Edmonton Tourist: The Science Behind Pixar

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Anyone who knows me well has a sense that I am an animation fan, specifically, a Disney/Pixar fan. I spent hours in my youth drawing and creating. I had originally wanted to be a Disney Clean-up Artist. A Clean-Up Artist removes all the extra lines to reveal a polished image. It is more creative than you think and much more involved than having an eraser,

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You know its Woody and Buzz, but the Clean-Up hasn’t happened yet. 

For reasons that coincide with what I refer to as the Dark Times, I didn’t get out of Edmonton, never mind finding my way to Los Angeles. However, that didn’t change how I felt about the artistry of animation. The level of detail is always what pulled me in. From my first moment on Main Street in Disneyland to searching for Easter Eggs hidden in movies, I enjoy all of it. So when my son came home back in November and said, “We just saw The Science of Pixar at Telus World of Science (TWOS). I think you will love it.”

 

He was not wrong.

I had planned to go to Bon Ton Bakery with every other Edmontonian on Saturday. TWOS is down the street, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to go! Bon Ton had a line outside in the dark waiting to get in, happily, I arrived at 9:03 am after the doors opened but the wait was going to be about 30 minutes.

 

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I enjoy the politeness and the information of this sign. Thank you TWOS for having a cheeky sign I can relate to.

 

Baked goods in hand, I left for TWOS and decided I would not go see it if there were a million kids, I would plan on going on the Adult Only night. I wanted to be able to take my time and thoroughly experience it. I can’t do that when I am letting kids try stuff.

We walked into the foyer and we were the only people there. The place was empty. The first day of Christmas break and the building was full of staff and a handful of visitors.

The cost was $30 per person (ish- it was actually a little less) The recommend 1.5 hours to go through the exhibit. I agree. To fully experience it, you need to watch all the videos and try out the interactive parts. I found this fascinating.

The first part was the introduction video. It had a cameo of John Lasseter, I am not going to lie, his shenanigans have left a dark mark for me on Pixar. But his abuse of power does not negate his creative brilliance. Then I think, there are other brilliant people in this world and maybe it is their time to shine. At any rate, I entered with mix feelings.

The exhibit has the following steps of an animated CG film:

  • Modeling
  • Rigging
  • Surfaces
  • Sets & Cameras
  • Animation
  • Simulation
  • Lighting
  • Rendering

I participated and at every section and watched every video interaction. I was blown away by the level of detail that goes into each frame.

Modeling was the least interesting for me yet it was fascinating at the same time!

It takes place after the storyboards and character development. The clay models are used to scan and get the image into the computer program so it can be animated.

Rigging was next, this step gives movement to that character, it makes all the parts move, from facial expressions to limbs moving.

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Surfaces add texture, it makes McQueen shiny and Mator rusty, Skully furry and Mike smooth. Such an involved process!

Sets and Cameras, where to put the camera determines the look of the set. This was facinating. IMG_8357

Animation, I basically learned it is all stop motion on a very advanced level. I gave it a try with the Pixar lamp and learned I do not have the patience for 26+ movements per second. I took a video of it and the lamp moved in a choppy motion. Although to be fair, I didn’t have the time to really do it justice,  it was super finicky.

The Simulation was all physics. Trying to get curly hair or fur to move the way it does, in reality, was a series of equations that simulated springs. Thinking about how to achieve the end result. Problem-solving at its finest!

Lighting was cool, I played with sets and sun levels, turning on and off interior lights. possibilities were endless…

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Rendering blew my mind away. It basically is a mathematical equation for colouring each pixel. The guy based his math on the hydrogen bomb equation and won an Oscar for it.

This exhibit gave me my Disney fix. I hadn’t been since January 2016 and it doesn’t look like I am going anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean I am not fascinated by it all. I enjoyed wandering around and looking at the artist’s renditions. People are crazy talented and I  admire their ability.

