One Day in Newport Beach

You know the reason why I wanted to go visit Newport Beach was because I was and am still such a fan of the TV series, The OC. It is such a great well done TV series – great for being able to get your drama fixes when you do not have drama in your life because you avoid such. And then I ended up loving Newport Beach, even though driving through Newport during the summer was a little tough because it was quite hard to find a parking stall. It is a very happening part of Orange County and yet expensive as Brooke and I wandering around browsing the housing market. Trying to find her and her new husband of, just little over a year now a house, Ha! Just kidding – just because it is something to do and the houses there are fabulous I would not mind owning a house if I had a couple million dollars

It is defiantly a happening part of the county for sailing there were a ton of sailboats there – and to be honest felt a little jealous I did not book my time on one so i could say i sailed on the Gold Coast of California. Now that would have been fabulous sweet. Next time!

We would have been in Newport Beach earlier on in the morning but I had to make a stop in Anaheim at a very special place that they all know me – Now some of you probably could guess already where I stopped and it would not be a surprise at all knowing me. So should I wait and let you all guess and make it a fun little game or should I just tell you? oh what the heck I will tell you – I can’t do that, it is like word vomit and it will come out later on anyways. I stopped by the Offices of Contiki Holidays USA. Oh my, you would surprised and did not expect that i Bet haha!

Okay now that the word vomit came out lets back to the most fabulous Orange County in California, my day in Newport.

Visiting Balboa Pier – Yes i had to take a picture of the name plate because to be honest I would not have remembered it else wise and that is just what we Travel bloggers do, take pictures of everything so we can share and give you the ideas on where to go on your next getaway.

At lunch I probably ate like the “Hollywood” actors, not much. But again they in Newport Beach fill your plate unlike some other places I went to downtown Los Angeles at LA Live by the Staples Center.

I do not even know where to begin about Newport because I love it – I could move there tomorrow or in that case drive down tomorrow and revisit the fabulous Orange County. Actually to be honest why all of a sudden I am thinking about Newport because I am watching The OC season two again, on a wednesday night when I should be out with friends or spreading the Contiki word to new adventure seekers. I am here in my room in Leduc listening to the Planes fly in and out of the International Airport watching The OC and blogging to you all – so you all have something to read. So your welcome, and I am getting off topic once again.

How long do you have? 1 hour or 72 hours?

Never actually seen docks painted on them with time limits on how long you can park your boat for. But clever idea, especially in a County of California where Sailing is very common and everyone owns a boat. Maybe I should implement it here in Canada at our Lake – do you think they would go for that! Nah! We Canadians do not park in unnecessary spots for that long anyways and if we do, then the peace officer is on our butts to make us move.

So lastly, Visit Newport Beach.. Rent that car in California that you wanted to rent and drive to Newport – it will be well worth the gas. And do not worry about the gas because renting a car in California is cheap, I would do it again! xo

Warnemunde, Germany

Next Stop after being seabound for a day…
Warnemunde founded aproximately in the 1200, was for centuries a mere fishing village with minor importance for the economic and cultural development of the region.
Once the village was dependent on the fishing industry, Warnemunde’s economic alignment had shifted inevitably from the primary to the secondary and tertiary sector. Besides the Aker Warnow Werfy ship yard, the economy largely depended on tourism.
As it was the centre of maritime traffic, the district of Warnemunde comprised numerous navigational aids such as, the oldest lighthouse which is currently still in use today from being built in 1897. In the summer, the about 37 metres high tower allowed visitors to enjoy the impressive view over the Baltic Sea and The Northern districts of Rostock.
As for the low current and good sailing conditions, Warnemunde is one of the best sailing grounds in Germany. The beach is especially good for kitesurfing, windsurfing, underwater diving, swimming and nordic walking. In the summertime there are alot of international competitions. Many people flock to witness these competitions.

Hollywood Movie Productions, Universal Studios

Universal Studio Hollywood’s back-lot has been damaged by fire 8 times throughout its history. The buildings you see today on the lot were shorter, after the 2008 fire they had built them taller in order to block out the mountain view.
Realistically, if you are in New York you generally do not see Mountains.

