Bucket List Experiences from Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas

Maria from Extra

We were picked up at our doorstep in a luxury SUV, transported to Hollywood, given a private tour of Disney’s El Capitan theatre and a behind the scenes tour of Extra, and provided VIP passes to Universal Studios for lunch. Have Fun Tours made Athena and I feel like the celebrities. The owners, Lou and Jill, personally escorted us to each new location and stayed with us during the experience. They made sure we received every luxury during the tour and treated us like family. Athena and I will remain life-long friends with Lou and Jill and treasure the connections we made during the tour. The experience was arranged via Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas as one of their daily activity options from the resort. The luxury experiences available brought our Hollywood dreams to reality. Continue reading

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Yes, This is Actually How I Spent My Day

Laughing with “Extra's” Maria Menounos

This is actually me laughing it up with with “Extra’s” Maria Menounos. Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas offer an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of “Extra” through Have Fun Tours in Newport. I had so much fun today that I fell asleep with Athena when I put her down at 6 pm. I haven’t done that since she was a newborn. Continue reading

Get Your CityPASS – Giveaway

We were able to get the most out of our week in Atlanta, Georgia with a CityPASSCNN Tour AtlantaCityPASS is available in 11 North American destinations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hollywood, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California and Toronto. More than a million happy travelers use CityPASS each year; I am one of them. Would you like to be one of them too?  Continue reading

Wickedly Good – Take Me to Oz!

Los Angeles first encountered Wicked the Musical in 2005 when it broke box office records. It returned two years later for an extended run that lasted two years. Now, Wicked is back at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, and it is so powerful that the magical spell that is casts on everyone will never be broken.  Unlike the movie, The Wizard of Oz, this musical takes us back to a time before Dorothy arrived.  It is a brilliantly imaginative back story that explains how Elfaba came to be the Wicked Witch of the West, starting with the conception that led to her being born green. It follows her relationship with Glinda after they meet at school and a misunderstanding lands them as hostile roommates who eventually become lifelong friends. The mysteries of how there came to be a Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion are revealed, as well as how the flying monkeys got their wings. With elaborate sets and costumers, memorable songs in the score, just the right amount of sentimentality in the plot line, a entire cast that was mesmerizing, and a balanced mixture of singing and spoken dialogue, the hit Broadway musical created a recognizably Wicked world. Continue reading

IRIS Brings the Sense of Wonder of Cinema to the Kodak Stage in Hollywood

I sat… wide-eyed, mouth dropped, as I watched them gracefully do the impossible, their bodies fitting together like puzzle pieces. They glided through the air with an elegance and movement that I’d never experienced before. The Aerial Straps Duo opened Cirque du Soleil’s IRIS with an atmosphere of light and shade as they soared, suspended from a single or double strap. They took off high above the stage and landed with grace and fluidity, delivering the performance of a lifetime. The show could have ended then and there and I would have felt that the tickets were well worth their price, but three more acts, in particular, took my breath away, brought tears of enjoyment to my eyes, and made IRIS the most amazing production I’ve ever witnessed. Continue reading