The Last of 2013: Van City, NYC & Paris

I think this might finally be my last 2013 blog post. LOL. Thanks for bearing with me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last year we took a couple of long weekend trips to Vancouver & NYC and also traveled to Paris for a half day at the tail end of our Disneyland Paris trip. I wanted to share a few fun photos before I officially bid adieu to 2013.

We took our annual trip to Vancouver back in May. Fourth year in a row!

One of our very favorite shows, Psych, filmed in Vancouver (*sniff*) so we decided to drive south to the city of White Rock BC, which the show used for many of its location shoots.

The Psych office!!! SQUEE. Ok ok, in real life it’s the White Rock Museum & Archives.

Rob doing a Shawn Spencer impression. LOL.

Continue reading

comic-con 2013: days 0 & 1

And yet another month goes by in an absolute BLUR. I was sick for most of July and thought I’d gotten over it in time for Comic-Con but ended up pushing myself too much while in San Diego and got sick all over again. GRRR.

I’m much better now. ๐Ÿ™‚

So it’s time for my Comic-Con recap! It was our 5th year attending the Con and we had a FAB time (well, despite some bad decision-making on our part on Saturday – LOL, I’ll explain later). Can’t wait until next year! Until then, I thought I’d share some highlights…

Wednesday, July 17

On the way down to San Diego, we stopped at San Juan Capistrano for brunch at Ramos House. Oh man, it was SO GOOD! SJC is only about 20 minutes south of where we live but neither Rob nor I have visited since we were kids. It’s so beautiful — I wish we had more time to explore.

Ramos House is located in Old San Juan right next to the train station and the seating is outdoors. It was opening day for the Del Mar Race Track so we had a great view to people watch (I especially loved the women in their snazzy hats!).

We shared crab hash and salmon lox and it was all incredible. Even the complimentary scone with apple butter was to die for. I wish I had picked up a jar of the apple butter to take home. Next time!

We were lucky enough to have 4-day Comic-Con badges with the extra preview night so once we arrived in San Diego, we hit the exhibition hall to scope out all the booths and of course, the TOYS & merchandise! It was WAY more crowded than it’s been in past years so we ended up spending most of our time in lines. To be expected, though — Comic-Con is well known for its abundance of LINES!

That night, we had free tickets to the midnight screening of Psych the Musical. WHEE!

Based on Twitter reports, the Psych cast arrived at the screening in the Weinermobile! And on our way to the movie theatre, we spotted it driving around. So awesome.

We arrived about 45 minutes to showtime so we were pretty far back in line. Unfortunately, this meant we sat in the very first row of the theatre and this was our view.

But this ALSO meant that we were THISCLOSE to the cast when they came in to greet all of us. WOOHOO! (Yeah, sorry… terrible pic, I know).

The musical is scheduled to air in December and it doesn’t really make ANY kind of sense in the context of the show right now BUT it was a lot of FUN!

Continue reading

comic-con 2011: day 1

UGH. So busy! But in the midst of it all Rob & I celebrated our 3rd year anniversary. YAY!

AND today is Rob’s birthday. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a big week in our household.

SO. Here’s the next installment of my Comic-Con trip report (click pics for bigger).

Thursday, July 21
On this day, our plan was to spend the ENTIRE day in Ballroom 20 and catch most of the television panels. The first panel was at 10am for Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe and we got in line at 7:45am. Even 2+ hours early, there were at least 1,000 people in front of us. We were pretty much guaranteed a spot, though, since the ballroom seats 4,000+. The only thing to do was… wait.

So close! The entrance to Ballroom 20 is in sight!

Annnnddd… we’re inside. YES. So much closer to the stage than last year.

The Burn Notice panel featured actor Bruce Campbell (he is freaking HILARIOUS) and creator Matt Nix. They were the highlights of Comic-Con 2010 and they didn’t disappoint this year. Some gems —

– Bruce Campbell opened the panel by poking fun at attendees — he said that the # of showers taken by Comic-Con attendees is 0 and reminded everyone that showers are free at the hotels. He also said that Comic-Con sees the most people wearing basketball shorts who don’t even play basketball. LOL.
– Then he even took a shot at a show on his own network — “For all you sleep-deprived fans, the Covert Affairs panel is up next.” EEEKKK.
– Unfortunately, Jeffrey Donovan had to work and couldn’t make the trip but that didn’t stop Bruce and Matt from talking about him — aka making fun of him.
— We learned that Jeffrey directed The Fall of Sam Axe and he was STILL #1 on the call list.
— Bruce discussed how Jeffrey started going up the list of potential directors for the movie. Apparently Jeffrey approached him and asked “Did you enjoy working on that episode I directed?” He responded “Sure, you did a great job. What do you think I’m going to say to the star of the show? It sucked. You were an asshole?” BWAH.
– During the question and answer portion, a fan dressed as Draco Malfoy went up to mic. Before she even asked her question, Bruce said “Harry Potter’s dead. It’s over. Might as well put a chain saw in his head. Oh, I’m sorry, am I making fun of your most beloved character ever?” She looked SO PISSED. LOL. Matt Nix covered the awkward pause by saying it was “important [for him] to keep [his] hostile relationship with [his] fans.”
– A fan asked what Bruce did to prepare for the TV movie. He responded by saying “I did two things to prepare for Sam Axe. Jack and shit. Thank you for asking.” OH MAN.

