Fifteen Minutes Of Fame On The Warner Brothers Studio Tour

We live in a society that has an obsession with all things celebrity, from autographs to news to gossip and more. The Warner Brothers Studio Tour Los Angeles is a backstage look at some of your favorite movies and television shows. There are changes at times when new movies or television shows become hits, but there are also some standards that are always included.

Photo: Kara Brugman via

A statue of Bugs Bunny greets you as you enter the starting point of your tour at the VIP Tour Center and Store. While there, you can purchase souvenirs, check out the displays, or grab a bite with some employees of the studio. Once your tour starts, you hop on a tour bus to see the backlots and sets; some are from shows gone by and some are still used today.

You will see the Jungle studio, which is home to scenes from Million Dollar Baby, The Last Samurai, and Merlotte’s Bar and Grille from True Blood. You will see Brownstone Street, used by shows like ER and The West Wing, and Hennessy Street, which you may recognize as Gotham City from the Tim Burton version of Batman. You will see Midwest Street, which you will recognize as Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls, as well as New York Street.

If you’re wondering what to do in Los Angeles with kids this studio tour has more than just street sets. You will get to see the immense prop building that has every type of furniture prop one would ever need, as well as other exciting sights. The tours run Monday through Friday from 8:20 am to 4 pm. The tickets cost about $58 per person for the VIP Studio Tour. You can also check out the Deluxe Tour and the Group Tour.

The Warner Brothers Studio Tour is an experience you do not want to miss. It changes frequently as new movies and new shows come out, so make sure you do it more than once so you do not miss the fun. So get your fifteen minutes of fame by having fun and taking pictures to show your friends of all the famous sets you have to visit.

Have Kindle Will Travel

I’m excited – its coming. I think its somewhere over the Pacific actually – its left LAX but not got to Auckland yet. It’s my Kindle!  Mid 2010 was significant not just because the latest version of the Kindle was released – the Kindle 3 – but because it was made available to residents of New Zealand and other third world countries who previously hadn’t been able to buy it (Nook makers take note! )

I missed the excitement – I bought a netbook and smartphone for travelling and missed the whole Kindle thing. I spent part of my holiday browsing through second hand shops and swapping paper backs with the random collections left behind at guest houses by other travellers. The time honoured to feed a book habit without having to hire a porter to carry the dame things.  It might well have been the last time.

The Kindle weights not just less than your average Lonely Planet  guide book – but less than the slimest of thin paperbacks as well.  You can download a newspaper onto it and read the paper on the plane without needing an upgrade to Excecutive Class to have enough room to turn the pages.

But most surprising of all – apparently the photo above is for real – you really can read at the beach in bright sunlight!  Now last year I had a netbook at the beach in Ko Lipe, Thailand. The beach was lovely – but it was pretty basic – my “resort” had an open sided reception hut and lots of loungers with good palm tree coverage – but nothing more substantial. During most of the day – the only place I could read my netbook’s screen was  right at the back of reception in the shade of a wall – or inside my hut. There was just too much glare off the sea and sand to make it possible to read anywhere else. The Kindle claims you can – I intend to take it on this year’s trip to Phuket to find out!

The Kindle is a pretty exciting gadget for a the average tourist – you will be hearing more about mine!



Best Travel Pillow: Features To Look For

The best travel pillows provide just the right amount of neck and head support so that you can rest comfortably while traveling.  Most are designed specifically to allow you to sleep in an upright position without over-extending your neck muscles.  While that seems relatively straight forward, once you start to analyze what is on the market, you’ll be faced with a bewildering array of choices.

One of the first things to work out is what material you would like the pillow to be made out of.   Are you a fan of highly supportive memory foam for example, or are you a frequent traveler who prefers very lightweight inflatable designs?  Are you interested in being able to adjust the amount of filling in the pillow – something that is possible with some micro-bead and buckwheat filled designs?  What trade-offs are you willing to make?  Is a high level of support more important to you than weight?  Is portability your primary concern or the ability to adjust the fill density?

Also, don’t assume that all travel pillows have a standard horse-shoe shaped design.  Recent years have seem numerous new shapes emerge.  You’ll find comma shaped pillows, petal shaped designs as well as sash pillows.  Some will fold away in their own travel pouch while others will be designed to strap onto your carry on bag.  It’s enough to make your head spin.

To get you started on choosing the best travel pillow for your needs, here are three of our favorites:

1) The Travel Rest pillow – This is worn across the body much like one would wear a sash.  It allows for very natural sideways resting position.  A tether keeps the pillow firmly in place and, as it’s an inflatable pillow, you’ll find it very lightweight.

2) The Miracle Neck Rest – Made from a high grade memory foam the pillow will gently contour to the shape of your head and neck, without any pressure points or bounce-back.  Although memory foam pillows are generally heavier than other types of pillow, this one is smaller than your typical pillow with a very paired back design.

3) The Total Pillow – This is marketed as “five pillows in one due” to its adjustable panels.  It can be twisted and shaped in a multitude of different ways.  It’s filled with micro-beads that provide a high level of support without bottoming out.  It’s got a removable washable cover, something you should look for in whatever travel pillow you decide on.