What was I doing in Langley!?

Hey all!

Last week, I did something crazy. I went to Langley.

Okay, it isn’t that crazy and I’m sorry I disappointed you, but it was a 4 hour bus ride back and forth. So most of my friends and family thought I was crazy.

I managed to drag a friend with me down to Langley (I was actually really surprised anyone would agree to a 2 hour bus ride, so I love you M). Why did I want to go to Langley? There was a toy store I wanted to visit. Yup, I am twenty years old and I will spend 4 hours on transit for a toy store.

During the Vancouver Fan Expo, I was at one of the many retail booths and the guy behind the counter told me that they actually had a physical store in Langley. I was surprised since I knew many of convention booths that sold items either travelled from convention to convention, or was a local artist selling their crafts. In Vancouver, we have Golden Age Collectables, and I have been there way too many times. So I wanted to go to Toy Traders to check them out!

Toy Traders was a fairly big toy store. Their front section had much of what you would expect in a regular toy store, as they sold some boardgames and toys for little girls and boys. So you would find your typical Lego, Barbies, and plushies over here.

If you stepped in a bit further, you would get to their more adult section. No, not their XXX section. This was where you would find action figures and collectables. They also carried official merchandise from certain TV shows, such as Game of Thrones and Doctor Who. Of course, Star Wars took up a sizeable portion of the store. They also had Marvel merchandise, licensed T-shirts and other good stuff. My Little Pony comics too if that’s your thing.

What was really cool about the store was the decor. Lining this section of the store, they had displays set up all around their walls, depicting scenes of sci-fi struggles. You could see spaceships attacking a base, soldiers fighting off a giant robot, and more. I feel like it would have been fun to play a game of I Spy with the dioramas.

A horrible pic of a bit of their diorama

A horrible pic of a bit of their diorama

I spoke to one of the employees (actually, he was the same guy who told me about this place back at the Vancouver Fan Expo’s booth), and he told me that they were opened every single day of the year except for one day on Christmas. On this day, they would get a carpenter to come in to add to their dioramas. So this amazingness was only going to grow!

They also had a Star War display in a glass box that had C-3PO and R2-D2. Towards the back of the store, there was a Terminator display. My friend and I kept joking about how it will come to life and kill everyone, and then I started to get wary of the robot behind the cage.

They have a signed picture from David Prowse in there!

They have a signed picture from David Prowse in there!

I decided to make the most obnoxious girly poses with the displays, just to annoy anyone who was watching.

If you were judging me before, how about now?? :P

Obnoxious asian pose

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The emperor’s face says it all.

So what else can you do in Langley?

My friend and I decided to eat at Olive Garden, since it was the only one in British Columbia. They have a million Olive Gardens in the US, but we have to go to the one in Langley in order to have some of their addictive free breadsticks.

One of the dishes we ordered to share was mussels. Looks good right?

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But then we opened up the last one, and found this inside.

A tiny starfish!

A tiny starfish!

At first we were pretty grossed out. But then I removed the starfish from the shell and started playing with it. Our waitress caught eye of what I was doing and asked me what that was. I then explained how we found a stray starfish in our mussels. She got queasy (she explained that she was pregnant), and asked if she should get the manager. I told her it was fine and understandable, since we were having seafood and this was probably bound to happen at some point in time. In the end, she talked to the manager herself and after we paid, she chased us down in the washroom and handed us a gift card as an apology. I thought that was excellent customer service, so props to them! (Then my friend and I realized that we will have to go back to Langley one day to spend the card… more transit fun for us.)

You can also go to Planet Lazer or The Great Escape in Langley. Planet Lazer boasts that they have the largest floor for laser tag in North America, and we were planning on playing a few games. But we walked into their establishment and walked straight back out. It was stuffy and very hot. My friend and I were both wearing jeans and boots, and we probably would have fainted if we were in there much longer. Planet Lazer’s Langley branch had Yelp reviews saying that their service was horrible. We can add to this, since when we called to make our inquiries, they were quite rude. But I guess you are not going to Planet Lazer for excellent customer service anyway…thought it would make the visit more enjoyable.

The Great Escape is more targeted towards younger kids from what we observed. They had a small arcade area (with around 6 machines), and a huge jungle gym for kids. They also had a 2-level laser tag area, and I think I would want to try their place out next time– mostly because I have been to Planet Lazer’s Richmond branch, and also the staff at The Great Escape were really nice. However, I have a feeling the whole place may be flooded with little kids, and I’m not sure I want to shoot at kids.

So that’s a summary of my day at Langley. We walked a lot, since Langley blocks were very different from Vancouver blocks. Walking three Langley blocks to cross the street was actually quite a workout. You can also forget about jaywalking, because if you think you can wait for a gap to cross on the Langley bypass, you’ll be roadkill before you know it. So if you can drive, I would definitely recommending going around Langley by car. But, if not, I guess I am living proof that walking and public transit is possible. Just wear shoes you can walk in and clothes that won’t make you sweat buckets.

If you know any other hidden gems in or near Vancouver, let me know! I’m glad I discovered the toy store, and it did make me go to Langley for the first time, so it was a rewarding trip!

Until next time!

– Karen

Releasing my inner geek!

Just kidding, I do not think I am that big a geek. But I have my moments.