Pure entertainment.

I don’t watch Covert Affairs so I was pretty lost during the panel. It was pretty awesome to see Peter Gallagher, though. He even joked that he’s excited that they “used one of [his] eyebrows in the Comic-Con poster.” Hehe.

Next up – Psych! The panel opened with the creator Steve Franks and the writers singing the theme song live. Awesome! The best tidbits —

— Learning William Shatner will be guest starring next season. Other guests include Malcolm McDowell, Joey McIntyre and Danny Glover.
— The announcement that the season 7 premiere will be a musical episode.
— And Dule Hill will be tap dancing in a future episode. YAY!
— When discussing similarities to The Mentalist, James Roday said that “The Mentalist may have more viewers, but we have better fans.” Awww.
– Dule constantly with his head down… tweeting! Case in point. When asked by a fan whether he and Roday are friends in real life, he looked up, paused, and said “Sorry, I was tweeting. What was the question?” LOLARIOUS.
– Sometime during the panel, Dule tweeted that fans asking questions should end with “hashtag get Roday to tweet.” Someone finally did and he told her to “hit me up and I’ll hit you back. Say hi it’s meeee!” OMG, he’s so awesome.

Ringer marks the return of fan favorite Sarah Michelle Gellar to TV. I’m a huge fan of hers and I have high hopes for her new show. My favorite moments of the panel —

— Learning that Kristoffer Polaha auditioned for the role of Riley on BtVS.
Ioan Gruffudd hadn’t heard of the CW before working on this show.
— Ioan also said that at age 37, he’s happy they even allowed him on the network.
— On the switch from CBS to the CW, SMG initially thought โ€œYes! Iโ€™m getting better clothing!โ€ LOL. A girl after my own heart. Also, SO TRUE.
— When asked what she would wear if she participated in Comic-Con cosplay, SMG said “If I dressed up as Buffy, you guys would tell me I was a lame version of Buffy. I want to dress up as a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills.”

I really really want this show to be good.

And our last television panel of the day was for Game of Thrones. We’re really lucky we got into ballroom 20 so early in the day. This panel was incredibly popular — supposedly upwards of 7,000 people were in line but couldn’t get in because there wasn’t a lot of turnover from panel to panel. It sucks and I wish there was a fair way to handle admission into each panel but I don’t know what that solution is. So, the highlights —

Emilia Clarke. She’s stunning! And has dark hair.
Jason Momoa yelling in Dothraki in the middle of the panel.
— George R. R. Martin was the moderator and he asked the actors about their favorite scenes. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) said “Well, Isaac was really annoying, so pushing him.” As the audience laughed, he quickly shook his head to take it back. LOL.
— One of the creators (can’t remember which one now) promised lots of supplementary material on the DVDs/Blu-ray, like the actors’ audition tapes, of which Jason Momoa’s was a highlight. He said “No offense, but I hadn’t heard of you before. I hadn’t kept up on my Baywatch.” Hee!
— Jason Momoa talked about reading the book and discovering that Drogo died. Talking directly to GRRM, he said “I f*!#ing hated you, man. I was like f*!# this.”
— A fan asked the actors how they would end the series — Peter Dinklage said “Dance number.”
— GRRM is asked about the books and he reveals that he’s a fan of bittersweet endings and that’s probably what we’ll get when the book series is complete.

Excellent panel!

Later that night, we had dinner with friends and decided to check out Nerd HQ, which was a bar taken over by The Nerd Machine, Zachary Levi‘s company. As soon as we arrived, we spotted the entire cast of Psych! SO COOL! I think they were heading to a party nearby. We weren’t quick enough to snag pictures with them but I did manage to take a random picture of them posing with some other people. LOL.

It was a great day at the Con — but looong. And there were 3 more days to go.

To be continued…

comic-con 2010: day 1

Before I start my Comic-Con recap, I HAVE to post Joshua Jackson’s Funny or Die/Pacey-Con video. WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS?!? Love him.

Anyway. Comic-Con recap. Click pics for bigger. Some of them are blurry and/or shaky. I am an amateur.

Thursday, July 22

Comic-Con has invaded downtown San Diego!

You can totally tell when you’re nearing the convention center.

FACT. Lines are everywhere. Luckily, we skipped this one because we picked up our badges the previous day.

