no real words to describe it, it was just an unforgettable experience.
And during Ailee’s performance there was a technical malfunction and her backing track disappeared yet she still kept singing and she was FLAWLESS. I mean she sounded so good live without the backing track. It was insane. Luckily they were able to recover from the technical fault but no one was complaining about Ailee singing acapella.
Then Seventeen performed two stages and Jasmine was not prepared for that. I got really excited during their second stage when they did a cover of Balloons by TVXQ because that was one of the first KPop songs I ever really really loved. So that was also amazing.
Like I said, Crush and Dynamic Duo were insane – we didn’t know them before going into the concert but seeing them perform it was easy to see why so many people do love them and so we are definitely going to have to look into them more because their performance was so good.
We also really loved BTOB’s performance even though there’s was more like ballads compared to everyone else’s which were more upbeat and poppy. But still – it was incredible. I loved every single second and it was just a great show. Jasmine even lost her voice a little bit because of all the screaming haha.

Crush

The next day during KCon Day 2, Jasmine and I spent more time looking around the convention stands and also attended the Mamamoo fan event. Jasmine was able to get a Mamamoo hi touch and so was super excited about that.

She told me that Hwasa and Wheein really loved her Squirtle t shirt that was wearing which was really great. Although the Mamamoo fan event was quite short because they were running late but I’m glad that Jasmine got her hi touch, even though it wasn’t for Seventeen.
We originally had a lot of fan engagements for Crush and Dynamic Duo but because we didn’t know them we traded most of them for other things like the Mamamoo fan event and also a Seventeen fan event.
Mamamoo!
After the Mamamoo fan engagement it was time for the second KCon Concert. This was going to be a really exciting night because this was the night that BTS was performing. And a lot of people were only attending KCon to see BTS, so we knew the crowd was going to be insane this night.
While we were waiting for the concert to start Jasmine and I started to talk to the ladies in front of us. They told us about how they were at the concert the night before, but were sitting in a different section and also how they got some of the Seventeen members to do the ‘jam-jam’ dance with them. And then they explained their plan to see who they could get to do the dab during the second concert. Basically all they were going to do was do the dab anytime one of the artists came down the stage towards them to see who would do it back and Jasmine and I agreed to be a part of the plan.
The ladies were thrilled that we agreed to be a part of the ‘dab off’ and they also enlisted the help of several other people in our section. This ended up being the highlight of our night as we got several members of BTS to do the dab during the concert.
It was kind of insane because the first person to do the dab was Eric Nam. He was talking about his new music and possible dance moves for us to do during his performance of the new song and one of Jasmine’s friends knew about the dab plan, and so she did the dab right in front of Eric Nam and then he did it back!
So crazy, and then later in the night when BTS was performing several members also did the dab. I’m not sure which members of BTS but they did it. They probably thought we were crazy and we were but hey, BTS noticed us so that’s something.
And then towards the end, one of the members, Jimin was walking back up to the main stage and when he walked passed us Jasmine was throwing him hearts to see if they would do it back and Jimin threw a heart at Jasmine! She basically all but fainted in that moment. She couldn’t believe what had happened but everyone around her saw and we were so happy for her.
Then at the very end of the concert Jungkook from BTS started to dab insanely along the stage and one of the other members of BTS goes up to him and asks what he is doing and he POINTS TO OUR SECTION where we were sitting. Which is also unbelievable haha. I know he was making fun of us but that’s not the point. We got BTS to dab. Insane.

We found out at the end of the concert that the ladies that initiated the ‘dab off’ have a YouTube channel. They are called the KPop Mamas. And they were just so wonderful to us and so nice. We loved talking to them and fangirling with them and they definitely made the second night at the concert so much better than the first.
I think that’s one of the best things about coming to a convention like this, you meet amazing people. And not only that but you have an instant connection because you both share a love for something and are passionate about it. It’s definitely an incredible experience.

Other things I enjoyed in the second concert included Eric Nam – just Eric Nam in general. My heart melted when he came out on stage with roses, sadly I was too far away to receive one of them. That and he sang a little bit of acapella for us and also performed a new song of his in English. On top of that, he also did a special stage with Ailee which I loved. Mainly because no one was expecting Ailee to perform on both nights.
I also really enjoyed Day6 playing their instruments and singing their songs. And of course Mamamoo were also really good. They did a little collab with Day6 which again. no one was expecting which was great. And who can forget BTS, they closed an amazing show.

