Time to play Wii U? Who’s in?
Time to play Wii U? Who’s in?
I have been a Nintendo Brand Ambassador for over 4 years now and have gotten to do some really cool things. In the fall I was invited to travel to Los Angeles for a preview party on their new Wii console, the Wii U. Over the Christmas holiday I was given a Wii U. Dallas and I set it up (mostly Dallas) and have been playing with it. I’ve been watching a lot of streamed content through the Amazon app too. We even brought the Wii U to a new years party, so it could become karaoke party.
Last weekend Nintendo helped me host a Wii U party at my house. I got to invite 20 people (boys and girls!) and Nintendo provided the food, drinks, games and prizes for guests. Not only that, but they also flew two people, Dawan and Chris, to Chicago to help set up for the party and then to help us play the games. I had fun playing some of the games that allow up to 5 people to play. I hadn’t ever had enough people over to play those yet! There was one where the person holding the large Wii U controller with the touch screen is Mario and he runs and hides (only he can see the whole map). The other four players use the regular Wii controllers to run around and try to find Mario in the maze. There was also a fun ghost game.
I wasn’t sure how engaged people would be with just one gaming system for twenty people, but I was surprised. People were gathering around and really getting into it. Also, some of the Nintendoland games were quick, so people could all have a turn in a short amount of time. We also played Sing Party, which is more of a party game. And we played Super Mario Brothers, with several people all at once. The person with the touch screen can add blocks to either help or hinder the other players.
At 8 p.m. we video chatted over the Wii U with a party that was taking place in Tennessee. The party there was mostly kids. We chatted with them a bit, told them how cold it is in Chicago. It had snowed that day, so we pointed the camera out the window so they could see the snow and all the kids loved that. They pointed the camera out their door window and we could see their cute dog who wanted to get in!
Big thanks to Nintendo for being so awesome!!
Disclosure: It might be needless to say, but Nintendo provided the gaming console, prizes, food and drink for this party. I was not paid, or even asked, to write this post.
My flight to Los Angeles was the first time that I flew on Virgin America. Nintendo booked my flights for me or else I probably would have never tried it out. I usually like to fly American since I have about 167,000 miles there. It turned out that I quite liked flying Virgin. I hate how American and United and a lot of the other airlines feel so old fashioned and stuck in the middle ages and not fun at all. Virgin felt new and modern and fun. They didn’t take themselves too seriously.
The Virgin America ticketing area at O’Hare. Fresh flowers! Club music! Self-check stations that are more like table top touch screens than old-fashioned kiosks.
The boarding passes are cute little square. It’s the little things!
The interior lighting was a soothing blue and purple.
Each seat has it’s own touchscreen where you could play satellite TV for free or watch on-demand movies and TV shows for a small fee. This is also where the safety video was shown… and this was the first safety video that ever made me laugh!
From this touchscreen you could order food and the attendant would bring it right to your seat. Sodas and water were free.
If you wanted something that wasn’t free you could add it to your cart and swipe your credit card. You could also open a tab for the flight.
I didn’t order any food or drinks, but it looked like a good selection.
On the way home I read a bit and also watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, both on my Kindle. Each and every seat on the flight has it’s own outlet under the seat so you can plug in your devices to charge in flight!
Instead of turning my monitor all the way off, since I wasn’t watching TV, I set it to map mode (powered by Google Maps) so I could track our flight across the country.
If you’re too lazy to raise your arm and touch the screen, there’s a remote you can use in the arm rest. On the back of the remote is a full keyboard and touchpad for playing video games that are available.
There is also a talk feature, which I imagine might be useful if you’re traveling with other people but not seated next to them.
The Virgin America ticketing area at LAX. More flowers!
Overall, I think it was all of the little details that added up to a great experience. Method soap in the bathroom. Adjustable headrests and monitors. Illuminated indicators that told you when you had to buckle up but did not include no smoking signs, which I think are true signs that you’re in an old plane. Any one of these things would not make your experience on another airline better, but all together? Awesome.