We spent about an hour in the exhibit hall that morning but promptly at 11am, we headed upstairs to Ballroom 20 (the biggest room used for TV shows – seats about 4000) to get in line for the USA panels — the first being Burn Notice at 1pm.

Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous to get in line 2 hours ahead of time but SERIOUSLY, if it’s something you want to do/see, it’s necessary. And actually still doesn’t guarantee entrance depending on how popular it is.

We got into Ballroom 20!

OH MAN. Burn Notice was the BEST panel that we attended. Absolutely hilarious. Chris Vance moderated (he also played the evil Gilroy in the last season) and Bruce Campbell (Sam), Tim Matheson (Larry), and series creator Matt Nix were panelists. Some highlights:

— Matt Nix on the writers’ inspiration – “There comes a point where you start reading warning labels as instructions.”
— The bomb squad asked them to cut a voiceover because it wasn’t a good idea to tell the general public how they detect bombs.
— Bruce Campbell talked about how he used to projectile sweat when they filmed car scenes because there was no AC. But of course, the one time that Jeffrey Donovan starts to sweat even a little bit, they install AC.
— Bruce Campbell accidentally revealed that Fiona gets kidnapped in an upcoming episode and said “Never kidnap Fiona. She’s such a little sh*t.”
— During the audience Q&A, a fan asked about Fiona’s terrible Irish accent in the pilot and why it was dropped. Matt Nix simply said it was a narrative choice — it made it hard for the characters to put on different personas if they already had an accent. (I think Gabrielle Anwar’s accent was terrible and he was just too nice to say so).
— Another fan asked how the show ended up being set in Miami. Matt Nix revealed that it was originally set in Newark (I couldn’t tell if he was being serious or sarcastic) and that the network basically told him they wanted a sunny locale and they chose Miami. After being pissed for awhile, he realized they were right.
— Throughout the panel, Bruce Campbell stood up and gave money to people when they paid him flattering compliments.
— Towards the end of the hour, USA network executive Jeff Wachtel interrupted the panel to announce that they greenlit a Sam prequel. !!! It will follow Sam on his last military mission and show how he ended up in Miami. WOOHOO. Bruce Campbell promptly handed Wachtel some money. When asked how he felt about the prequel, he said “USA finally got their sh*t together.” HEISSOAWESOME.

White Collar was up next. The entire cast was there. First thing I noticed is that Matt Bomer is even MORE handsome in person than he appears on TV. How is that even possible?!? The panel started off with an awesome Con exclusive video where the gang discusses their costumes for Comic-Con (for the record, Neal would go as Freddie, Peter would be Darth Vader, Diana as Chewbacca, and Jones as Blade – AWESOME!). Sadly, the rest of the panel was pretty underwhelming. Mostly because Willie Garson moderated and while he was funny, I felt like he didn’t really do a good job with asking the cast questions that got them talking. The best moments were:

Sharif Atkins doing a cartwheel on stage as he’s introduced
— Creator Jeff Eastin complimenting Matt Bomer for infusing the charm into the character of Neal Caffrey — to which Matt put his head down and looked super embarrassed. WHATACUTIE.
Marsha Thomason mentioned that she wanted to see Tim DeKay dressed in drag as Beyonce (I can’t remember why she said that) and Tim promptly did the “Single Ladies” hand movements.
— At the end, Matt & Tim sang a censored version of the “Folgers in your cup” song. I think they sing this on set when they’re tired, need to diffuse tension, etc. I took a crappy video…

Our last panel of the day was Psych. Just like White Collar, they started off with a fun video of James Roday and Dule Hill on set. Nestor Carbonell (he’s guest starring later this season) walks by looking for Jack. Dule asks “Why? Are you… lost?” and they proceed to laugh hysterically. OH GAWD. So funny.

After the video, James and Dule walked on stage singing “Shout” with Tears for Fears’s Curt Smith. AWESOME. The awesomeness didn’t stop there though:

— When asked what they dislike about each other, Dule said James’s hair and James said he admires Dule’s ability to stay tan without any products.
— James and Dule were asked to give the first few sentences of their characters best man speeches. James said “he can’t marry you because he’s already married to me” but Dule took the cake by saying “I guess today is the day we all realize what a cold day in hell feels like. In the words of the great Arsenio Hall, there’s a god somewhere!” BWAH.
— There was confirmation that Maggie Lawson and James are in a relationship. AWWW.
— Dule and choreographer Jason Samuels Smith showed off their tap dancing skills at the end.

… And that was pretty much our first day. I actually had a ticket to the Entertainment Weekly/CBS party that night but didn’t want to go by myself (I won it via Twitter and wasn’t able to get another one for Rob) so I skipped it. Maybe next year! I don’t feel so bad for missing the celebrities at the party because we ran into Tim DeKay on the way back to our hotel. YAY.