Universal Studios Japan Halloween Horror Nights 2015

My trip to Japan is being posted slowly. I wrote up my trip to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood so I figured I should post about my Halloween Horror Nights 2015.

They celebrate Halloween all month long at their theme park. During the day it is kid friendly and so adorable. I absolutely enjoyed it to the freaking max. Around 6pm that's when the scary fun starts and Oh My God, I couldn't wait.

Unlike Hollywood and Orlando, Osaka's HHN is included in your day ticket. Hollywood and Orlando charge you an entrance fee for the theme park and then another one if you want to attend HHN. If you don't have a ticket for Horror Nights, they kick you out when it's time. If you do have one and want to hang out all day in the park, you gotta buy the ticket. I believe Osaka's entrance fee was under 70 dollars for the entire day and for both festivities. I was shocked and so thankful for that because I got to enjoy all of it and didn't have to pick what to do.

Jaime and I ran around getting on rides and trying all the food we could handle. They had all kinds of themed food and drinks! Some were amazing and some were okay but nothing out right terrible. Oh! But before the food, there was an attraction that we bolted to first because they handed out timed tickets and there were only so many each day. It was BIOHAZARD: THE REAL 3 (Resident Evil in the States) Once they were out, that was it.

Clearly, I didn't make it.

The concept of the attraction was a shooting survival game and players were running around Raccoon City and trying to SURVIVE! You win by not becoming affected with the T-Virus. But yea, we didn't get to play because tickets were gone and they had no stand by line.

I'll have a post about the day time events but today, I'm gonna write about the Halloween events!

The first maze we went to was AvP or ALIENS vs. Predators. Hollywood had this maze in 2014 so I thought it was going to be the same but it was not. Not at all. They took the concept but made it their own. We walked right into the battle between the ALIENS and Predators and the costumes, make up, effects were amazing. There was one point in the maze where we had to walk through the vents and they got smaller and smaller. I had to crawl and poor Jaime; this maze was not made for a six foot eight inch man. It was a fun maze overall.

The next one was A Nightmare on Elm Street. I was so excited for this one because I am such a huge fan of Freddy and the Elm Street series. This would be my first A Nightmare on Elm Street maze!! The awesome thing about this maze is they send in you groups of 8 and you have to hang on to a bed sheet. All eight of you need to hang on to this sheet to survive the maze. I was freaking scared. Of course that moment went away once we entered because of our group.

Our group included 6 high school girls who were Freddy fangirls. Clearly, very much in love with the character. They also have gone through this maze a few times because they knew exactly where he should be at / where he would pop out from. They'd bang on the secret doors, window, the wall screaming "Freddy! We love you Freddy!" There were times in the maze where Freddy appeared behind Jaime and I to scare us. The girls were in front of us and we could tell the actors were trying their best to get Jaime and I. It was cute too because they would check up on Jaime and I to make sure we were okay and not scared but yea, totally took me out of the element. The maze started off in a living room and ended in the boiler room. It was his story laid out for us to witness. It was a great maze for what it was worth and the idea of holding the bed sheet was great. But yea, the fangirls took me out of it.

The next maze was my FAVORITE ONE EVER!!! It was their own play on Chucky from the Child's Play films. The maze was titled Chucky's Horror Factory Part 2. I guess the year before they had it and decided to keep going with it and I am so glad they did. The whole idea behind this maze is Chucky took over the toy factory he was built in and is now taking humans and building them his way. This was one of the scary mazes and so well down. The actors were great, the props looked real, and I love their original take on this character. I actually wished this was a movie. You're pretty much trying to escape from Chucky and the factory. If you get caught, you could become his next play thing!

The other maze was titled TRAUMA and it took place in a hospital. Now all the maze has fear levels and this one was listed at a 10. This one was higher than the Biohazard one. I said NOPE so fast! I wasn't down for it. I'm all for these mazes but when you got something at a 10 and I can't understand/read what the actual concept is about, I'm okay. Of course later we found out this one was a ticketed event as well and we had no tickets. Whomp whomp.