Is it for kids? Sure kids will find it fun, but it isn’t a playroom. there are buttons to push and characters they will recognize. I think kids over 8 will get more out of it but the science and math involved will be out of range.

If you are an animation fan, Pixar or Disney fan, then this is a must-see when it gets to your neighborhood. Right now it is touring in Edmonton until January 7th and is also at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. It was developed by the Boston Museum of Science and Pixar. When it comes to your city, go see it!

Riddle me this: Why can’t I have a ‘normal’ vacation like everyone else?

I have been away on vacation, and surprise surprise….I went to Disneyland!

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When most people travel and their friends ask them how their vacation was, normal people answer “It was great!” or with “It was fine!”

Not me…

My friends asked me how my vacation was and I answered, “Awesome but weird.”

Weird?

You betcha!

The weather was great by Canadian standards, but by local standards it was cold. It was hilarious to see people dressed in parkas and toques. Translation : winter coats and wool hats. I wore flip flops and capris…very summery attire for October apparently.

The people I met were super friendly! But why is it that once someone finds out I am from Canada, I hear endless stories about New Jersey or Philly? “Oh you are Canadian? Cool! It must be hot for you here…let me tell you about my Uncle’s fungus on his toenail.”

Yeah…. awesome. And being Canadian, I just can’t tell him to feck off…I listen politely and act all sympathetic. Poor bastard.

I went to my secret spot for Fantasmic! The Trusty Steed thought it was necessary to tell THE ENTIRE PLANET about the secret spot….so when we got there it was crowded…well played Trusty, well played. However, because I am friends with New Yorkers and a hockey fan, I have learned the time honored tradition  of ‘Elbows Up’ to secure a spot.  The great news is because I combine it with my ‘Canadian kindness’ I scored a super spot next to an off duty cast member who shared secrets with me. But UNLIKE like the Trusty Steed…I can keep a secret.

I made sure the littles (people shorter than me) were placed in front of me so they could see. I made room for a gal in a wheel chair so she could see and gave her niece crap about blocking her view. “I didn’t give up my awesome spot so an able body YOU could have it and block your aunts view…get out of there missy!” This act of kindness earned me a Jesus preaching about how kind I am and how he must smile down on me…truth be told, this was awkward. 

I learned that Latina grannies are scaredy cats. I was standing in the queue waiting to board Radiator Racers when this granny turns to me and tells me her daughter is making her ride this scary ride (for the record RR is tame, no loops, no drops, it is basically a faster dark ride that is AWESOME). She asked me how it compared to Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road, I replied that it isn’t a coaster, it is fairly tame but then the cars race at the end, but it isn’t as fast as driving on the I5. She accused me of lying. So I replied with, “I am Canadian! You can trust me!” She then smiled and held my hand.

Before I knew it she had climbed into my lap and was screaming like a banshee in my ear. She had a death grip that reviled Spock’s Vulcan nerve pinch.  I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard or had that many bruises from saving someone. I think I am ready for any Zombie Apocalypse.

I went to Mickey’s Halloween Party on Monday night. I had never been and it was fun! You line up to get your wristband earlier in the day. Mine was 11. I SERIOUSLY CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP!!! Eleven is my number without even trying.

Seriously? 11?
Seriously? 11?

I personally know about a billion people. I can go anywhere and run into someone I know. It annoys my sister to know end. Seattle for the weekend? You bet! London in the summer? Absolutely! Calgary for the day? Of Course! So when I am in Disneyland? I ran into a great friend who I NEVER run into at home. I have to travel to a different country to see her! But it was all good and she looked fantastic! Hi Alisa!1077043_10152008043881337_474202756_o

There is something about me that attracts children and Disney Surveyors. NEVER MAKE EYE CONTACT with a surveyor…not that avoiding them helped. No less than 7 surveyors stopped me to ask questions. 7! I was in the parks 5 days! I would hide, look the other way, walk the long way around and was captured EVERY TIME.

