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travel

15 Geeky Things to do in Las Vegas

Most people think of gambling, clubs and shows when you say Las Vegas, but we’re not most people. Actually I think of hot summer nights hanging with my friends and family as I was born and raised in the City of Sin. So since we’re not most people what do we do when we visit the city that never sleeps? Well here are 15 geeky things to do when vising Las Vegas.

1. Millennium Fandom

My favorite bar in Las Vegas! Not just because the drinks are good or the decor is awesome but more so the people you get to meet and interact with. Thanks to the owner, Alex, this place is a community and a safe place to be yourself.

2. Alternate Reality

This is the most rad comic shop with the best owners. Ralph has been a mentor for Joey and I when it comes to opening our own shop, although it’s still a pipe dream I can’t help but thank him for inspiring us.

3. Pinball Hall of Fame

A room full of pinball machines creates the best place for a first date, hang with friends or a day out with the family.

4. Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N

Calling all Shield Agents, it’s time for you to defeat Hydra.

5. Bad Owl Coffee

When you can’t go to Hogwarts for coffee, you can go to Bad Owl Coffee.

6. Tournament of Kings

Fit for a king and no one has to bend a knee except to sit down and enjoy the show.

7. The Mob Museum

The original sin of the city, immerse yourself in the darker side of Vegas history.

8. Zia Records

The best place to find music, movies, knick-knacks and get lost.

9. Hi-Scores Bar-Arcade

Drinking and video games…done.

10. Madame Tussauds

Taking pictures with celebs and icons is pretty fun and totally creepy at the same time.

11. The Neon Museum

A boneyard of Vegas history. One of my first ever photo shoot locations, pretty awesome.

12. Wii Play Games – West

Who’s in for a D&D one shot? Roll for initiative!

13. First Friday

Time to get artsy at this event every first Friday of the month.

14. Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con

Get into your cosplay, this con is only getting bigger every year.

15. Artisan Hotel Boutique

Definitely a unique spot to either stay while in town or to visit for a small bite to eat and a drink.

So where will your Las Vegas experience take you?

Trip Report: Tokyo

Konichiwa! We recently returned from Tokyo, Japan where my husband and I celebrated 10 years together. Tokyo has been on my husband’s bucket list for a long time, and visiting all the Disney parks is #1 on my bucket list! So off we went, 11 hours from LAX on Delta Airlines arriving at NRT the following afternoon.

Day 1: Welcome!

After getting through security, it was time for us to locate the Klook desk to retrieve our Friendly Limousine Bus vouchers. Klook is a discount travel website, perfect for traveling in Japan and the Limousine Bus is airport transpiration into the city. While doing this, we were approached to do a T.V. Interview where they asked us questions about our relationship. After looking into it, I found this was for the popular show “Why Did You Come To Japan?”. So keep an eye out for billboards and merch coming soon like Homer Simpsons, Mr. Sparkles.

After taking the hour journey into the city, we arrived at the Conrad Tokyo to check-in. Hands down the most luxurious hotel we’ve ever stay at, and the most wonderful service. Now, if you haven’t realized I like to plan and be prepared, so when I couldn’t book my Disneyland tickets online it made me panic a bit.  So after checking in we scurried over to the Disney Store Shibuya to purchase our tickets. Arriving at the cutest Disney store we quickly got to the 3rd floor where the ticket counter is located. Tickets were extremely easy to purchase and the Cast Members were very friendly. With the tickets in hand we explored a bit of Shibuya before heading back to our hotel to rest after a long day.

Day 2: Tokyo Disneyland

We woke up at 4:45 am due to a combination of jet lag and excitement. After getting ready we jumped on the train and headed to Maihama Station and walked over to Disneyland, arriving an hour before opening. To no surprise there was already a short line to get in and only grew longer as the hour passed by.

Being very aware of how long the queues get, we raced over to Pooh’s Hunny Hunt once the gates opened. It’s a very cute trackless ride that differs from the one in the states. Next, we needed to get a fastpass for Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek so we could come back later in the day to bypass the normal queue. After running around we made our way to the front of the park to take our time going in a clockwise direction to visit each land. We made sure to fuel up at the Sweetheart Cafe with the goodies below.

