The Christmas Tag: Let The Festivities Begin!

Hello and happy Sunday everyone!

Another end to another weekend…as bittersweet as it may be, I hope you guys enjoyed it and rested up for the start of the new week tomorrow!

I’m super excited because today I’m going to be officially starting my first day of Blogmas!!

I am, however, just going to be doing my own version of it, MEANING, although most bloggers and/or YouTubers tend to try and post every single day/night for the month of December, I’m going to just do it twice or three times a week. Nonetheless, I will be making sure that they’re as fun, creative and holiday-related (to some extent) as possible! 🙂

So, for today’s post (and technically first day of Blogmas for me), I thought it would be fun to do none other than the Christmas tag! Mentioning a few of my personal holiday favorites along with past experiences, traditions, etc.

So, without further adieu, let’s get started!

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  1. What is your favorite Christmas film?

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There are SO many (which I’m going to be doing a completely separate post about later on), but if I had to choose out of them all, I would have to probably say The Santa Claus movie(s), starring Tim Allen. I literally never get tired of those movies and think they are SO cute.

2. Have you ever had a White Christmas?

None that I remember on the day of, but there’s been some a few days before and/or after.

3. Where do you usually spend your holiday?

At home with family (my parents and brother) and Diego.

4. What is your favorite Christmas song?

The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) by Nat “King” Cole.

5. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

Amongst my family, the only thing(s) we open on Christmas Eve are our stockings, but aside from that, Diego and I usually tend to exchange gifts with each other and open them that day.

6. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen…..(and Rudolph). And to be honest the only reason I really know them and can recite them so fast if you asked me in person is because of that one scene in Jingle All The Way starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (which, if you haven’t watched it before you totally should 😂).

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7. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?

I guess I would have to say the Advent calendar my dad always gets my brother and I every year (no matter how old we are), watching the 25 days of Christmas on FreeForm, and also watching A Christmas Story all day on AMC  on the actual day of Christmas with my family.

8. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Fake!

9. What is your all-time favorite holiday food/sweet treat?

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I LOVE the holiday pillsbury sugar cookies. UGHH they’re pre-baked already, but god do they never get old 😍  (which fun fact: they have ones as E.L.F. themed now that I am SO excited to make!!!)

10. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?

Honestly, if you know me you know that I LOVE giving gifts to others, especially the people I care about most, and even if I don’t get anything back from them in return. I’m just that type of person. I go all out every year for the people I care about. I love and would much rather know that I’m making other people happy in that sense then get anything else. To me, that makes me the most happy.

11. Most memorable Holiday moment?

Last year in general, although it was really hard, was also really memorable, because it was the first Christmas in YEARS that we had spent it without our cat Spencer. And everyone in my family knew how difficult it was for me personally, so they all (in their own separate ways/gifts) got me a lot of great things to help me not only cope, but also to just remember him.

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Like my mom got me this picture of me and Spencer blown up and put on a canvas, which actually hangs on the wall in my room now, and Diego got me a bracelet that was engraved with “For my love, From D & S,” which was pretty special and actually made me cry (both of them).

12. When did you realize the truth about Santa?

This is terrible, but I must’ve been like 9-10 and to this day I really don’t remember what was up my ass that one Christmas morning, or who pissed me off or why it happened, but I just remember being really upset and yelling at the top of my lungs to my parents “AND THAT’S WHY SANTA ISN’T EVEN REAL!!” and so from then on, my parents stopped all of the ‘Santa is real’ charade with me and just got me gifts like a grown-up (so to speak) 😂.

13. What makes the Holidays special for you?

Honestly, I just love the general feeling and giddiness that comes along with it all. The music, decorations, events, etc., it’s just all really fun and exciting and never gets old for me. I’m 23 years-old and to this day, I look forward to it and all of the cheesy little things that come along with it every year.

14. Have you ever made a snowman?

Not on or for Christmas, but yes my brother and I have tried (and failed) several times before.

