Say my name so my powers may flow through you. The DC Universe,Wondercon, and AMC 30 in Orange, CA partnered together to host a special advanced screening of Shazam! for subscription holders and convention attendees – if you stopped by the DC booth. (Btw, it’s an awesome movie, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you definitely should! Perfect balance of action and humor and for context: I’m an AMC Stub Hubs member and watch a LOT of movies. I still give this one two thumbs up!)
During that special screening I was among 600 or guests eager to catch a glimpse of the all-star cast. My friends and I waited about an hour and a half before we were given a wristband, which entitled us to a large drink, popcorn, and candy! Sweet! Much of the theater had been occupied by the time we were let in, so my friends and I did have to find single seats. Thankfully our spots still had a good view to enjoy the movie.
Once my friends and I were settled with our snacks, Tiffany Smith from the DC Daily began the program and introduced Zachary Levi (Shazam), Mark Strong (Dr. Sivana), Asher Angel (Billy Batson) and Jacky Dylan Grazer (Freddy Freeman) along with the Director David Sandberg. It was so cool hear from the actors who played the characters and immediately watch them in action. And yes Zachary Levi is as charming in person as he is in the movie. *wink*
I’ll be honest I hate hiking with a passion. I had a really traumatic experience back when I lived in the East Coast and since then I forbade the “H” word into my vocabulary. Fast forward 8 years – a group of friends wanted to make a trek up to the Hollywood sign and because I was A) planning to be in the Hollywood area that day B) I needed to differentiate my exercise regime and C) seeing the Hollywood Sign up close and personal was a bucket-list item – it seemed that all the stars aligned for me go for it.
Bright and early in the morning the group of us tied our tennis shoes and wore layers of clothes before heading up. While most people hiked on foot, there were a handful who were on horseback which was pretty cool to see.
The 6.5 mile hike (round-trip) is a moderate hike for sedentary folks like myself, and while I probably won’t jump to do this hike again anytime soon I am glad that I did it and can share some cool photos! If you’re planning to hike to the sign – plug in this address (2927 Canyon Drive, Los Angeles, CA). There are two small parking lots, but they do get crowded so I did street parking before you enter the gate.
It’s the Year of the Pig and it is lit at the Hsi Lai Temple (3456 Glenmark Dr, Hacienda Heights, CA). Decked out in all things Red and Gold the usually calm and serene Buddhist Temple is a site to see during the weeks of the Lunar New Year. There’s various lanterns strung throughout the temple, and an assortment of pig and zodiac displays for tourists to photograph and enjoy. While I’m not Buddhist I can appreciate the festive and celebratory decorations and the sanctuary is free for all to roam around. My friend also informed me that the temple has a very affordable vegetarian buffet for $8 that’s open to the public. I came after a late dinner, so I’ll definitely need to come back to check it out and hopefully be inspired by other vegetarian options to incorporate into my diet. After all 2019 is the year for a healthy body, mind, and soul.
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches… There’s nothing more magical than the moment when you trim a tree then light it up, yet the Macy’s 71st Annual Great Tree Lighting Ceremony they did that and so much more.
The evening tree lighting extravaganza had a fun filled program complete with special performances and two stages in the Macy’s parking lot. The annual event was hosted by anchors Jovita Moore and Zach Klein of Channel 2 WSB-TV and filmed live to kick-off the holidays!
There were many special performances from celebrity singers including Adrienne Bailon Houghton (previously Disney Cheetah Girl) and husband Israel Houghton, Francesca Battistelli (popular Christian singer), Russell Dickerson (handsome country superstar), and Kyla Jade (“The Voice” contestant on Team Blake). They sang holiday classics as well as music from their albums. Additionally the Macy’s All-Star Choir sang a few pieces and Santa also made a festive visit!
Once the stage performances commenced fireworks lit up the sky laying the perfect backdrop for the lighting of the Macy’s Christmas Tree. It was a magical evening and it really highlighted the joys of this wonderful season.