Tags:airplane·american airlines·Books·breaking bad·california·Chicago·Games·google maps·kindle·kindle fire·lax·mission impossible: ghost protocol·movies·nintendo·o'hare·Television·united·virgin america
On Sunday I had several hours to kill between brunch and my flight home, so I decided to walk around a bit and take in the neighborhood. I believe that Luca on Sunset, where I had brunch is technically in Hollywood, not West Hollywood. I started there and walked west, entering into West Hollywood and the section of Sunset Boulevard known as the Sunset Strip. This is a mile and a half stretch that is the best known portion of Sunset. There are many fancy stores and restaurants and clubs. There are a million billboards and is supposedly a hangout for celebrities, although I did not see any. One of my fellow Nintendo brand ambassadors did see Jason Bateman at her brunch spot, though! I walked for a total of about 3.5 miles. So, long, but not too long. It was sunny and more than 90 degrees out and I hiked straight up a hill at the end, so it was challenging enough.
This is where I first set off from, right by Luca on Sunset, where I had brunch. I like the brick work.
The famous Laugh Factory. Every big-time comedian has been through here, right?
Now leaving Hollywood and entering into West Hollywood. I see the National Lampoon World Headquarters. Apparently they were formed to “develop, produce, provide creative services and distribute National Lampoon branded comedic content through a broad range of media platforms.” Who knew?
Oh, Jasmine. I’ve missed you, but I’ll see you soon in Hawaii!
Anyone know what kind of car this is?
WhHo = West Hollywood.
Looking west on the Sunset Strip.
Uh, yeh… these hills? We are not in Chicago. This is looking south on Sweetzer Avenue.
Why’d you have to go and make things to complicated?
North of the Sunset Strip it’s super hilly with winding roads and houses built on top of each other. According to Hollywood Tours, “Countless celebrities live in the exclusive neighborhoods that extend north of the Sunset Strip into the Hollywood Hills.”
This was some cool graffiti. You had to view the fence at an angle to see it.
Saddle Ranch. Looked super cheesy.
The Comedy Store, another very famous club where all the comedians perform.
Interesting exterior on the House of Blues.
Bird of Paradise. When I lived in San Diego these were planted right outside my apartment door in our building’s courtyard. Love them!
La Cienega Boulevard. Just a little hilly. At the end of my walk I hiked it up one of these. Did I mention it was 95 and humid that day? It wasn’t a pretty sight!
77 Sunset Strip is a show that aired in the late 50s and early 60s. I guess it was filmed right here. Apparently there’s some controversy about the redevelopment of this area and an actor from the old show is involved.
The Sunset Strip Market looks pretty awesome.
I had no idea what this odd round green building was until I looked it up online. It’s the home of a production company called Mutato Muzika, which was founded by Mark Mothersbaugh. I don’t recognize the name of his company, but I definitely know who he is from the Rushmore soundtrack. Mutato Muzika has produced music for many films, television shows and commercials (Apple’s PC vs. Mac!).
Tags:77 sunset strip·bird of paradise·bullwinkle·california·car·chateau marmont·david green·dog·graffiti·h&m·hollywood·hollywood hills·hollywood hounds·hollywood tours·house of blues·jasmine·jason bateman·la cienega boulevard·laugh factory·luca on sunset·mark mothersbaugh·mels drive in·Music·mutato muzika·national lampoon·nintendo·perry ellis·rocky·rushmore·saddle ranch·sculpture·sunset plaza·sunset strip·the comedy store·the family·the standard·west hollywood
After the Nintendo Wii U event, we boarded a bus that took us down Sunset Boulevard a little farther to Pink Taco. I wasn’t sure what to expect here. I thought it might be some garish, cheesy place, with a name like Pink Taco, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. We had our own space up on the 2nd floor and the drinks and food were surprisingly good. I had a margarita called The Cock Fight that had Avion Blanco tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, fresh seasonal fruit and organic cucumber, all muddled, shaken and served over ice. It was so refreshing. Waitstaff came around with many different kinds of mexican appetizers. The decor did have a certain look, but I kind of liked it. I got to visit more with the ladies I hung around with at the Wii U event and then after a few hours I was so exhausted, I just went back to the hotel. Fun, fun day/night.