15. How do you decorate your house for Christmas?

I/we (my family) love the holidays and always do our best to go all out. And personally,  more so now that I’m older, working and making my own money, I tend to go all out even if it’s just for my room (which I’ll be showing you guys in a separate post soon).

16. When do you start getting excited about Christmas?

Anyone who knows me knows that November 1st is when I start getting excited, decorating and listening to Christmas music lol.

17. You have been granted one Christmas wish….what would it be?

To have one big Christmas party/event with my entire family (from both my parents’ sides), because it’s been a LONG time since we’ve all gotten together in that way sadly, and I know it would be a great and memorable time for all of us if it were to happen.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this Christmas Tag post. Please like, share, follow and comment, and stay tuned for my next Blogmas post in a few days! 😀

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

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Travel Diary: Cancun, Mexico.

So this might be considered cheating to some extent, because it’s been about 3 years since the last time I was in Cancun, but a lot of people would always ask Diego and I about the hotel we stood at, the things we did, our general package when we were there, etc. so I figure why not do an entire post detailing it all?

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Cancun was the first place that Diego and I had ever traveled to together. We went there in July 2015 to celebrate our 1-year anniversary as a couple, and then, since we loved it so much, we went back again the following summer (summer of 2016).

Both times that we went, we stood for a week. Saturday to Saturday if I remember correctly.

Pricing

I guess first and foremost we should talk about the pricing of it all. I don’t remember any specific amounts or prices, but I do remember that because our package was all inclusive, it was one set price for relatively EVERYTHING.

For both times, Diego and I didn’t pay more than about $1,200-$1,400 (each), which included flights going and coming, hotel, car service to and from the hotel when we were arriving and leaving, and breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel. Plus there was all the cool little extras within the hotel that were included, which I’ll get into in a little bit.

So, all in all, we really didn’t spend all that much (thankfully). The only outside things we spent some money on were the excursions we did, souvenirs, and if we decided to eat or order out from the hotel.

One thing we were a little worried about the first time we went was money. We weren’t sure if we HAD to convert our money, how much we should bring, etc. And if I remember correctly, the first time we went, we brought/converted I believe $300-400. We came to find that although it was fine that we did that, it really wasn’t necessary. They’re pretty modernized over there (in the touristy parts anyway), so just keeping our American money and credit cards was fine, which we learned our lesson with the second time we went.

Hotel

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What the outside and general area of our hotel looked like. I took this while I was like a zillion feet in the air when Diego and I went parasailing!

The name of the hotel we stayed at (both times) was the Riu Palace Peninsula. It’s such a freakin’ beautiful hotel to stay in when you’re in Cancun, 10/10 would recommend it to ANYONE that asked me. The scenery was gorgeous, the hotel was AMAZING, and all of the staff were so nice. I literally cannot say enough amazing things about this hotel.

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The rooms were really nice and cozy too. Comfy bed, nice decently big shower, and even a Jacuzzi! The first year we stayed here our Jacuzzi was outdoor, right outside our room on the balcony, and the second time it was right in the middle of our room which was pretty cool.

 

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For both times that we went, we stood in the same hotel. Which, looking back at it now, probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. Yes we loved it both times and there were never any issues, but we pretty much experienced everything that we could the first time around, so the second time was ultimately just a repeat of that. Same amazing service, still, but it would’ve been best for us to book a different hotel, just to be able to experience a different one.

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One thing that was really great about this hotel (among other things), was the fact that within the hotel, there were 4 different kinds of restaurants, plus a buffet area separate. There was a steak house, an Italian restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, and a fusion cuisine restaurant. We’re huge foodies, so for us, this was heaven. We legit tried a different restaurant everyday that we were there, plus ended up at the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dessert (and occasionally dinner as well haha). Not to mention there was 24-hour room service and a sports bar that was open 24-hours as well to get drinks and little snacks.

All of the restaurants were included in the ‘all-inclusive package,’ so the only thing we had to worry about was making reservations for the restaurants and leaving tips.

