We’re on a road trip to St Louis, Missouri and we decided to stop over at Springfield, Illinois to visit the following tourist attractions: Abraham Lincoln’s tomb, his home and the Presidential Museum and Library.
Our first destination: Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery
The Lincoln tomb was his final resting place together with his wife, Mary, and 3 of their 4 sons. The monument was completed in 1874, mostly made of brick sheathed with Quincy granite and designed by Larkin Mead – a fame sculptor.
Inside the monument you can see versions of Lincoln’s statues, plaques, and some excerpts form his farewell address to Springfield, the Gettysburg Address, and his Second Inaugural Address.
At the entrance to the Tomb is a bronze bust of Mr. Lincoln. Visitors from around the world have stopped to rub the nose of the statue for good luck.
Oak Ridge Cemetery
1441 Monument Ave, Springfield, IL 62702
Open Daily: 9 am – 5 pm
As the temperature gets warmer (and hotter!), there’s no reason for us to celebrate! Chicago have a lot of activities and it’s about time for us to take advantage of Summer season. You can go out and start stretching your legs on the trails or parks or have a blast in a beer summer festival or take a side trip to concerts and festivities.
If you are planning to go to Chicago this Summer, make sure you check out of the best things to do:
1. Navy Pier Centennial Wheel
See the iconic Chicago Skyline above 200 feet. Navy Pier’s Centennial wheel has an excellent view of Chicago and Lake Michigan.
2. Millennium Park
Enjoy free outdoor concerts, movies and fitness activities. Millennium Park is one of the best place to visit this Summer.
3. 360 Chicago
Also known as John Hancock Observatory, you can’t miss the view on top of 94th floor. Capture Michigan Avenue and discover the history of Chicago in 360 degrees. Don’t forget to try TILT, wherein you’ll able to stand in a glass floor and tilted you outward in 45 degrees.
4. Willis Tower (Sear’s Tower)
A 108 story, 1,450 foot skyscraper in Chicago. The Ledge is one of the best attraction, this is glass balcony extended outside of Willis Tower.
5. Architectural Boat Tour
A boat ride along Chicago River and discover the history of Chicago’s best architectural designs (buildings and historical places) narrated by your boat tour guide.
6. Money Museum
Learn more about banking system, money history and hands on exhibits. Kids are going to love the activities inside the museum.
7. Magnificent Mile
Shop, eat and walk around Mag Mile. Chicago’s premiere shopping and dining destination. Walk around near Chicago river walk to Water Tower along Michigan Avenue.
8. United Center, Wrigley Field, Soldier Field
Visit Chicago’s sporting venues. Make sure you purchase your tickets to see the Cubs!
9. Lake Michigan
Check out the nearest beaches and relax along Chicago’s lakefront
10. Other destinations include: Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Tech, and a lot more outdoor and park attractions.
There are more stuff to do during Summer so make sure you’ll able to plan ahead of time before visiting to Chicago. I know hotels in Chicago were fully booked during Summer so you have to make advance bookings or stay somewhere near downtown like Rosemont or O’Hare and take a L train commute going downtown.
Here’s the video of our Chicago adventure together with my Mom, Auntie and Cousins (Venga Girls) from California and Texas!
Due to some personal matters, I wasn’t able to attend the the inaugural ToyCon + PopLife FanXperience event last year. Thus, when given the opportunity to cover this year’s iteration, I excitedly made trek to the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia, despite an aching ankle.
And I got a nice treat in exchange for the pain.
A Parade of Celebrities
While the Philippine Toys, Hobbies, and Collectibles Convention does have celebrity guests every year, this is only the second time that they take centerstage in the event. That is thanks to ToyCon’s partnership with Pop Life Entertainment, bringing in FanXperience.
Dubbed the “Ultimate FanXperience”, the pop culture collaboration showcased exclusive show merchandise, exhibitions, and, of course, celebrity guests.
For this second installment of FanXperience, the event had an impressive lineup of guests. During Day 2, which served as ToyCon + op Life FanXperience 2017’s grand opening, present during the ribbon cutting ceremony were:
Stefan Kapicic (Deadpool’s Colossus)
Karen Fukuhara (Katan from Suicide Squad)
Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean’s Joshamee Gibbs)
Lindsay McKeon’ (Supernatural’s Tessa the Reaper)
Cas Anvar (The voice of Altair in the Assassin’s Creed: Revelations game)
Charlie Bewley (Dmitri from Twilight)
Aside from their appearance during the opening ceremonies, the guests also participated in the Meet and Greet event held at at the upper floor of the Convention Center.
Aside from the international guests, there were also a bevy of local pop culture celebrities present. Among them were YouTube personality and former DJ Sir Rex Kantatero and popular Sentai/Power Rangers cosplayer Chris Cantada.
