Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dream Vacation - Day 1

So I got about three hours of sleep before my buddy Robert woke me up at 4am. I was sleeping on his couch since he lived closer to the airport and his girlfriend was dropping us off. Once awake I took a quick shower and we were out the door and at LAX by 4:30am. Out flight was departing at 6:30am. When we got to the airport the check in counter was still closed but there was a line forming but by 4:45am we were both checked in and making out way to secruity.

This was the first time I was using my passport. I had one for ten years and then it expired so I renewed for my second passport and it too expires next year. I've been wanting to travel internationally for almost 20 years. When I showed my passport to security they mentioned that I forgot to sign it. I had no idea that you had to sign your passport, so I quickly did that as a line of people behind me looked on.

This was also my first time going through one of those body scanners. I really don't understand why people are freaked out about those. They are painless and add to the security of the people on the plane. I don't care if they store the scans or delete them right away.. it's just a x-ray looking scan of my naked body.. not a big deal.

Once through security was had about an hour before our flight was boarding. So Robert and I grabbed some breakfast at Burger King.

We boarded the plane and prepared for our long flight to New York. The Captain of the plain was extremely funny and really put people at ease. I've only flown a few times but he was by far my favorite Captain.

The flight itself was a big bumpy at times but for the most part was uneventful. I watched a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory and listened to some podcasts.

We got to New York and found out that we were already in the terminal that we needed to be in for our flight to Dublin. We had a 3 1/2 hour layover so Robert and I grabbed some lunch at a place that I had never heard of Cheeburger Cheeburger. They defiantly has some very tasty burgers.

We checked into our new flight, got our boarding passes and our custom cards. We boarded the plane on time and were on our way for the even longer flight to Dublin.

video

The flight to Dublin was uneventful. I sat next to a guy named Ethan who was very nice and from Ireland so we chatted for a bit. I watched a bit of TV and was happy to see that they had Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, so of course I watched that. I tried to sleep but found out that I'm not good at sleep on a plane.. besides there was a crying baby just a few rows from me and the parents didn't seem to care.. needless to say I didn't sleep at all.

We landed in Dublin at 5:30am the next day.. Day 1 of my trip was all travel. So begin Day 2.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Podcasts and Packing

T-Minus 1 Day...

Since I'm going to be gone for a month my current podcasts still need to be released during this time. I have spent the past few weeks editing my MASH 4077 Podcast and My Gimpy Life Podcast. I uploaded them and built web pages for each one. They are "set" to be released on a certain date. I also went through and pre-built tweets that will announce the release of each episode. It took some doing but all podcasts for those two series should not be interrupted and be released on time... woohoo!!!

I finished packing, since I'm going to be gone for over a month I took two suitcases and packed 15 days worth of clothing. Figured I'll be able to wash some as I go. I'm sure I over packed but I'd rather have to much then not enough.

I made sure everything was turned off at home, bills paid, windows closed and doors looked. I headed over to my buddy Robert's place as he will be joining me for the first leg of my trip (Ireland) and he lives much closer to LAX, and since our flight is at 6:30am tomorrow morning I plan on crashing at his place tonight... though I doubt I'll get any sleep... too excited!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's Almost Time!!!

T-Minus 2 Days... it's almost here.

Still having issues on finding a GPS for the trip abroad. I manged to dig my GPS out of storage but realized that it only has US maps and I could buy Europe maps but then I noticed that my GPS is very old and didn't have a slot of the memory card so it would be pointless. I put a call out there for any of my friends to be able to help me out but didn't get any responses. Guess I'll just to have deal, I'll buy a map and do it the old fashion way.

Woohoo.. just got word from my buddy Markus that we got tickets for The Warner Bros Studio tour: The Making of Harry Potter, in London and The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. Also I got Robert, Thomas and I tickets for the Guinness Tour in Dublin. Gonna be fun.

There was alot to do today (I tend to procrastinate), but I'm happy to say be the end of the day everything... with the exception of packing (which I'll finish tomorrow) is done. I am ready for the month long trip.

I took a break from all the crazy travel stuff to have lunch with my friend Jes, she took me to a new place that I haven't had before called Skinny Kitchen. It's just down the street and they have some very tasty burgers and fries and the fries are cooked with hot air (a bit healthier). After lunch we went next door to the comic book shop and I picked up the second issue of the new Serenity comic book series.

It's going to be weird not seeing my friends for a month. I think this will be the longest I have gone with not seeing them since I met the majority of them a few years ago.

In other news.. I came across this article from last year about the 2013 National Beard and Mustache Championships. Being a beard wearer myself I found some of these beards and mustaches amazing. I plan on letting my beard grow out a bit.. will see how long I'll last. Check out some of the amazing beards HERE.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

T-Minus 3 Days

4/25/14 So I'm about six weeks behind on my "daily" blog. I do plan to go back and blog everyday but of course lots happen while on my trip so it's going to take me a while to blog everything.

Now back to my regularly scheduled blog for 3/12/14

T-minus 3 days before my big "Dream Vacation" I spent today hanging out with my family. This will be the last time I see them for a month. This will be the longest I have gone without seeing my nephew and niece. On my way home I picked up some Chinese food from one of my all time favorite Chinese place Hong Kong restaurant.

I'm super excited that I'll finally be meeting online friends that I have known for years while I'm visiting Ireland/The UK. People I plan to meet/see on my trip are Thomas (who I've meet and hung out with many times when he has visited LA), Erlend (again I have met him at SDCC a few years ago) but Russ, Simon, Matt, Markus, Daniel and Phil I'll be meeting them for the very first time and I think I'm more excited about this then the actually trip.