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Not a great picture representation of it, but this is the sports bar.
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The Italian restaurant.
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These next 3 images were from the buffet they had there. Unlimited EVERYTHING; food, drinks, etc.

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The steak house restaurant they had in the hotel. Dinner with a view of the ocean ❤ _ ❤ even though it was dark lol.
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One of the MANY desserts they served on a regular basis ❤ _ ❤
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Side Note: The second time we stood here was really cool because SOMEHOW or another Diego and I got totally bumped up from the normal rooms/suites, to an adults only, VIP access type of section of the hotel. To this day we have no idea how that happened, but it was amazing. And along with being in that section came with also having a private restaurant for that area, which is where this was. I believe it was predominantly Greek food if I remember correctly.

Excursions:

Aside from the hospitality and great food, I think we can all agree that excursions are probably the best part(s) of ANY trip. Fortunately for us, Cancun had a TON of them.

Our first time here we did 3 major ones that were 100% outside of BOTH our comfort zones, which made it that much more great.

And the second time we were here, we did a bunch that were somewhat out of our comfort zones as well and just as fun.

When we first decided to come here and were thinking about the stuff we wanted to do, we knew we wanted to do one thing/excursion that was super adventurous and one that would allow us to not only have a good time, but also learn more about the history and culture of the destination we were at.

  1. The Xplor Park

If you are in Cancun and looking for a day-long, amazingly fun excursion, I 1000000% recommend for you to come to this park. We got to do this amazing ziplining course, swim in a cave, and ATV through the freakin jungle. To this day, that was probably my favorite excursion EVER. To be honest, I’m the biggest scaredy-cat EVER, so I don’t know what had suddenly came over me to be able to do all of these things, but it was AMAZING and so fun! I wish I could do it all over again.

What was really great about this excursion too was that it came with a lunch buffet; all types of great food, desserts and drinks. So we burned ourselves out with all of these activities and then got to stuff our faces afterwards lol.

Price wise, this was also the most expensive excursion. If I remember correctly, it was over $100 per person. But considering everything you were getting for the price, I think it was 100% worth it.

 

 

2. Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world. Ultimately it’s an archaeological site, displaying the advanced civilization of the Mayan people. It was actually a really great cultural experience, and interesting to see a lot of the natives from the area going about their daily routines, seeing the way they lived, etc. I would definitely recommend this if you’re looking to add a bit of an educational aspect to your trip. One thing I will say that we were totally unprepared for was the HEAT. We knew we were going to be outdoors, but didn’t know how intense it was going to be out there. It was so hot that both Diego and I got such an insane sunburn.

I would definitely recommend bringing a backpack with a few bottles of water, sunscreen, sunglasses and/or a hat, and a mini fan if possible because that Mexico heat is NO joke.

 

3. Parasailing

Doing this little excursion was actually Diego’s idea. It was the day of our one year anniversary, and I remember he was looking up at the sky watching these other people doing this, and just ended up being like “you wanna do that?”, and I was like ….. ._. um…not really. He ended up pushing me to do it, and as you can tell from the video below, I was shitting bricks. Overall though, I don’t regret it at all, it was fun and definitely something different that neither of us had tried before.

 

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4. Jet-skiing

I feel like jet-skiing is one those things that’s kind of a must whenever you go away on any sort of tropical vacation, and we hadn’t gotten to do/try it the first time we were in Mexico, so we definitely had to make time for it the second time around. It was a great little experience for the both of us, even though I was nervous as hell because I had heard a lot of scary stories from people I know when they were on jet-skies.

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5. Snorkeling

I have absolutely no idea why I don’t have many pictures and/or videos from this excursion we did, but we also did snorkeling which included speedboating as well. This was cool because we got to ride by other portions of Cancun which were absolutely beautiful, which then led us to a portion of water that allowed to snorkel for a bit. Again, I was a chicken shit lol. It was all fun and games until I actually got in the water!

