Was lucky enough to attend yet another pen show this year that was completely new to me, the Triangle Pen Show in North Carolina!  Comparatively this was a small show, but the NC pen community is filled with such enthusiastic, vibrant people, that it had the feel of a much larger show.  Among those I met for the first time or had the pleasure of seeing again were Mike Matteson of Inkdependence, the wonderful Figboot/David P., the talented Jesse (@justicejr on IG), Sandra (cupcake girl!) who taught me how to pseudo-help bake stuff, and of course Nik P. who took me on an LV adventure after the pen show.

The Triangle Pen Show started off with the usual trader day.


It was pretty quiet, but quite a few people stopped by and pens changed hands.  It was interesting to see all of the vintage pens before they were picked through by the crowds.

Cupcake girl was amazing and hosted me for the duration of the trip, she even taught me how to look like I’m really baking!  And of course let me roll up cookie dough into balls after she had done all the hard stuff.  There was NC BBQ the first night, and of course I had to get my Chick-fil-A fix on another day.  That BBQ sauce tho!

The after hours for this pen show seemed a bit different from the other pen shows that I have gone to so far.  The groups tended to hang out either outside of the hotel or in the back of the hotel where the main ballroom was, and not at the bar.


Totally didn’t stop anyone from having drinks though lol.

As always there were shenanigans, anyone want to take a guess what that brown stuff in the Musubi Pen Case is?  ^_^

The photo below is of actual trash found at the pen show….what doesn’t belong?  Or well…I guess arguably does belong but shouldn’t be there lol.  (Credit to:  Nik P for finding this lol)


We debuted the new Hippo Noto Exclusive Krishna Ink, Magentum at the show!  It is a pretty neat color, and the extras will be available soon in our shop.


Another first for me was the FP auction!  I’ve been to other shows with an auction but did not attend.  This was a cool experience, even bid on something!  Unfortunately (or fortunately for my wallet), didn’t win, but I’ll be more prepared next time!  Might have been helpful to check out the items beforehand lol.

In terms of haul, I didn’t buy very much this show.  Perhaps it was going to all the other pen shows and getting the pretty pens of the world there that made getting things here less important?  Whatever it was, no regrets, it was a great time!  One of my favorite little items is this case from Nock Co.!  It is always a pleasure to see Brad aka The Pen Addict and his awesome items!


That color scheme is just beautiful, and its just enough for writing on the go ^_^.

But the recurring theme of my pen show experiences has always been that it’s really the people who make pens magic.  Spending time with pen friends is always for the win.  This time around I got to go on a California/Las Vegas adventure with Nik P. the calligrapher.

We started our adventure in Northern California, and got to see @allthehobbies in wine country!

We also went to a REAL PEN STORE!  That is always exciting for me, as Hawaii just lost its only pen shop.  The real pen store this time was Bittner in Carmel, California.  Carmel is a beautiful beach town, and Bittner was absolutely a joy to see in person.  They had everything from vintage pens to beautiful journals and everything in-between.

Then we were off to Las Vegas!  It was a 9 hour road trip, and we passed by many interesting things, like $1 for 10 Avocados!  We considered just loading the car up with avocados and becoming the “Avocado Barons” and selling them for a profit to be used for gambling purposes…but we ended up making it to Vegas minus the avocados and managed to have a good time anyway.

Pic dump!


So what does any of this have to do with pens?  Traveling with Nik means calligraphy everywhere, even a normal day at the shops leads to crowds of people having their names written.  Below you can see him hard at work in Cartier.


This extended to our room as well, where he made friends with the coolest bellman ever.


And of course we can’t forget the waiting for our dinner calligraphy:


Bonus!  He taught me how to make a ghetto cooler using nothing but the sink, ice, and ebola cups (don’t ask lol), since our rooms didn’t have a fridge.

Hit a Krispy Kreme while I was there too…we only have one on the outer islands…so when I see a hot donut sign, its on!

IMG_4048.jpgIt was a wonderful trip all in all, and I thank the #hipposquad for continuing to ship Hippo Notos while I got to enjoy the wonders of Sin City.  Time spent with #penfriends is always time well spent, no matter where you are.  Next time I’m in Vegas I will totally find the beef jerky store and that elusive whole dried salami!

I leave you now with a photo of Nik P proudly holding the first owl of the night.  For the record he sucks at the Squirty Gun game…but he is great at darts!  If you’re reading this Nik, see…I give credit where it is deserved ^_^.