28 11 / 2012

So today I was lucky enough to be booked in with a Red Panda encounter at the Wellington Zoo. I had one of the younger bros walking all over my lap while we fed him pears :D They are really soft! I thought their coats would be a lot more wiry, but indeed they are as soft as a plush toy.

It lasted no longer than 45 minutes, but it was totally worth it. We had this ninja blackbird that followed us around because he knew where the food was at. It was pretty hot outside so it took some enticing for them to come out, but eventually we even got the older gentleman panda to come out and take some pear while eating in the shade.

They’re from Nepal in the Himalayas, and they even have fur in between their paws to keep them warm, so they do not like the heat. Thanks for coming down for me, little dudes! <3 

31 10 / 2012

We made a pit stop in Waitomo because we were supposed to go on a 4 hour spelunking trip of the famous glowworm caves, but it had rained way too much over the weekend and most of the caves were flooded. However, we managed to snag a 1 hour tour with a really awesome tour guide for Cave Tours. His name is Cam, he is a bro. He showed us all sorts of formations, glowing worm poop, even cave wetas which are SUPER HORRIFYING. Think of if a spider and a mosquito had a baby and grew large, that’s what it looks like.

The cave walls and ceiling were covered with tiny little green glowing dots which looked like stars. It was really nice to just stand and watch it for awhile. What a beautiful natural beauty, even if it is made out of glowing poop!

We also stayed a couple days in Waiotapu, which is home to mud pools and hot water rivers you can swim in. We stayed in a SUPER GHETTO roadside tavern hostel, which was cheap but oh my god. I had an upper bunk in this room that I thought was going to collapse and kill Keysha in the night, jesus. There wasn’t even a stove or anything to prepare food. It was all run by a super decrepit old man who also happened to run the bar, who brought us fish and chips on his wobbling, feeble legs. I felt super bad for even ordering anything. :|

There was a honey bee store next door that had this giant sign of a bee above their shop. During the night time the bee’s eyes glowed RED and we were all horrified and amused at the same time. He was lovingly dubbed SATAN BEE.

We checked out some of the mud pools, which STINKS by the way. I know where the movie Labyrinth got the idea from the Bog of Eternal Stench, it was most definitely from this place. Holy god. We happened to find a geocache nearby, which also stunk. We went to Kerosene Creek, which was a little hideaway river with a waterfall where you could just chill in the hot water. The sulphur and hot waters stained our clothes so bad, though. Oh gosh. Only because we soaked in it for a good 1 1/2 -2 hours. No regrets.

31 10 / 2012

So we drove to and from Auckland, which is roughly about an 8 hour drive. It’s insane how different the landscape changes from one minute to the next. We drove through every possible weather change, except for freezing snow. We were in beautiful forest, rainy misty rolling hills, dry desert which was home to an army training zone, seaside with crashing waves…. I took video of a bunch of different terrains on my way back so I hope to put that together to post soon.

We apparently drove through Mordor too, which was pretty bad ass, not gonna lie. :D

We visited an army museum at one point, their cafe had mediocre food and the worst steak panini I’ve ever had, but the tanks were pretty amazeballs. Because of the constant rain, we had constant rainbows following us throughout the trip, including the tiniest little rainbro that followed us for quite awhile.

I’m surprised we stayed sane to and from Auckland, we had 5 grown adults in one hatchback car with a crapton of costumes and personal effects jammed in the trunk. Butts were sore and we were cranky, but overall was good times. We even visited the stinky mud pools and Kerosene Creek where some of our clothes got hella stained, and Waitomo was too rainy to do our 4 hour glowworm cave spelunking so we just opted for a 1 hour tour instead. Will post those photos next!

31 10 / 2012

Hey hey, long overdue WELCOME TO NEW ZEALAND post incoming!