Jungle Cruise was a highlight in Adventureland and I especially loved the little food area by China Voyager, it felt like a small market. Unlike Disneyland Anaheim, the train at Tokyo Disneyland only goes around 2 lands but still worth a ride with great photo ops. We also made sure to catch a showing of Country Bear Theater since it’s no longer at the Anaheim park. When we needed a short break we stopped off at Camp Woodchuck Kitchen in Westernland which has balcony seating that over looks the river. There’s not much to do in Critter Country besides Splash Mountain but I definitely suggest taking a peak or dining at Grandma Sara’s Kitchen.

Next we made our way to Fantasyland which is a cute area, similar to the other parks. We were able to ride Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan’s Flight and Pooh’s Hunny Hunt from earlier. Probably the cutest dining in the park is located in this land and is all Alice in Wonderland themed, Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall. You’ll notice a lot of the restaurants and carts can quickly get lines, especially if they released new seasonal offerings. Our favorite cart in Toon Town is Mickey’s Trailer which offers different Spring Rolls, including a Pizza Roll!

After we grabbed a few Spring Rolls we made our way to Tomorrowland to use our fastpass for Monster’s, which is similar to Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters just without the points. After exploring Monstropolis we grabbed a bite to eat at Plazma Ray’s Diner and Pan Galactic Pizza Port which has a awesome little show above the ordering window.

After a long and exciting day we headed back to the hotel and ordered room service while watching crazy fun Japanese game shows.

Day 3: Tokyo Disney Sea

We woke up again pretty early to make sure we got to the park to line up before opening. While in line we got pretty hungry so I went to find something to hold us over. There are a few drink vending machines near the lockers and for food the closest place is near Maihama Station, so come prepared. Once the park opened we raced towards Mysterious Island to ride Journey to the Center of the Earth which quickly became our favorite ride. After our thrilling journey we made way to obtain our first fastpass of the day, Tower of Terror.

In search of some food we took the Disneysea Electric Railway from American Waterfront to Port Discovery and walked over to Lost River Delta. We were able to skip the line on Indiana Jones with the single rider option, which a lot of people don’t utilize. For Joey we found some chicken and a fruit soda drink at the Lost River Cookhouse. For myself I got a Chandu chicken curry steam bun at Sultan’s Oasis in the Arabian Coast. They say you’re supposed to wait 30 minutes before going in the water after eating but that wasn’t going to stop us from going under the sea at Mermaid Lagoon.

Tower of Terror is awesomely themed with my favorite Imagineer, Joe Rohde playing a roll as the main character, Harrison Hightower. The Cast Members were extremely nice and gave us a history sheet in English. While in the area we made sure to get the Alien Mochi and flavored popcorn to continue our snaking quest. The theater shows in the park are very popular and either have longs lines or have a lottery system to view them so we skipped over those. Instead we took our time strolling through shops and taking in the amazing atmosphere to end our day.

Day 4: Both Parks!

This was our chance to sleep in and take the parks at a slow leisurely pace. We stopped off at Starbucks to get the morning started and to my dismay I forgot to purchase a “You are Here” mug to add to our collection. We got to Disneyland right at opening and saw how LONG the lines can get if you don’t show up early. Not to worry, the lines move rather quickly to get in although become a little jumbled with “merging”. After walking around Disneyland took the adorable monorail to Disney Sea.

We stopped off at The Teddy Roosevelt Lounge to enjoy some drinks and light food. TRL is a very well themed bar with dark woods and sophisticated decor. Since we felt so fancy we strolled over to the Venetian Gondolas for a gondola ride in the Mediterranean Harbor as the sun was setting. We spent the rest of the day filming on the GoPro and exploring the Ports before calling it a night.

Day 5: Asakusa & Shibuya

We spent the day exploring Asakusa and the temples which really gave us a feel of traditional Japan. Certain places were very calming with people paying respect or taking in the beauty of the surroundings. It’s not uncommon to see people dressed in kimonos around the temple, and most are excepting of photos being taken. The shops in the area pull a huge tourist crowd and there’s a lot of souvenirs to choose from.

While trekking all across Tokyo my boots failed me and I needed to find a new pair of shoes. What better place to go shopping than Shibuya? Even late at night this place has such an electric energy, with it’s beaming lights and music blaring from shops. We watched as hundreds of people crossed the famous Shibuya Crossing from the 2nd floor of Starbucks, where I also didn’t think to get my mug 🙁

Day 6: Akihabara

I bet you’re wondering how we started our day, right? I hope you guessed WITH OWLS!!! Tokyo has a lot of animal cafes and going into one I wanted to make sure the animals were treated right and cared for properly so I did A LOT of research. This is how I found my best friend, HoneyBee who I now send owl posts to weekly. I could have spent all day with these beautiful creatures but there was a lot more for us to explore.