*Side Note: I can’t swim, which is why I got freaked out in the water.*

But it was a pretty cool overall experience for the little time that I actually spent in the water. We got to be around a ton of fish for a while and then ride all the way back to the starting point.

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6. Speedboating

This particular excursion was really cool because it came with 2 different things to do, which was speedboating and ATV-ing. Since Diego had driven the boat the first time we did it, I figure I take a crack at the second time around 😉 . I’m sure it’s safe for me to say that we were both a bit nervous for that; and I was definitely a little shakey at first, but by the end of it I got the hang of it lol. I for sure got too excited and was on my Fast & Furious shit haha 😂

 

7. ATVing

And finally, we did ATV-ing. This was dope because we got to ride through the Mexican jungle where we saw natives on foot going about their business, and also other people on a separate excursion riding horses and we got to ride along the beach too. This excursion also came with lunch included which was great because after being in the blazing sun for the majority of the day, that was definitely needed.

 

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Another great thing Diego and I got to do was a little photoshoot on the beach and throughout the hotel to celebrate our one-year anniversary. Neither of us had done anything like that before, and it was really special for us so we figure why not. It was definitely a little pricey, but all in all I would say it’s worth it because the pictures came out beautiful and now we have that memory and those keepsakes of our first anniversary AND trip ❤

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These 2 were just a few of the pictures that we took, and also just my favorites in general ❤ _ ❤

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Overall, this was a GREAT first (and technically second) trip for both of us, especially since we were more or less just starting out as a couple and knew we wanted to go somewhere fun, but not too pricey. So I definitely recommend this to anyone, or couple, that may be contemplating a place to go that’s nice, fun, and not CRAZY expensive, especially if you really look into it and see how many great things will come along with wherever it is that you may be staying, or the excursions you may be doing.

I know this was actually a pretty long post, but it was really just because of all the pictures and videos that were included!! Hopefully I’ll get better at narrowing down all of these things as I continue to do these particular posts.

But I hope you guys enjoyed it and this was helpful to you in some type of way when it came to knowing about the hotel we stood at, the particular excursions we did, and the trip in general!

– Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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It Was All A Dream

Hi Everybody!

Today’s post is going to be all about this cute, fun little pop-up ‘museum’ that Diego and I went to last weekend completely dedicated to dreams.

I’m sure a lot of you have probably seen and/or heard about the place before through social media, because that’s definitely how I found out and became interested in wanting to go to it. The place I’m talking about is called Dream Machine, which is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

I, personally, am REALLY into dreams and everything that surrounds the concepts of dreams. So when I first heard about this pop-up I knew I HAD to make time to go here before it closes. It’s not the type of thing that’s SUPER informative with facts, details, etc., but just the images, backgrounds, and portrayals of each room I thought was really cool and fun.

If you don’t happen to care about any of the general info I’m going to speak about in just a second, feel free to just scroll to the middle of the post to see pictures and get right into what the actual rooms of the place look like!

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General Info on Dream Machine:

It’s not super big and not the kind of thing that you’ll be in for hours, but it’s a fun thing to do on a weekend if you don’t have much to do, and want to take some cool pictures by yourself, with friends, and/or your significant other.

It is a pop-up, which means that it’s not permanent, so it’s only staying open until July 29th. ALTHOUGH it was only supposed to be open until May originally, and then I guess they saw how big of a hit it was, and ended up extending it until July, SO you never know, maybe they’ll extend the running time for it again!

They’re closed Monday through Wednesday, but are open Thursday through Sunday. The only way to be able to get in is to buy your tickets online beforehand. There’s no window you would be able to go to on the day of in person. General admission, per person, is $38, but general admission matinee (Thursday and Friday before 5pm) is $28. It is a bit pricey considering it’s not that big of a place, but if you’re into this kind of thing and being able to take cool pictures, I think it’s worth going at least once.

