During my Atlanta Trip in 2018, I applied for an Annual Presidential Library Membership with the mindset of visiting several POTUS museums in 2019. I learned a lot about Jimmy Carter’s presidency (Jimmy Carter Post) when I was in the Peach State and now that I’m back in SoCal my friends and I took a short roadtrip to learn all about Ronald Reagan’s Presidency in Simi Valley, CA.
This museum is located on top of a mountain and overlooks the valley. The view is quite spectacular and while the setting is very picturesque, the museum facility is very interactive and engaging. There were tons of short movie clips, physical artifacts, and they even have an Air Force 1 and guests could step inside and see what it’s like to ride like a VIP.
Reagan is probably best known as the actor turned president; however, he was one of three presidents (at that time) to serve 2 terms and is best known for helping to end the Cold War with the Soviet Union! I don’t think I could ever do something as brave as that, but I’d want people to know me as the adventurer who shared the world’s best hidden gems.
Like most people I too wanted to diet and exercise more for my new year resolution, yet instead of solely going to the gym more frequently, I decided to purchase a season pass to Knotts Berry Farm as an incentive to increase my steps. At $200 for a Gold Membership, which includes admission to Buena Park theme park and water park, parking, and admission to other Cedar Point theme parks throughout the US it seemed like a no brainer and also a fun way to move more. There’s usually a theme each month and in January and February, Knott’s celebrates your favorite beagle with birthday decor and various photobooth backgrounds.
It’s been a while since I last visited Snoopy and his friends (at least 10 years), so when I bought this pass I found out that there were several new roller coasters added. Hangtime has a 90 degree drop and Accelerator (my favorite!) launches riders at 82 mph in less than 2.3 seconds. Sidewinder is a crowd favorite, and while it’s located in Camp Snoopy it spins while you peruse up and down the tracks.
Since I live relatively close my plan is to go at least once a week after work to put in my steps – one lap around the park then ride an attraction. If coasters aren’t your thing, Voyage to the Iron Reef is a really cool underwater shooting game. On my first visit I waited almost two hours and still felt that it was worth while.
What are some things you’re doing to live a healthier 2019?
One of my favorite things to do at conventions is attend panels especially voice actor ones as I love learning about the audition process, and inspiration for characters. While I had the opportunity to see both the creator, voice actor for Deku and All Might at SDCC in 2019 (Post Here), Anime Los Angeles brought the full star studded My Hero Academia cast (!!!) for the weekended and included an autograph session for all attendees. The weekend was far from short of My Hero Academia cosplays (post here) and the voice actors who brought their character’s voices to life including Justin Briner (Izuku Midoriya), Clifford Chapin (Katsuki Bakugo), David Matranga (Shoto Todoroki), Colleen Clinkenbeard (Momo Yaoyorozu) , Eric Vale (Tomura Shigaraki), Morgan Berry (Thirteen), and Christopher Wehkamp (Shota Aizawa) all participated in both individual and group panels. I was lucky to snag a front row seat in the group panel and got selfies with my two favorite voice actors Coleen Clinkenbeard (Momo) and David Matranga (Shot Todoroki)! I had a great time seeing these voice actors and loved that I got to converse with them in this more intimate convention. A few of the voice actors even complimented my spikes and were really impressed with my cosplay. I’m planning to continue working on it and who knows maybe at AX Momo will have even more refined details 🙂
Do you watch My Hero Academia? Who’s your favorite hero?
Geek conventions are a great place to buy merchandise, watch panels, and see amazing cosplay! But one thing that differentiates Anime Los Angeles (ALA) from the other nerd gatherings is ribbon trading, an activity where you complete a task or trivial and in exchange get a ribbon to add to your badge.
Anyone can participate in the ribbon trading and there are certain groups of individuals who work collectively to make the ribbon trading activity a scavenger hunt. One of the best groups is the Pokemon Group and this year they focused on Team Rocket Recruitment. Attendees would checkin at the “Pokemon Center” and be given a starter Pokemon (their first Pokemon ribbon). I started with Larvitar, a Rock/Ground Pokemon and needed to find other Gym Leaders (individuals with the Red and White Pokemon Button) to “battle” and collect more ribbons.
Once you collect at least 14 of the 18 Pokemon types, you can see “The Boss” and collect the last badge – Pokemon 2019 Champion! It’s a fun activity to take part-in and it’s makes for a really cool souvenir.