Ti’s the Season! and The Shops Buckhead Atlanta made short of no expenses when kicking off their holiday festivities. Garlands and trees were trimmed and the floor was even decorated with Nutcracker artwork. Multiple shops also set up stations giving free seasonal treats including fresh pecan fudge, caramel apple, smores, and spiked cider for adults to enjoy. Patrons could also make their own gingerbread house and I had a blast decorating my little dog house. (It was only after I painted it that UGA chant that it’s “Go Dawgs”, as opposed to “Go dogs” – but I digress)
I attended the kick-off festivities on my recent Atlanta Adventure (Stomach Souvenirs Entry 1) and this weekend event featured both local and international guest entertainers. There were carolers who sang both classic and pop music acapella as well as an amazing violinist who played Top 40 songs with an electric flair. When sun-set talented dancers of the Atlanta Ballet 2 performed iconic pieces to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. The dance company dazzled the audience with their grace and flexibility all while balancing on their pointe shoes.
Hundreds of people from near and far enjoyed the festivities and throughout the month shoppers can enjoy ongoing weekend activities from 1:00pm – 5:00pm every Saturday until December 15 while shopping for loved ones or for yourself.
When you think of LA you don’t typically think of people using public transportation, but for one day major LA destinations temporarily closed streets to car traffic and encouraged Los Angelenos to walk, bike, skate and roll through this amazing city. Lead by CicLAvia this nonprofit organization alongside with their sponsors promoted exercise with many free events and live performances.
Inspired by Bogotá’s weekly ciclovía, CicLAvia advocated for greater community building by celebrating LA’s diverse neighborhoods. They selected 5 prominent LA areas and designated them as official hubs, each of which had a different commemorative and freshly printed handkerchief designed by local artists. I was able to secure the Melrose one, and was tempted to try to collect them all, but spent my time listening to the live performances and wandering the streets. There were also many interactive booths giving away various swag, food trucks, and crafts for all to enjoy. Target had a very large presence and gave away a lot of really great freebies.
CicLAvia will return for another community day event on Sunday December 2, 2018 from 9am to 3pm, so if you’re looking for a free family friendly activity to enjoy during the holidays this would be a great option!
Aside from driving – whats your mode of transportation?
My Hero Academia has taken the US by storm – so when Honey and Butter in Irvine hosted an art exhibit displaying local artists take on this hit show I was excited to see their creativity juices at work.
The macaroon store was also going to make macaroons of select characters, but I found out too late that it was only on the first day of their exhibit *cries* Regardless, there were some really great art pieces, which is a testament to our talented community.
There definitely a lot of Froppy artwork followed by Deku, Bakugo (no surprise), and Shoto. My favorite characters are Momo and Shoto and part of me is thinking about making some My Hero Artwork for myself perhaps with color pencils as my medium.
It’s surprising to people that this is only my second time attending San Diego Comic Con and while I had a blast last year (Click here to read) there were so many things that I missed out on! This year a group of my friends and I entered the Invincible Conan San Diego 2018 lottery for a chance to see Conan, some VIP guests, and get an exclusive Conan Funko Pop! No luck on my end, but one of my girlfriends was lucky enough to score tickets for herself and friends! Woohoo!
The taping wasn’t until the afternoon; however, we were instructed to line-up bright and early in the morning to secure our tickets. The tickets all had assigned seats, but rumor had it if you got there earlier you could get seats closer to the stage. My friends and I arrived at Spreckels Theater around 6:30 am for the 9:00 am ticket distribution, and found that a huge line already formed. There were some people there as early as 4:30 am!
Once 9:00 am hit we walked through their ticket booth decorated with all types of nerdy artwork, grabbed our tickets and went on our way. Just an FYI, tickets were somewhat random, as two guys in front of us were given Orchestra seats and we were given tickets Mezzanine. So, I really have no idea about seat selection. *shrugs*
We returned around 2:30 pm (doors closed at 3:30 pm), and enjoyed the band play before Conan arrived on stage. Conan told a few jokes and eventually introduced the cast for Aquaman including: Director James Wan, Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Yahya abdul-mateen II and Dolph Lundgren. I think out of the interview Dolph Lundgren’s story about learning to swim for the role then finding out that he didn’t need to was the highlight of the interview. Though I think some would argue that the cast drink a can of Guinness was the best part of the show – to each his own!
After the show we were each handed a Conan HellBoy Funko Pop as a souvenir. I believe if you attended the showing on the other days you had to redeem their pop at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. I think as a Comic Con newbie attending a Conan show should be on everyone’s to-do list. I for one would love to attend again next year!