I better get a promo code out of the deal…

Kids are another story. I love them to BITS when they aren’t mine. I can stand in a queue, minding my own business and kids will talk to me, reach out to me to hold them or ask if I how I feel about Ben Affleck as the new Batman (for the record, I think his wife would make a better batman. She kicks royal a$$). But the best and weirdest interaction, goes to the little girl who just left Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. She was dressed as Cinderella in a sparkly blue gown. Her hair was pulled up in a bow with a giant fake bouffant sticking on the top of her head. She was covered in head to toe in sparkles. She held one side of her dress, ready to twirl at a moments notice. She would not stop making eye contact with me. When I smiled at her, I said, “you look beautiful, Princess” Well, that earned me a full on SONG. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” She put Ariel to shame. WOW it was hard not to laugh until I cried. 

Why didn’t I laugh, you ask?

DUDE! She was SERIOUS! Never hurt a little kids feelings!!! She felt special and I honored it…however, it will remain my ALL TIME FAVORITE MEMORY  until my next Disney trip in January, where I am sure someone will top that.

 

Question: How far is a marathon anyways? Answer: Not 3km

I had one of those moments today when I looked a the person and thought to myself “How come you aren’t dead? Surely your stupid actions and words should have killed you by now.” Then because I wanted to know how he survived so long, I said out loud, “What is your Super Power?”

Apparently dumb luck. Lots of people have this super power.

By now you are thinking – what the hell are you talking about Tourist?

I was standing by the photocopier (a school equivalent to a water cooler) and asked a fellow teacher (male) what his plans were for the weekend. I know it’s only TUESDAY, but seriously people – teachers are BONE TIRED and cannot wait to sleep for a week because YOUR children exhaust me are awesome.

Anyway Teacher Guy began to tell me his plans for the weekend.

TG- I am running a marathon his weekend!

Me- Wow congratulations! Training is brutal and so time consuming, I really admire marathon runners! So tell me, how many miles did you average a week? Where are you running? Did you fund raise?

TG- Naw, it’s not a big deal. I didn’t train. I am just going out there and giving it a shot.

Me- HOLY CRAP MAN, no training? You are a rock star!

TG- Naw…it’s only 3km.

Me- …..Picture a thought bubble (dude you have just insulted an entire culture of people and highlighted your stupidity)

Silence for several minutes while he stood there thinking he was a rock star.

Me – Dude, tell me what you think a marathon is.

TG- a fun run.

Me- It can be, but usually people can barely breathe by the end and their body hurts so much it isn’t very fun after a while.

TG- it’s only 3k!

Me- 3K is a fun run. A Marathon is 42k.

He looked at me like I was kidding him. Then I said,

Me- I am indignant on behalf of every person who has ever run MARATHON – the entire 42KILOMETER race. Those people deserve medals. I can appreciate 3k being a challenge, it is an amazing goal to be a short or long distant runner. But to say a marathon is just a 3k fun run is insulting!

TG- Whatever…. same thing.

Me- Not the same thing. I challenge you to run the ING in August. ALL 42 Freaking Kilometers and then tell me it’s the same.

TG – Not a problem. I’ll do it.

Me- And I will be there with a body bag to collect you.

TG – Challenge accepted.

TG is also a Maple Leaf fan, doesn’t that say it all? WOW! I was reading a blog entry today from my favorite marathoner. The Bronx Turtle had a similar conversation with on a telephone conference today. Read it, it is hilarious. He felt embarrassed that people think he is nuts. Well for starters, The Bronx Turtle is running a marathon a month, A MONTH PEOPLE! that is 12 marathons this year for WDW Radio’s Dream Team Project.  He is raising funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation. And he felt embarrassed? WHAT? I think it is amazing what he is doing. Especially the part where there is NO SCHEDULED marathon for June around his home in New York City – let’s all cry him a river. Poor guy lives in Manhattan with Central Park as his back yard….boo hooo… (Jeeze Tourist, jealous much?) So Turtle is going to run around Manhattan, by himself, with no support for water or energy junk, to help himself achieve this amazing feat of a marathon a month, 42 kilometers ON foot with no one cheering him on, handing him water, or placing a medal around his neck. All to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation. He isn’t the first person I know to do this. Another Goal Setter (that is her name) did this July 5th last year.

