Archive for the roadtrip Category

AWESOME-tober-fest 2008!!! I survive Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights!!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Florida, Halloween, Halloween Horror Nights, holiday, Orlando, reviews, roadtrip, Universal Studios with tags , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2008 by Paxton

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Welcome to Week 3 of AWESOME-tober-fest!!! Hope you’ve enjoyed the first two weeks so far. I started off week 1 talking about creepy Halloween sodas. Then, on week 2, I discussed a few of my favorite scary movies. What’s on deck for this week? Well, as teased to you at the end of last week’s article, Steph and I took the plunge and went to our first Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights this past weekend. Universal Studios theme parks hold this event annually and this year marked the 18th year they have done it. I’ve been wanting to go since we moved down to Jacksonville but we never did and thanks to some cheap, discounted tickets at work, we were able to do it this year. In case you didn’t know, ever since around 1990, during the Halloween season, Universal Studios closes its doors (along with Islands of Adventure) around 5:30 – 6pm and clears out all the people. Universal then sets up the scare zones and haunted houses and opens the doors again for people who bought Halloween Horror Nights tickets (yes, it’s a separate ticket). There are as many as 8 haunted houses that are setup in various parts of the park as well as what are called scare zones. In these scare zones are park employees who dress up in scary costumes and follow around patrons trying to creep them out or scare them. Like the haunted houses, each scare zone has a different theme, usually based around what haunted house is near it. Halloween Horror Nights usually has an overall theme each year, too. Last year, with Freddy, Jason and Leatherface it was called the Carnival of Carnage. The year before that they did a “best of” theme with all the best haunted houses and scare zones from the years prior.  This year, the overall theme was Bloody Mary; which included famous myths, legends and fairy tales.  Bloody Mary is the spririt that would appear to you in a mirror if you said her name 3 times.  She’s in the picture below on the right.

It’s a pretty cool theme if you ask me and I was very excited to see what Universal did with it.  So, after work on Friday, the wife and I took off for Orlando and our scary Halloween adventure. Continue reading

My Guide to Savannah, Georgia Part II

Posted in books, Georgia, movies, pop culture, reviews, roadtrip, Savannah on April 17, 2008 by Paxton

Okay, today is Part II of my guide to Savannah, GA. If you missed Part I then go ahead and click here to get caught up (even if you already read it, go back and relive it, trust me, it’s just as awesome during the second read through).

All done? Good, then continue reading to hear more about my schoolgirl-like crush on Savannah, GA.

Forsyth ParkSo, after reading Part I, I bet you are thinking to yourself, “Fine, Pax, we get it, you and Steph eat a lot. Wonderful. What else is cool about Savannah?” I would answer that this is a great question (although your tone was rather rude). Honestly, there’s a good mix for everyone. If you enjoy shopping, they have some of the newer stores the young kids are loving today like Gap, but the City Market has the coolest nick-nack and souvenir shops. On our first trip to Savannah we went into this souvenir shop that was having a book signing by an author that lives in the Savannah area named Murray Silver. He was promoting his book Behind the Moss Curtain which included short stories centered in and around Savannah. Steph and I got to talking to him (it wasn’t busy at all in the store) and he mentioned that he had written the book Great Balls of Fire on which the Dennis Quaid movie was based. My ears perked up and I said, “What, What?” I loved that movie. I asked him about writing the book and what it was like. He talked to me about meeting Jerry Lee Lewis and the difference between the book he wrote and the movie. It seems the studios changed the tone of the book completely when they made the movie. The movie was much more over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek whereas the book was a little bit more harsh with Jerry and the tone was a lot darker. He said he may still have a few copies of the book at his home and if he found one I could have it, if I returned the next day. I thanked him and said I’ll be back the next day to see him. Like I said, I returned the next day and *BAM* he slapped the below paperbound tome of awesomeness in front of me (click on the pic for a bigger view):

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My Guide to Savannah, Georgia Part I

Posted in books, food, Georgia, movies, reviews, roadtrip, Savannah, TV shows on April 11, 2008 by Paxton

This is the article I was trying to finish last week and couldn’t do it. There was just too much to talk about. Well, I think I got it all in. It got a little long, so I’m cutting the article in two. Part I is today.

Hope you enjoy!

Bird GirlThe weekend before last, the wife and I made our third visit to Savannah, GA. It was for her birthday. It is one of our favorite places to go because there is so much history in this little city and there’s so much to do. Lots of great restaurants, cool site-seeing tours and many places of interest can keep one busy for hours. History buffs can appreciate all of the early American history and buildings and Hollywood buffs can appreciate all of the Hollywood movies and tv shows that have been filmed here. When we lived in Birmingham, AL, we were a whopping 6 hours away, but now that we live in Jacksonville, FL we are only 2.5 hours away. And we love it.