On our final day in New York, Jasmine and I decided to spend it in Times Square and did a little bit of shopping. It was kind of hard to navigate around the streets of New York with a suitcase and so we thought it was better to stay in one area.
I also found out New York was celebrating pride the day we were in the city and while I wanted to go to pride in New York, I knew going with a suitcase in tow was not going to end well. That, and we didn’t want to stray too far from the train station because we had to get back to the airport for our flight.
Fast forward a few hours later and we were still in the airport because our flight was delayed. It was delayed by two hours which kind of sucked. It was also a long flight back to the UK and so I was exhausted by the time we got back. It is not easy to sleep on an airplane.
Soon enough though I was back home, showered and in my pyjamas, ready to sleep.
And now here I am still talking about KCon almost 2 weeks later haha. I’m sorry I’ve been posting about it non-stop lately but it was definitely such an amazing experience that I wanted to share with people. At least my version anyway. I promise that I will officially stop posting about it now. After all the vlogs have gone up I swear that will be the end haha.
I still can’t believe it happened though. I mean I still don’t think I have fully adjusted to my normal life yet because I’m still living for the KPop craziness. And if anything, I would definitely do it again. Maybe not next year because my next target is to go to Vidcon, but definitely I would go back to KCon. I met some really amazing people, and I got to experience a new place with one of my best friends and so, yeah, who wouldn’t want that?
Anyway, I’m going to go now. I have a lot of Sims to catch up on and also I need to fix my sleeping pattern haha. If you want to know more about the adventures Jasmine and I got into in New York I also vlogged the whole thing so you guys can check that out on my YouTube channel. Other than that I hope you guys are having a good summer, and hopefully I have a new blog post for you guys soon!
~ Courtney x

My Holiday in Portrush

Hey, guys!
So today I thought I would share with you some photos of my holiday. If you guys didn’t know I went on holiday with my friends for the week to Portrush. Which is probably the only holiday destination we have in Northern Ireland. Everyone else decided to go abroad for their holidays, but me and my friends decided to stay up by the coast for a week. Haha.
So we rented a house for the week and packed our things and went off. I had no idea what we were going to be doing when we were away, mainly because we didn’t really have any plans, we just sort of decided we wanted to go on holiday and this was where we were going.
The house that we rented was called Isle Cottage and if you guys are thinking about staying in Portrush I would definitely recommend this house because it was such an adorable little house in a quiet area. Plus there is plenty of room for everyone.

Isle Cottage

If you guys are interested in seeing the little house tour I did of this house you can check it out in my vlog below:

The first day that we got there we didn’t actually do much, we just got settled and did some shopping for the week. Then we played some Cards Against Humanity which has quickly become our favourite game.

The next day started out nice, we went to Barry’s which is the amusement park in Portrush. We went on some rides and then we decided to go along the streets and look into the shops. A lot of the shops in Portrush are very touristy you can pick up almost anything there with a name on it if you want to bring back personalised gifts, they also have a custom t-shirt store if you want to make customised t-shirts for your holiday.
We also stopped by one of the arcades that they had known as ‘Phil’s Amusements’. We played some arcade games to win some tickets. I ended up winning the most out of all my friends and picked up a few things from the prize counter, nothing special, just a ring, a notebook and two sweets.
We had also planned to go to the beach this day but then it began to rain so we just decided to go home and we played some more card games. A popular one was “bullshit” which is basically where you have to try and get rid of the cards in your hand by putting them in the centre and if people think you are lying about the card that you have put down they say “bullshit” and it escalated and got heated very quickly but it was fun. You can also replace the word “bullshit” with a less explicit one if you don’t feel like yelling swear words at your friends.
Another game we played was “spoons” and this is where you pass cards around and try to get four of a kind and then once you do, lift a spoon. Then everyone else has to take a spoon after the first one has been taken and the person without a spoon gets a letter. They are out if they get all the letters that spell “spoon”. It was a fun game and definitely not as aggressive as “bullshit”.

The set up for Spoons

The next day was a lazy day and we didn’t do anything. This is because the weather wasn’t great so we spent the day at home, but that was fine, we all had our books and electronics to entertain us. Another plus side to the house was that it had WiFi and the WiFi was pretty good, it did cut out a little when we were there but for the most part it was strong.
The day after that we headed back to the amusements because the last time we went one of our friends wasn’t able to go as she had to work. This is the day that we won ourselves a Pony. It sounds weird that a bunch of 18/19-year-olds went to the amusements with the sole goal of winning a Pony from the ticket counter but that’s what we did.