I feel sorry for them. Part of the fun of doing these races is bragging rights. Bragging rights need a medal. When you run that far on your own, no one gives you a medal. I have decided to take matters into my own hands. These people deserve to be recognized for there amazing actions and as a preschool teacher, I have the ability to do something about it. What you may ask? I am making them each a Macaroni Necklace Medal. The need to hang something on their wall when THAT GUY comes over and says “so what…no big deal”

The other part of this story that I find so amazing is fundraising for Make-A-Wish Foundation. Without thinking too hard (it is June people and my brain is fried) I can recall 4 children who were recipients of a precious wish.

One little girl I know received a hot tub and gazebo attached to her home. She needed water therapy to keep her limbs active. She is unable to stand on her own, so the water gives her a freedom from her chair.

Another little girl’s wish was to go to Walt Disney World. She needed supports in the form of oxygen and limited time in the parks because it would be so exhausting. But what little kid doesn’t want to be a princess for a day or 3? The Village down there had Oxygen hook ups in her room and Disney sent princess’ and mice over to the village where they wouldn’t have to fight crowds, just to spend time with her. Disney knows how to throw a party and 7 years later, she still lights up when she talks about it.

I had a student in my class one year who had cancer. He wanted to meet his hero Gizmo Williams, a CFL Edmonton Eskimo. Gizmo made it there 4 days before he died. They spent the day together and my little friend wore Gizmo’s jersey everyday. They buried him in it.

I know another little boy who was just granted a wish. He will get to go to Disneyland this summer to have his dream come true.

Make-A-Wish seems frivolous to some people, these people think the money could be better spent finding cures, or research. The bottom line is research wasn’t going to help my little friend who died. He was able to spend his last living days with a hero. His mom was granted happiness to see her little boy happy with stars in his eyes. What parent doesn’t want that for their child? I know I do.

I am heading over to the WDW Radio Dream Team Project and making a donation in support of The Bronx Turtle – his real name for the donation form? Joe Kolinsky – marathon man.

I think you should follow Joe because he is funny, does stupid things, and a great writer. I think you should support his cause and tell him he isn’t running for nothing.

Click here to have more information on the Dream Team Project

Click here to make a donation to Make-A-Wish Foundation to support Joe Kolinsky

 

 

Faith, Hope and Trust and a little bit of Pixie Dust

Jiminy Cricket / Pepe GrilloIt is no secret that I love the magic of Disney. There is something about the way I feel as I wander down Main Street. I am suddenly transported back to my very first visit.

I was six. As with most of the great vacations of my life, the entourage was present. The faces have changed over the years and new ones were born to be added to the entourage, but there is something about traveling with a large group of people you love being with that makes the vacation that more special. The cast of characters were my parents, my brother (1 1/2 years my jr.), my mom’s baby sister (6 years my senior), my moms friend from childhood (they were friends since they were 10) and her husband and young sister.

Now, memories that stick out for me were sitting on the sidewalk watching the parades go by. I remember meeting Mickey and being so nervous I thought I might spew right on Main Street and singing on the balcony at the Motel 6 with my Aunt. We were famous for putting on song and dance shows and were constantly in rehearsal preparing for that day when we would have a show of our own…we are still waiting by the way, but we are still prepared!

