well, i managed to top it. oh, yeah. i hope you're ready for a ridiculous amount of cuteness - like 100+ pictures' worth. heh.
i'd seen sanrio post on facebook that they were doing a traveling "pop-up shop" over the next couple of months, with a nice long stop in the l.a. area. but knowing how many HK fanatics there are 'round these parts, i feared ridiculous crowds on the weekends. and as luck would have it, i'd already requested the day off for the bean's thanksgiving feast at school...which left our afternoon completely open for some hello kitty fun.
i managed to rope my friend lilcee into the madness, although it wasn't too hard to talk her into taking part of her workday off for it. the bean fell asleep on the way to her house (after i bribed her with the promise of riding a hello kitty ferris wheel, which i'd seen on tv), and after sweating it out while installing mini cee's car seat into the back of the pri-YES, we were on our way.
poor mini cee. she wanted her mommy, and she screamed most of the way to santa monica's barker hangar, where the pop-up shop was. the bean must've been really pooped after her long morning, because she slept right through mini cee's distress.
after forking over the $10 for parking, we got the girls into their strollers and crossed the street. the first thing we all saw was this fabulousness:
and about fifty paces beyond that:
we scampered right up that ramp and into the door, where nanette was already waiting for us. and then we were in awe at the fantasyland that awaited us inside:
and across the way, on the other side of the mini golf course, the bean spied her prize:
but first, we paused for a quick photo op (obvs, the first of many). still sleepy, the bean refused to turn and smile. nanette, having come solo this time to scope it out before bringing her little em to play, kindly offered to play photographer for us.
and in the corner, the pop-up shop with all sorts of fun limited-edition sanrio goodies was nice and empty. coming on a weekday was the best idea EVER.
okay, even i, the sucker for all things novelty, wasn't falling for $3 water bottles.
but no worries. there were lots of other things for me to spend my fun money on.
i was really digging this set of HK headphones...but not for the price on the sticker.
ditto for this cute fisheye camera. the teen's wanted one for a long time, and i thought it'd be fun, but i still had trouble with the idea of parting with $60 for this one.
i did, however, allow myself to pick up a tee.
adorable miniatures. i wanted to scoop some up to play with, but the pieces were still too small for the bean, and she's pretty much my best excuse for buying crap like this.
i hadn't seen the patty & jimmy characters since i was in grade school! talk about a blast from the past.
i would love to have a whole wall of these cute little plush character cubes.
the bean loved all of the soft & squishy toys, and selected a lunch box (of all things!) to take home as a souvenir.
as i paid for our goodies, she checked out the map.
can you imagine how quickly sephora's gonna sell out of this stuff?
i don't know who loved this smart car with the HK wrap on it more, the bean or me. the hub would never even consider it, but i would totally sport this thing around town.
when i finally pried her out of it, we headed to the far end of the hangar, where carnival games awaited. tickets were $2 each, but most of the games only took one ticket and practically guaranteed a prize of some sort. and the tickets were so darn cute, i wanted to save one. but then i realized i wouldn't do anything with it and it'd just be one less game to play (and $2 wasted).
i don't remember anymore which games we played first, but most of them were super duper kid-friendly and easy. like this one, where all you had to do was pick a rubber duck and check the bottom for the colored dot that told you which prize you won. easy peasy.
at the sight of this one, nanette exclaimed "PLINKO!" heh. gotta love the price is right. despite the steep 2-ticket price, we had to play. and lucked out with a first-tier prize.
for this game, all she had to do was toss a ball and see what color the hole was that it landed in.
slightly fuzzy view from the top:
we had to do this, even though we didn't actually buy any yogurt.
nanette and lilcee caved at this booth, but they managed to restrain themselves and ordered mini cream puffs.
mini cee really got into hers.
while they snacked, i dropped $.51 in this machine for a pressed penny.
outside, there was one lone food truck setting up for business. the downside of going on a monday, i suppose - no plethora of mobile grub to choose from.
fun vintage HK stuff! i remember having this calculator for ages. i wonder whatever happened to it.
the girls frolicked in this even-cuter (because it's pink, duh) HK smart car.
it was awesome to meet up with mae, another until-then "invisible" friend i'd never met in person. i wasn't smart enough to take a picture with her, but managed to snap one of the bean and her little one.
potty break! i hate port-o-potties, but luckily, sanrio sprang for the fancier "executive" versions.
back inside, we decided to get in line and play another game. nanette and lilcee both knew the sanrio employee who was running it, from a blogger brunch organized by the monkey. and ms. sanrio lit up with a big smile when she caught sight of the bean. "my husband and i read your blog every day!" she said. i was so excited that i got all warm and started sweating again. haha, what else is new? but yay, it's totally my week for meeting blog readers!
it was such a creative game - there was a kiddie pool with a few inches of water in it and a gazillion little sanrio character figurines bobbing on the surface. you got a dessert-sized foam plate and a scoop shaped like a magnifying glass, except that instead of glass, it was a super thin piece of paper. the object of the game was to scoop as many toys onto your plate as you could before the paper totally disintegrated, rendering the scoop completely useless.
of course, the bean refused to let me play for her. "i can do it all by myself!" my typical 3-year-old proclaimed. and of course, she stuck the scoop deep into the water, pulled it out, and it was toast.
but ms. sanrio had anticipated this. "here, why don't you help her?" she said, handing me a new scoop. and the bean kept plunging hers back into the water, hoping for some prizes. heh. luckily, i was a little more successful - using the "go for one BIG scoop and hope for the best," i managed to score a good number of little sanrio toys for her.
thank you, ms. sanrio! it was fun meeting you!
the bean refused to allow me to get her face painted, but she did accept one of the cute little HK hats.
on to the art exhibit. there was some interesting (read: super bizarro) stuff there.
even a bit of hoochified HK art.
lilcee and i liked this, until we saw the price tag.
we still had a few tickets to use up, so back to the games we went.
at this game, one ticket got the bean 8 rings to fling into the box, hopefully landing around one of the pegs. but as she got through the first 6 without hitting a single one, i decided to give it a try...and failed. ugh. so we were extra excited when she tossed the last one and made it, winning her yet another prize.
the bean begged to "drive" the pink car again, so lilcee and i seized the opportunity to pose in front of it. i'm sure you'd already taken note of our matching shirts. cute, yes? don't answer that.
of course, she had to have one last turn in the red car, too. mini cee had had enough, though. this picture is priceless.
we almost let ourselves get suckered into this balloon, but managed to fight it off. besides, it was $12.
the bean asked to take a ride on this ferris wheel. alas, it wasn't a ride - just part of the mini golf course.
oh, and she got to meet and hug hello kitty herself.
i can't wait to see what kind of sanrio fantabulousness we find ourselves at next year. heh.
and to top off what had been a day so full of win, we stopped off on the way home and grabbed dinner to go:
i just don't know how the day could've been any better than that.