Longing for the Ocean

Just really missing the beach right now… especially Montaña de Oro.

I took these images back in February while we were on vacation, staying with a relative in San Luis Obispo.

I absolutely love it there. Pismo was one of my favorite beaches when I was little, and Morro Bay is always gorgeous… but this little beach and park, accessible by a lovely drive through a forest, has got to be my favorite place in the world (other than Disneyland, of course).

I cannot wait to go back. We might be spending our anniversary in a couple months up there instead of Disneyland this year.



Iron Man Hall of Armor Exhibit at Disneyland

Sad news, my Disneyland Annual Pass has run out for the year… imagine my distress when we planned our final trip (until after the summer anyway) and I later found out that the Hall of Armor from Iron Man 3 was going to be on display at Innoventions in Tomorrowland two days after our trip.

Well, that wasn’t going to do at all. However the only way we would be able to catch the exhibit, which started on a Saturday, was if we could enter the parks on the day our passes expire that following Monday. Turns out you can, and when I got the news at work that we were going to see Tony Stark’s Iron Man armors, at Disneyland of all places… well, I scared the jeebus out of my co-workers when I came bouncing out of the back room.

I don’t think you realize how giddy I was when I turned the corner inside Innoventions and saw this display.
I’ve also NEVER seen Innoventions this busy since, well, ever.

This has got to be the coolest thing I have ever seen/done at Disneyland. Just being able to see the armors so up-close, to look at all the details you would never be able to see on-screen… my geeky little Marvel-loving heart was just in Heaven.

If only I had been able to wait out the crowds to get some clear shots of each individual armor and the display as a whole. That would have just made the day perfect.

Ramblings and Reflections

My Chinese Zodiac is the Dragon, and 2012 was the Year of the Dragon, so I almost expected things to go a little more smoothly for me than before. While I did make a lot of great memories and had some fun, it just was not my year at all. Between losing jobs, family drama and everything else going on I even lost all my motivation to pursue the things that do make me happy. Things aren’t much better now but with the coming of a new year comes a sliver of hope that the worst has passed.

Calico Hello Kitty Maneki Neko Lucky Cat

A lucky cat above my bed for wealth, happiness and hope. The first cat I was ever really attached to was a calico named Maggie, so this is extra special to me. Plus it’s Hello Kitty. Bonus points.

I got a new lens for Christmas and that has seriously helped rekindle my love affair with my camera. I was in a serious slump about the quality of my photos for a long time, and I felt that I had outgrown my D4o too much to get any joy out of it anymore. I know I can do better, and I know a better camera would solve a lot of the issues I’m flailing over right now… but it shouldn’t have affected my overall love of taking pictures.

I have two good cameras (a Nikon D40 with a great new lens and a Canon Powershot S90), four if you count my Galaxy S3 and iPhone-turned-iPod. What’s really holding me back is my personality. I’m pretty shy when it comes to taking pictures in public. Even around my friends I’m usually sneaking pictures of food or other interesting things.

To hell with that. I’m tired of looking back on trips and events and thinking about all the pictures I missed but could have caught if I had just picked up my camera. Any camera.

Crab and cheese potato croquette at Izakaya Honda-ya in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

Crab and cheese potato croquette at Izakaya Honda-ya in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

I just want to take pictures, and I’m really going to try to take more. It’s not just a New Year’s resolution. I want to change a part of me that I’ve been irritated with for a long time.

I hope I can.
I’m really cripplingly shy sometimes…

mochi ice cream

Mochi ice cream at Beard Papa’s in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

I’m looking forward to a hopeful 初夢 (hatsuyume).

Wonderland Night at the Disneyland Resort – Mad T Party

Why yes, I am still a little bitter about ElecTRONica being replaced. Yes I am biased toward all things Tron. However, I also love Alice in Wonderland, and once we stepped into California Adventure’s latest night-time party I was slightly less bitter.

We actually didn’t spend much time here since we had spent most the evening in line for Radiator Springs Racers (someone wanted to ride it at night, along with the rest of the park), we just stopped by to relax in the amazingly awesome chairs and listen to the music.

I honestly wasn’t impressed with the band that played, and we only caught a glimpse of the dance crew performing. The music the DJ played, however, was pretty much spot on. Maybe if the band had played some good dance- or rock-style covers of Disney themes instead of just “popular” songs I don’t really like in the first place… Of course I’m not the typical park visitor when it comes to music and fashion, and from what I understand this was designed to be more for younglings as well as adults.

Speaking of fashion, can we just love on these costumes for a bit?

I would buy the girl’s outfit in a heartbeat.

Don’t even get me started on how epic the DJs’ glowing bunny ears are…

Anyway, from what little time we spent at the event I rather enjoyed it. The DJ’s music was good, nice and loud like ElecTRONica was when it first opened, and the decor was fun (I love all colors bright, glowing and obnoxious). I’m also glad they kept the arcade around and the addition of the Kinects was nice.

I look forward to spending a little more time here next time we visit the resort~

By the way, as with the Frankenweenie pictures all of these were taken with my new Canon Powershot S90. I was so pleased with how it performed in this situation. Terrible noise at high ISO was always something that held my Nikon D40 back, it would get so bad I had to just suck it up and steady it as best I could to use a slow shutter speed since the noise would just ruin the picture anyway. The S90, however, did so well I could probably even bump up the ISO another level or two and use an even faster shutter speed. Loving it.

Art of Frankenweenie – Disneyland Annual Passholder Preview Event

I just love Halloween Time at Disneyland. The beautiful autumn decor, the merchandise (I snagged this new candelabra and will be back for the rest), the pumpkin-flavored chocolates at the new Ghirardelli cafe, Haunted Mansion Holiday… not to mention it falls right around my birthday so I’m almost guaranteed a visit!

This year Halloween Time also brought the Art of Frankenweenie exhibit that has been travelling the world, and annual passholders got a chance to see it before the general public.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Tim Burton, especially his stop-motion works, so getting to see the props up close was a real treat for me. Just look at all of the detail! I wish I could have gotten a good shot showing the miniature scale of these items.

Even though this was a passholder-only even that took place after California Adventure closed there was still a large crowd of people around each display. I’d like to go back sometime during the week when the crowd is thinner so I can get some good long looks at all the details.

Frankenweenie is due out on October 5th and I cannot wait.

Coming up a bit later: late night photos from Mad T Party.

By the way, all of these photos were taken with my new Canon Powershot S90. Well, we got it used, but it’s still an amazing birthday present! I hate to admit it, but I’m pretty sure it’s overall better than my Nikon D40 with its current lenses.

A Disney Kind of Night

I’ve had this sitting on my harddrive since October, oops. I took this while we were at the Annual Passholder Soundsational Parade event. The event was late at night and this section of the park was mostly empty so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, tripod or not. I settled my camera on the railing surrounding this pond, hoped for the best and this is the best one that came out.

There are definitely things wrong with it that probably would have been avoided if I had my tripod (story of my life), but stupid me didn’t even considering bringing it to this event. I am a terrible photographer~

Funny story: my boyfriend and I loitered around this fountain for a good 15 minutes while I took pictures. We went back a few months later with some friends as and we passed this again at night it started this neat little light show in the water. We all stood there gaping at it and after it had finished my boyfriend and I turned to each other and said “Where was this when we were taking pictures of it for 15 minutes!”