Everything is almost ready for my trip, hostels/hotels/friends house's are booked. Car is booked, all my plane tickets are booked. I still have a few details to take care of as well as finish packing but I still have a few days to get everything done.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Prescriptions, Kissing, Believe & The Flash

Started my day by calling CVS to get some prescriptions filled before I leave for my month long trip. Only problem is I need to get approval from my health insurance company as the three prescriptions are not due to be refilled for a few more weeks. I called my insurance company and the after waiting about fifteen minutes on hold the gentleman on the other end was extremely helpful and after another fifteen minutes of talking to him my request was approved. I did find out that they raised my rates again. I was unaware of this but he said they should have sent me something months ago which they may have and I didn't get it because of the move. All I know is I thought I was paying alot before at $332 a month but now it's $457.. that's an increase of $125 a month.. that's just crazy. There is no way I'm going to be able to keep this insurance.

Because of this I am now looking into the Obamacare option, Covered California. After attempting several times to fill out the form online and crashing three times I was finally able to submit my application. All I can do now is wait and see if I am approved for some sort of subsidized insurance... fingers crossed.

A friend posted this video on Facebook and I thought it was very cute.. I love kissing but don't get to do it that often anymore. They filmed 20 strangers kissing for the first time. Not only kissing but really kissing. I think it was the combination of the black and white, music and awkward adorableness of the couples that made it a fun watch.

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I watched a new series on NBC called Believe. Levitation, telekinesis, the ability to control nature, see the future... since she was born, Bo has had gifts she could neither fully understand nor control. But now that she is 10 years old, her powers have become stronger and the threat from malevolent forces that would use her abilities to control the world has grown more dangerous. With her life and future in jeopardy, Bo's protector, Milton Winter, turns to an unlikely source to keep her safe - Tate, a wrongfully imprisoned death row inmate who's lost his will.

Tate and Bo begin an extraordinary journey, one in which trust must be earned. On the run and traveling from city to city, every place they stop and everyone they meet will be changed forever. But they'll have to keep going to stay one step ahead of the sinister forces after Bo's power... because it will take a miracle to keep them safe forever.

I really enjoyed the pilot episode. I think they establish the concept, the characters and storyline really well. The main actress who plays the little girl is fantastic, I knew a lot would rely on her acting talents and she has some. Not a big fan of this Tate character but then again I don't think you really are suppose to be a fan of his yet. The big revelations at the end of who he really is was a huge OMG moment.

I can't wait to see more of this series and see how it and her powers evolve. With the powerhouse duo of J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron, it's going to be EPIC!!!

The last thing I wanted to blog about for today was the new pictures of the upcoming new Flash series. I'm not currently watching Arrow which I know this character is spinning off from. I do hope to be all caught up on Arrow by the time this series premieres in the fall. The costume looks amazing. I'm glad it's not spandex.. it reminds me more of the new Superman costume from Man of Steel. Looks kind of old school and I love it. I can't wait for this new series.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Wholesome Families & Wicked is Coming

Dug through boxes looking for various things that I needed for my trip. I've looked through these boxes multiple times over the past three months for various things and it continues to be a pain in the butt. I know when I get back from vacation I'm going to go through all these boxes and do some major "spring" cleaning. Time to simplify my life, it's going to be tough but it's something I have to do.

Saw a link to a Honey Maid commercial that recently came out. It features' "Wholesome" Families and they included a gay couple raising two children. It's a great commercial but of course I know it will catch flack and probably won't get as much air time as it deserves. You can check out the commercial below.. along with a little piece they did on the actually family.


And I watched the new episode of Once Upon A Time from last night. It's been off the air for almost three months and the mid season finale was amazing so I was really looking forward to the rest of this season. Before the episode they did a retrospective of what has happened so far to bring viewers up to speed.

Then it was time for the new episode. They have been promoting this alot with the "new" villain being the Wicked Witch. At the end of the the midseason finale we see Storybrook disappear and everyone going back to the enchanted forest. Well everyone but Emmy and Henry, they get their memories wiped and are living in New York. 

I enjoyed this episode. It takes place one year after the mid season finale. We get to see Hook try and convince Emmy that what he is saying is true. We get to see the meeting of Robin Hood and the Evil Queen whom we know to be each other's true love. We get to see Regina try and remain one of the "good guys". Come to find out that everyone is back in Storybrooke Maine. We don't know why or how all we know is they are back and stuck again. 

So now the rest of this season will take place in Storybrooke and will get flashbacks of the Enchanted Forest from the missing year. Will find out how the Wicked Witch was able to send them back.. if she is the one responsible. Will also find out the fate of Rumpelstiltskin and the rest of the gang.

I really miss this show.. it's been one of my favorites now for three years and I'm so happy that it's finally back.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

More Travel Prep... Less Then A Week

More travel prep today.. I called my bank to let them know that I'll be traveling abroad and using my travel visa card. I don't want them to decline my charges when I'm over there. I also found out that the "normal" fee for money conversion is 3% but since this is a "travel" visa that is waived for this card.. so I can use this card for everything (and get more travel points) and not worry about being charged extra for the money conversion. Of course the US dollars sucks against the Euro and the Pound but there's not much you can do about that.

I also went to Barnes and Noble to pick up some travel books. I don't know what kind of internet access I'll be having while over there so I wanted to get some good travel books for both Ireland and Great Britain. I never realized how many different kinds of publishers there were. I looked through five or six different types and decided that I liked the "DK Eyewitness Travel" books best. What I was looking for is something that I could open up, when I'm in a certain city and then see everything there is to do in that city.

I mean I'm planning on making a list of the "big" things that I want to see while over there but I'll be traveling through alot of smaller cities and towns and you never know what kind of treasures you'll find there. These books looked to have a ton of information and easily accessible.