My Aunt bought a box of lemon drops from the Candy shop on Main Street. It was a clear square plastic box with Jiminy Cricket figurine fix firmly to the lid. She doled them out sparingly, savouring the memory that it provided. The memory was the thrill and excitement of Disneyland seen through our eyes. We saw Magic. The amazing part of it all is I can walk down Main Street at the age of 44 and STILL see the magic I saw as a child of 6. That is why I love that place so much. I remember the feeling, the smells, the sounds and being incredibly happy. Inside the box of lemon drops once it was empty-ish…was tiny sparkles of sugar. At the time I knew it to be Pixie Dust. The magical sparkles from Tinkerbelle. The very dust that offered magic at your finger tips so you could fly.

Being the person I am, I licked my finger and stuck it in the pixie dust when no one was looking. I carefully examined the dust on my fingers. I thought about sprinkling it in my hair and thinking a good thought so I could fly. However, I owned a cape and could fly with it instead. Careful not to waste this pixie dust, I licked it.

Eating the pixie dust would ensure I carried it with me forever. Imagine having the possibility of being forever magical. I was going to make it happen.

I licked my finger.

I swallowed it.

I was forever magical.

The thing about pixie dust, and Peter Pan will tell you this, you need to have faith and hope and trust. I did for many years. Then one day I forgot.

Years later I was browsing in a chachky store and saw a beautiful crystal bowl filled with fine white and silver glitter. Perched on the side was a tiny silver spoon. The tag said fairy dust. I knew it was a typo. I knew they meant Pixie Dust. I wanted to buy it then and there but I didn’t. The practical me had a baby and a toddler at home. I knew they would have fistfuls in their eyes and on my carpet in no time. So I left it in that store for a someday.

Yesterday’s post triggered that memory for me. I think it’s time to put out the Pixie Dust as a reminder tha magic is everywhere and I just need to believe.

All I need is some faith, hope and a little bit of Pixie Dust.

 

The Land of Disney in Paris: Part I

The real reason I only spent one full day in Paris was… I wanted to go to DISNEYLAND! Spending all day in Paris was wonderful and I made the most of it, I really did! But for those of you who know me and those of you who don’t, I am a HUGE Disney fan, and I am talking HUGE! I have been to Disneyland in California well over 15 times. I have been to Walt Disney World Florida, twice. Now I have been to Disneyland Paris! 3 parks down, 2 more to go on the bucket list! The next series of posts will bore you if you are not a fan of the land of Disney. Sorry about that, but talking about the land of magical wishes is fun for me…so bear with me.

I understand there are people out there who don’t understand my Disney passion. I don’t expect you too. Just like I don’t get your need to go to Vegas every time you can, or pop off to London as often as it calls you. Nor do I get the need to go to Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver or THE LAKE.  I really don’t understand the need to go to Mexico every year, but you don’t have to listen to me say “Why do you do that?” with disdain on my face. You know why? Because I respect that you need to do things that make YOU feel fulfilled. It is YOUR mental break, not mine. My mental break is in the Land of all things Disney.

I love Disney Parks and here is why…

When I was 6 my parents drove from Edmonton to Los Angeles one summer. We were living in Yellowknife, North West Territories. So technically the trip was from the Arctic to California, with a giant rest stop in Sherwood Park to visit my grandparents and pick up my aunt ( who was 11 at the time). I knew we were going, but still han’t grasped the idea of what it meant. The trip itself was great, I remember traveling along the Oregon coast, seeing giant redwoods, the Pacific ocean for the first time, and I can remember vividly, oranges growing on a TREE! ON A TREE! This was the very first time I remember loving to travel. I loved seeing new things. I caught the bug. I was hooked. I was a traveler.

I remember small bits from my trip. Sitting on the corner of Main Street, in front of the Emporium, watching the Main Street Electrical Parade float by. I remember Robin Hood sitting in my brothers stroller and thinking I am in love! I remember how happy my dad was and how much fun he had. I remember my mom closing her eyes on every single ride because she was to scared to see what was going on. mostly I remember the feeling. The feeling of being swept away to a magical place, filled with details that will amaze you if you take the time to look for them.

