Last year, when the Tonner staff announced their 25th Anniversary convention would be held the first weekend in June 2016, I knew I had to be there. Not only because it was their silver anniversary, but because it was being held the weekend of my 40th birthday. What better way to celebrate than hanging out with dolls and friends? And to top it all off, Mom wanted to come too! She hadn’t been to a doll convention since our very first Wilde Weekend, back in 2012. And to be honest, I think she was looking forward to it as much as I was.
We got up at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. in order to leave at 6 for the two-hour drive to the Nashville airport. Check-in went smoothly, and pretty soon we were through security (in under 5 minutes, amazingly) and waiting at the gate. We were flying to Columbus, OH, on Southwest, so picking our own seats was a new experience for Mom. Our flight was slightly delayed, but that turned out to be fortuitous as we were meeting Thomas Lake and Lance Goforth, flying in from Texas, at the Columbus airport. The four of us arrived almost at the same time. We picked up our bags, picked up a rental car, and after squeezing all four of us and our luggage inside, we headed to the Hilton Columbus at Easton.
Mom and I got checked in, ordered room service and basically spent the evening getting ready for the next day…
We didn’t really have to be anywhere Thursday morning, so Mom and I decided to have room service breakfast. We felt so fancy! I got my competition entries ready to enter (more on that later), then headed down to registration when it was time.
I usually take a photo of the convention bag, but somehow, I didn’t manage to do it this time. So I shall have to steal one…
The bag was silver, as was the lanyard. Inside were the usual convention goodies: pin, pen, agenda and assorted information, dolly magazine and a sweet little gift… an Ellowyne purse! AGAIN, I have failed to take a photo of the one I received. Resorting once again to photo theft…
I wasn’t volunteering this time around, so all I had to do that afternoon was enter my competition entries. (That will be a whole separate blog post.) But I was surprised and very flattered at how many people said nice things about my entries! I’ve never considered myself crafty before!
The first event of the convention was “DeDe on Location” dessert event! We were told to dress in white, but as I don’t own anything white, Amelia stepped up to the plate for me.
The centerpiece was a beautiful DeDe Denton doll, “DeDe Celebrates.” She was dressed in a nude/silver embroidered gown, which I loved. But I’m not really a DeDe collector, so I passed on the centerpiece.
However, the biggest surprise was a large box at each place setting, wrapped in silver paper. Inside was our own basic DeDe doll, DeDe Makes a Splash! She was available as either blonde or brunette. Mom and I both got blondes. I guess I’ve become a DeDe collector after all!
There was an amazing selection of desserts to choose from, along with champagne… Yummy! The program was hilarious and included a funny video and a retrospective of Tonner’s 25 years in business. Even though I’ve only been collecting Tonners for 5 years, there were still plenty of fond memories to look back on.
After the dessert event, it was time to open the sales rooms! I hit the Tonner sales room first, to see a glimpse of the Wilde Imagination companion dolls, both resins.
I fell in love with the Ellowyne, but Evangeline ended up coming home with me… along with a basic Miette and Tech Savvy Agatha Primrose.
In the vendor sales room, I picked up a couple of cute Amelia outfits and a patriotic dress for Patience from the talented Janice Mundy of Sew Sweet Designs, then wandered around for a little bit before declaring myself too pooped to pop any longer. Morning would come early, so Amelia, Mom and I head off to bed to dream sweet dolly dreams….