Thursday, May 24, 2012

Roadtrip-a-Matic- For Planning A Trip To PA


The Roadtrip-a-Matic offers dozens of ready-to-ride roadtrips for visitors to Pennsylvania looking for outdoor experiences, small town charm, historic landmarks and so much more. Whatever a visitor is looking for, the Roadtrip-a-Matic has a roadtrip for everyone. 

In this day and age, where there are electronic devices everywhere, it's hard to pick what you really need. I can still remember the days when Ben and I would travel with an Atlas of the USA, or those horrible fold up maps you can get from convienence stores. I still have not been able to get one back together again. 

We now have a GPS unit. It does help quite a bit, but if you loose signal, you are in a world of trouble. I always loose signal in Boston and New York. Two places that are extremely hard to navigate through!! 

With Roadtrip-a-Matic, you can now plan out your trip to all the hot spots in PA to visit. Your roadtrips will never be the same!! 

Ben and I have drivin twice to PA to visit Hershey Park!! We went once by ourselves (before kids) and once with the kids. They loved it!!

If you are planning a trip to visit Pennsylvania, check out Roadtrip-a-matic before you go, and plan everything from hotels, to restaurants to even gas stations!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

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Ben and I really want to hit California next year, and San Diego is one of our stops. We can hit Sea World while we are there!!

Check out Discount Hotels and find that perfect vacation for you. They even have some great Cheap Vacation Packages for any budget.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day Two In NYC For #TheAvengersEvent (Part 5)

In case you haven't been watching TV, reading the papers, magazines or my blog, or you have just been away on Mars, this is the opening weekend of Marvels The Avengers!!!

Last Saturday, I got the pleasure of interviewing Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill)  It was a huge deal for me.  How often to you ever get to sit in a room with celebrities??  

We interviewed them at the beautiful Trump Soho Hotel.  Check out the views from the suites we were in.

I was very impressed with these views, but I was even more impressed with this one!!

Yes you see it correctly.  That is Mr. Robert Downey Jr!!!!  He was staying at the hotel.  I saw him come in when we first arrived, and then as we were leaving, he was too!!  He was so close, I could have reached out and touched him!!  Of course I wouldn't.  I am a professional!!! (LOL)

Oh, and we did have an interesting first.  We got the pleasure of seeing a topless photographer.  I have to admit, she must have gotten some pretty good shots.  Who wouldn't be looking.  All though everyone who did had a "What the?" face!!!

Then we were off to the red carpet.

We were brought inside, and got to see some of the celebrities arrive.  I love these pictures below.  They not only show the actor celebrities, but they show our everyday hero's!!  The cast of the movie actually dedicated it to all of the responders of 9/11.  I thought that made the movie extra special.

Now what did I think of the movie??  I will sum it up in two words.... IT ROCKED!!!!

I love all the super hero movies, but this one topped them all!!!  There was action and a ton of humor.  I spent most of my time watching the movie laughing!!!

The characters all worked so well together (even when in the movie they weren't supposed to be!!)

I especially liked what they did with the Hulk.  Usually when he is the big green monster, he doesn't have a lot of control.  In this movie, he does much better.  He actually made a couple of jokes!!!

Now there was one thing in the movie that really ticked me off.  I don't want to spoil anything, (I know I am annoying) but this one scene was not needed, and actually made me yell "NO!!" when it happened.  Because I am taking my family tomorrow to see the movie, and I know some of you haven't had a chance to see it yet, I am not going to ruin it for you, but I hope you see what scene I am talking about, and are just as angry as I am.

Other then that one scene, I absolutely loved the movie, and I highly recommend it (and I am not just saying that!!)

Don't forget, the movie opened today.  I hope you all get a chance to see it, and please let me know what you think!!!  

**All opinions expressed are 100% my own.  I was not compensated for this post.  I was given an all expense paid trip to see the movie in New York, thanks to Disney**

Day Two In NYC For #TheAvengersEvent (Part 4)

After our terrific interview with Tom Hiddleston, we got the pleasure of interviewing Cobie Smulders!!

She is absolutely gorgeous.  Check out the dress she wore!!!  I wish I had that figure!!!

Cobie was very friendly and full of energy and spirit.  Interviewing her felt like we were all just a bunch of girlfriends having fun.  Clearly from our questions and Cobies answers, you can see we had a blast!!

Interviewer- What's it like being one of the very few women in this movie?

Cobie- It's really cool that Marvel is bringing in these strong females.  And especially with Maria Hill, it's really cool to see a strong female that's in a commanding position.  You know I was so intrigued by it.

Interviewer- Did you do special training for this?