I’ve been staying with my lovely friend Keysha in the city of Wellington, which is at the southernmost part of the north island of New Zealand (there are two major islands where most people live, a north and a south island). Wellington itself is composed of a LOT of hills. It looks really beautiful when you’re looking over at the city from anywhere, because it’s like a big bowl where houses and trees dot the landscape, and windmills do their thing at the top.

It’s been really hard getting used to walking everywhere. Keysha lives at the top of a really long, steep hill, and I’m not used to walking up and down them just yet. My asthma is going crazy, on top of cat allergies from a certain adorable long haired cat that lives with us, although I’m surprised they’re not as bad as they could be. I recently got a 24 hour flu which I’ve still got sniffles from, so breathing lately has been FUN to say the least!

The winds here are SUPER CRAZY. You think Chicago has anything on daily Wellington winds? Ha. The weather has been up and down, it was quite awful when we went to Auckland and had to endure cold winds and rain in our costumes, kind of ruined the fun a bit.

We’ve been geocaching like mad, I’m glad that Keysha finds it so fun! She’s really good at finding them too, there’s hardly any where we’ve had to give up and move on. I’ve found some in Wellington, Waiotapu, Auckland and Waitomo. Soon when we go to Thailand we’re going to find some there. Excitement! That’s in a couple of weeks now!

Food is amazing. Kumra fries are really interesting, it’s like sweet potato, but with a different kind of sweet. They have indian curry here, which I miss, which I haven’t tried yet. The chinese food is a bit lackluster and tasteless, the way they do sushi is REALLY strange. They have it all premade and prepackaged in heaps of different kinds in their restaurants and you just pick what you want, pay and eat. I much prefer fresh made sushi, but you get what you get! We’ve been cooking some too, and just yesterday I made apple crumble, which I’m not too happy with. I used a recipe that used too much nutmeg and not enough BUTTER! >:U

I’ve met lots of lovely people so far. People here are quite nice. They also have a Hastings area where all the dodgy people are from. It’s just like back home! <3

We spend days hanging out and playing games, drawing, cooking, going for walks and geocaching, heading in to town and checking out the caches there and doing a bit of shopping, and while Keysha’s at work at the zoo I catch up on the internet, draw and read One Piece manga.

Tomorrow I’m starting volunteer work at Wellington Zoo, where I’ll be helping twice a week making fruit bat diets and making a giant paper mache animal for the lions to rip open. That’ll be awesome fun! :D

I hope you enjoyed this general update! I’ll post some more about the road trip to/from Auckland next.

21 10 / 2012

keyshakitty:

Days are going quickly!  Unfortunately, no photos from Day 2 from me.  Molly was out of cosplay this day (bag!bitch and I love her for that!) and I was hosting the Parade with Jess so I took no photos (Bethany is an uncomfortable cosplay for a long period of time).  We also met up with Molly’s Auckland friend, Kat - who was super lovely and it was awesome to meet her! :D

Last night we went out to Spookers!  It’s tradition for us to go there each year.  It’s a haunted house/forest/other attractions set out in an abandoned mental asylum.  Naturally, NOTHING there scared Molly but the actors are always awesome because if you’re not scared by them, they’ll insult you and make you laugh while still staying in character.  Molly wondered why they all went for her and I said it was because she was a smart ass to all of them!  Too many great quotes between her and them from the night to talk about, though one of my faves was when one of the red necks with chainsaws in the haunted forest yelled at her to tell him where she came from.  She responded with ‘Canada, land of the free!’ when he growled what that made where he came from, she came out with ‘The land of Mitt Romney!’

Later on, he popped out at us again from behind a rusty iron shed and yelled at her because she assumed he supported Mitt Romney.  Gold star, dude!

Now onto day 3 of Armageddon!  This was Zelda group day and while the weather poured down (which means, sadly, no beautiful photos outside with our full group) we at least got a ton of hilarious inside ones (and yes, Groose FINALLY sat on Link and it was amazing!)  These were taken by Sylvie and I will have to share them later!

