Fall Ball: A Novice's View
The day approached and the Novice was as excited and nervous as mouse walking into a room full of hungry cats.
Yes it was that bad; but I prevailed and started my journey to Grand Rapids, Michigan to meet up with fellow Tower folk and explore the sights as only we know how!
Friday of the event was met with a car ride and some pretty cool conversation with a fellow JM Accepted and an Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah. When we finally reached our destination were met by one of the tallest Novices I have ever seen. He helped us get unloaded and into the hotel to get signed in by our own Keeper of the Chronicles Lireina Dormerus t'al`Bearach and her sister in the green2}} and Director of Events and Conferences Melisande Arneil. The local liaison for the event was Aryawnah Federov of the Green Ajah and the Outreach beneficiary was the West Michigan Humane Society. http://www.hswestmi.org/.
We spent the next couple of hours hanging out and having some food and drinks in the lounge of the hotel getting to know everyone a little better. There were boards games and sefies, lots of laughing. Then the time came to have our Opening Ceremony!
We gathered together and held circle(ish) it was a small space but very cozy, while the Keeper talked of Fall Balls past and future ones to come. Toasts were given one by one to those who were not there, and to those we will see again. For myself I toasted the Community that brought me out of my box enough to go to something like this.
As we ended the toasting and were about to get ready to have some serious fun, they sprung it on me. “We have one more note of official business to attend to before we begin the fun stuff,” the Keeper declared, and looked straight at me. Wanna talk about feeling on the spot? Oh yeah...
Melisande Sedai came over to me and had me stand with her in front of the Keeper as she asked who she had brought to be rRaised. (I squeed out loud a bit.) “Fern Al’Thorn” she stated, and the Keeper asked me to kneel.
We finished the ceremony and had a round of celebratory drinks. I was on cloud nine for the rest of the event. Period.
Saturday dawned with rain, the sky was heavy all morning with it. We decided to hit the local Museum, I mean where else are a bunch of book lovers gonna go, besides a library, and maybe a pub or two.
The Grand Rapid Public Museum had some amazing exhibits, with a lot of history of the city and from all around the world as well. There was a Carousal that some of us just had to ride, including me! Nothing is more fun that riding a carousal, at least I think so anyway. :look
From there it was time to have a bit of lunch so we went to The Downtown Market. This place was really cool, lots of different kinds of eateries and small business vendors. There was even a greenhouse area up stairs that I really wanted to check out, but there was a wedding going on. It did look lovely from the outside though!
After getting our fill of food, a few of us ventured across the street to a local brewery, to hang out and play a board game and talk before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the Amyrlin’s Feast. It was held at Kitchen 67 which was very nice and had some really good food with a mix of styles and great service.
After dinner we all went back to the hotel to hang out and I along with everyone else there that was not a Green (they were in high attendance) was invited to the Green Party! I even tried the infamous Balefire :eek and found that it was tasty, of course not everyone feels that way and the faces were very interesting to say the least!
The final day of Sunday came with more rain and dropping temperatures, but we all got geared up to part ways after having our Farewell Brunch at one of the local IHOPs. Many Facebook requests were sent and pictures taken of the moment, for the newly found connections and the existing ones being made stronger.
They always say that parting is such sweet sorrow, and it is true. I was truly moved by the camaraderie that was had, and the feeling of finding a bit more of why this place is a Home for me.
The view of this Novice raised to an Accepted was that if you can get an opportunity to go to a live event, or local gathering, do it! I am so glad I did, and I am working on making the next one!