And as you walked around the park, there were zombies every where. Every where. We also noticed carts selling these flashing heart necklaces. They were huge and again, not able to read we didn't know what the warning was. Finally we figured it out.. if you had one of these hearts it would start flashing / pulsing to let you know a zombie was near by. The closer the zombie got, the faster it would flash till they "attacked" you. This meant they would grab you, swipe at you, and even chase you around. Some were fast, some were slow! You buying this heart necklace gave the Zombies permission to interact with you. Otherwise, they left you semi alone.

They of course still had areas of the park that were horror / zombie less so if you needed a breather you could head over there!

I had such a blast at Halloween Horror Nights Osaka and I recommend going if you are ever in Japan and visiting in October. I have plans to visit them again!!

I'll be back later with more of my trip!!


Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters

Back in September Jaime and I got the chance to visit LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) to check out the Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters exhibit. I love Guillermo del Toro work and this exhibit sounded so amazing that I had to visit.

Since we were planning a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood for Halloween Horror Nights, we figured out how to get first to LACMA and then head to USH. We made it a day of horror!!

In case you didn't hear or know what At Home with Monsters was all about, here's a little blurb from the official LACMA site:

Guillermo del Toro (b. 1964) is one of the most inventive filmmakers of his generation. Beginning with Cronos (1993) and continuing through The Devil’s Backbone (2001), Hellboy (2004), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Pacific Rim (2013), and Crimson Peak (2015), among many other film, television, and book projects, del Toro has reinvented the genres of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Working with a team of craftsmen, artists, and actors—and referencing a wide range of cinematic, pop-culture, and art-historical sources—del Toro recreates the lucid dreams he experienced as a child in Guadalajara, Mexico. He now works internationally, with a cherished home base he calls “Bleak House” in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

Taking inspiration from del Toro’s extraordinary imagination, the exhibition reveals his creative process through his collection of paintings, drawings, maquettes, artifacts, and concept film art. Rather than a traditional chronology or filmography, the exhibition is organized thematically, beginning with visions of death and the afterlife; continuing through explorations of magic, occultism, horror, and monsters; and concluding with representations of innocence and redemption.

Let me tell you guys, this was an experience. I love his films and  I am such a huge fan of horror and monster / creature films. Getting to see the items / props from his work was a real treat. Getting to see items from his personal collection was icing on the cake!! One of the items I fell in love with was The Queen Tooth Fairy. A piece inspired by Hellboy II: The Golden Army. I want my own.

The exhibit was timed and I think I picked a 11am entry. We took Megabus down from San Francisco to LA, doing a overnight trip and getting in at 6am. We then took the subway to get as close as we could to the museum and found a place to have some breakfast. We made our way to the museum and look around a bit until it was finally time to go in. We spent the entire day in there. They turned a room into a maze and there were so many wonderful items to see. There were so many beautiful creatures to look at. There were props from his films and my goodness to see them up close was just something else. It was totally worth the trip to get there.

After that we got some dinner at the food trucks that were parked outside and made our way to HHN. As always I took too many photos of everything and I need to share them. I narrowed them down and the rest are behind a cut for your viewing pleasure.

Did you end up visiting LACMA? What was your thoughts on the exhibit?


Virtual Running

Virtual runs are a thing and I did two of them last year! I discovered both the Hogwarts Running Club and Whovian Running Club. They are fandom based running clubs and if you can't tell by the names, they are Harry Potter and Doctor Who theme.

So what is a virtual run? You sign up for a run / distance of your choice / offered and you get to complete it during your own time. You signed up for a 10k but need to break it up and do two 5k's? That's perfectly ok. You wanna walk the entire thing? Go for it. Wanna do it at the same time as an actual race, You won't be judged.

You wanna walk 13. something miles at Disneyland to count? DO IT!

