Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Blog!

Decided to change websites the new blog address is:

^^^Check it out! ^^^

Monday, March 29, 2010

Warner Bros. Studios VIP Tour

For over 80 years Warner Bros. has been providing the world with quality entertainment.  They have done so many projects you fail to realize how much influence Warner Bros. has had on the entertainment industry.  They've made everything from Gone With the Wind to Harry Potter and a lot in between (I am Legend, Sesame Street, Million Dollar Baby, Happy Feet, ER, The Color Purple, The Matrix, Entourage, the Departed, Friends, the Dark Knight <--Just to name a few!).

On the "VIP Studio Tour" we got a two and a half hour tour of the Warner Bros lot.  The 110 acre facility houses 29 sound stages and a backlot that has been transformed to take audiences around world.

Friends is easily one of Warner Bros most popular productions and they saved the "Central Perk" set after the series ended.

With the anticipation building for the grand opening of Universal's new theme park, Harry Potter is definitely one of the more profitable WB attractions.  Warner Bros has an entire museum floor dedicated to wizarding world with props and costumes from the movie.  It's hard for any Harry Potter fan not to get excited about trying on the actual, talking Sorting Hat from the movie.  (Unfortunately, I was sorted into Hufflepuff...but I won't hold it against them!)

(George Lopez's pimped out golf cart)

(Artwork from Mike Tyson's house in The Hangover)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

California Love: LA

During my California spring break I made a trip up to Los Angeles for the day.  LA is the city of dreams so it's impossible to do it justice in one day.  But that didn't stop me from trying!

First stop was the Santa Monica Pier and Muscle Beach.  Just west of Los Angeles, Santa Monica has the same buzz as LA but with the charm of a smaller city.  The pier is celebrating it's 100th anniversary and boasts a carnival, restaurants, and shops all on the water.

The next stop was Rodeo Dr. and Beverly Hills.  My cross country plane ticket maxed out my bank account so I didn't do any shopping on Rodeo but I couldn't have afforded it anyway.  Beverly Hills is everything you'd imagine it to be.  Every house is gorgeous and there is an even prettier Bentley, Lamborghini, or Rolls Royce in the driveway.


You can't go to LA without falling into the tourist hotspots in Hollywood.  Once you catch a glimpse the famous Hollywood sign and you know that you are in the place where peoples dreams have come true.

Even in the off season Hollywood Boulevard is crowded with people.  People from all over the world come to walk down the same streets as their favorite celebrities.  The Walk of Fame is the first thing you notice as you approach Hollywood Blvd.  You see the stars on the street of every celebrity you've ever heard of and a lot that were probably dead and gone before we were born.  

(Halle Beeerrrrrryyy, Halle Berry.)

The Walk of Fame leads you to Grauman's Chinese Theatre.  Grauman's is home to countless movie premieres and red carpet appearances.  For decades stars have left their mark on the city by putting their hand prints and signatures outside of the historic theatre.  It may be cliché but you can't leave without measuring up your hands against the stars.  

"Change the World."- Will Smith

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The World Famous San Diego Zoo!

The World Famous San Diego Zoo tops everyone's To Do List of San Diego and for good reason.  It is definitely the best zoo I have ever been to and my one day there did not do it justice.

At the zoo the big cats are definitely king.  I must have picked a good day to go because all of the cats were out on the prowl.

The Zoo's jaguar paraded in front of her exhibit first.  She wasn't too hard to spot, she even stopped to pose for some great pictures.

They were walking this cheetah to a show he was appearing in.

As we walked up to the lion exhibit this guy was trying to prove he was king and was roaring away so I took a video.

Something that really makes the San Diego Zoo stand apart from other places is the landscaping and the attention to detail.  Each section of the zoo had a unique theme and design that was executed well.  Overall the Zoo was one of the most enjoyable parts of the trip.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Going Back to Cali!

Inflight internet is best invention since 1903 when the Wright bros invented the airplane itself!  I'm sitting here at 10,000 ft in a cramped coach seat and absolutely no room for my 6'5 legs but the internet is making this 4 hour flight FLY by (pun intended)!