What is one to do after spending time with owls? Explore Akihabara of course! Most of the buildings we wandered into have 8 stories give or take a few, truly a geek’s paradise. The arcades are so incredibly loud and colorful, it’s very exciting to witness. The crane games are especially fun to watch or play but also addicting so watch out or you’ll end up broke. What’s great is you see people of all ages playing and having a fun time.

To top the day off, which was definitely hard to do, we dressed up in costume. Not just for any reason, oh no, we dressed up as Mario and Luigi to go-kart around Tokyo! Driving through the streets of Tokyo with the Sky Tree in the distance and a pack of go-karts following a guide was so exhilarating. People would wave at us as we zoomed pass or take videos at stop lights which made the experience so much more memorable.

Ending the night was difficult to do as there was so much racing (haha) through our minds. When we got back to our new hotel they had special treats set out for us celebrating our anniversary and we viewed the Disneyland Castle Fireworks from our bed. Mirroring a Cinderella moment but with my Prince by my side.

Day 7: Harajuku & Shinjuku

Woke up wondering if we were going to relive day 6 like the movie Groundhogs day. Nope! There’s still a lot of exciting things to see and do. We took the train to Harajuku to check out the famous Takeshita Street. Not a street for those who like to avoid crowds as this is another huge tourist spot. Bright pastel colors are found in the stores, people and even the food.

A walk through a neighborhood and we found our way to Yoyogi Park, Shinjuku and Golden Gai. Although we only walked around that day in these areas we could have easily spent multiple days taking in this bustling area.

Day 8: Sayōnara

With only a few hours to spare before being whisked away to the airport, we decided to visit Disneyland one more time. Even with 8 days we didn’t have enough time to see everything that we had planned but that’s the beauty so we can start planning the next visit. The people and city have so much to offer and was so welcoming. Thank you Tokyo, you will hold a special place in my heart.

Have you been to Japan? What are your favorite things to explore or what would you look forward to most?

3 Days in Paris


Paris is a beautiful city that you can probably wander around for a lot longer than 3 days, but when you’re limited on time 3 days in Paris is magical.

Day 1: Welcome to Paris!

Check into your accommodations and freshen up before heading out to explore the city.
We stayed at a lovely Airbnb apartment in Montmartre, right about the quaint shops.

Hop on the Big Bus Tour to get a glimpse of the city. Yes, this is super touristy but it’s one of the best ways to see all the famous landmarks around the city without killing your feet. Because of the great experience I had on the Big Bus Tours I look for them in any major city I go to.

Take in the beauty of the Eiffel Tower, you have the option to go up and view the city but might I suggest going up the Arc de Triomphe instead? They say the view from the Eiffel Tower is beautiful but it’s missing one thing…the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Grab a sandwich or savory crepe from Happy Caffe and walk through the Jardin des Tuileries Garden until you find the Louvre Museum, you won’t have time to explore all the art but you can look into the eyes of Mona Lisa. If you have an extra day to spare you should lend it to the Louvre so you can appreciate the beauty it has to share.

Next walk along The Seine River and the Bouquinistes, which are the green boxes were you’ll find merchants selling books, art and souvenirs. Take a stroll along one of the bridges to Notre Dame Cathedral and take a moment to appreciate the Gothic architecture. After exploring the area make your way to Shakespeare and Company and purchase a book or two.

You are now in the Latin Quarter, wonder the streets until you find the perfect location for dinner.

End your night with a good view of the Eiffel Tower on the hour to watch the lights dance around fill you with childlike wonder.

Day 2: Paris explorer!

Spend the morning walking around Montmartre and up the steps up to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Follow in Amélie’s foot steps to Cafe Des 2 Moulins to take a few photos before heading to lunch at La boite aux lettres.

After lunch it’s time to explore the famous Paris Catacombs, spend a couple of hours walking through tunnels lined with human bones.

Now it’s time to walk like royalty through the immense grounds that is The Palace of Versailles. Or if walking is now a bore to you with your royal mindset you can rent a bike and ride through the gardens.

