By Drew Bennett

Husband, Dad, Blogger, Photographer, Transformers Fan and Wired Kayaker

  • Double First Order Transport Builds
    Photo-A-Day #4393

    Day two of Philly BrickFest was crazy busy and went by so quickly. Brian and I got there early and set up the tables. He has three MOCs with him including the Sea Cow from The LEGO movie which he made into a restaurant. We featured it in the show in the episode – Lego City Update #12 – Brick Island City – Modulars and Mocs. He also brought the Police Station that he made and modified which was featured in Lego Police Station MOC – Behind the MOC. The last couple items were the 50’s Dinner that was featured in the episode: Lego City Update #4 – Brick Island City – Modulars and Mocs and a working Pokéball that Steve made that was featured in the episode: Pokémon Go Custom LEGO Pokéball. We spent the day talking to people about the Built from Bricks show and explaining what Brian did to make those MOCs.

    We also LiveStreamed our table on YouTube for almost 4 hours. We’ll be doing some more of that tomorrow as well.

    For the bulk of the day I built two LEGO Star Wars First Order Transporter sets #75103. Brian and I won the sets last night at the bowling event. They were half built so I tore them all down and started over. I organized all the pieces in two separate parts of the table and then I took my Samsung Gear 360 and set up a Timelapse of my side by side simultaneous build of the sets. I put it into today’s video but sped it up even more. I forgot to attach a battery to charge it up but it and so it died with me only have a very few bricks left to go on each set. I then let the camera charge for a bit and I finished up.

    In between that I went and picked up lunch at Jersey Mike’s. My sandwich was great and so was Brian’s… at first. He ended up not feeling well so I took over the table and talking to all the last minute people about the MOCs and the show. Our table was cool because we were doing things and interacting with the kids and parents. We also had Brian’s Surface Pro playing the show on a loop through some decent speakers so people could check out the show, too. We ran out of cards so I picked up a poster board, cheap frame and some Command Strips. I am really happy with my really quick and dirty sign and stand. It was very inexpensive, too. Next time we bring a real sign.

    The rest of the day was for the exhibitors and people who had those badges. I had an all access badge so I had part of a table as well as access to all the fun after hours activities. One of those activities was a Brick Pong where we played Beer Pong for LEGO bricks. Brian and I won the first round and because of that we won a LEGO Jr. set and were up for playing the winner of the next round for a huge set. We did not end up winning that one, which stunk because that was a huge set with nearly 800 pieces and would have been fun to build. However, we had fun playing and won some individual bricks for our collections. We turned in after that.Tomorrow is going to be a busy and long one.

  • Drew Plus Woody
    Photo-A-Day #4392

    Brian (From Built From Bricks) and I drove down to Oaks, PA for Philly BrickFest LIVE. We took the Kia Sorento down for the trip. DriveShop and Kia provided us with the car for a week. It was a great ride down. so nice to be talking with Brian all through the ride. It made the trip go by so quickly.

    When we arrived we went right to the Oaks EXPO Center. We unloaded Brian’s MOCs and claimed our space. then we walked around and met a bunch of people. I went to a special class for animating LEGO bricks. I learned some fun stuff from David from Brick 101. I made a great Stop Motion video using Stop Motion Studio. It was so much fun and I learned some great techniques. Then I made this movie called Dagnabit!

    We hopped out and got some Chinese food which we brought back to eat while participating in the charity auction.

    We attended an auction and I bid on some Avengers sets and got them for $25, which was a good deal. I donated a LEGO Dinosaur set that went for $81! I can’t believe how much that set went for, I only got it for free because of a mistake and tried to send it back. I had it for over 2 years now. Glad I could help raise some money for the Charity auction.

    Later that night we went to a bowling activity and it was so much fun. We bowled with teams of 5 and as each person bowled their frame they had to go back to a table and build part of a LEGO set as a race. My team did not win but I did win the set in a raffle. Brian did, too!

  • Pewter Fairy
    Photo-A-Day #4391

    Our last day at the Pollard Brook Resort and we started with a lazy morning where Allison, the kids to some extent, and I, finished the Marvel themed Funko Pop figures puzzle. That was a tricky one with many similar pieces that could have fit int he same places plus the layering of the figures into the image made it even more challenging. Our April vacations are pretty laid back and making a puzzle has become a yearly tradition. Last year was Marvel themed comic book covers and this time was the Marvel Funkos. We finished the puzzle before we went out for a late breakfast over to Peg’s in Woodstock.

    Peg’s is a nice place but they only take cash so make sure that you have some before you go in or be prepared to use the ATM and get a fee charged. The food was good, the portions were adequate. I had stuffed french toast and it was really good. The bacon was also really good. Andrew and Eva worked on T-shirt designs for a Life is Good Contest.