LETS TALK ABOUT THE AREAAAAAAAA!! It’s located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as I mentioned earlier, and Diego and I fell in LOVE with the area in general. The area is SO cute; little shops, restaurants and taverns, EVERYWHERE. It was super friendly and cozy all around, plus it was right there by the water too, which was really nice.

We got to the place at 1:30pm on the dot, because that’s when our tickets were for, and we probably waited outside for max, 10 minutes. Waiting inside the place to finally go in with our group was another 10-15 minutes, but nothing terrible honestly, unless you’re the impatient type.

If I remember correctly, we were probably in the place for a total of 45 minutes to an hour. Again, as I mentioned, it’s not super big, and I was so into the way all the rooms looked and taking a ton of pictures that I didn’t even pay mind to the time lol.

I had read a lot of mixed reviews on this place primarily because of the staff and being/feeling rushed to go through all of the rooms and not being able to get enough or good pictures/videos, so I was a little nervous about going into this because of that. But, I just want to say right now, that overall I had a GREAT experience. I REALLY wish I had gotten the name of our ‘tour guide’, because she was SO nice and didn’t rush us at ALL. In fact, she specifically told us to take our time and make sure we get all of the pictures, videos and boomerangs that we wanted. She, along with other staff members, even offered to take any and all pictures that we may have wanted.

All of the staff was super friendly and welcoming which is a prime example of why I ALWAYS tell people, don’t listen to reviews you see or hear about online. Make your own judgments on things/places, because you never know, that person could’ve just been a little unlucky and the staff was probably having an off day, it doesn’t mean everyday is going to be like that.

I know that I was a bit nervous going into this because of the things that I read, but I immediately switched my mentality once I got there. I never once felt like the staff was being rude to me or anyone in my group, and they didn’t rush us in the slightest. It was probably some of the friendliest staff I’ve ever encountered at a place like this.

Okay, now let’s get into the actual exciting part of this post, which are the rooms themselves!! 😀

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Keep in mind that the displays of most of the rooms are super simple, but they’re supposed to be fun and what YOU end up making of them all.

Room 1: The Cloud Room, ‘Cloud 9’

I LOVED this room and thought it was an amazing starter for going into this place. I really felt like I was in a dream, with the colors of the lights and clouds hanging all over the place. It was super simple because all it really had were the things that I just mentioned, but I was honestly mesmerized by it, and it definitely ended up being one of my favorite rooms out of them all.

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Room 2: The Bubble Room!

This room was cute because I feel like no matter how old you get, bubbles are always weirdly fun. And these bubble were really cool because if you looked at them closely, they were all filled with smoke, so when you popped them smoke would be floating out. I got a ton of cool pictures and boomerangs in this room of the bubbles popping and smoke coming out! This is definitely a cool room to be able to take boomerangs.

BEWARE THOUGH: The floor in this room is slippery, so be mindful of that with the footwear you may have on, especially if you’re anything like me and are clumsy af.

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Room 3: The Black & White Room

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This was probably the smallest room they had (I had think), space wise. But, I thought it was cool that they incorporated something like this when not only is it a fact that some people only dream in black and white, but it makes you think back to some of your own dreams and try to remember whether you fall into that category or not. The decor they had in this room was really cute for pictures too. Also, I matched with the room completely (totally unplanned haha).

*Fun Fact: I dream in color! 🙂 *

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Room 4: The Laundry Room (& SECRET ROOM!!!)

This was definitely another favorite room of mine. I LOVED all of the colors associated with this room; it was colorful and SO fun. One of the best rooms to be able to take cool pictures. It’s supposed to resemble a dry cleaning/laundry mat type of thing. Plus, as soon as you walk in, they hand you free cotton candy!! Now I’m not really one to care for sugar/candy like this, but I thought it was a cute little prop for pictures.

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I was SO scared to try sitting in these. If you’re from the Bronx like me, you know that these things are not all the stable to be doing crap like this, so I was scared. But with Diego’s help, I ended up being fine and also being able to take these really cute pictures in the cart and on the washing machine. Plus it was basically empty at this point since we waited for everyone else to take their pictures and go by so there wouldn’t be a ton of people around us, in our pictures and feeling like we had to rush so they could get theirs too.

