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Thursday 30 April 2015

Top 5 Characters in Times Square

I'm Batman.  Wait a minute... So am I.
  1. Batman
  2. Elmo
  3. Minions
  4. Toy Story
  5. Hello Kitty 
Times Square in Manhattan is known for having thousands of tourists swarming around 24 hours a day, and for having lights and advertising wherever you look.  It is also a place to find people dressed up as popular movie or TV characters.  You may even encounter people dressed as "What the hell is that supposed to be ?".  They can all be found in Times Square hoping to pose for photos and earn a buck or two.  This list includes our favourite characters.

1 ) Batman
Not dressed like Adam West Batman, (We would pay to have our photo with him) but more likely the Christian Bale Batman or Michael Keaton Batman.  Or is that Val Kilmer or George Clooney?
Anyway, it just depends on how long they have had the suit and when they decided to start wearing it in public.  If you are going to invest in a costume, Batman is a safe bet.  Although you will have a fair bit of competition.  We were also surprised not to see any Dynamic Duos.  Sorry Robin.
2)  Elmo
Everyone's favourite giggling Sesame Street monster can also be found in abundance. We once were on the New York subway when an Elmo got on at 49th street after a hard day's work.  He soon revealed himself to be one very sweaty man.
3) Minions
Minions from Despicable Me are taking over the streets.  With a Minion movie and Despicable Me 3 on the way, they are not going to disappear anytime soon.  You can spot their little yellow heads through the crowds.  When choosing a costume, minion is best left to the shorter people.  Nobody wants to take photos with a 6 foot 4 minion.  If you taller people insist on dressing as minions, may we suggest you dress as the purple guy with the crazy hair.
4) Toy Story
The popularity of Toy Story characters has yet to fade.  Maybe it has faded a bit, but Toy Story made the list mainly because Woody & Buzz never seem to be too far from each other.  This also makes them the only duo on our list.  Again, sorry Robin. 
5) Hello Kitty
Hello Kitty has worked her way from the pencil cases of Japan and into the hearts of the world.  Now she is waiting to become part of your New York vacation memories.

Aren't you a little tall for a minion?  Sorry, I got mustard on my Woody costume.

Map of Our World
Times Square

Post # 48

Saturday 25 April 2015

Grand Etang Lake

View of Grand Etang Lake.

Location: St. George's, Grenada
Address: Grand Etang Lake
Date: Nov 2001
Website:  www.grenadaexplorer.com

    During our Princess Cruise, one of our ports of call was the island of Grenada.  We took a Grenada Highlights bus tour.  One of those highlights was Grand Etang National Park.  There are many hiking trails where you can get a closer look at the plant and wildlife.  Many people mention seeing birds and mona monkeys in the park.  Mona monkeys can be found in western Africa in places like Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.   The population in Grenada was brought over from Africa many years ago and has thrived ever since. We are always on the lookout for wildlife when on vacation.  Actually, we are always on the lookout for wildlife.  Unfortunately we did not encounter anything during our brief visit.  We were also only there long enough to take in the view overlooking Grand Etang Lake.  Grand Etang Lake is formed inside an extinct volcano.  Grenada consists of several islands in what is called the Grenadines and the whole island chain is volcanic in origin.  The best known volcano is Kick 'Em Jenny which is located in the sea about 8 km north of Grenada.

Map of Our World
Grand Etang Lake

Post # 47

Monday 20 April 2015

Annandale Falls

Annandale Falls

Location: St. George's, Grenada
Address: Annandale Falls
Nov 2001

During our Princess Cruise, one of our ports of call was the island of Grenada.  This country has many waterfalls in a tropical jungle.  One of the most visited waterfalls is Annandale Falls.  To get to the falls we had to walk along a trail where several people were selling local crafts and spices.  We ended up buying a small basket with various spices inside.  Fortunately, we did not have any trouble bringing these back through customs and into our country.  We never ended up using any these spices so we cannot confirm if they were properly labelled or not.
  We didn't have far to go along the path before we could hear the roar of the falls.  Depending on the season the flow of the falls can vary.  When we visited it looked to be at full flow.  There were several local teenagers all dressed in matching shirts and offering to jump off the cliff, for a price.  If we had to guess, we would say that the cliff was about 50 feet high.  We decided to take one of the teens up on his offer. 