First Fire recorded in 1932 when embers from a nearby bushfire blew towards the back-lot causing 4 movie sets to be destroyed causing over $100,000 worth of damage.

Second recorded in 1949 when yet another bushfire caused the complete destruction of one building and damage to two others.

1957, the New York film set was destroyed by an arson fire causing half a million dollars worth of damage. was suspected to be the result of an arsonist.

1967, twice as much damage was done when the Little Europe area and parts of Spartacus Square was destroyed. It also destroyed the European, Denver, and Laramie street sets.

1987 the remaining portion of Spartacus Square was destroyed along with street sets and other buildings

Three years later another fire was started in the back-lot, and the New York set, The Ben Hur set and the majority of Courthouse Square was destroyed.

Seventh Fire, 1997 occurred where a portion of the Courthouse Square was again destroyed leaving the Courthouse itself to live another day.

The most damage was done June 1, 2008 when a three alarm fire broke out on the back-lot of Universal Studios. The fire started when a worker using an acetylene torch while welding accidentally caught on with the surroundings. The Los Angeles County Fire Department reported that Brownstone Street, New York Street, New England Street, the King Kong attraction, some structures that make up the Courthouse Square and the Video Vault had burned down (not to be confused with the actual Film Vault – the Video vault contains duplicates of the films).

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Went on July 19, 2011 to Universal Studios & Studio Lot Tour. After the Studio Lot Tour, It had sparked an interest to pursue my dream of becoming an Art Director.

New York Streets. Almost can not tell they weren’t the real thing.

7 things to do in San Francisco

Some days It feels just like yesterday that i started the year off in San Francisco….

1. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge
Okay this is a MUST do even if you have to take a taxi straight to your hotel, drop your luggage and head out right away. Although it is a not short walk but the view from the middle of the bridge is gorgeous. Just a suggestion, do not press the little round red button on the yellow boxes. They are there for people thinking about committing suicide, and you will notice they are only on the right side of the bridge that’s facing the city. December 30, 2010 is when i took my first walk across the Bridge – the Bus dropped the group off on San Francisco side of the bridge and walked across into Marin County.

2. Golden Gate Park
Similar to New York City Central Park but 20% larger. A large urban park consisting of 1017 acres of public grounds. With 13 million visitors annually, Golden Gate park is the third most visited city park in the United States after Central Park in New York and Lincoln Park in Chicago. This windmill in the picture above was built in 1913 and was used to pump water throughout the park, the blades shown were onced covered canvas sails.

3. Smugglers Cove
The neatest place to grab a drink, to chill and hang out with your friends. Most drinks come in a skull. Located 650 Gough Street, Just a 15 minute walk from Hotel Whitcomb.

4. Alcatraz
A lot of history are inside these walls, They show a short video clip at the beginning a brief history of the place right when you walk in and then from there you grab your self guided radio and headphones and work at your own pace. Only way to and from the island, by ferry and there are only four during the day so make sure you do not miss it or you are stuck on there. And I wouldn’t want to be stuck there – talk about creepy!

5. Public Transportation
Experience the city as a local. Taking a Bus at Rush hour, 4pm is an experience to have here in this fabulous city of San Francisco. The Buses are so crammed it is hard to move around and hard to get on and off the bus. Brooke and I got up from our seats heading to the exit and this little lady was pushing us more away from the doors so she could have our seat. Not very polite she was. We missed the stop we wanted to get off, it took 20 mins to go from one stop to the other. It was faster to get out and walk back to the hotel.

Taxi’s are another fun ride to take in San Francisco and the cheapest. From the airport to the Hotel, only took 10-15 minutes. They weave in and out of traffic so fast. And being so fast when they go up and down the hills in San Francisco, Fun! The front tires actually leave the pavement.

6. Little Italy
The closest thing you will get to Italian Pizza without actually being in Italy. You will know when you are in Little Italy by the light posts – they will have a Italian Flag painted on them.