Sometimes the group will suggest a day to do the run. Whovian Running Club suggested Nov. 28 because it was Karen Gillian birthday but again, not needed. You pay a registration fee of course which will you get a medal and part of proceeds will benefit the charity of the running groups choice. The groups don't ask for proof of running but really, if you don't you're kinda cheating yourself.

As always do your research to see how much of the registration fee will go to the charity.

Anyways, I discovered Hogwarts Running Club first and I signed up the 93/4K. Since I was going to run the 10k Doctor Strange marathon, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I could pick any way to complete the run and this is how I wanted to complete the 9 3/4K. It was awesome because I also found out a few ladies that were running the 10K were also there for their Hogwarts Running medal.

My medal arrived towards the end of December and guys, it is amazing! I love it!! One the back of the medal they added elements of Harry's third year! And it spins!! You can check out the 2016 medals here and I can't wait to do a couple more next year!

As I started looking more into virtual runs, I found the Whovian Running Club and they were still open for the year! Their medal was a Weeping Angel and it was amazing. I signed up!

Their run was 10K which I completed in November on the treadmill as I trained for the Star Wars Light Side races. Again, all perfectly acceptable. That's the beauty of virtual running, it's on your time.

Of course, make sure to check all the details with the running group because they could ask for proof of time. Both Hogwarts and Whovian Running Clubs don't but do love sharing photos!!

And in the midst of all of this, I was told about a running app called Zombies, Run. It's a story based app that you listen to as you run and you feel like you are being chased by zombies. It's really neat and they are doing a Virtual Run in 2017! It's a whole new story and they will send you a medal and other fun things depending on the level you sign up for.

If you've been wanting to try running / don't have time to actually sign up for a physical one, virtual runs are an awesome option! And trust me, for this girl who hasn't done anything physical / exercising since high school this statement is BIG!!


Unearthed From My Closet: Slytherin

On Christmas Day we went to watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them again. This was my third viewing. I really love this film so some strange reason. I think it's the beasts. I enjoyed Newt's adventures of finding the ones that got out more than anything else.

And we can talk about how amazing Queenie is in this film? She was my favorite character. Niffler of course was my favorite "beast" in the film.

Since I was heading out to watch a magical film, I had to represent my house! I wore my favorite Slytherin item ever, my cardigan from Elhoffer Designs. She created Hogwarts house inspired cardigans and they are all amazing. I also own her Widow inspired one and I love it.

I love this outfit that I put together. It was so comfortable. I spent the entire day in it. The cardigan is so warm and I'm always looking for warm items. Double points because I can wear the cardigan to work as well. Geeky office wear for the win!!

Geeky confession time: I haven't finished watching any of the Potter Films or finished reading the books. I've only read / seen up to Goblet of Fire and stopped. I just got bored with book four and both 3 and 4 of the films were such a mess that I just got disinterested. I'm going to give the books another go again but not sure if I will get around to the films.

But I do love Fantastic Beasts and I can't wait for more!

Cardigan: Elhoffer Designs
Cage / Body Harness: Mod Ministry
V- Neck Shirt: Old Navy
Skirt: LuLaroe
Boots: Kohls
Wand: Universal Studios Hollywood

Have a good one!!


San Francisco Great Santa Run 2016

I finally ran my first non RunDisney event. My first ever run was the Star Wars 2016 5K in January and then I did the 10K Doctor Strange in November. In December I ran the San Francisco Great Santa Run 5k.  

In between these three runs, I also signed up for two virtual ones which I will talk about it in another post. 

The idea is simple, have a ton of folks in Santa costumes run a 5K around Crissy Fields in San Francisco while raising money for a good cause. When you signed up, they offered you a Santa outfit and you could wear the entire thing or parts of it. I wore the whole thing and I also added a tutu that my co worker made me. 

The race started at 8:30AM and even though some may think it's earlier, it's not as earlier as the RunDisney ones and not as early as my work shifts at my second job. But it would of taken forever to get to that end of the city on a Sunday so I uber over. 

Yea, I know how that sounds. I took an uber to a run. 