We stopped by Nintendo’s booth because the guys working there liked our Kikwi girls and wanted to see our other Zelda costumes, so we rocked up and the guys knew who we were right away!  Then they offered to let us play Zelda adventures on the Wii U’s Nintendoland game set.  Apparently, they weren’t letting people play it over the weekend because it was so busy and they needed to keep the flow of people steady, but they made an acceptation for us because of our Zelda love (and costumes!) Because I played as Archer, I got the fun WiiU controller, while Molly and another random guy played as the two sword and shield users.  That was really, really fun.  I wasn’t too sure about the WiiU at first but thus far, I am actually pretty impressed.  I may get one sometime down the track if I like the libary of games (one down side is it still has region lock.  Boo).

We moved around from place to place getting stopped for photos a lot, so hey to all the Zelda!bros who knew who we were and had awesome words! :D

In the afternoon, we presented the cosplay games.  Molly and Abby were awesome helpers while Jess and I hosted and Alex was our tech!dude.  I was really happy with the crowd turn out and also the reactions everyone had.  Probably one of the best cosplay games to date, even if the room got REALLY hot towards the end (we ALMOST had a pompadour wilt, I kid you not!)

Day was ended by a few practice runs of our Legend of Korra skit tomorrow (since we had Jess to practice with) and then pizza and booze.  One day left of the con!  It’s almost over, I can’t believe it!

Yes! All of this! XD Oh my god the rain pour at the end DESTROYED my pompadour. It was comedic and sad. I met a couple of people from Tumblr at Armageddon, too! dagget and cutgrassgetrupees. Really nice to meet them, lovely people! :D

19 10 / 2012

keyshakitty:

Whew!  Okay, so we made it to Auckland yesterday after one LONG road trip up!

Today we took it fairly easy.  We went Geocaching for a little bit (and found all 4 caches!  Whoo!)

This evening was the start of Auckland Armageddon convention (Friday preview night, ball, foam party and finally - fireworks and burning man!)

Molly and I dressed as our Kikwi girls!  Funnily enough, some people knew we were from something Zelda related because of the bomb I made Molly! XD  We had a guy at the Nintendo booth chat to us for a while about Zelda, as did other people too!  Had lots of photo requests from people in general! :D

At Armageddon itself we did some shopping (preview night was GREAT since it was very spacious and no crazy kids running around, so it meant we could shop in comfort).  Bought a ton of One Piece stuff and a few Zelda things too.

Then we attacked the gaming section!  Play Station All Stars battle royale!  We didn’t get the one that had Jak as a fighter (boo!) but Molly did play as Kratos and I played as Big Daddy (who is slow and that sucked!)  We DID find a sexy Jak poster we needed photos with too!

Plus playing another God of War and Assassin’s Creed 3.  Sadly, it was stealth mission demo stuff and we just wanted to assassinate! XD

Kathy and Sylvie dressed as toned down versions of their Wyches (Warhammer 40K) and looked amazing!  We also bumped into Kendra who was a fem Gaston (and yes, the Belle is a guy) so naturally we had to grab some photos with them! :D

The dance side of the evening was pretty dead, so we had a drink and hung out in the lobby area until it was time for burning man.  This year it was an Inca (‘is that racist?  Let’s post a photo on Tumblr and they’ll tell us!’), which after standing around in the cold for AGES, they finally set on fire with fireworks going off behind it!  We had two Kikwi girls, a Stephanie from Lazy Town and a Wych cuddling up in a group in the cold. Lots of Kikwi boob smooshes!

Overall, a VERY awesome start to this weekend!  We’re now in the motel drinking and looking forward to tomorrow.  I will be re-wearing Bethany Hawke with a Mage Warden and Isabela - hosting the Parade in the afternoon with my lovely Jess - so stop by if you are cosplaying and would like to be on stage for a bit! :D

Yay for cosplay and New Zealand! :D

14 10 / 2012

keyshakitty:

Molly bb had fun today. :3



Sure did!!!!! :D

keyshakitty:

Molly bb had fun today. :3

Sure did!!!!! :D

10 10 / 2012

Last day in Tokyo!