And after lunch we were left to explore San Francisco on our own, well everyone split into groups. Groups form quickly on a Contiki tour!

7. Bike and Roll San Francisco
Bike and Roll the streets of San Francisco and those hills are steep. At least our Tour guide for the Bike and Roll was nice and gave us a small hill to start but then the Second hill was a steep one and half of us, okay maybe a little more than half had to get off their bikes and walk the rest. We got to ride on the other side of the Bridge (Left side) so that helped less pedestrians walking and being in our way. That wind that day, whew! Not easy.

The time I returned home from NYC

You hear people returning home from Disneyland/Disneyland with Mickey and Minny hats and disney bags full of souvenirs but you never hear or see what New York travelers come back with besides fabulous memories. I remember as it was yesterday, well almost. New York City – it was the best ever and where my love for travel really began.

From the airport to downtown Manhattan we took the Subway and the Bus, why take a taxi when there is public transportation. Public Transportation allows you to experience life the local way. Which took us right through Harlem. Yes, the neighbourhood everyone warns you not to go or becareful in. But truly everyone was friendly and was willing to help us. So what i am saying, do not let others scare you from visiting Harlem.

It was busy times touring the city that never sleeps – our days would start at 9am and end at 2am. There is always something to do and see. Time Square, Central Park, Trump Tower, Fashion District, Financial District, 9/11 memorial site, Empire State Building.

I am even proud to say I got to visit the old Yankee stadium before they tore it down to build the new stadium – I got to see and walk through history of the Yankees. Saw Derek Jeter’s locker, sat where the team sat during their games, and walked the field. It was a marvelous day and one that i will never forget.

Returning home in the airport I must have gotten many looks, believe it or not i was all decked out in my Yankee attire – Yankee Jersey, Yankee Visor, Yankee Flag. So you can imagine what i looked like – but I did not care! I was a Yankee fan. I loved NYC.

I arrived a tourist, and left a traveler. Oh and a Yankee Fan!

Top 5’s Best to do in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles the city of angels, La La Land, also known as Hollywood and the place where all your dreams come true. It is defiantly one of those places you need to see just once, just so you can say you have been.

#1 City Hall- Walk up to the observation level that is open the public on the 27th floor to see the marvelous views of Los Angeles Downtown. Closed on Sundays. While you are downtown, take a walking tour. Angels Flight, Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA Live, Staples Center, (to name a few).

Fun Fact: Walt Disney Concert Hall –  Some residents of neighboring condominums complained about the glare caused by sunlight that reflected off the convave sections stainless steel, matte finish walls to a parabolic mirror.

#2 Santa Monica Beach – one of the most famous beaches in the area and one of the most busiests. It has the Pier with a restaurant, mini amusement park, third street promenade is one block away and is considered to be a premier shopping and dining location. Has stores for everyone!

Fun Fact: Third Street Promenade is approximately Three blocks long.

#3 Hollywood Walk of Fame & Chinese Theatre – Try and find that favorite actor of yours (it is not as easy as you may think) from Mickey Mouse to Adam Sandler or see which actor has the same size feet and hands as you.

Fun Fact: only the actors that have thad heir movies shown at the Chinese Theatre gets their hand printed in the sidewalk in front. The new addition to the family, was Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe this summer 2011.

#4 Universal Studios lot Tour – See where they make all the movies that we love to watch so much. Might be able to watch some demostrations, see some vintage cars, Go on set of the desperate housewifes, and much much more.The Lot is much bigger than you’ll think.

Fun Fact: They’ve had eight fires over the course of it’s life and they had to build the buildings higher after the eighth fire to cover the mountains in the background.

#5 SixFlags – although Disneyland is not to far away i would still recommend SixFlags. The Extreme Rollercoasters are the best. Make sure you carry your park map or you’ll get lost. And make sure you pack A LOT of water and stay hydrated through out the day, as it’s in the desert.

Fun Fact: worlds largest amusement park and maintains 14 properties through the north america and has hosted 23.9 million guests.