    After our meal we walked up the street a bit and checked out Fadden’s General store where we had to get some of their pure maple syrup. We had a little bit at breakfast and needed to get some for our pancakes and waffles at home. Then we checked out a couple other stores before heading back to the room. We stopped and picked up the bath fizzies that the kids made yesterday. Andrew’s were solidly packed little bath fizzies but Eva’s fell apart when we took them out of the molds. Not enough water. She was disappointed and I helped reassure her that it was okay and that we could always make them at home sometime. I think she was unhappy that hers fell apart but Andrew’s looked really good, but I helped Andrew so he had an advantage. We’ll know more for next time how to make them better.

    Then it was back to the room to pack to go home and I had to complete a blog post for an assignment while the kids played and watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

    Then we drove to our friend’s house so that the kids could visit and Allison could visit. They moved a few years ago and we try and see them whenever we

  • Our little geese with a rooster
    Photo-A-Day #4390

    Our third day on vacation and we are enjoying our time at Pollard Brook. Today we spent some time in the room and then the pool and later an adventure out for dinner. We started off the day with a very special activity. Back in 1999 LEGO started producing Star Wars sets. At the time I was working as a Residence Hall Director at Saint Anselm College. I also had a full time job. I had no girlfriend and no extra expenses. I had some disposable income and I went LEGO crazy. I also bought a lot of comics and Transformers. I bought the LEGO Star Wars sets with the specific intention that when the children, that I hoped I would someday have, were old enough to enjoy Star Wars that we would build these sets together. Andrew and Eva are both fans of Star Wars and are both old enough to build LEGO sets so it was finally time.

    I packed the Star Wars LEGO set 7140 – X-Wing Fighter to be the very first one that we would make together. I also downloaded Star Wars: A New Hope onto my phone and was able to play it through the Chromecast on the TV, not without a lot of finagling, this thing does not seem to work right every time, nor does it work the same way every time. We watched Star Wars while building the X-Wing Fighter and had a great time doing it. We organize all the bricks by color and then take turns, by page to build the sets.

    Eva did some more Stop Motion Animation and had me upload her three movies to YouTube. You can find her 1st Try (with my help), 2nd Try (all Eva) and 3rd Try (All Eva) on YouTube. She is very proud of them and each video represents a couple of hours work using Modibot and Stopmotion Explosion.

    We had a simple lunch in the room and then went over to the pool. The kids love hitting the pool. We also used the Jacuzzi and it turned much colder today than yesterday, so that may not have been the best move. Then it was time for cleaning up.

    We opted for an early dinner over at The Woodstock Inn and Brewery. There we shared an Onion Blossom. Allison tried a sampler flight of beers and you have to watch the video just to hear Andrew tell her to “chug, chug, chug!” Neither of us knows where that came from. Allison and I shared a Fisherman’s Platter. Eva had chicken wings and Andrew had a huge hot dog and mac and cheese.

    Ten we headed back to the Pollard Brook Resort where there was an activity happening. The kids made some bath fizzies. Eva made some peppermint ones and Andrew some sage ones. I stepped in to help him out because he wasn’t quite getting the concept of how to mix up the bath fizzies. Things were flying out of his bowl.

    We went back to the room and the kids played while I got ready for a Twitter Party. I try not to have to do too much work while on vacation but occasionally I am working on things so it cannot be helped. It was only a short party so it did not interfere with spending time with everyone.

  • Kids loving the Outdoors
    Photo-A-Day #4389

    We took it easy today. We hung out at the room in the morning and did a few things. The kids worked on puppet show video that we made for Netflix. They had fun making the sock puppets a while back and then putting together the show. They had written some things down but when it came time to actually do the show they improvised their show. The improvisation ended up dragging a bit so I clipped a lot of the video down to something that I hope is more watchable. They tried. You can watch the video on my YouTube Channel.

    Later in the morning we decided to give Escape the Room from ThinkFun a try. I received this game back in July at Blogger Bash and never got a chance to try it out before today. It was a fun game and had a great time working together to get out of the room. We ended up solving the game in one hour and 8 minutes. That was really quick in my opinion. I may be biased and the game is for ages 10 and up. We completed it with two under 10 and both contributed a lot to the overall completion of the game.

    We then had some lunch and got ready to go out on an adventure. We drove up the Kancamagus to the Champney Falls Trail parking area. We were going to walk out to Champney Falls but there was too much snow and we couldn’t find the actual trail. We did walk along the water for a while until everyone got too tired of stepping through the snow. Andrew was having a great time and he’s fearless so he kept going on ahead. I would have been right with him but wanted to make sure that Allison and Eva got where they were going, too.

    On the way back to the room we stopped a few places to take photos. The kids enjoyed taking great hero poses with great backdrops of Loon Mountain.

    At the resort it was time for the ice cream social. We each had an ice cream sundae. We were near the tail end of the people who participated and they were still going strong even after serving 50 people. They had all kinds of toppings, too. It was well done.

    Back at the room Eva and I started working on some stop motion animation using the Stopmotion Explosion program and our Modibots. I helped her get started and then after dinner Eva continued on her own as we watched The Jungle Book on Netflix. I finally worked out something with the Google Chromecast by making my phone a hotspot and using the other phone to cast the show through Netflix. It worked out way better. Eva was so proud of herself for making a 21 second stop motion movie. She worked really hard on it. I put that into today’s video, too.