luckily, my friends feel the same way. and so after a little bit of back-and-forth to coordinate schedules, we managed to pick a date and time that worked for a lot of us. the event was a limited time kinda deal, and our date was the next-to-last weekend. while we booked our tickets weeks ahead, it seemed like it crept up on us and all of a sudden it was time to go. i busted out a bunch of my hello kitty gear to share with the bean for the occasion. are you ready for the plethora of photos? because there are LOTS.
we caught a ride with lilcee and mini cee, and got our first glimpse of it on our way to find parking.
instead of being in little tokyo as we'd all assumed, it was closer to chinatown and located in what looked like one of those mixed-use retail/apartment complexes. parking for the pop-up was located in the garage under the building, and then the elevator took us back up to street level.
we were still a few minutes early, so we went into the "sky lounge" that was just across from the entrance. i'd seen people posting about this online - you can pick up some fun hello kitty-themed treats here, along with free manicures using OPI's newest hello kitty nail polish line. unfortunately, we were too early for those and settled for taking pictures instead.
this was just the first of many, many photo ops that day.
the girls were clamoring for the cotton candy out of the machine, but we had them wait till after, promising we'd return to the sky lounge after we were done. and so we headed on out of there and across the way to check in and wait for the rest of our friends.
after taking that last picture, i found the girls browsing through the little shop - checking out the squishies, of course.
by then the rest of our party had arrived, and after they got themselves all checked in our "flight" began.
once the door slid open, we entered the first room and then the sensory overload began. totally serious here - there was so much to look at that i was totally overwhelmed for at least the first 10-15 minutes. luckily, this particular event (unlike other hello kitty outings i've attended) was really well organized, with each group given time in every room before the next group of folks were allowed to enter. besides us and our friends there were a couple of other smaller parties with us, but it was still a small enough group and a good amount of time given so that we were able to snap photos to our heart's content.
first stop: london.
in the next room we got to explore hello kitty's bedroom. did you know that hello kitty is actually british? her backstory tells us that she was born in a london suburb. i don't make this stuff up, people.
from there, the next stop was paris.
the girls loved that giant bow that was comprised of hundreds of squishies, like the ones they'd been checking out in the shop and the ones that filled the bean's backpack on that very day.
hello kitty got herself quite a tan in hawaii.
as we made our way to the last stop we came across this fun row of little vending machines, but we couldn't tell if they were just for looks or if they were operational. no worries though, because we knew there was a very well-stocked gift shop at the end of our "flight."
the last stop on our trip around the world was, of course, tokyo.
i wanted to throw all of my money at the gift shop. everything in there was so cute!
you could even use your amazon app to scan in these QR codes for fun t-shirts to be sent right to your door.
the bean was clearly over it.
once everyone had had their fill of the shop (and i'm pretty sure everyone bought something), we headed on out of there.
this security guard was nice enough to offer to take a group photo for us.
back in the sky lounge, the girls finally got their cotton candy.
such a fun day! the event is packing up now, getting ready to bring the fun to their next location. i don't think they've announced where that is yet, but if it's near you and you love hello kitty even half as much as i do, you should definitely do it. trust me on this.