We went into Shinjuku to find the Capcom Bar to possibly go for lunch but it wasn’t open until 2:30 PM, instead we went into a Mister Donut and had the healthiest possible brunch, which consisted of melon soda and pumpkin creme filled donuts.

We heard that there was a Capcom store opening in Odaiba, which is a part of Tokyo which is by the sea, so off we went to go try to find it. Our searches did not yield any results (no matter what anyone or any blog tells you, the Capcom store does NOT exist, except for online) however we found this place called Joypolis, which was a small arcade theme park inside of this huge DECKS shopping mall.

Inside, we went on this zombie rollercoaster shooter. It was incredible. You were strapped into a rollercoaster car with a working video game joypad in front of you where these projection screens came down and you had to shoot zombies, then you advanced, and at one point we went up a steep hill and eventually after the Boss, it shot us forward super fast and we did a bunch of twists and backwards somersaults. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!

Then we saw the Miles Edgeworth Perfect Prosecutor set up, which had a PERFECT replica of his office from the Phoenix Wright games, complete with Steel Samurai, K Prosecutor trophy, and Edgeworth jacket framed on the wall, plus lifesized Edgeworth chillin’ on the side. We couldn’t understand the game that came with the exhibit because it was all in Japanese but we were still allowed to take pictures. Yay! It was totally worth it. :D

We also went on a Wild Jungle 3D simulator with this Spanish family of 3 young boys and their dad, who was horribly racist. He was shouting things to his kids that made it seem like they were having fun but Soraia translated and it was something that was super racist and horrible and we were not impressed, and we gave the dad the most disapproving look ever. Anyway, we took pictures with a Sonic statue that talked to us, walked around and took pictures, then headed back to Shinjuku.

We got terribly lost on the way back, kept taking the wrong lines… so we took longer than anticipated to get back to the Capcom bar. We didn’t end up getting back to the bar until about 5:15pm, and the thing with the bar that we didn’t know was that you’re supposed to reserve a specific 2 hour slot and our slot would have started 45 minutes ago. We still wanted to go inside because we had to leave at 7:30 and the next slot was at 7, so they let us in anyway.

We went through these double silver doors and were greeted extremely happily by the adorable waitresses in this black uniforms and the barstaff. It wasn’t horribly busy which was nice. There was posters and tv’s with Capcom games, action figures lining the bars and display cases, memorabilia hanging from the walls and bar mixed with the drinks.. it was just an amazing atmosphere. The bar is a High Spirited bar, so most of the stuff you order, wether it be food or drink, is performed by the waitresses.

We got Resident Evil drinks to start and 2 waitresses enacted a scene between a zombie and Jill Valentine. I ordered Zangief meat skewers and I had to Shoryuken the waitress for it. We were both in a fighting position and we announced to the whole bar that it was the waitress vs. Canada-kun which I was lovingly dubbed.. It was great fun! :D We also got Monster Hunter salad which was amazing, it had potato salad and boiled quail eggs in it, and Sora got the Devil May Cry pizza, which was served by the waitress who mimicked Dante’s “Jackpot!!” cry.

For dessert, Sora got Devil May Cry themed dessert and drink and I got Phoenix Wright themed. I got the Blue Badger pancakes with a PW drink and Sora got a Dante Strawberry parfait complete with DMC Oreo and a Dante cocktail that had rose alcohol in it (everything Dante was garnished with a rose, FANTASTIC.)

If someone ordered the Phoenix Wright onion ring tower, apparently the entire bar would have turned into a courtroom and everyone had to scream OBJECTION (or IGIARI!!! in Japanese) I wasn’t in the mood for onion rings, otherwise that would have been hilarious.

