Yours truly sandwiched between G-FEST XIV's guests of honor in 2007, Rhodes Reason and Shelley Sweeney.
It's hard to believe that I first spoke to Shelley Sweeney in late 2005. When she came to America to film a movie called I Am Nipponjin (co-starring with Kamen Rider superstar Hiroshi Fujioka), we conducted an interview for G-FAN magazine about her acting credits in the Godzilla series, most notably as Catherine Berger in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993). The interview turned out so well, and so much interest was drummed up, that Shelley was formally invited by J.D. Lees and me to attend G-FEST XIV in 2007.
Shelley and I stand in front of the Rainforest Cafe in Chicago after officially wrapping up our convention duties at G-FEST.
Shelley became one of our most popular guests at one of the smoothest-run G-FESTs in history. Handling herself with the utmost professionalism, Shelley signed autographs and posed for pictures all weekend, treating every fan who approached her respectfully.
When G-FEST wrapped, I didn't realize it would be nearly four years before I would see Shelley again, but that's exactly what would happen.
With no one around, sometimes you have to do your own photography! Shelley and I pose in front of the Statue of Liberty replica in Odaiba.
After moving to Japan in March 2011, visiting Tokyo became my biggest priority. As I'm not much of a sightseer, my main area of interest was visiting old friends (and making new ones!) while in the city. One of the first people I asked was Shelley, who was happy to meet me again.
Follow the Rainbow Bridge! Shelley and I relax after crossing the walkway from Odaiba.
When we made plans, Shelley suggested crossing the Rainbow Bridge, which sounded great to me. Providing a scenic view of Tokyo Bay, I knew it would be a great experience. Of course, for me, it's not so much about the activity but the company with whom you do the activity.
Kampai! With our journey behind us, we enjoyed drinks at a nearby Becker's.
With our walk in the history books, we finished our conversation at a Becker's inside the nearest train station. It was a fun morning, and the next time I'm in Tokyo (which hopefully won't be too long from now!), I hope to see Shelley again.
Oh, and if the still photos aren't enough, here's some video of our trek. Enjoy!