Cobie- I did.  I actually found this guy, really oddly, through my naturopathic doctor. He would call me and be talking to me about the movie and, you know, I was saying, I want to do all this training.  And I'm looking for a place to shoot, um, learn some martial arts and he’s like, oh my gosh, I've got this great guy, and he will totally help you out.  And, um, and he did and he came to my house, a couple time a week.  And, um, helped me train but then also I think the most important thing for me was getting comfortable around guns. Because I've kind of feared them my entire life and I've never shot a real gun.  I've used prop guns on some sets and stuff.  And, and I've also only even seen them, prop guns, up until I did all this training.
But he showed up at my house and he brought over a bunch of guns.  

Interviewer- What was your most memorable moment?

Cobie- Oh gosh.  Um, oh one of the big moments I mean there’s so many.  Every single shot was really so big.  You know?  And so new too.  Not just for me but for everyone.  But, um, the first time that I showed up, um, on the Hellcarrier set.  It, it was a giant set that took up an entire sound stage.  And you- there were about two or three stairways and once you were on it, it was like you were on this high tech new age ship.  And there was hundreds of extras in S.H.I.E.L.D. uniforms and there was everywhere you looked it would pitch.  Because not- once you were on it, it felt like you were really on a ship.  

Interviewer- Did you read comics when you were younger?

Cobie- The only comics I really had were Archie comics, you know.  And I was really obsessed with Archie comics, but I didn't really, they weren't really- they were around, but they weren't really around in my life.  

Interviewer- Did you have any inspiration in creating your character?

Cobie- There was, you know, when I got the job, I scoured the internet for like hard copies of the comics that she was involved in, which was a series that she had.  And there was this one comic that I really, that I actually cut out and had with me, which was- it, it was, it was sort of a fade away and it was Maria at different ages and it's like Maria as a teenager and she’s got like a split lip and it's from somebody yelling at her, yeah and I'm like, when you hear something like that, and then like her as like a young officer.  And then her in the army and then her in S.H.I.E.L.D.  And I sort of really had that and that just helped me keep in mind where this woman had been.  And how much it's taken for her to get to where she is and how hard that has been.  And also, you know, she can maintain that sort of strength that she had.  That helped me a lot.
And then also the training helped immensely, you know, feeling physically feeling stronger and, harder, yeah.

Interviewer (ME!!)- Maria Hill is a by the book character in the comics, is that how you portrayed her?

Cobie- Well it's [SIGHS] I mean I don't think there’s a- the thing is what is in the movie, we shot a lot more and it got cut down quite a bit.  Um, she- she has- she and Nick Fury have an interesting arc.
At the beginning she’s very hard and then she kind of not softens, but she kind of, she- she sees things from his perspectives, which are a little more open, coming from him.  Um, and I think that because she- She has such a military upbringing and she is so by the book, it certainly works well with Fury because she keeps him in check.  I don't know where they'll go after this movie, but what it's really about is sort of bringing it, him bringing everyone in and her not believing in it at all.  And then her seeing that they actually do need people to save us when the big bad comes.

Interviewer (ME!!)- [In reference to finding out about getting the part] Did you do the happy dance?

Cobie- I did twice, [LAUGHTER] no I called and I called the man in the hallway [Her Fiancee']. Um, I had called him and we both were really we had like a moment together.  But yeah.  I'm Canadian, we don't do, happy dancing.

We spent a good amount of our time laughing and joking!!  Cobie was a lot of fun to interview and I hope I get to meet her again!!  Thank you Cobie!!

**All opinions expressed are 100% my own.  I was not compensated for this post.  I was given an all expense paid trip to see the Tribecca Festival, and Marvels The Avengers, thanks to Disney.**

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day Two In NYC For #TheAvengersEvent (Part 3)

OK, so I have shared what we did Friday, and how my morning went on Saturday!!!  Now here come the really exciting posts!!!

First up, here is our interview with Tom Hiddleston (AKA Loki!!!)  I have to say that

1-Tom is an extremely nice person.  He greeted us all individually, and made us feel like he was very excited to meet us.  

2- He is very good looking!!!  As Loki, he's a little scary, but in real life, he is nothing like that.  He also has a voice that would make any women swoon!!  

I wish I could play you the audio of our interview!!!

Here are my favorite Q and A's!!  I hope you enjoy his humor as much as we did!!  

Interviewer- Do you prefer being a bad guy or a good guy?

Tom- You know, it's -- I love playing both, to be honest.  There are different challenges involved in both.  am interested in flawed heroes and heroic villains, because I think nobody is -- no one's all wise or all bad,  I don't believe in moral absolutes or moral purity. There's a Stanislavski question in his Russian acting training.  He says, the first question an actor has to ask about his character is "who am I?" And a director I worked with in London said, actually, a more interesting way of framing that is -- if you divide it into two questions -- "Who do I want to be?" and "Who am I afraid I am?" and when you're playing the good guy, it's the first question: "Who do I want to be?" I want to be good and virtuous and kind and decent and funny and generous and warm.  And if I'm a bad guy, it's, like, "Who am I afraid I am?"  Jealous. Proud. Angry. Destructive. And having said that, when you play the bad guy you do get to sort of cut loose.  mean, it's not every day I get to fly around a satellite facility in NASA like it's my own personal circus.