Soraia talked to them a lot in Japanese and we tried to communicate well, overall it was a lot of fun! The waitresses were really nice and we gave them all high fives after everyone else left and they let us take pictures of the place and gave us stamp cards and coasters they only give people who win the raffle. We were special!! ;o;

Back to Tokyo station for the last Shinkansen back to Kobe. Would you believe our suitcase we brought was entirely filled with manga and artbooks and our clothes were stuffed into a paper bag? Hahahahahahaha that was fun getting back home plus laptop plus backpack plus our cameras and purses. WHEEEE!

Tokyo overall was awesome awesome awesome, I’m so glad I was able to properly enjoy it this time, because 11 years ago when I went I barely did anything in the 1 hour I was there. So happy. <3

Capcom Bar, Biohazard Cafe, Akihabara, Butler Cafe, many geek stores and purchases and experiences… love it. Thank you Tokyo. Thank you Japan! What a great way to end my trip.

Tonight Sora and I went to sushi to celebrate my last night in Japan and I will spend tonight packing and prepping packages to send home.

I will see you all in New Zealand! :D

10 10 / 2012

Day 2 of Tokyo trip, we met up with Rei and Savvy in Akihabara, where we decided to eat lunch in a restaurant that was so random in the fact that in order to order something, you had to put money in a machine that gave you a ticket of what you wanted and you gave it to the waitress …who was right there anyway. :/ Pointless system much? Anyway, after shitty katsudon and Chicken karaage, we went to the biggest Mandarake in Japan, 8 whole floors of otaku ridonkness. I bought the Halloween Town Sora figure because I’ve been putting it off forever, and I managed to find some FF13 doujinshi for Rainey, and some Layton for Zilla!

Akihabara was kinda busy and uninteresting, except for the amazing looking Gundam Cafe we admired from afar with the me sized Gundam outside being like SUP EVERYONE. We headed to Ikebukuro, where we wandered around for a little while because our Butler Cafe reservation wasn’t until 7. We went into KBooks where they had tons of doujinshi, and you can believe I found the most amazing things ever, even Skyward Sword doujinshi. Yessss, bought it all. We walked along Otome Road, which had all the girl otaku stores.

Something super awesome happened though, some random sweet girl from Tumblr recognized me on the street and gave me an enormous hug. She didn’t give me her Tumblr username so I wanted to give her a shoutout and say HELLO and thanks for making my day and I hope you’re enjoying Japan as much as I am! :D

So our Butler cafe experience… wow, haha.

It was at a place called Swallowtail, where you go down these stone steps and a dude dressed in a swallowtail tuxedo greets you and made us sit down because we were a little early. They talk to you completely in super formal Japanese as if you’re a princess so it’s a bit embarassing and hilarious. The  door greeter who opens the door was this old balding man, which I pointed out to Sora and we almost killed ourselves laughing, yet tried to keep our Princess composure as we stepped inside and were greeted by good looking butlers who took our coats and bags and told us to be careful around steps and that this was our home now, and to enjoy ourselves.

Inside the cafe itself you cannot take pictures, but it was just beautiful. It was like we were in some sort of extremely fancy French castle, with red plush carpets and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and all the adorable butlers everywhere with their anime haircuts and bowing at every thing and their WELCOME, MADAM’s every single time someone came in. We sat at this table near the back where a fake fireplace was, and was explained the menu, napkins placed on our laps, water poured for us, all the meanwhile they were bowing and addressing us as royalty (apparently, I couldn’t understand most of what was happening, thank god Sora was there. Savvy cried at one point because it was so overwhelming and the butler got really concerned and Sora had to cover for her and say she was just REALLY HAPPY and he claimed he was also VERY VERY HAPPY. Oh good.)