Headed back to southern California to visit my family for Spring Break and this time I brought some roommates/friends!  We plan to hit up the beach in San Diego for a few days and then take a day trip to LA to see some more Cali sights and sounds.

This will be my fourth trip back to back to Southern Cali and I'm more excited than ever, I think LL Cool J said it best in Going Back to Cali:  "Going back to Cali, stylin, profilin. Growlin, and smilin, while in the sun"

(@ Hartsfield-Jackson Intl Airport waiting on the flight)

Look out during the next week for some new blog posts from LA, San Diego and Southern Cal!!!!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Don't Just Go...L.E.A.D.!"

(Table Mountain

This summer I'm getting the opportunity of a lifetime to go on a study abroad trip to Cape Town, South Africa!  Since South Africa is hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup everyone who is anyone (including me!) will be in the country!

I'm really excited because the Global L.E.A.D. program that I am participating in is the most comprehensive study abroad program I've ever seen.  LEAD is an acronym for Leadership, Education, Adventure, and Diplomacy and part of the program is dedicated to each of the ideals.

From cage diving with Great White Sharks to the world's largest bungee jump to renovating a run down school and meeting with local children to meeting with Nelson Mandela's cellmate and other world class leaders to an African safari to touring wine country and the garden route to hiking mountains this program literally has it all.  (Sorry if your a stickler for grammar, because clearly I'm not! haha but you get the point! I'm excited!)

The hardest part of this whole thing is trying to concentrate in school until May when I know I have all of this to look forward to!  But only 3 more months I guess...

(On safari -

(Winery just outside of Cape Town

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lakers Game up the Pacific Coast Hwy

The drive between San Diego and Los Angeles takes you along one of the most historic routes in the country. You can take the 4oo+ mile, scenic Pacific Coast Highway (US-101 & California State Route 1) all the way to LA and up the coast to Monterey, CA. Voted one of the best sites to see in the state, the PCH boasts breathtaking views of California coastline. It's marked with wooded hillsides and powerful surf crashing into the rocky cliffs.


After a drive up the PCH there's no more California way to end your day than a Los Angeles Lakers game! The defending champs played at home last week and one of our family Christmas presents was tickets to the game. It was great seeing the Staples Center, one of the most famous venues in the country, in person.
(camera phone pics, sorry)
After all of the hype surrounding the team it's always fun to see some of the best players in the country battle it out on the court.

Found a few little tastes of home in Southern California!

(Hot dog stand in the Staples Center, apparently they like to "Let the Big Dawg Eat" in LA too!)

(An Old Navy store outside of San Diego had this Georgia shirt for sale. I almost bought it just to support the Bulldog Nation!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in Paradise!

My aunt from the Windy City, which is covered in snow right now, poised a question the other day that got me thinking: "What does Christmas look like in paradise?!"

Truthfully winter in San Diego looks exactly the same as it does anywhere else. The biggest difference is that you can walk around in shorts and a t-shirt during the day! Besides the 65 degree sunny weather the California Christmas it is not unlike any other season.

Coming from the Bible Belt, it's not unusual to see every house on a street deck out from driveway to rooftop in decorations and lights carefully and beautifully executed. In San Diego the lights seem to be thrown on the houses in a very hasty Cali fashion. Something else I noticed is that none of the houses here are symmetrical! Every house has an weird, uneven shape and no two are alike. So most of the sloppy lights look odd either way!

But no matter your location, Christmas is what you make of it. It's not about lights on houses, presents under trees, or a reef on the door. Christmas is about time spent fellowshiping with family, friends, and Christ.

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. ~W.T. Ellis

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pomp & (Wintery) Circumstance in the Carolinas

On the eve of one of the biggest storms to hit the east coast in a long time my cousin and I made a risky trip northbound for our cousins graduation from North Carolina State University. After going back and forth all day with wether or not to brave the weather we finally decided to be adventurous and departed ATL around 9pm. Following some research of radar weather maps and some clever navigating we successfully avoided the brunt of the tempest.