Every trip after the first one was better than the last. The Land of all things Disney change. It never stays the same. The feeling is the same, details, rides and music change. This is reason one, why I like going back so often. I enjoy change. Hard to understand when I go to the same place as often as I can, but it is true. I love spotting the difference too. I love how small things change like tiny details such as light posts, or larger changes like rides who give nods to rides of the past that stood in their spot. It’s like belonging to an exclusive club where secrets are only given to members. If you plan to go for the first time and wish to know some of the secrets, I recommend you give Werner Weiss a visit at Yesterland. He will let you know what Disneyland use to look like. It’s a fun trip down memory lane for those who were there before.

I introduced my husband to the magic, he was hooked too. Although I suspect he puts up with my passion more than he loves it himself. The offspring were hooked. I’m sure my enthusiasm was part of the reason they loved it so much.  We felt we were ready to expand our horizons. We needed to move on to a larger space. Bring on Walt Disney World. The two places cannot be compared. Florida is as different from California as peanut butter and jelly. The two work together, but are very different. So please don’t ask me which I love more. Just like you can’t tell me which child you love more. You love them different but the same. Make sense?

Last spring my mom suggested we go and visit her, dad and Mrs. Stadler for a week while they were traveling around Europe. I thought this was a great opportunity for the offspring. I know Honey and I could not have been able to do this without their help and support, so thanks Mom and Dad! We spent hours looking a maps and a made a list of things we MUST do. Disneyland  Paris was on my list. I was willing to spend only a single day there. I am an experienced Disney Traveler. I know the other parks like the back of my hand, I understand the secrets only few know. I will not share all my knowledge but  dole it out as I think you could benefit from it. Therefore I was confident I could see Disneyland Paris in a single day. I could plan a day that would be memorable. I was ready. Life experience taught me what to ask, what I needed to know and where I would find the answers to my questions. Bring it…

Our last day in Paris, we had breakfast in the hotel with my parents. Kissed them good-bye, and walked to the Metro station 2 blocks away. We boarded the train heading in the opposite direction of every other commuter, who were heading into Paris proper. Two stops and we were there. Climbing out of the Metro and into, what would be known as the Esplanade in Disneyland, CA, we followed the hoards of Cast Members as we ready ourselves for rope drop. If there is one thing I know, be early for the opening or miss out on short lines. I was prepared. I couldn’t wait to start!

Around the corner, we saw the fist glimpse… The Disneyland Hotel which could only mean one thing, we were at the gate.

All I need is a Beverage with an Umbrella Perched on the Side

Shades of blue
Image via Wikipedia

This afternoon I laid out on my lounger in my backyard. I think it was the last really nice day before my vacation is over for another summer. I leaned back with my hands crossed behind my head, ankles crossed and just relaxed looking at the light blue sky above me. That is when I saw it. An airplane flew across the perfect blue sky leaving a contrail, marking up the perfect view. When I see an airplane I often think about who is in them and where are they going or where did they come from. My husband knows by the direction where the flight is likely headed – Fort McMurray would be his answer. Fort McMurray? Land of the Oil Sands? How unimaginative, boring, disappointing, and disenchanting. All that answer does is thwart my imagination and bring a frown upon my face. But, he wasn’t there to give me the smarty pants answer. So I speculated the aircraft came from London, England. Filled with travelers who had a marvelous time punting on the Thames, having tea parties on the ceiling, dancing on the roof tops of London, or even visiting Admiral Boom’s home for 3:00pm. I want to do that. Yes I want to hang out with Mary Poppins, but I also want to back to London.

I’ve said before that I love to travel. The only thing almost a great as visiting a place is reading about it. So looking at that blue sky, it made me want to make a list of place I want to go with and without the children.

1) Europe – on the continent. I was there when I was 10, turning 11. At the time it was a great vacation with family. Looking back, I cannot believe what I saw! I want to share that with my children. I will, it is happening this year.