If you have a kitchen in your accommodation pick up some items to have a home cooked meal. You can get fresh cheese, baguettes, meats, pasta and sauce to make a hopefully memorable meal.

Day 3: Disneyland Paris!

Get up! We’re going to Disneyland Paris!

A bit out of the city but easy to get to, you’ll want to arrive and line up before the park opens. I suggest starting at Walt Disney Studios to knock out the big rides before heading over to Disneyland where you’ll probably spend most of your time.

Spend the day being a big kid, run around with happiness. Find your way to Disney Village (Downtown Disney) for shopping, food and entertainment.

Disney Tip: Everyone runs to Crush’s Coaster when the gates open.

Paris Tip: Don’t let anyone hand you anything, put anything around your wrist or ask if you speak English as they try to have you sign something. It’s all a scam! They will try to make you pay, pick pocket you, or get you to put your bags down while someone comes around and takes off with it. Unfortunately theft is a big thing in Paris so make sure your possessions are protected and brush up on the latest scams with a simple google search. With all that being said, don’t be afraid to explore and see new things.

Well there you have it, you just spent three days in Paris and boy are my arms tired…huh?

 

 

Reading is an Adventure

Reading is an adventure
that never ends
– Charles Shulz

One of the best ways for us to travel is with our own imagination. It may sound cliche but Charles Shulz was onto something magical, reading is an adventure! Think of the writers who brought you books that you will read over and over again, are you transported to a new place? Can you imagine the taste, smells or emotions that characters was feeling? That’s the power of reading!

I remember getting those Scholastic book fair catalogs in elementary school, rushing home and circling all the books I was hoping to get. Finally the day had come, I would walk into the school Library with the money I begged my mom for and pick my new adventure. “Magic Tree House” and “The Boxcar Children” were among my favorites, wondering where the next journey would take us. I still get excited anytime I walk into a library or book store, a library card is a mini passport waiting for stamps. What would be in your “reading passport”? Maybe Middle Earth or the Forbidden Forest?

So let’s celebrate reading and continue the adventure by simply opening a book.

Business Insider “The 21 greatest travel of all time”

 

A Geek’s Holiday Gift Guide

A Geek’s Holiday Gift Guide 

I love the holidays and I love giving gifts, but it can also be stressful, especially if you have a tight budget or the person has “particular taste”. So that’s where I come in! I’ve created a travel holiday gift guide to help you master the holiday season versus staying hidden in a dungeon.

A Geek's Travel Holiday Gift Guide

  1. Scratch off world map so you can scratch off all the places you’ve been
  2. Make sure no one suspects you’re hiding droids with this Star Wars luggage tag
  3. Be a professional photographer with this phone lens kit
  4. Be a hero by bringing a collapsible water bottle to the airport
  5. GoPro Hero 6, one of my favorite cameras to capture life’s adventures
  6. There’s no wonder why Ready Player One is becoming a movie, it’s an amazing read!
  7. Pocket size Totoro umbrellas are perfect to carry when traveling
  8. Keep your chargers and cords organized with this Star Wars zip bag
  9. Tote around loot in this stylish Disney canvas bag
  10. This Bombshells passport cover makes a statement
  11. Connect Lego key chains on bags or keys
  12. One of my favorite travel companions, the Popsocket!
  13. Have a carry on that says you love the 90s with this Nickelodeon bag
  14. Drown out the noise around you and only sense the force with some Star Wars headphones
  15. Create a masterpiece with the Surface Pro

Now kick back, relax and drink some hot coco you filthy animal.

The Ongoing List of Travel Movies

One of the best ways to inspire you to travel or go on an adventure is watching flicks where they go to amazing destinations. So here is my ongoing list of travel movies I recommend, be sure to add your favorites in the comments below!

Almost Famous

Image via DreamWorks

One of my favorites! 15 year old, William is hired by Rolling Stone Magazine to tour and write a piece about up and coming band, Stillwater.

Amelie

Image via Miramax

Amélie is a waitress at a Parisian café who wants to make those around her happy.

Away We Go

Image via Focus Features

Parents to be (Maya Rudolph & John Krasinski) travel across America to find the perfect place to raise their family.