It was dinnertime so we had to order the dinner instead of dessert or afternoon tea, so we had these antipasto cups, pumpkin soup, salmon and beef with onion sauce. For dessert, I had vanilla black tea and this amazing chocolate truffle cake. Holy crap. It was all French food and it was delicious. Expensive, but delicious. As embarassing as the whole experience was, I’m glad I did it and I can check it off my “thing I’ve done before I die" list. Wonderful! :D

We went back to the hotel to read our purchases of shame and go to bed for another full day of fun in our last day in Tokyo. Last part of Tokyo posts coming right up!

10 10 / 2012

So the Tokyo trip… was BLOODY INCREDIBLE.

Day one, we left pretty early on for the Shinkansen, which was at 10am. With our snacks and luggage in tow, we braved the 3 hour trip from Kobe to Tokyo. We transfered in the big Tokyo terminal to Shinjuku, which was another surprisingly large terminal. We got directions to our hotel, the Shinjuku Washington Hotel I managed to make reservations at 2 days before, and it actually managed to be quite nice! I mean, for a cheapish hotel in downtown Tokyo for 2 people, that is. We were on a female only floor in the annex, so no dudes could even go into our hotel room! (No problems there. NO BOYS ALLOWED HEE HEE!!!!!)

We got accustomed to our hotel room and contacted our Tokyo Tumblr pal tarunarei who nicely showed us around later and on Monday! We were going to meet up with her and her friend later, so we decided to try to find the Biohazard Cafe and Grill STARS on our own… I remember looking at the map twice.

So off we went to Shibuya, where we crossed the infamous multicrosswalk you see in all sorts of shots of Japan in movies, especially in the 4th Resident Evil movie when the breakout begins, mwahah. And I literally just..picked a direction and walked. I sort of remembered what one or two landmarks were, and somehow I lead us to the exact building where it was, without getting lost once. You have to remember that Tokyo is EXTREMELY big and confusing, with all sorts of tall buildings with tons of billboards and everything is like WTF if you don’t know where you’re going. It’s like I followed my insticts, haha! When we got inside the building (in which a giant inflatable trash bag was outside… okay) we went up all these escalators to the 6th floor where we looked in the One Piece store briefly (where I bought a One Piece bra, stickers and something for Kylie!) and checked the awesome Village Vanguard. When I was getting worried I couldn’t find the restaurant we went up one more floor and I saw it greeting me… the big S.T.A.R.S signed and then I was so happy I cried.

The waiter outside was dressed like Chris Redfield and he greeted us warmly because he saw we were obviously fangirl freaking out over the place. He asked us if we wanted the set menu (which was like 3500 yen and had the brazilian meat style food) or if we wanted the regular menu. We wanted to see what was on the regular menu so we went with that. He radioed the people inside and he opened the door for us, which resembled a door sort of like one in the Raccoon Police department. Inside we were greeted by a waitress in some sort of STARS short shorts with beret getup, and she sat us down. There was so much cool stuff inside, like the guns on the walls, the STARS jackets, random props from the games, like the typewriter and grenades, insignias from the game, and decorated to look like random parts in the police department. Oh, and Tyrant was just chilling in the back watching us eat.

We ordered the weirdest stuff… I had 2 alcoholic drinks that were RE themed, and we had some chicken gizzard appetizer, some potato wedges covered in cheese,  salmon porridge, and noodles with soup and meatballs. They all had names that were Resident Evil related somehow, but we couldn’t translate most of it, haha. Oh, for dessert I had the Wesker Exclusive Ice Cream, of course. I lol’d. There was also Leon’s favourite cake on the menu, and Ada Wong parfait, which Sora had. It was amazing. It was all amazing. We got to keep the coasters, too.

So after that expensive exciting expedition, we met with our friendly guides and checked out Mandarake and Animate, which are the two nerdiest stores ever in Japan.. Animate has all the latest anime and video game merchandise, while Mandarake has all the manga and doujinshi and artbooks and used merchandise for sale you could ever want. I bought a lot of stuff from those places. A lot. No seriously. Crying. Will make a video later of all that ridiculous stuff.

SO THAT’S THAT FOR DAY ONE! Day 2 will come up soon!