Anyway, my friends and I recently ordered a bunch of stuff from thinkgeek.com! I was super excited when the package arrived this morning because I have been wanting to get ahold of my…. LIGHTSABER CHOPSTICKS! I have been wanting these forever (well, a while anyway) but it took me a while to find them. I also got a lightsaber laser pointer, because you never know when that may come in handy.
It annoys me how my friend got a watch on the site for like $15 and my chopsticks were $13. But oh well! I will feel like Jedi while I eat dinner every night! Another complaint? Shipping fees to Canada. It always costs so dang much.

Extreme monkey-powered awesomeness enclosed 🙂

Goodies ^.^

Lightsaber chopsticks!!!!!!

Since we are on the topic, HBO released another Game of Thrones teaser! Cannot wait! My friends and I were thinking of doing a themed night for the premier! 🙂 I am currently on the fourth book and I am so slow… One of my new year’s resolutions was to stop feeling so guilty every time I pick up a novel instead of a textbook, and I have been doing pretty well. But it is still very hard to squeeze out time for reading. 😦 It also does not help that A Feast for Crows lack a lot of the characters I am used to from the previous books. But then again we get to see what is going on in Sunspear!

Moving on to a slightly less cheery note….
So the past few weeks has been pretty good work load wise, but I am NOT looking forward to the next two-three weeks. I am swamped with midterms, term papers and presentations! I found out I will be having my macro economics midterm, Chinese midterm and an in-class english essay all one the same day. Wonderful. But I have to say, this is already significantly better than last term. If only I have the self control and motivation to actually get my butt to work and start doing everything now I know my life will be a lot better off when the time comes. Sadly, I work best under pressure and although I am expecting stress, it just is not close enough yet to kick me into hyper work mode! I got to look into that and find ways to see how I can get over that whole only-working-under-pressure thing.

Ending this post off, has anyone SEEN the weather in Vancouver? It is beautiful! Not too cold, not too hot– in other words, perfect! So excited for spring!

-Karen

Contingent Contemplation: Re-watching Star Wars

Ever feel like you were born too late?

Yes, I am talking about me not being able to feel all the hype that surrounded Star Wars way back then. Okay, maybe it was not too long ago, and there were more recent Star Wars films released, but what I am emphasizing on is the ones from the 1980s. I have watched these with my parents when I was younger, but re-watching them again this winter break made it clear to me: They are gold. Seriously, I am addicted and really sad that I cannot be there to get excited about its original release. Looking around, there is still lots of pieces of the Star Wars legacy that exist around me, but it is not the same. I really wish I could have been there.

So, moving on from what I cannot change, watching Star Wars again made me fall in love with Han Solo. With all movies, I usually fall in love with some actor or character and it happens that this time it is Han Solo. I thought I would like Luke more because he was one of the only characters I remembered from watching Star Wars all those years ago. However, Solo is just such a charming character (not to mention a badass) and I loved his relationship with Princess Leia. Again, too bad I cannot find many Han Solo fans around my age anywhere close by because I would definitely be rambling about him all day. Just like I do with a million other actors, such as Shia LaBeouf to name one. And of course, that is my segue into a slightly related topic. I also re-watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull just so I can see Harrison Ford. I have never paid much attention to him as my eyes are usually on Shia LaBeouf, but this time I kept my eyes glued on Harrison Ford. Amazingly (or not), I still see a lot of his Han Solo days in him and that delighted me lots. However, I still wish I could be a adoring fan girl who was obsessing over a 30 year old Harrison Ford. Being 18, I feel more appropriate obsessing over Han Solo instead of the current Harrison Ford.

I vaguely remember watching most of the Star Wars movies in my past but not enough to remember what it was really about, so it all seem a bit new to me. I did watch Star Wars in the way it is supposed to be seen (according to most people– and I definitely agree): IV, V, VI then I, II, III. Before starting my marathon, I honestly believed I would like the prequel a lot more because I was more used to modern films. However, after watching the fourth to the sixth ones, I was beginning to wonder if the prequel can live up to it. It did not in my opinion and I was slightly disappointed. Despite them being made with way less technology and had to make do with what they had back in the 1980s, George Lucas did a pretty good job at depicting an exciting galactic adventure in episodes IV-VI. At the same time, it was interesting to see the prequel, understand the circumstances for what followed and see how George Lucas directed films closer to my time. Now I want to read the books to get even more in depth…but, I am still not done reading Game of Thrones and my second term in university is about to start. Woes of a student.

While I was Boxing Day shopping today, I was on the lookout for Star Wars merchandise, namely Star Wars posters with Han Solo and Princess Leia. Of course, I failed miserably and only managed to find some posters with either the entire ensemble of all the Star Wars characters (which was pretty cool, but I did not feel like getting it) or ones that focused on Yoda (who is also really cool, but again, not what I was looking for). I also wanted this:

But the chances of me randomly finding that in a Vancouver shopping mall was definitely really low, so I gave up the search before it started. Okay, that is a lie because I went to custom t-shirt places just to check, but my suspicions came true. I also found moleskine Star Wars notebooks, but that was kind of lame. I guess if I wanted any good Star Wars merchandise, I would have to go online. Which I promptly did when I went home and found these:

Lightsaber chopsticks! I am asian so we eat with chopsticks everyday anyway! WANT WANT WANT!

Ugh I cannot believe I am getting into Star Wars now. I feel so behind…Oh well, at least I found something to do over my holiday. 🙂

-Karen