2)Mediterranean Cruise – No Children. I have never been on vacation without them. mostly because I believe in the family first/always prescription. Vacations are the best time to hangout with your kids and laugh, have fun in a different setting. Sharing unusual things is a treat and an honor. But The time has come, I need a vacation FROM my kids. I don’t think that is selfish, I think it is long over due. I need a re-charge. I want to visit Greece and Italy from the shores. I want this BAD.

3)Alaska – I went on a solo trip before my family came along as a find myself/escape from reality type of trip. I saw amazing things. A Kodiak Bear fishing on the shore, humpback whales swimming along side the ship, dolphins playing in the wake of the boat, Bald Eagles flying over head, and puffins sitting in the sun. I want to share this with my children. The Disney Wonder Sails out of Vancouver next year. Vancouver is driving distance from my house….Honey…you reading this today?

4)The Grand Canyon. Ever since the Brady’s went on the Brady Bunch, I wanted to go. Maybe I will run into Peter Brady and…. wait…. I will save that private moment for later.

5)The Redwood Forest – I remember driving through it as a kid. I was 6 and we were on the way to Disneyland. The sights and sounds of the Redwoods are still a very strong memory. Including the time my dad and uncle nearly burned DOWN the forest at a KOA campground – but that is a story for a different blog.We stopped at the Paul Bunyan, Babe the Blue Ox and the Trees of Mystery – California. It was a roadside attraction and is still there according to waymarking.com

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM3GBB

6)How fun would it be to have just a road trip of sideshows? Largest ball of yarn, The Last Supper Sand Sculptures, or just drive and see giant fruit. What a fun picture collection that would be!

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/

7 ) Laying on a Tropical Beach. I don’t care which one, I just need a drink with an umbrella in it, white sand and blue/green ocean. I would prefer it without kids, but with the right beverage in hand, I likely would no longer care if they came. They are old enough to entertain themselves!Or better yet, bring the grandparents! They hate laying on the beach and would plan a ton of sight-seeing stuff and would bring the kids.. .one better, My Honey hates sitting still!  He would go too!!!  Oh I am liking this trip better by the second. Me+beverage+umbrella+sun+sand+quite=heaven

8 ) The Canadian Maritimes – in the fall. I want to see were my Great Gram came from, Souris PEI. I want to see the red sand of PEI. I want to see an Iceberg floating past the shores of Newfoundland. I want to visit Lunenburg for the Tall Ship Festival. I want to stand on the rocks of Peggy’s Cove. I want to see Halifax harbor. I want to share this with my family.

9)New York – ideally I would go with a fabulous gay male friend. That way we could have breakfast at Tiffany’s. Visit Riverside park where Joe Fox told Kathleen Kelly it was him, go to the top of the Empire State building and pretend it was Valentines day. Go to Serendipity and wait for  Jonathan Trager to bring the matching glove. Get our picture taken outside Bergdorf Goodman and pretend to be Carrie. More likely it would be with my husband which would be great too, because he would make me go to Yankee Stadium, and I would drag him to Madison Square Gardens.He would want to go to Museum of Natural History and I would drag him to the MoMA. We BOTH would want to go to F.A.O. Schwartz.

10)The 10th place on my must see travel spots is a 5 stop adventure. But I would make it 6. AND it must be done with my family. Start at Disneyland California, fly to Walt Disney World Florida, fly to Disneyland Paris, Fly to Hong Kong Disneyland,  to Tokyo Disney Resort and end back where it all began in California.

Yes, I know what you are thinking, the amount of money you need is crazy! You need to win a lottery! True, winning the lotto WOULD be the perfect solution. But, the world is supposed to end in 2011. If I get a really big line of credit, start traveling soon, I could conceivably finish my top 10 travel destinations BEFORE the world is obliterated. Then, the world is destroyed and I no longer care about paying back the line.

To be a tourist in my own life, I recognize that I still need to be a tourist in the truest sense because that is what feeds my soul.