Interviewer- I was going to ask, because I watched Thor again, do you think your character was miss-understood? 

Tom- In that film, he is.  In Avengers, he has taken that miss-understanding and swallowed it whole.  In "Thor" he's somebody who is in the moment, alongside the audience.  He's discovering the, "why" of his life's story.  He's discovered that the narrative that he's been told, of his personal history is a lie.  And so what happens is that his heart is broken, and that heart breaks kind of hard, and turns into something very angry and vengeful, unfortunately.  But I found that really beautiful, and that all came from, Kenneth Branagh, actually.  He found it fascinating to find the quality in Loki that was redeemable.  He wanted to have the audience believe until the last possible moment that Loki could be recruited to the good side.

Interviewer (ME!!)- In "Thor" I personally felt really bad for you.  absolutely loved you and I felt bad for you, because of all the bad things that had happened.  Such as finding out you were not really related to Thor and your Dad.   

Tom- Yeah, he finds out he is the illegitimate bastard son.

Interviewer (ME!!)-Are we going to feel that bad for you in this movie?

Tom- Yeah.  He does some pretty nasty things.  And on one level, it was like, I knew I had to up the menice and up the ante because there's seven superheroes that make up the Avengers, and, in order for the film to work, the film is the most redemptive, feel-good, kind of fist-pumping story.  And, in order for the audience to be pumping their fists for Iron Man, and Hulk, and Thor, and Captain America, they need to overcome a really big obstacle.  And, unfortunately, that big obstacle is me.  So I have to kind of -- I hope I have a -- I hope I have retained a sense of his kind of emotional damage.  There is a lovely scene with Chris Hemsworth where you see a glimmer of his vulnerability, but when it comes, he's sort of the same guy, he's just yielded to the dark side, you know?

Interviewer-  All these little kids want to dress up as Thor, and they love to dress up as Iron Man, but no one want's to be Loki

Tom- Last October, at the New York Comic Con, I was astonished by how much Loki love there was.  I do agree it was really most embarrassing.  Compared to seeing Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo.  Anyway, I cringe at the level of attention I received. 

Interviewer- How much research did you do for Loki?   Marvel has such a huge following, so fans already have this picture in their heads, so, I mean, obviously, they have something now from "Thor" but now you're saying he's a little bit more maniacal?

Tom- Yes.  More than a little bit, I would say.

Interviewer- Where did you get most of the research from?

Tom- Most of my stuff.  It's funny because I trained as a theater actor in London, so I don't mean to sound pretentious, but Shakespeare is always a really easy paragon for me, because he wrote such amazing characters.  So I studied more, he's more like Iago now and less like Edmond in "King Lear."  Iago is a total psychopath and, you know, in the play he basically brings down an entire culture, And you don't ever find out really why.  At the end, someone asks him, "Why did you do this?"  And he politely  responds with, "What you know, you know."

Interviewer- Did you have information on playing the primary character in the movie?

Tom- It's a nice tie in with that question.  I remember it was released online because I initially auditioned for the role of Thor.  I am 6' 2" and I can have long hair.  I was in the running for that role, but I was           
so grateful that Chris Hemsworth got it.  I think he is iconic in the role.  I hope something that people love about the film and about his character, is the way we work together.  He also has to eat so much chicken.  Every single cast member of the "Avengers" is like, Chris Hemsworth actually is Thor.  He's not acting.  Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evens were slightly flabbergasted when he walked on set for the first time.

Interviewer- Did you do your own stunts?

Tom- I did

Interviewer- What were your reactions when you read the script for the first time and realized that you had such a big role in this movie?

Tom- I did a little dance.  I really, really did, because I wasn't allowed to tell anyone.  It was so top secret, it came in paper form.  Most scripts come in electronic form now and they're all watermarked.  So if it ever leaves your hands, your name is on it.  This was only in paper form,  hand delivered.  Joss Whedon told me I was going to be the only villain, but I really couldn't believe that.  

It's the most precise, dramatic, violent, and hilarious screenplay that I've ever read.

I want to extend a big thank you to Tom, for doing this interview with us.  This was my very first celebrity interview, and I was extremely nervous.  Tom made us all laugh, and really made everything enjoyable.

**All opinions expressed are 100% my own.  I was not compensated for this post.  I was invited (all expenses paid) to the Red Carpet Premiere of Marvels The Avengers, thanks to Disney**

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day Two In NYC For #TheAvengersEvent (Part 2)

What does it take to look Red Carpet Ready??

That's a tough question, so I will show you.  Please don't be scared!!

First take a shower to make sure you are clean and smell pretty!!

Then blow dry your hair.  Yes, when you have very thick hair, it can take almost an hour to do!!

After getting over the shock of such BIG hair, then you need to spend the next hour straitening the hair, and then applying make-up.

Then viola, you are ready to meet the stars!!