At 8:37AM, over a thousands Santa's took off. Since we had a later engagement that day, I ran by myself. It was fine though. I put on my headphones and enjoyed the beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge / Crissy Fields gave me.

It had been raining earlier in the week and I was so worried it would be raining on Sunday but luckily it stopped by Saturday night. The course I will say was very, very muddy. I also had to watch for the puddles because I did not want to run and then head back home in soggy shoes. They also announced that the course had to change a tiny bit because of the mud and puddles. 

When I ran my first 5K, I was dead after I finished. I was sore and hungry. Even though I'm terribly bad at training, I'm running as much as I can even after working 14 hour days, 5 days a week. This 5K was much easier and I didn't hurt! I also bought Pro Compression socks which folks in a couple of the running groups I'm in love and live by. They say they are great for recovery! They did help a lot. 

Oh and through out the course they had photographers and I finally got the e-mail that the photos were up! These are some of my favorites!

I had a lot of fun and this event was really well managed. They also had some vendors and food after the race but I had to get home to get out of the outfit and ready for a Christmas party we were going to. I plan to sign up for 2017 and hoping I can bring some friends along this time. The same group is doing a Cupid Run in Febuary and I'm tempted to sign up for it. I'm new to the running thing but I got the bug. 

I'm not here to be the fastest, just to have fun and finish! But I will say, I finished the 5k in 37 minutes which is pretty good for me!

A close up of my race costume and my medal!! 

On the way to the bus stop to get home I walked by the Palace of Fine Arts and I got this amazing photo!! It was a really beautiful day. 

My next running event is the Star Wars Light Side 5k, 10k, AND half!!! I think I'm biting off more than I can chew but I'm excited to try! Terrified but excited. 


Small Goals { January 2017 }

Happy New Year!! How did you spend your day? I hope it was a nice chill but fun day! New Years' Eve was spent with friends having a lovely dinner and crafting right into the New Year. On the first Jaime and I went out for burgers and caught some Pokemon!!

2017 is here and I'm excited for all the things planned. My first Run Disney event is in two weeks and I feel like that will be the kick off for all the things I have planned! What about you? What are your plans for 2017?!

I started doing Small Goals in the middle of 2016 and I loved it so much that I'm going to keep it going in 2017. It helped me as both a to do list and a list of things I want to achieve. So lets see how my final small goals of 2016 went!

December Goals:

 Finish Christmas shopping by the 2nd week - It happened!! I finished my shopping and I didn't have to deal with the groups of people. 

 Dink more tea - I call this a win. It wasn't a "everyday, have tea" thing but I upped my tea drinking game in December. 

 Run the Santa 5k!  - I did it!! A post will be popping up soon but I went, I ran, I conquered. 

 Decide between a smart watch or a fitness watch - I settled for a Samsung Gear 2. It's been fun learning about my watch but I do get frustrated with it. I gotta return the Garmin ones I bought during Black Friday.  

I think this was the first month where I completed all my small goals! That was a great way to end the year!! And here are my first goals for 2017!

January Goals:

 Read one book - I failed this goal a few times in 2016 that I just stopped adding it and my reading year was terrible. I have like 5 books started but never finished them. Also, ONLY FIVE BOOKS?? Ugh, I need to change this for sure!

 Change my blog layout - I have had this layout for over a year now and it's time for  a change. I want to update the layout, the profile picture (still have braces in that photo), re write the about me page etc.

 Come up with my one word - I keep seeing folks announce their one word for 2017 and I want to try this. I saw a few people do this in 2016 and I didn't bother with it but I think for 2017, it may be a good thing. Especially with the way 2016 ended, I think having a word to focus one will help me handle whatever 2017 becomes. 

 List Five items on Mercari - I did this goal in November and I feel like it went well so I'm going to do it again. I actually went through my collectibles and decided to let some go so this will focus more on the collectibles and not clothes like the past Mercari goals. 

Here's to a great start to 2017 and here's to a great year!!! No matter what happens, it will be amazing!!
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