Category Archives: travel

I Need To Go To Italy This Summer

This is the greatest stupid thing I’ve ever seen. Also, who mispronounces Seinfeld?? THE HOFF DOES. To recap, The Hoff, lasers, flashback videos, pyrotechnics. Some of the cheesiest bands ever. I’m SO JEALOUS, EUROPE! (Man I hope Hoff performs one of his pop song covers.)

Advertisements

Weekending

I’m spending this weekend in sunny gorgeous San Francisco. I’m hoping to catch up with an old pal from home, see some sights, generally be lazy. Check out the view and the weather!

San Francisco

One thing I love about this city is it’s geek vibe.

Apple Ready to Rock

Also, the food. Witness: I ate like a pig at an Indian Buffet.

Indian food

Tomorrow I’m going to walk a bunch of miles to drop that Indian food calorie load (but it was so worth it).

Happy weekend!

American Idol – the Finale

Night two of the finale was kinda wild. We were originally planning to go to a pre-party hosted by a record label but stuff happened and we ran out of time. We had to haul it quickly over to the Nokia Theatre to get in line to get seated. We arrived a little before 4p and the doors were set to close at 4:30pm. When we walked up we saw this monster line. To give you an idea of what it looked like, here’s a map of the LA Live area:

LA Live campus

So Idol was held in the Nokia Theatre to the left in purple. In Nokia Plaza they had a bunch of crowd control barriers because there was a red carpet entrance from 11th Street and into the building. Us plebians had to line up in the center of LA Live. When we got in line, the line started in front of Wolfgang Puck’s, went down to Figueroa Street, took a right, went down to 11th Street, switched back, and then wrapped the whole way back into the Nokia Theatre. By the way, the Nokia Theatre seats around 7,000 people. The line was moving at a really good pace but a lot of people were freaking out about not making it in on time. When we got up to the front, some guys tried to just walk up and cut in line between us and the ladies in front of us. We were having none of that and got security to bounce them to the end of the line. When we were about to enter the doorway area, the line was past Wolfgang Puck’s. And then they yelled “30 seconds till doors close!” The theatre looked pretty full so I’m guessing they didn’t shut it down at 4:30 but I’m really not sure.

Both nights we were seated in the orchestra section, on the house left side so we were on the opposite side of the judges. We had some of my husband’s co-workers near us both nights so that was kind of fun.

Some random thoughts about the Idol experience:

During commercial breaks there’s a guy named Corey who keeps the audience warmed up. He goes around the house and talks to people and gives out prizes – lots of Samsung phones and iPod Touches. Often talked to kids. The kids were obviously VIP kids because they were all below the minimum age. Oops. 🙂

The Dane Cook “Kanye moment” was really NOT staged. Trust me. There was a bit of a scramble to shut it down. Frankly, I thought they were nicer to him than they needed to be.

Who else thought it was weird that Michael McDonald was on the show?

Crystal and Alanis Morisette was fun. The lyric change was hilarious. (Is she perverted like me?/Would she go down with you to the theatre?) But mostly I thought that it was obvious that the ladies were having a blast – Crystal looked thrilled to be singing with Alanis and Alanis was giving off a big sisterly/mentor vibe and I thought that was cool to see.

David Hasselhoff was in the house. I did not see him. BOOOOOOOOO. I did stand right next to Dr. Drew Pinsky and his lovely family.

The people around me were really excited when the Bee Gees performed. I thought that was weird.

After Bret Michaels I’d have to say that Janet Jackson was the crowd favorite. Girl was fierce. I loved her short hair. HOW DO I NOT OWN NASTY? I will be rectifying this with iTunes shortly.

Anytime Corey asked someone in the house who they voted for the answer was always “Lee.” I wonder how close the vote was?

I’ll admit it, I got a little teary at the reveal. Not because I was a huge Lee fan but because this kid was SO nervous and then when he won he was completely overwhelmed and full of joy. It was hard not to feel his emotion. His version of “Beautiful Day” was much better after he won though.

Anyway, we had a blast. And then we had to stay up almost all night and jump on an early plane back but it was worth it.

If you have any questions about the experience, shout ’em out in the comments!

Zombie Bret Michaels Still Rocks

I’ll work up a post on the last night of Idol after I’ve had a nap – I got about 90 minutes of sleep last night and really want to shower and nap, in that order. But here was a highlight of the show for me:

Bret Michaels and Casey James performing Poison’s Every Rose Has It’s Thorn.

1. Dude. That song is 80s awesome.

2. HOW IS BRET MICHAELS NOT DEAD? Look at the timeline of his health recently.

3. I really enjoyed that Casey and Bret just seemed to genuinely be having fun. And Bret was content to be playing backup guitar and stuff. Really nice to watch.

4. This performance, without a doubt, was the most popular with the crowd. Once they cut to commercial the audience stayed on their feet and demanded an extra bow for Bret. It was pretty outstanding.

Live from LA!

