The world’s largest orange!

Orange World Gift Shop – Kissimmee, Florida

 

If you’ve ever been to Kissimmee then you will know about the assortment of quirky gift shops that line the Highway 192 – the mermaid, the wizard, the giant animals, amongst others – and no doubt you will have popped in to one or two of them for a bargain price souvenir.

Mermaid gift shop on Hwy 192 Kissimmee

Magic Castle Wizard gift shop on the Hwy 192 Kissimmee

Jungle theme gift shop on Hwy 192 in Kissimmee

But my favourite gift shop on the 192 has to be Orange World – the world’s largest orange! We decided to go for a little drive one evening and explore the Kissimmee area and couldn’t resist the draw of parking up next to a massive orange at the side of the road.

Behold the orange!

Orange World Kissimmee Orlando

As we approached the entrance to the shop we were greeted by a member of staff (or possibly even the owner) who said as they would be closing in a little while, would we like some free of charge orange and grapefruit segments? Well, who were we to say no! Can’t beat a bit of Florida citrus.

At this point I was wondering whether everything within the shop was just orange coloured or orange flavoured, of course much of it was, but there were other fabulous and tacky gifts to be bought.

As I mentioned before when I wrote about the world’s largest gift shop in Las Vegas, I can be quite impulsive when I am on holiday, so of course the excitement of free fruit plus a shop shaped like an orange got the better of me and I ended up purchasing some ridiculous tat…

A mariachi seashell band.

mariachi seashell band

Grow your own pet flamingo.

growing pet flamingo

Don’t judge me. And don’t ask why. But what is a grow your own flamingo? I hear you ask. Well, you pop the little egg into some water and in a couple of days it hatches!

So what about you? What fabulous tat have you purchased in a moment of madness when on vacation? Leave me a comment below or you can email me at quirkylittleplanet@gmail.com and write your own guest post!

 

Hyper Japan 2015

This Saturday I attended the Hyper Japan Festival at The o2 in London, an exhibition dedicated to all things Japanese. Naturally, being a bit of a Japanophile myself, I was eager to attend.

We opted for the Saturday morning slot (9am – 3pm) which was perfect as it wasn’t too busy when we arrived just before 9am but getting quite hectic by the time we left (around 2pm).

I will admit I spent longer choosing my outfit for the day than I have spent picking out some wedding outfits! Although I didn’t go full on cosplay, I wore some accessories I bought in Tokyo (cat tights, robot earrings, Alice in Wonderland bag) and threw on a light summer kimono over the top of a black skirt and pink top. I also pinned all my hair up and slicked on the red lippy and winged eyeliner… I guess I looked somewhere between a wannabe geisha crossed with a 90s girl band member.

However, I was happy to see that there were plenty of cosplayers walking around inside the o2 and I even asked a few of them if I could take their photographs, all of them happy to oblige. It’s funny because I saw more Harajuku-inspired outfits here in London than I did in actual Harajuku while I was there!

Hyper Japan cosplayers

The festival was quite disjointed within the o2 as it wasn’t in the arena itself, but dotted around outside, where the restaurants are. We headed to the main section first where there were many stalls selling food and gifts. We posed for a picture with Domokun and were given some free Snapea rice sticks from the Yushoi stall – they were pretty good!

Hyper Japan London

I personally found that alot of the stalls were quite expensive, which I guess is understandable as they are selling Japanese imports but when I paid around £5 for a box of KitKats in Japan (expensive enough!) I wasn’t prepared to pay £17 for the privilege here. There were many etsy stalls selling cute crafts and jewellery but many of these were UK based and appealed to the Japanese kawaii lovers rather than being authentic Japanese themselves.

I did end up buying a necklace though. Anyone who knows me knows that-

  1. I love quirky jewellery
    and
  2. I love animals

It seems to me that I have a bit of a thing for baby pandas at the moment and treated myself to this super kawaii necklace from Little Moose.

kawaii-panda-necklace

We were in need of some refreshment so headed up to the Maid Cafe where we had Dorayaki (basically like two pancakes with a filling in the middle). I opted for strawberry and the maid drew a little face on my Dorayaki in chocolate sauce – much like the real Maid Cafes of Akihabara but much much less expensive!

After our yummy pancakes we watched a performance on the stage below. Although I’m a Japan fan I’m not really familiar with any J-Pop acts so I have no idea who the group were but the crowd seemed to love them.

Next we headed into the Hyper Game and Anime Park – a section full of people playing video games and shopping for anime. I know very little about anime and the queues to play the various Nintendo games were too long for my patience so I just stopped by to have my photo taken with Pikachu before moving back to the main section for some lunch.

Hyper Japan 2015

I was surprised at the lack of seating and lack of sushi in the food section, but between us we had vegetable noodles, okonomiyaki, tempura prawns and gyoza. And later on we bought some ice cream from one of the stalls – I chose yuzu flavour (Japanese citrus) sorbet. Yum!

Hyper Japan was a good experience but I definitely didn’t need any longer there, I would have also liked to have seen a few more interactive stalls and freebies but if you need a kawaii culture fix then this is the place to come. Next time though, I think I would like to go cosplay for the full Japantastic experience!

The holy mecca of gift shops

A holiday is the perfect way of letting your hair down, but sometimes when we’re enjoying ourselves in new, exciting surroundings we almost temporarily become someone else. A girly holiday in the sun can bring out the cheeky, chatty flirt in an otherwise shy and introverted girl, an energetic theme park based holiday can bring out the adventurous and lively side to someone normally at their happiest on a comfy sofa in front of the tv. And a tacky gift shop can bring out the wallet and insanity of an otherwise sensible spender! Yeah I’m referring to those impulse buys that seemed like a good idea at the time but when you get them home you realise they are just a hideous waste of money. Or just hideous full stop.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a memento of your travels and I’m a fan of kitsch but are you really going to play that didgeridoo/wear that sombrero when you get home or will it just sit gathering dust before being tossed into the nearest charity bag?

Having said that, who am I to be lecturing? I am that girl with a didgeridoo (albeit a small one) shoved in a drawer under the bed! Instead, let me tell you about the holy mecca of gift shops…

bonanza-gift-shop-las-vegas

The world’s largest gift shop!

Located on the Las Vegas strip, by the Stratosphere Hotel, is Bonanza. It is fabulously tacky selling everything from Las Vegas themed paraphernalia to ‘Polly the insulting parrot’ – but hey, it’s Vegas! If it wasn’t tacky you’d be disappointed!

I did purchase a couple of items there but refrained at buying a Trailer Trash doll… although a car dashboard hula girl would’ve been some cool kitsch!

In celebration of the tourist tat that we would only buy when intoxicated on holiday madness and the scent of sun lotion, I will be sharing with you some super tacky souvenirs and if anyone would like to feature their fabulous trinkets on this blog then send me a photo on email at quirkylittleplanet@gmail.com and tell me all about it!