Since we arrived in Raleigh at 3:30am we were justifiably a little late to the ceremony that began at 9am at the Wolfpack's basketball arena. Nobel Prize winner and NC State alumnus, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri was slated to be the keynote speaker but fell ill at the last minute. The Chancellor, who was blinged out like T-Pain (see below), said a few words instead.

(The Chancellors chain looked like some of the bling that rapper, T-pain wore in this music video.)

After the ceremony and convocation ceremony for the College of Design my cousin took us on a short tour of the campus and we posed for dozens of the traditional graduation groups photos.

Coming from warm Georgia I spent the entire time hoping to see some snow that was promised by every weatherman on the east coast. Unfortunately I left a little disappointed on the snow front but overall it was great to see my cousin become an alumnus.

(Fun Fact: the Bell Tower @ NC State doesn't actually have a bell inside. It's just a recording played over a speaker system.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

SoCal: Tuition Protests & Tom Cruise

On campus at UCLA I got a taste of some of protests against the University of California tuition increases. We passed many of the buildings involved in the sit-ins some of which had signs posted in the windows.

("Freeze The Fees")

Back in San Diego we toured the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum. This massive ship houses 25 restored naval aircrafts and scores of flight simulators. The self guided audio tour takes you through the life of a naval sea man inside the ship.

To anyone familiar with the movie Top Gun seeing the sights and sounds of San Diego will bring back some familiar memories. With most of the scenes of the movie filmed in this region it is easy to be taken back into the 1986 movie. Walking through the deck of the aircraft carrier it is to see yourself on the silver screen with "Maverick" and "Goose!"

(USS Midway flight deck)

"It Never Rains In Southern California"

On my first visit to southern California in July I failed to realize the beauty of the climate here. In the middle of summer the temperature tops out at around 80 degrees (which is cold for a Georgia boy). But in the middle of November the temperature tops out at around 80 degrees! Which is amazing coming from Georgia! The other beautiful thing about the weather here is it never rains! In the four months my family has lived here it here "it has maybe rained 3 or 4 times"

On day 1 of this trip to San Diego I decided to journey with my brother through the hills of California near our home on bicycle. Not having ridden a bike for years I struggled up and downs the hills and valleys of southern Cali. Thoroughly tired and sore I was ready to head home.

Day 2 started off early with a voyage north to Los Angelos! We went on college tours of some of the best schools this region has to offer. The first tour was of the University of Southern California. Living on the east coast all you hear of USC is Trojan Football but the school as a lot to offer outside of the football field.

(USC Library)

Next stop was the University of California-Los Angelos. This week was an interesting time to visit both institutions because the inter-city rivals play in their most anticipated game of the season on Saturday. In preparation for the big USC-UCLA football game both schools took careful measure to protect the statues of their mascots from the other.

At USC a group of students known as Trojan Knights wraps Tommy Trojan in duct tape and bubble wrap and guards him 24 hours a day for the week prior to the game. UCLA takes a different approach by just installing a tarp that is dead-bolted in place. But both schools are buzzing with the excitement of the upcoming game. I don't think you could have picked a better time to visit these institutions with each school overflowing with school pride!

(UCLA campus)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Any true fan of the Bulldog Nation knows that the annual trip to see the Dawgs play in Jacksonville is a must! With a 'new breed of bulldog ready to take the field of battle' the bulldog faithful all rally in Jacksonville for the big game. The fact that the Florida Gators are the #1 team in the nation did not seem to keep any dawg fans at home. There was a strong showing of Red & Black crossing the state line for the big game.

According to the very credible source of Wikipedia: tailgating is "a social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle." Normally, I am not able to tailgate because I work with the UGA Football team for home games. So I was excited about getting the opportunity to socialize with other fans prior to kickoff. For this game I was able to take tailgating to a whole new level. Tailgating in parking lots is old news, everyone who's anyone is now tailgating on yachts!

The actual football game may have had an undesirable outcome for the bulldogs but I did not let that sour my day. Good people, great food, and beautiful scenery on an amazing boat can always help relieve the pain from a loss. It's better to be a Georgia Bulldog after a loss than to support any other team! Go Dawgs!