Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Contiki Friends and Acquaintances

In the past year I have met so many acquaintances and others that have become close friends.

Picture left: Alex, Corey (California), Brooke (Australia/Los Angeles), Myself, Robb (Boston) and Cameron.
We were the Pre-Departure group. Because since our tour manager did not arrive at the Pre-Departure meeting, the six of us went on a hunt to find a bar/pub in San Francisco and only had one drink at "Smugglers Cove" the rest of the time we just spent the time chatting.

Picture above:  Myself and Brooke. We on the other hand have become close friends. Had a "Contiki reunion" this past summer in July when i went to Los Angeles on my second Contiki Holiday.

Now let's see who else i have met through my travel years...

Picture Right: Oh Monte... What can i say about him. Our Tour Manager for New Years in San Francisco.

How do i explain Contiki New Year Tours... One word.... EPIC!!!!

Did not know partying with people that you've only met two days before New years could be SO MUCH FUN!!!

Picture Above: Myself and Trina. I was wearing that new years "hat" pretty much the whole night. I did not realize i was for most of the evening but the pictures showed me that i was. 

Picture left: Alex (Canada), Cameron (Australia), Trina (Canada) and Narlla (Brazil).

It was one big party, but again it was New Years.

Photo Above: Onwards to my second Contiki Tour in Los Angeles (LA Explorer) Lauren (Australia) and Myself on Angels Flight during our walking tour of Downtown LA. 

Picture Right: Tanya (Australia), Richo (Australia) and Myself (Canada). 

The Second Contiki in LA was pretty much 98% full of Australians. But remember that time of year is Australia's winter so everyone was escaping winter. Where I was escaping to find summer from summer. 

We've had a pretty lousy summer at the beginning of the season, with more rain that what we can handle. So escaping to Los Angeles gave me the chance to have a full summer. 

Picture above: Group shot of our Tour Group, LA Explorer after dinner and now taking the underground train to Hollywood to begin the Pub Crawl. Everyone is from Australia except for New Zealand, Canada and San Francisco.

Let's see who else have i met this year, that can't be all of them. There has to be more. 

Here we go, found some more fabulous people that i have met this year. 
Picture Left: Jenni (Toronto), Josie(Toronto) and myself. 

Onwards to the VIP Euro Bash Contiki in Calgary. #Haveyoudoneit Campaign, Just after one month after my first Contiki Tour.

Love you guys. Can't wait to see you all again soon.

Picture above: Brad (Toronto), Myself and Emily (Calgary).

Picture left: Myself and Monica (Toronto).
And Sheena (Calgary)

Met all these fabulous people in a year... whoa really! I was busy. Time flies when having fun. Wonder who else i will meet in the remaining year, the next and so forth.

Can't wait to meet you...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pic of the week - Filming in the open streets of LA

Filming in Los Angeles is not just limited to the walls of the Back-lot of Universal Studios. When time needs it, they come out in the open streets.

Film car. 

And the car they were filming. I have thoughts to believe, it was no one famous and only just a stunt driver but again the driver did not get out of the car so we were unable to see.

during our walking tour of Downtown Los Angeles with our tour guide 'mike the poet' (that was his nickname).

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).


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.

Filming Set in New England. Cast members were waving at us.

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

Hollywood Movie Productions, Universal Studios Wild West

How to make rain look like rain in the movies, for the camera and yourself to see...

As we know rain is a little hard to see, so how do they make it look noticeable in the movies, you ask. Well it is not complicated at all, Just add Milk... That is all it takes for you to see it in the movies and for the camera to capture it. 

How to make a massive flood in the movies...

Kodak Theatre Hollywood, Los Angeles

Walk where many have walked before you... Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Elizabeth Moss, David Hasseloff, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Firth, Russel Crowe, Lea Michele, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Stiles, Robert Morse, Ryan Seacrest, .... And many many more.

Right now as you can notice a little in the photograph, there are stores along the side but when a award show is due to happen, they close up the shops and make it appear as there were no stores to begin with. How neat eh!

The tall fluorescent white back-light pillars along side the staircase are from every year dating back through the 1950s, 1960s, etc to Today showcasing the Best Picture from that year. 

Across from the Kodak Theatre is where Jimmy Kimmel does his late night show and to the left will be the Chinese Theatre with quite a few of the stars hand and foot print - but only those actors that have had a film premiered there. Latest addition was the Harry Potter Cast, Emma, Robert and Daniel. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Road Trips

There is nothing more exciting than a road trip. Either if it is across Canada, North America, United States or even Europe for that matter.
Although it may look or sound like it can get boring just sitting in a car driving. Think of it this - You get to bond more with your friend(s), see new scenery's (such as when I drive through Jasper, it is such a beautiful sight with the mountains), There are a lot of road trip activities, or create your own fun activities to keep things entertaining.
License plate game, I Spy (might be a kiddy game, but all these games can accommodate your own variations) Such as, the License plate game, you can instead of trying to find all 50 states (which is a lot harder than it sounds) Example: if a car drives past you with three letters 'tic' in it, you have to try and name off all the words with 'tic' in it, like Fantastic, pathetic, ecstatic... you get the point.

What are some your variations of Travel games?

My List below trying to collect ALL 50 states during my road trip to Florida from Louisiana...
New Mexico
New York
South Carolina
North Carolina
New Jeresy
Rhode Island

Challenge, can you get more than me?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Contiki Hotel - Jasper, Alberta

Normally the only time I spend the night in a nice hotel is when I am on Contiki Holiday. But see a friend of mine who've i met on my LA Explorer Tour Last month - July 2011 was on his Canada Tour and had a stop over in Jasper so I went to go meet up with him and had the chance to catch up.

My Third Contiki Reunion this year.

I had found out which hotel was the Contiki Hotel and booked my one night. Free parking behind the hotel. Restaurant, Lounge and Gaming Lounge within the Hotel.

It had been a while i had been in the Town of Jasper - and it is not a big area, you can walk across one end of the town to the other in less than an hour. Do not forget to visit 'Jasper the Bear'

Read my other post on Jasper the Bear and his History.

Now this is the room I had stayed in, not being on a Contiki Tour - i had met up with my friend and went up to his room. Much nicer room and bigger if i may add. So do not worry you get a bigger and better room when you are on a Canadian Tour, on the stopover in Jasper, Alberta with Contiki.

Any guesses on how much this room cost? Queen sized bed, Shared bathroom down the hall, Cable TV, sink, Mountain View.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Photo Proof

I thought my proof of wearing my WONDERFUL Contiki shirt while on tour was lost when i had lost my camera on my Birthday in Santa Monica. But then a friend uploaded her photos from the LA Tour. And there it was, her and I on Angels Flight, downtown Los Angeles... me wearing the shirt.

July 28 2011 - Tonight show with Jay Leno with Emma Stone. If you can see me across from the band. I was wearing this Contiki Shirt then also.

Have you met Jasper the Bear?

Located in downtown Jasper.

Jasper the Bear is a landmark for the town. Created by James Nathaniel a Canadian cartoonist from Winnipeg, his cartoon character of Jasper the Bear was famous throughout Canada from 1948 to 1972 and remains as the mascot of Jasper National Park.

In 1962, Jasper was adopted as the official mascot for Jasper National Park in Alberta erecting a statue of Jasper at the Train Station where it remains to this day.

Today it stands to the right of the visitor centre and, Jasper the Bear is as tall as 6'-7' feet. It is customary to visit Jasper the Bear only if you are just passing through or staying for a couple nights. It is one of those landmarks, so do not forget to take your camera with you when you visit Jasper the Bear.