I’m a huge DC Universe fan so shouldn’t be surprising that I’d be a Six Flags season pass holder. The new Justice League ride at the Magic Mountain location (post here) inspired me secure an annual pass, but one of the best perks is that I’m able to visit any of the Six Flags across America! I’ve never been to The Peach State and Six Flags Over Georgia sounded like a great destination!
Six Flags Over Georgia is located about 30 minutes outside of downtown Atlanta and during the week of my Georgia visit they had special evening hours. Unlike Magic Mountain where thrill seekers could enjoy the park during the morning hours – afternoon hours, Over Georgia had afternoon – evening hours (4pm-10pm). Unexpected, but with the holiday lights and decor it made for a festive evening.
While this Six Flags was much smaller (in terms square footage), the lines were much shorter and my friend and I were able to ride 7 thrill rides in about 3 hours. Dare Devil Dive is a one cart coaster that does one of the scariest drop (but man was it fun!), Superman: The Ultimate Flight is similar to Tatsu where you fly on your belly, and Twisted Cyclone – wow this was Uh-MA-ZING – hands down my favorite ride perhaps because I was expecting the drops to be so drastic, the car design was so deceptive! It didn’t look like it’d be a thrill ride.
Are you spending your holidays locally or traveling?
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.
Disney has been a big part of my life growing up so when I debuted my Violet Parr cosplay at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC post) this past summer, I was excited about all the upcoming Disney gathering and photo shoots since I’ve mainly done DC characters.
LACC seemed like forever ago (See Marvel post, and Street Fighter post), but a few photographers posted some shots of my Violet Parr cosplay and I was reached out by Kids Can Cosplay, a nonprofit organization to portray her in an upcoming holiday meet-and-greet event benefiting at-risk kids. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to blog about it since it’s a private event and I’d want to be sensitive about minors and their financial status, but we shall see if I can do the adult cosplayers!
I’ve always so impressed by the Disney cosplayers and the Princess group always seemed so much fun, so… for 2019 I’m going to debut a NEW Disney cosplay and it’s going to be a Disney Princess!! *gasp*
Can you guess which Disney princess I’m working on? I’ll give you a hint, she’s sassy and will have a live action movie coming up! Who’s your favorite Disney princess and why?
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.
I always have a blast at LA Comic Con and Saturday’s event was particularly special because I got to debut a new cosplay and join my first Marvel group – The X-men! Woo-hoo! I spent most of my Friday (LACC 2018) exploring the floor, and making purchases, so Saturday was dedicated to photo and videoshoots! and let me tell you the cosplays on Saturday were really on point! It’s like seeing characters from the TV show and movies pop right off the screen! and I definitely commend all the dedicated cosplayers who painted their entire body blue (props to you Mystique, Nightcrawler, and Beast!)!!
During the morning our X-men group met with photographers to take individual and group shots including class photos, all girls, all guys, 90s animated, all telepaths etc. There were quite a few cosplayers who did genderbend versions of their characters and color me impressed- they pulled it off really well!
We reconvened at the official Marvel shoot outside the convention and I was surprised that we got to be a part of a unveiling of a new wheelchair! The Magic Wheelchair, an non-profit organization that transformed wheelchairs to amazing functional costumed vehicles, debuted a Venom inspired one. Seeing the kid’s face light up was the cherry on top and everyone in the Marvel shoot cheered for our newest hero.
In the early evening, my friends and I returned to the conventions Main Stage to support cosplay friends competing for cash prizes. Everyone did a great job and while I was beyond exhausted at the end of the day, I was so glad that I got to spend time with my geeky pals and make great memories with my cosfam.
Did you watch Xmen growing up? Who was your favorite character?
Convention season has slowed down greatly; however, the Los Angeles Comic Con is one that I always look forward to in the Fall. Perhaps it’s in part because it’s so close to Halloween and the cosplay scene is always impressive (LACC 2017). I took the day off work on Friday to check-out the floor as Chun Li and I’m sure glad I did because there were so many vendors!
I rolled in around 3pm to pick up my weekend badge and was able to explore the floor in no time. Took me roughly 3 hours to see every aisle. There were prints from Artist’s Alley, stuffed animals from Bellzi, along with comics, toys, and other misc merchandise. There’s something for everyone although if you were interested in purchasing one of the LACC exclusive pops it looked like it was at least an hour wait or more to purchase. Yet, I was incredibly impressed with the cosplay scene and many guests had what I figured were pro level cosplays. I mean just look at the details!
Later in the evening Jack Black came on the Main Stage to do a Q/A about his career and projects. He took audience questions and the guests enjoyed a 15 minute inspiration video.
Will you be dressing up for Halloween? If yes, who will you be?