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PlanetChristmas Magazine September 2014

Academy vs. Expo I went to both so it’s time to compare. Which one is better? Keep reading. By Jessica I still can’t believe PlanetChristmas Magazine Editors Note: We tried to get Jessica to share her real name but she just wouldn’t do it. The staff liked her article, fact checked it and agreed to hide her identity. September 2014  |  PlanetChristmas  69 convinced me to write an article that’s bound to make someone mad. They did promise not to use my picture or my real name but some-one will more than likely figure it out. I’ll deny it. I’m hoping this article will make the shows better and help others decide if they need to attend these events in the future. For the record, I’m a really nice person. I love making people happy. I hate confrontation. What am I talking about? The 2014 Texas Ultimate Academy gathers the second weekend in July and Christmas Expo 2014 does the same the third weekend. I’ve been to these shows in past years so I knew what I was in for. I flew into both, stayed at local hotels and blended in with the crowds. I added up my credit card receipts and I spent more money than planned but easily justify it saying attending both shows is a good investment in my decorating future. Let’s start with The Texas Ultimate Academy in Conroe, Texas. When I heard about it back in February I remembered from past shows they were well attended and had some great classes. Unfortunately, the 2014 website wasn’t exactly overflowing with information. When the site was updated in June I couldn’t figure out the concert/backstage pass theming but the price was less than $80 so I gambled, booked the cheapest fare I could find on Southwest Airlines and marked my calendar. Ends up Conroe, Texas is north of Houston. Southwest Airlines flies into William P. Hobby Airport south of Houston and it’s your typical sprawling mass of an airport. Driving across Houston in a rental car on a late Friday after-noon is tough because of all the traffic. Thank goodness for my GPS steering me through all the giant highway mixmasters. It took two hours of stop/go traffic before I ended up at the Lone Star Convention and Expo center. At least I thought I was in the right place because there weren’t any signs I could find all about the Academy. I opened the car door and was met by a blast of really hot air. Welcome to Texas. I found the front entrance of the convention center, remembered it from years past and wandered in. I knew I was in the right place because of some Christmas and Halloween decorations. Even saw a few people strolling around with Academy nametags. Everyone was totally engrossed with reading something or pecking away at their smartphones. I finally found a table in a big hall that had a bunch of nametags. I located mine, got a program and became like everyone else as I tried to figure out what to do. Hint to the event organizers: put up signs and


PlanetChristmas Magazine September 2014
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