One of the things my wife and I love about the city is the atmosphere. It’s quintessential Old South. Spanish moss in the trees, old Victorian style mansions, small streets, old architecture and many historical places of interest all lend a wonderful all-around aesthetic that causes one to get lost in history. It really is great to just walk around the neighborhoods and look at the old style homes and buildings. Steph and I could do just that, walk around for hours looking at old buildings. It really is amazing.

Wet Willie'sWhen we first get to Savannah, we love to walk Riverstreet. It runs right along the river (obviously) and has many shops and restaurants in which we love to go and browse. Our favorite place to stop on Riverstreet? That would be Wet Willie’s. It’s a daiquiri bar that serves up like 10 tasty alcoholic daiquiris that Steph and I love. They have one daiquiri called Call-A-Cab that is really good and the strongest one they serve, as well as a banana one called Monkey Shine. When Steph is in “vacation mode”, however, she reaches for the White Russian daiquiri. With ice cream, coffee flavoring and grain alcohol it tastes like an Irish coffee latte (gross, in my opinion, but who am I to judge?). Me? I summon to my outstretched hand, Shock Treatment. It’s very similar to one of my favorite mixed drinks of all time, the Blue Hawaiian. It’s 150 proof grain alcohol, Blue Curacao and lemonade (FYI…a Blue Hawaiian adds coconut and is “on the rocks”). It’s tart enough to contort your grill into a cartoon-like pucker and strong enough alcohol-wise to put you on the floor if you aren’t careful. My kind of drink. Funny, this is usually Steph and my first stop when we get to Savannah. Even before eating (which is surprising). After Willie’s, we wind up stumbling out into the light of day like newborn babes as we make our way to our other destinations.

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Ode to Blake’s Lotaburger – New Mexico Style

Posted in Albuquerque, Blake's Lotaburger, fast food, food, New Mexico, roadtrip with tags , , on February 14, 2008 by Paxton

Blake's Lotaburger sackI’m going on a roadtrip this weekend to visit my brother in Chicago. Thinking about that, I thought I would take a moment to discuss my last roadtrip I took back in January to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Whenever my wife and I go on one of our trips, pretty much the only thing that’s planned ahead of time is where we are going to eat. And even then, when we are currently eating breakfast, we still plan on what’s for lunch. Then at lunch, we gotta plan dinner. It’s this vicious gluttonous cycle that continues every place we go. And I love it.

So, when we planned the January trip to visit her family back in Albuquerque, we had to come up with a list of places to eat. For me, when we head back to the Southwest, there are only two places on my list, and the first is Blake’s Lotaburger. The second is any good Mexican food place which includes a variety of places like Gardunos or any place in Old Town. But the main one, like I said, is Blake’s.

For the uninitiated, Blake’s is a New Mexico only burger joint with some of the best fast food I’ve ever eaten. Steph’s grandmother, Millie, and Aunt Terry are always accommodating and super-nice to constantly make time in our visiting schedule to eat at Blake’s. Sometimes, we are there multiple times…in a day. When there, I’ve seriously had to curb my desire to tell Aunt Terry and Millie that I think I may move all my stuff to Blake’s and just sleep there. I’ll put my sleeping bag in a booth and awaken to the smell of the meaty and toasted bunly goodness of the Blake’s burgers. Ummmmmmmmm…just thinking about it now makes my knees weak………………………………

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My Pictures from Paris

Posted in France, Paris, personal, roadtrip on April 11, 2007 by Paxton

Bon jour, everyone. I finally edited down and uploaded the pictures my wife and took in Paris. We took close to a hundred pics, but I picked some of the best ones and added them to a Flickr set. I’ll be going through and adding some more maybe this weekend, but there are 39 photos currently uploaded. Check them out, let me know what you think.

Click here to go to my Paris Set on Flickr

Want a quick preview? Okay.

Paris 2What is this? Is this Little Red Riding Hood’s house? The 7 Dwarves? WTF?! No, this is one of the 15 or so buildings in a little village that Marie Antoinette used as a getaway. It’s tucked away on the grounds of the palace at Versailles. Pretty cool, huh? I thought so.

Paris 1This is me on the second level of the Eiffel Tower. If you look, you can see the barely restrained fear in my eyes. I’m pretty scared of heights. When I was in New York, I went to the top of the Empire State Building. It was all I could do to not completely lose all composure and drop to the ground in the fetal position. IT WAS SO HIGH. Well, the second level of the Eiffel Tower is higher than the Empire State Building but you get more room to walk around. It wasn’t as bad as I expected.

There are 37 more pics in my Flickr set with some of my comments. Check it out, hope you enjoy it.

I have a new Energy Drink Review artlcle coming up next week (maybe even Friday) and some more good stuff. Stay Tuned.