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And then there was the secret room….I thought the way this room was set up, it could’ve been SO cool for pictures, which I obviously got a few, but this was the only room that I actually felt kind of rushed in. Our guide had told us that we really only had 45 seconds to be able to take any sort of pictures and what not in here to be able to let everyone else get a turn in here as well. This was the second smallest room in the entire place, so there wasn’t much moving space. Then there was the fact that you couldn’t touch the stringed, colorful lights, I mean why would you actually have to, but the point is they said that you couldn’t because they were super delicate and could get tangled and/or break. The lights, mirrors and stringed lights in general were really cool but it was low, dimmed lights so it was hard to get a well lit picture. I still liked it though 🤷🏻‍♀️

Room 5: The ‘Pool’ Ball-Pit Room

This room was REALLY fun, because all the bright blue balls (LOL) and neon blue lighting was supposed to resemble a swimming pool. They had a list of rules on the side (which I totally forgot to take a picture of), some of which included no running, no diving, find the stairs, recommending you to trust fall backwards and keeping your phone on loud in case you lost it in the pit.

This was another GREAT place to take fun boomerangs like trust falling backwards (which I was TERRIFIED about doing because I’ve never done that before), and throwing the balls in the air like I did below.

One thing I will say is that it was all fun and games until it was time to get up and out from the ball-pit. I COULD NOT GET UP FROM THIS. It was SO hard, I was like wtf. I don’t really know what that says about me, but it was so hard to get up, and nothing to grab for support. It was a bad time. But luckily Diego was there and managed to help me out lol.

 

Room 6: Colorful Room

To be honest with you, the last 3 rooms I really did not get the point of. For instance, although it was cool to walk through with all the bright, neon lights going on and changing, there really wasn’t anything to do in this one other than to walk through it. Also, am I the only one who thought about Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ video when I saw this room?!

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Room 7: The Jungle-ish Room(?)

This one was cool, except I couldn’t figure out if it was supposed to be a garden or jungle-type thing. These lights were bright and trippy as hell, and the plants were pretty cool. The lights weren’t SUPER flattering for pictures-sake, but we made the most of it.

Room 8: The Streamer Room (and technically the last room)

And finally, the last room. Again, not COMPLETELY sure the purpose of this room, other than pretty much seeing a shit ton of streamers all over the place, and being nervous as hell about whether or not someone was going to pop out from between the streamers, but we managed to take some pretty nice pictures.

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Before leaving:

I guess this would be considered their 9th room? I just considered it somewhat of a pre-exit. It’s cool though because it’s super photogenic I think, and a nice way to tie everything together, like you’re about to step back into reality passed that curtain (if you can’t really read it, it says ‘It Was All A Dream’).

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Once stepping through the curtain, this is the last thing you end up seeing which is a Dream wall. It’s meant to be able to write and/or draw any dreams that you may have, but actually going up close to see it, people will just put little quotes on there, or tag their names or anything really that’s memorable to them.

And I’m so cheesy that of course, I had to write that below 🤗❤️ !

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I would totally recommend this for anyone who is looking for something fun and different to do on a weekend. I do agree the price is a little high being that as a whole, it is kind of small, BUT I had a great time, took some great pictures, and think it’s worth it to try at least once. I also didn’t care for 1-2 of the rooms, but overall I really liked it, and the pros out weighed the minor cons like those 2 rooms. Plus, it’s in a great little area in Brooklyn and there are a ton of different places that you would be able to walk to and around afterwards.

Click here to be able to purchase your tickets to Dream Machine, and do it soon because as of right now their last day of being open is July 29th! I hope you guys get to check it out and I see what kind of pictures you took!

*All photo creds goes to my lovely boyfriend ❤ *

Stay tuned for my next post! 🙂

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