Monday, May 23, 2011

Travels with Yui: 24 Hours in Las Vegas



I've been wanting to post this, but I was busy working on my 3D camera rig only to find that I need more wood...

Considering that my childhood in Vegas was pretty boring (I was cooped up most of the time at school, home, the movies, or the library because they're air conditioned), there are few places that get my attention when they are closing. When I heard that the Sahara was closing, I recalled memories eating dinner with mom on school nights, particularly nights before band trips when my friend had to sleep over as he lived literally hours away from school...



Now in its heyday, it was one of the Rat Pack's haunts and was one of the original casino resorts on the Strip...



However, as the years went on, it became known for their dollar blackjack and added NASCAR tie-in...



Now I came on the last weekend it was open for business hoping to catch a signature dish featured on Travel Channel's Man vs. Food, the B3 (Big Badass Burrito) Burrito at the NASCAR Cafe...



On the way in, I wasn't sure if the NASCAR Cafe was even open (the rollercoaster SPEED: The Ride closed a few weeks earlier...)



Sadly, there's no need to restock if you know you're gonna close...



So I ended up with a not-so-great Philly cheesesteak...



After lunch, I walked around to see any signs of saying goodbye to this iconic place...



I guess no one made a sticker, but one improvises...



Must've been the same person who did the monorail station sign...



What was sadder than seeing this place go is seeing where I used to work during the summers off from school, Wet 'n Wild Las Vegas waterpark...



My visit to the Sahara was much shorter than I expected, so I checked out the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop with mom downtown, where History's Pawn Stars is taped.



Because of the show's popularity, there's a bouncer out front to keep crowd control...too bad I didn't have a lot of money on me to buy something really unique...



Afterwards, I took mom to dinner and Thor...dinner was at Archi's Thai Cafe...



The next morning, I had breakfast at another location featured in Man vs. Food before heading for the airport...Hash House A GoGo...

I had the meatloaf hash...



Mum had the salmon hash...



Now for a very short Vegas weekend, I ate a lot...but still one issue remained...what's an Obama pedicure!?!?!?


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides World Premiere at Disneyland



Last Saturday marked the third time I was at the red (I mean black) carpet of the premiere of a Pirates of the Caribbean film. While the entertainment press and Disney will show off the pics of the celebs (such as at the Disney Parks blog), I like seeing the arrivals of the generous people (some tickets were sold as part of a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America) who come in their best pirate costumes, which is something you don't see at any other movie premiere...



Seriously, there were people who came to watch the movie who dressed up as pirates...



Highlight of the night was the most convincing Johnny Depp impersonation:



When the celebrities I recognized arrived, it was getting dark, my batteries were about to die, and everything ended up blurry, so the slideshow represents only some of the pics I took...The pirates who were not movie attendees but were Disneyland cast members were also very entertaining, especially the one in our section who was able to play with American Idol David Cook:



Anyway, I did post these barely good pics as a slideshow...more are on my Facebook, but I only give that out to friends I've made in real life first...




Link

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Story of Three Hours: Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con


Some of the celebrity artists in attendance donated items for a raffle to encourage people to donate...

...Well I had finals to prepare for, but last Saturday, an opportunity came up that combined many of my favorite things...being at/near Disneyland, cosplay, and volunteering...helping collect donations for the tornado disaster relief efforts in the southern states at the Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con...the email calling for volunteers did mention there would be people in costumes, so I really wanted to go.

Across our table was a 3D film showcase where a photographer with the showcase wanted to take pics showing all the types of people who checked them out.



As the time went on, he wanted to get the costumed fans to wear the 3D glasses, too...



My shift was late in the afternoon when most attendees were out in panels or in line getting autographs or their own S.H.I.E.L.D. badges. However, I did get a few pics...



I had to do some cropping on this one...



Another group represented at this event was the R2 builders club...



Some more costumes...





What was really neat is that one of my favorite teams showed up to promote a viewing party the next evening in Burbank (too far for me, and who knew The Amazing Race would be bumped an hour so we could hear some really good news that would provide some closure for 9/11?)



While we were busy watching the Royal Wedding and celebrating the news that justice was served, there are still thousands without power and/or homes throughout Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, and North Carolina. If you can help, you can donate to http://www.redcross.org.