It started out as a joke but it quickly escalated and so we were able to take home our prize, we named it Isla Sheniqua, and there has never been a more majestic pony in all the land.

That night me and three of my other friends went out to Kelly’s which is a nightclub in Portrush. It was one of those places that we had heard a lot about and so we decided to go for the night and see what the fuss was about. Some of my friends didn’t want to go and so decided to stay home instead, they had their own dance party at the house.
I’m not really the type of person to go clubbing but I would recommend Kelly’s in Portrush. It wasn’t like I expected it, I had heard it had been around for a long time and so I didn’t know how well it would look on the inside but it has been renovated and it looks really great. The music was good and the atmosphere was really great.
Also, the taxi driver that we got to the club was so nice! He was very helpful on giving us information on the club and its opening hours and he also arranged with us a taxi back to the house which was very generous of him. Since it was our first time going there we really appreciated the information from the taxi driver.
The sad thing about it is that it is only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays which was very upsetting to me and my friends who really wanted to go again before we left. It’s a fun place to go to but it’s not the kind of place you can go to every week if you live far away from it like me and my friends do. But it was good to go just once so that we could say we’ve done it.
Me and my friend Jasmine before we went out
The next day we went to Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge which I have actually never been to before. It’s one of the main attractions in the coast and it was a nice way to spend part of our day. Going over the actual rope bridge wasn’t too bad, although I’m sure if you are scared of heights it would be more of a challenge.
The weather wasn’t too bad when we went however it was windy which could sway some people when they are on the bridge. Other than the bridge itself the scenery there is beautiful. I really loved it and was able to get some really great pictures while we were there.

After the rope bridge, we decided to head to the beach but unfortunately it began to rain when we got there so we didn’t spend a lot of time there. When we got home we ordered a Chinese from JustEat.co.uk and chilled for the evening. It was surprising that we were able to get a delivery because we thought we’d be too far out and have to go and collect the food ourselves but we did find a place to deliver to us. It took just over an hour to get to us which was good timing considering where the house is.
The next day we had plans to go to the Giant’s Causeway but after looking up the prices we decided not to go because we thought it was too expensive. If you are going to Portrush and have never been to the Giant’s Causeway I do recommend it though because it is something we’re known for.
However, because my friends and I live in Northern Ireland we decided it was okay to give it a miss because we’d all been before.
So instead we decided to go to the beach again and have a picnic. Luckily this time the weather was nice and we were able to find a place in the rocks to sit so we didn’t get sand in everything. Again, I was able to get some really great pictures.

This was our last full day here because we had to leave early Saturday morning and so we decided to go out for dinner. One of the best-known places to eat in Portrush is Ramore, I’ve heard a lot about the restaurant because of people from school going there and so we decided to go.
Ramore is not just one restaurant however, it is actually a group of different restaurants located in the same area of Portrush which I think is really nice because they have different restaurants for different occasions. My friends and I decided to eat in the Harbour Bistro which has more of a ”bar’ type atmosphere and we didn’t have to book a table, they only take bookings for parties of 10 people or more and there were 7 of us but we luckily didn’t have to wait for a table. The service there was great and they were very quick in serving us, the restaurant also requires you to order at the counter which is nice because it allows you to have time to decide what you want before you order.
Overall the experience was great and we had a really nice time and, of course, the food was good too.
That night we came home and we packed up our things to prepare for leaving the next day, we were all quite sad about having to leave because it had been such a nice week away.
We left early Saturday morning and made it back home around lunch time. The drive was long to get back home but I suppose the journey will always be long depending on where you are travelling from.
If I had to say anything else about the trip it’s that I really enjoyed spending time with my friends, I know that we have seen each other every day at school but soon we won’t even have that so it was so good to have a little holiday away together. Plus we were able to make it through the week without wanting to kill each other which is great because it means our friendship was meant to last haha.
Now just because the holiday is over doesn’t mean we’ll never see each other again, we told ourselves we’d make plans and hang out over summer because there’s still a lot of summer left.
Anyway, I hope that you guys enjoyed this blog post, it’s a little different from my past blog posts but I hope you found it helpful and maybe it’ll make you consider taking a holiday in Portrush sometime soon…who knows?
~ Courtney x