Back To The Future

Image via Universal Pictures

No matter which one you watch from the trilogy you’re in for an adventure with Marty and Doc Brown.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Image via Orion

Alex Winter & Keanu Reeves play a couple of high school buddies wanting to start a band but risk the failure of their history class which means Ted would be sent to Military school. I mean, adventure is in the name. This movie gives you a history lesson and great quotes.

The Bucket List

Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Two strangers (Morgan Freeman & Jack Nicholson) meet in a hospital where they share the same room and decide to complete their bucket lists before their time is up.

Catch Me If You Can

Image via DreamWorks

The chase is on around the world to catch Frank Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio)

Chef

Image via Open Road Films

I love Jon Favreau! I swear the DMV instructor who tested me when I was 16 is his body double. Anyways….this is about Chef Carl (Favreau) and his passion for food. With the help of his best friend and son they fix up a food truck and travel across the country delivering cubanos.

Eat, Pray, Love

Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment

Liz played by the beautiful Julia Roberts, is on a quest of self-discovery which has her taking a trip of a lifetime.

Euro Trip

Image via Paramount

In this comedy Scott is on a quest across Europe to find his pen pal Mieke.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Image via Universal Pictures

Jason Segel plays Peter, a musician who recently got dumped by Sarah played by Kristen Bell. He escapes to Hawaii to get over her only to find she’s there with her new beau.

Goonies

Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

The ultimate adventure movie about a group of friends looking for lost treasure.

Homeward Bound

Image via Disney

In this family favorite an American bulldog, golden retriever and cat take a thrilling journey to get back home.

Indiana Jones

Image via Paramount

Dr. Jones! An adventuring archaeologist, need I say more?

Into the Wild

Image via Paramount

This soul searching movie is about Christopher played by Emile Hirsch, letting go of possessions and exploring the wilderness.

Just Go With It

Image via Columbia Pictures

A comedy about Danny (Adam Sandler) trying to win over young Palmer (Brooklyn Decker) by lying to her about his fake family with Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) takes them to Hawaii.

Lord of The Rings

Image via New Line Cinema

An epic journey to destroy One Ring

Lost in Translation

Image via Universal Studios

Two lonely strangers meet in Tokyo, Japan and share an unlikely bond.

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Image via Disney

A witch in training has to move to a seaside town where she starts a courier service.

Midnight in Paris

Image via Sony Pictures

Gil played by Owen Wilson is a screenwriter and aspiring novelist vacationing in Paris when he seems to be swept back in time to the 1920’s

The Muppet Movie

Image via Disney

Kermit the Frog meets some friends on his journey from Florida to California to pursue a movie career.

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Image via Warner Bros

Hilarious comedy about Clark (Chevy Chase) trying to take his family on a vacation.

National Treasure

Image via Disney

Some people really don’t like Nicolas Cage but no matter your feelings I suggest watching this movie. A take on Indiana Jones if you ask me, a journey to find treasure and unveil the truth in history.

PS I love You

Image via Warner Brothers

A bit of a tear jerker, Holly played by Hilary Swank is set on different tasks left by her deceased husband played by Gerard Butler.

Roman Holiday

Image via Paramount Pictures

European Princess played by Audrey Hepburn takes a night off in Rome from her goodwill tour.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Image via 20th Century Fox

Walter (Ben Stiller) is a day dreamer set to find the missing picture needed to print in Life Magazine by going on an adventure of his own

Seeking a friend for the end of the world

Image via Mandate Pictures

Two neighbors played by Steve Carell and Keira Knightley embark on a journey as the world is ending.

Stand by Me

Image via Sony Pictures

Four friends set out to find a dead body.

Trains, Planes & Automobiles

Image via Paramount

A comedy staring Steve Martin and John Candy who get stuck with each other as they try to get home for the holidays

Under the Tuscan Sun

Image via Touchstone

What starts out as a tour of Italy turns into Frances (Diane Lane) purchasing a Tuscan villa.

UP

Image via Disney Pixar

Carl is set out to fulfill his life long dream when he’s surprised with a tag along named Russell.

Up in the air

Image via Paramount

Ryan played by George Clooney, fly’s around the world firing people, but he has a new co-worker traveling with him played by Anna Kendrick.

The Way

Image via Icon Entertainment

A story about a man (Martin Sheen) who travels to France to collect the remains of his son (Emilio Estevez) ends up finishing the journey his son was on.

Wild

Image viz 20th Century Fox

Cheryl played by Reese Witherspoon, set’s out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone.