Well, this thread is finally coming to a close, as R Cohrs' Korea thread (http://www.worldrps.com/bullboard/index.php?topic=2699.0
) rises up to take its place as the latest travel documentation.
My trip has been absolutely, totally, positively fantastic, incredible, inspiring and a great deal of other positive emotions. I've had a fantastic time in New York City going to heaps of Broadway shows (Spring Awakening is awesome, and if Blue Man Group is ever on in your area, go and see it. Very surreal and hard to describe, but certainly worth it), exploring the city and catching up with a friend of mine who's taking an Acting for Film course up there.
As well as all this, I was lucky enough to be in the U.S. during Hell Week, which made it possible for me to attend my first international RPS tournament, the annual Roshambo Winery one. Words cannot describe the überness of this tourney. It was just great fun. Just before attending, I met up with custardchuk and Rosh in San Fran, and most of us (bar Rosh, due to travel inconveniences) headed up to attend the tournament over the course of that night and the next day.
The atmosphere was really intense, but at the same time really friendly. custardchuk, my mother and I were entered in the tournament, and unfortunately custardchuk and myself got knocked out in the first round by a couple of amateurs. My mother went on, only to get knocked out in the second round.
While this may sound like a rather unsuccessful result, who could forget the Funny Money Street RPS competition? This was a real challenge for me, as I'm rather bad at gambling (as I don't like losing what I've already got). While Street isn't endorsed by the Society, in this instance I think it was important, because it allowed for the fun and thrill of competing to continue outside the main tournament.
I must say, I really enjoyed the Street matches, as I had to play in some high-stakes games to have a chance at one of the top prizes, which got the adrenaline going. One memorable moment was winning back my $1500 I'd lost in multiple games, in one tense best-of-three with one of the Hooters girls (a rather notorious team of good players).
At the end of the tournament, from a field of roughly 170-200 competitors, I managed to get fourth place in the Street comp. This was very thrilling, and a great debut on the international RPS stage. My prizes (some gift certificates for restaurants, and a free golf game) were taken by my Master as tuition fees, which meant we were all happy as I couldn't have used them anyway. For getting in the top four, I was given a free Funny Money bill to keep. This was the bit that probably meant the most, and chances are I'll frame it.
Due partly to this achievement, and partly to the time having come, I was promoted by my mystery Master. My apprenticeship was terminated, and I am now a Journeyman. I have learnt all that can be taught from my Master, and it was a huge honour to graduate. He or she knows how thankful I am, so I needn't go on about that in this post.
I bought a second, pristine, copy of the Strategy Guide, as a signature book. I managed to get signatures from custardchuk and Rosh (with nice encouraging messages in them), as well as a couple of Roshambo referees, as well as Naomi and Scott.
I managed to acquire two new t-shirts, and I was interviewed by a film crew covering the tournament.
I made many friends during my trip, and it was excellent to finally meet the guys. It meant a lot to me.
I'm now hanging out in San Fran for another day and a bit, before catching the plane home.
All holidays should be this enjoyable and successful!
I've got a truckload of pictures, so I might choose a couple to post here. For those who care enough, I may also make one big archive and upload it, so you can download them all in one chunk. If you're only interested in the Roshambo tournament (and not, for example, my meeting with Rosh and custardchuk), I'd suggest you just wait for the official photoset from the winery itself. Much less biased against people who aren't my friends :-).