Watch me jump!

The jumper reached the top and raised his arms.  In the air he arched his back and held this form all the way until he disappeared into the water below.  A few moments later he emerged and climbed up onto the bank eager to go again.  Once was good enough for us, but you can decide how many jumps you want him to make by replaying the video below.

Map of Our World
Annandale Falls

Post # 46

Friday 10 April 2015

Deagle / Seaver House

Deagle, Deagle, Deagle!

Location: Burbank, California, USA
Address: 3400 West Riverside Drive
Date: Feb 2014
Website:  vipstudiotour.warnerbros.com

  While taking the Warner Brothers VIP Studio Tour our golf cart stopped right in front of the last house on Midwest Street.  Our guide let us know that this house was featured in the movie Gremlins, as well as on the TV show Growing Pains.  The house has changed a bit through the years as the extended front porch has been removed.  In Gremlins, the house belonged to mean Mrs. Deagle.  Mrs. Deagle was the owner of the Kingston Falls bank and was generally disliked.  Gremlins arrive at her front door and sing her some Christmas carols while one of them sabotages her electric stair chair.  She climbs into her chair and it runs out of control, speeds up the stairs and hurls her out the top floor window.

My God Frye. That was Mrs. Deagle.

  According to our Official Collector's Edition Gremlins Magazine, Bob MacDonald Sr. (Special Effects Supervisor) explains the troubles they encountered filming the scene.  "The first time we fired it, the dummy went clear across the street and landed on the porch of the house across the street".  That means the fake Mrs. Deagle ended up in front of this house (below), where a few years later Ross would almost take Rachel to the prom.

Here comes your knight in shining.....

  Gremlins hit theatres in June of 1984 and the following year Growing Pains first appeared on TV in September.  So it would have been just over a year from the time Mrs. Deagle abruptly moved out and the Seaver family moved in.  The house was only really featured during the Growing Pains opening credits when the family stands out front for a group shot and then they all turn and head inside.  Alan Thicke stays out front the longest as he enjoys being on camera.

Show me that smile again. Show me that smile.

  Anther appearance of this home is in The Lost Boys.  The two Coreys (Haim and Feldman) ride their bikes past as they head to church to get some holy water for their vampire problem.  The little white church is also situated on the Warner Brothers back lot.  The photo below was taken from just outside of what we affectionately refer to as the Deagle / Seaver house.

Little white church.

See more locations from the Warner Bros. Studio Backlot.

Map of Our World
Deagle / Seaver House

Post # 45

Sunday 5 April 2015

Teuscher Toronto

Teuscher Rabbit

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 55 Bloor St. West
Date: March 2015
Website:  www.teuschertoronto.com

  We were on our way to see a movie at the Manulife Centre when a window caught our eye.  It was filled with the cutest little bunnies and frogs.  It turns out they are designed to hold chocolate truffles, which made them even more appealing.   After our movie we decided to return and investigate further. (Translation:  Purchase and eat some chocolate.)
  Teuscher Chocolates originated in Switzerland and may have been one of the earliest creators of the champagne truffle.  They have been making chocolates for over 70 years now and all the chocolates are made in Zurich and then flown to their stores worldwide.  The location in the Manulife Centre is actually part of the William Ashley store.  They have many different characters to choose from including a bride and groom for that special day.  We chose one bunny and one frog and filled each of their bellies with a chocolate truffle.  The bunny is holding a little Easter basket and the frog is wearing a crown.  When the moment was right we opened the little boxes and each had a chocolate treat.  Delicious!   The best part is now the bunny and frog are waiting and ready for another truffle to be placed inside.

Teuscher Frog

Map of Our World
Teuscher Toronto

Post # 44