Popular cosplayer Chris Cantada
I unexpectedly bumped into Cantada and his troops of Spidermen while they were rehearsing for their skit later in the evening and he happily posed for some quick shots.
But what was arguably one of the highlights of the event for for local comic book geeks (and showbiz fans) was the appearance of the latest actress to inherit local superheroine Darna’s magical stone: Liza Soberano. Soberano is set to portray the iconic Mars Ravelo character in a new Darna movie to be directed by Erik Matti.
To celebrate her appearance in the event, ToyCon and ABS-CBN, Soberano’s home network, launched a contest on Facebook for the chance of having a Meet and Greet session with her. I joined the contest just for fun and amusingly ended up being one of the fifteen. winners. Due to time constraints, the Meet and Greet event ended up being a quick photo op. But I did get this great pic with her.
The much awaited Pinoy pop culture convention for all ages is finally happening on June 30 to July 2, 2017 at SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. After the success launch event in Uptown Mall BGC last weekend, Toycon Philippines celebrates its 16th year anniversary of pop culture, toys, comics, geek stuff, fangirling/fandomness, and the ultimate catch phrase combined “FanXperience” which means those who will witness the three day craziness are very lucky ones because not only they moved to a larger space (second time), Philippine Toycon is partnered with Pop Life Entertainment. If you are the chosen one, you’ll get a chance to meet and greet some International celebrities and personalities, inspired by their live talks plus you’ll also get an opportunity to unveil world class exhibits and score hard to find exclusives.
During the press launch, they announce the list of International celebrities that Filipino fans will get a chance to meet them upclose:
Carla Perez – Rita Repulsa in the Power Rangers 90s TV Series
Charlie Bewley – The Vampire Dmitri, from the Twilight movie franchise
Lindsay Mckeon – Tessa the Reaper from the hit TV series, Supernatural
Karen Fukuhara – Katana of the Suicide Squad
Stefan Capicic – Colossus in the Deadpool Movie
Cas Anvar – the voice of Altair in Assassins Creed:Revelations
Kevin McNally – Joshamee Gibbs in all 5 Pirate of the Caribbean movies
I’m sure you all love to visit the biggest exhibits that this year’s highlights:
Japan’s top toy brand, Kotobukiya, displays its latest line of Marvel, Star Wars and DC figurines along with the launch of the Frame Arms Girl Anime and merchandise.
Warner Brothers features its movie exhibit of its upcoming line of hit movies, IT, Ninjago, Justice League and the original movie prop doll of the horror cult classic, Annabelle.
Mars Ravelo’s Superheroes are featured in their classic art and comic form courtesy of the Mars Ravelo Estate and ABS CBN Licensing.
The TOYCON Toy Club Gallery – The biggest toy collectors’ exhibit ever assembled under one roof featuring top toy brands, Kotobukiya, Enesco, Bandai, Hero Cross, Hasbro, Mattel, Hot Toys and Lego. This exhibit makes ToyCon one of the most photographed events in the country.
Artists Alley and custom artwork – fans meet their favorite local and international guest artists for custom sketches, signing and art critiquing.
The biggest dealer floor of around 240 merchants of various pop-culture merchandise, comics, accessories, cosplay merchandise, toys and collectibles
Other event highlights include:
The grand finals of the World Cosplay Summit Philippine Championship and our very own TOYCON Cosplay Competition
The awarding of the very first Pinoy Pop Culture Awards
Musical performances by British electronic duo, Addictive TV and top local bands
ToyClicks toy photography competition and the Toy Customization contest
WHAT NEW FOR THIS YEAR’S CONVENTION?
Pop Life Entertainment brings your ideas to life in the Creator Stage! All digital content creators and online celebrity aspirants can make their mark on the digital stage by creating their own content right at the Pop Life Creator Stage at the 2nd level of the SMX Convention Center. Share your genius and get a chance to be part of a global leader in multi-channel networks, Pro Am Studio! Enjoy a brand new set of toys in a whole new playground as the TOYCON POP LIFE FANXPERIENCE happens on June 30 to July 2, 2017 SMX Convention Center Manila Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City The event is organized by the Asian Comics, Toys & Hobbies Collective Inc. and Pop Life Entertainment
and co-presented by GLOBE. With sponsors MaxiCollector, Arigatoys, the Gaming Library, Warner Brothers Pictures, Bankee, Toy Empire, Ano Toys, Great Toys Online, Hygienix, Bully Boys Collectibles, Big Boys Toystore, Hubbyte, Kramer Toy Warden, Devant, Mogu-Mogu, and Bruder Toys.
With media partners, ABS-CBN, History Channel, Psicom, Manilascape, PBNet and Retro 105.9 DCG FM.
Everything about ToyconPH is posted on their official website – www.toyconph.com