Tonight I was lucky enough to attend the live broadcast of the American Idol finale. Being married to my husband is always nice but some days have perks. He went last year but this was my first time. I’m not an Idol fan so I’m not nearly as rabid as the girls behind me but i dig music and spectacles so i have been looking forward to this.

Actor Glen Morshower (IMDB him – you will recognize him) was seated directly in front of me. I could have reached forward and rubbed his fuzzy head. Next to him and his wife were some of the Bowersox clan and boy are they rooting for her! It was pretty neat. Saw some old Idols (Castro and I think a guy named Scott MacIntyre) but have been told that tomorrow night i should keep my eyes open. We are invited to a pre-party overlooking the red carpet so that will be fun.

Anyway, I had not heard either Idol before tonight and with no background here was my impression. Lee has a very nice voice but was very nervous and isn’t a performer. Crystal nailed it. Her Joplin was stellar and she could work the crowd.

The audience seemed very pro-Lee. I was disturbed by the number of “Cougars for Lee” signs. I mean really.

One thing to note, there are no cameras or cell phones allowed so no pics from me. Booooo. Tomorrow should be more fun with the secret performers so tune in tomorrow!

Hawaii Recap – Maui day 3

Day three was our lazy day. The weather wasn’t great so it was a nice day to just relax. We decided we wanted to swim, sun, shop, and just chill.

We did some shopping at Whalers Village. It had some cute shops and also a museum of whaling.

Sperm whale skeleton

Don’t worry, that whale found found dead and washed ashore.

I learned all about the old Hawaiian rules for sailors.

Rules for Seamen

And this is what the island looked like behind us.

foggy


Shopping was complete so we went home to eat. My husband had this for lunch:

BIg Kahuna dog

It’s called the Big Kahuna Dog and it’s a quarter pound beef frank, bacon, and grilled onions. He looked like a kid at Christmas when it arrived.

Jumped in the ocean for a few hours and it was drizzling on and off. Which led to this lovely view while we swam:

rainbow

Built sandcastles.

sandcastle

Watched the sunset.

sunset

Went back to our place, cooked some delicious healthy dinner, and topped it off with fruity rum drinks. Now THIS is Hawaii.

fruity rum drink

Hawaii Recap – Maui Day 2

On the second day of our stay on Maui we went whale watching. I tried this once in Maine with my family when I was younger. It didn’t go so well. It was a four hour trip of cold, hellacious weather with a boat full of sea sick people. And no whale. So I was hoping our Hawaiian experience would be better. And it was.

Maui is where humpback whales from Alaska go to breed and give birth. There are a ton of companies offering whale watch tours but we chose to go on the Pacific Whale Foundation’s two hour tour. They’re a non-profit who does a lot of research and preservation. We dug them.

This was our boat for the morning.

whale watch boat

We got seats on the top deck. Since the weather was fantastic (maybe 75 degrees and sunny with a light breeze) it would have been worth just a boat ride. But we ended up seeing quite a few whales. And the cool thing was, it was mostly mamas with their babies. Like so:

mama and baby whale

And then we’d just get random “Hi! I’m here and need air!” sightings.

blow hole

And the money shot:

fluke

By the way, my husband had the big camera and took all the cool whale shots.

So it was two hours of cool.


After lunch we went back to our place and hit the beach.

enjoying the ocean

Yeah, we like the warm ocean.

If you watch LOST and have ever wondered if the ridiculously pretty waters and lush greenery are real or fake, it’s Hawaii and it’s all real.

Next up, the highway to Hana!

Hawaii Recap – Maui Day 1

I’ve already blogged about our kind of hellacious arrival into Hawaii. So let’s move on to our first day on the gorgeous island of Maui. I’d rented us a condo style unit on the west side of the island. The rooms looked ok and were a good price. We wanted a kitchen to cook some of our own meals (cheaper, healthier) and thought a condo style set up might be a nice way to spend a vacation. It can be hard to tell from websites though. We were both kind of floored by how nice the room was when we walked in.

Living/bedroom

kitchen

And our beach was so nice that we had rainbows over it.

rainbow

I mean seriously, look at this beach:

Kanapalli Beach

So we spent most of our first day getting settled and exploring our new “home.” Being chill is what Hawaii is all about.

Tomorrow… whale watching and Lahaina!

We’re Having a Whale of a Time

We’re loving Maui.

Here’s a photo of the beach we’re staying on:
Our beach

Here’s a picture of a whale we saw the other day.

Whale Fluke

But you know what’s super cool? With all the whales chilling here and breeding/birthing around Maui right now, when you’re in the ocean on our beach, if you go under the water, you can hear the whalesong. It’s awesome.

Full re-cap later!

A San Francisco Treat

A few weeks ago my husband had to do some work up in San Francisco for a few days. He had a hotel room up there while he worked so I mooched off him tagged along and went to some museums while he worked. I finally got around to uploading some photos. My Flickr stream has some scenes from the newly renovated California Academy of Sciences in the heart of Golden Gate Park. I also hit the de Young Museum the next day and will upload a few pics from that sometime soon.

Enjoy!

Penguin home