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Gish Trip 2019: It All Began In Los Angeles…

As many of you know, we’ve been participating in a competition called Gish for years now. In short, it can be described “the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt” or, a week of photo & video tasks for international teams of 15 people. We’ve posted a lot about Gish over the years, but this time… it’s about us finally winning it.

The big prize for Gish winners is always a paid trip to a cool destination for the whole team of 15 people. That’s right — an all expenses paid trip for fifteen people!

Gish trip 2019: Gish winners Team Scrumtrulescent in Los Angeles and New Zealand
Our winning team FINALLY TOGETHER (Los Angeles, CA in April 2019.)

When the destination for Gish 2018 was announced to be New Zealand, the common mindset of our dear Team Scrumtrulescent was something along the lines of “we’re winning it this year. We have to.” We said it jokingly, as winning this mad competition is never a given. There are thousands of teams competing and out of those, dozens, if not hundreds, are extremely competitive and full of extremely talented, dedicated people.

So when the winners were finally announced in late November by the mastermind behind Gish, and Supernatural actor Misha Collins, we lost it. We lost it so hard that our team’s Facebook messenger chat jammed — we couldn’t get any messages through for at least 10-15 minutes. That’s never happened to me before, with any group on Messenger ever!

But even though our communications and sharing the joy of success was temporarily halted, the fact remained: WE WON. Our beautiful, dedicated, creative group of people did it! We were going to New Zealand.

GishTrip2019: meet-up in Los Angeles

Organizing a trip to New Zealand for 15 people, all coming from different countries and states in the US proved to be quite a complicated process. In the end, it was decided that we should all meet up in Los Angeles and take the long flight together over to New Zealand.

The excitement before the trip was a beautiful thing. We all chatted daily, sharing our best packing tips and happy freak-outs. Every day, someone would go “guys, we WON”, like none of us could really believe it to be true.

After (what felt like) a thousand days of waiting and some loooong flights across the Atlantic, we made it to LA with Satu.

Gish trip: Los Angeles
Hey Hollywood! Fangirl Quest has arrived.

After making our way to the hotel, it was time to meet up with everyone. And just like that, one by one, people started arriving. A lot of squealing, hugging, happytears and smiles happened each time a new person walked through the hotel doors.

“Omg, it’s YOU, you’re so 3D!!”
“It’s like we’re seeing each other in IMAX!”

After sharing everything about our lives, including the good and the bad with each other online in writing and on video chats, it was so amazing to finally meet everyone in person. It felt like we’d been best friends forever, and most of us were meeting for the first time ever.

Fancy dining & spinning on the dance floor

Before heading out for our first dinner together, we spent a while in the hotel lobby introducing ourselves to our trip organizers CJ, Lauren & Chris (all amazingly fun!). Lauren also gave us a short lesson on swing dancing to fit the theme for the night. Most of us participated, while a few team members concentrated on capturing it all in photos and videos.

Outside, the sun was setting on California. Inside, Team Scrumtrulescent was practicing steps and spins.

After our dance lessons we were ready for dinner: a fun night out at the legendary Cicada Club with almost a full team — we were still missing one who was scheduled to arrive the next day — chatting away with each other and our super fun Gish representatives Charlie, CJ and Lauren. Some even tried their new spinning skills on the dance floor, some concentrated on getting to know everyone better by changing seats around two tables. A fun game of musical Gish chairs!

Gish trip 2019: winning team's dinner at the Cicada Club in Los Angeles
Swing dance lessons & the Cicada Club in Los Angeles

Warner Bros Studio Tour with Friends

The next morning, we woke up early and got ready for the Warner Bros Studio Tour. Can you imagine how much fun even a bus ride in the LA traffic can be with a group like this? I mean, we’re talking fun. Not to mention the golf cart type rides we took on the Warner Bros lot.

Gish trip: winning team at Warner Bros Studios in Los Angeles
Watch out, traffic! Here comes Team Scrumtrulescent.

The Warner Bros tour was (again) SO MUCH FUN. We toured backlots, film sets and sound stages. We listened to our lovely guide’s stories on movies and TV shows that were filmed right there, saw an endless amount of props, costumes and other cool stuff.

We walked through exhibition featuring Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts, Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

Gish trip: winning team at Warner Bros Studios in Los Angeles
Team Scrumtrulescent with smiles.

We took photos with the sorting hat, posed with Batman, and as was to become the theme of the trip, laughed so much we almost cried.

Gish trip: winning team at Warner Bros Studios in Los Angeles
Strike a pose! The Aquaman exhibition at the Warner Bros Studios.
Some stunning Harry Potter concept art at the Warner Bros Studios.
Gish Trip: Sorting hat at the Warner Bros Studio Tour
Jason getting sorted.
Gish trip 2019: a million movie props at the Warner Bros Studio tour.
Probably a MILLION movie & TV show props including stuff from Matrix, Inception and more.
Gish trip 2019: the winning team together on the sofa from Friends
The bestest team EVER posing on the legendary sofa from Friends.

A video chat with Mr. Misha Collins

After our exhaustingly fun (a little over) 24 hours in Los Angeles, we were all still very jet-lagged and slap-happy, so getting on a flight to New Zealand felt a little bit unreal.

But before that, there was one more thing to be taken care of…

We’d already been told that despite an absolute maximum effort towards making it happen, Misha Collins wouldn’t be able to join us on the trip. See, normally the dude who started it all and made Gish happen in the first place meets up with the winning team at the chosen destination of each year. But not this year.

Naturally, it was a little disappointing to a few fans of Supernatural and Misha, but to most of us, just a tiny, tiny moment of “oh, aww.”

But like our team captain Kaela perfectly described it:

The winners’ trip was like this huge ice cream sundae with marshmallow and caramel sauce and sprinkles and cookie crumbs, enjoyed at an exotic destination with a big bunch of your best friends & family… with just the cherry on top missing.

Who would complain about the cherry when you’re eating a giant sundae with your bffs?

And we did get a very apologetic and fun video chat with the Gish overlord before our flight to New Zealand. Which was enough to convince us that he really, really wanted to go but just couldn’t make it happen. So, all good here, Mr. Collins. We’ll meet again some other time!

Next up: New Zealand!!!

We have a million photos & memories from New Zealand, but sadly, real life has been keeping both me & Satu very busy with work and stuff (ugh, stuff). But we’re getting there! My 5000+ photos are getting sorted, stories are being written, the usual blogger life.

In the meanwhile, check out the #GishTrip hashtag on Instagram for a few short stories & abnosome memories 💕

We’ll get back to you with more blog posts very soon… stay tuned!!!

Tiia / Fangirl Quest
Tiia / Fangirl Quest
Photographer, illustrator, graphic designer, copywriter, marketing assistant. I once traveled across North America in flipflops. I love dogs, ketchup and many inspiring people. Visit my photo portfolio here.