Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

It’s hard to believe that winter is quickly approaching. 

The Christmas commercials are in full swing, the holiday decor is flooding the stores and houses are lighting up the streets with pretty twinkling lights.  I always love this time of year, but after the stockings are taken down from the fireplaces and all the New Year’s resolutions have begun (or ended), there’s another winter event that makes my heart skip a beat…

The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show!

For those of you who have been following my blog, you know how much I love travel.  This travel extravaganza takes me to my happy place.  I might as well be  salivating in front of a cookie jar overflowing with every heavenly temptation imaginable!  But instead of cookies, I’m salivating over aisles and aisles of travel delicacies including:

  • Hundreds of travel booths advertising dreamy destinations
  • Tour packages & discounts
  • Mingling with travel enthusiasts
  • Zip lining experience
  • Rock wall experience
  • Scuba pool experience
  • Cultural demonstrations
  • Travel workshops
  • Photography workshops
  • Travel writing workshops
  • Prizes & giveaways

…and then there’s my favorite…


This is the real reason why I love coming to these expos year after year.  A few shows prior, I had the pleasure of meeting Rick Steves and California’s Gold’s Huell Howser…and I was pleasantly surprised at how gracious and genuine they both were.  They took time to chat, answer questions, take photos and answer travel questions.

So when I discovered that my travel idol, Samantha Brown, was going to be there last year, I was beyond thrilled!

Travel Channel's Sweetheart, Samantha Brown

Travel Channel’s Sweetheart, Samantha Brown

Samantha (who goes by “Sam”) is the Travel Channel’s sweetheart and my favorite personality on TV!  I’ve had the privilege of watching Sam’s globetrotting adventures for several years on her “Passport” and “Weekend” shows.  Her genuine enthusiasm for travel and fun-loving, bubbly personality are just a few of the reasons why she has so many adoring fans!  When I need to escape, be inspired, plan trips or just laugh, it’s Samantha Brown to the rescue!

So yes, she has the job of my dreams, and I should be very envious of her, but how can I when she is so sweet, charming, personable, approachable, funny, engaging and down to earth?  And she is all of that…and more…in person!  So if anyone is going to have my dream job, I’m honestly glad it’s her!

In a standing room only crowd in the main stage, Sam gave a presentation called “A Comedy of Travel Errors: My Globalization of Mishaps”.  She discussed some humorous anecdotes on the road including those pesky plastic-wrapped hotel soaps  packaged so tightly that they are nearly impossible to open…and after being on the road and shooting all day, the last thing she wants is to battle her way through soap packaging!

Sam's pet peeves are those pesky tightly wrapped hotel soaps!

Sam’s pet peeves: Those pesky tightly wrapped hotel soaps!

Would you believe she even broke her nose in a hotel?  Being in different hotels every night can make navigating the rooms difficult…especially in the dark.  In the middle of the night, Sam searched for the bathroom, but instead of walking into the bathroom, she literally walked into a wall!  Ouch!  Talk about work hazard!

Travel & reviewing hotels all around the world...not a bad gig!

Thanks to  Sam for reviewing all those hotels!

Her presentation was followed by a Q&A session where the audience got to ask her questions.

There was one question that I was dying to ask her ever since I started watching her travel shows.   So I walked to the middle of the room where the line formed and awaited my turn until the microphone suddenly appeared before me.

“Hi Samantha!  Do you need a personal assistant?  I will gladly unwrap those pesky soaps for you!”

With laughter she said, “Oh you will, will you?  See me after the show then!”

After her presentation, she made her way to the Taiwan booth where she did her meet and greet with hundreds of adoring fans.

After waiting for about 40 minutes, my husband and I finally got to meet Sam.  She was sooo sweet and friendly and gave me a big hug.  Sam said that she enjoyed my question, and I honestly don’t remember how I responded to her.  I think I laughed…I don’t know!  When I asked if she would mind taking a photo with me, she said, “Of course!”  She mentioned that while on the road, she uses the same camera I do (the Canon PowerShot S95)…and again, I don’t remember what I said…lol!
My husband then took our photo.

Me and Samantha Brown!

Me and Samantha Brown!

In those moments, I discovered that Sam was just as awesome in person as I perceived her to be on TV, but this next request just took her to the top of  my “Coolest People Ever” list!

“Sam, how about we take a funny photo?”

“Sure!  How shall we pose?”

Sam's reaction after inquiring if I could be her!

Sam’s reaction after inquiring if I could be her personal assistant…lol!

Yes, that was a BIG BLISS moment for me!  🙂   You may not see it in the photo, but I’m doing a happy dance!  It’s not every day that your travel idol does a “silly” with you.

She then autographed a photo for us and had my husband join in for one more photo:

Me, my hubby & Sam  :)

Me, my hubby & Sam 🙂

It was a day I will never forget.

If you’re reading this Sam, thank you for being wonderful you!

And a big congratulations on your two little bundles of joy arriving in January!

Travel with Heart!

Travel with Heart!

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Can I get a drum roll please?  I am so excited to announce the newest addition to Passport to Bliss…Video Bliss!

Throughout my travels and wanderings through life, I have enjoyed taking videos.  Some are scenic, some are interesting, some are silly, some are totally random but kinda fun…and then there are those where I provide my own travel narratives in an attempt to be like a famous host on the Travel Channel or something…and those will probably remain in the vault!

Well, it’s time to dust off the videos & showcase them to the world!

This first video is one that I created and posted recently after welcoming the mighty Shuttle Endeavour home (Space Shuttle Endeavour – A Homecoming to Remember.)  I was really happy with the outcome and thought it would be a great way to kick off Video Bliss.

I hope you enjoy!

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You know what brings me bliss?

Space Shuttle Endeavour!Spaceships traveling down the streets of Los Angeles, of course!

Last Saturday on October 13th, my husband and I got to be a part of history as we joined thousands of excited spectators on the streets of Los Angeles in welcoming the Space Shuttle Endeavour home.

It was a celebration like no other!

Streets were blocked off, family and friends partied in their front yards and on rooftops, cameras, tripods and media appeared in droves, news crews lined the streets, strangers became friends, the Goodyear Blimp circled the skies and helicopters hovered overhead in anticipation for her arrival.

Talk about celebrity treatment!

As we stood on the sidewalk with enthusiastic spectators, a spirited “Woo-hoo!” came from the crowd followed by “Oohs and ahhs” with fingers pointing down the street.  In the distance, inching her way up Crenshaw Boulevard (with quite the  police escort) was the guest of honor, the Space Shuttle Endeavour.


I swear she was smiling and gleaming with pride as her wings stretched out over the cheering crowd.


People laughed, cried, stared in awe, waved, hugged, sang and cheered.  It was a beautiful thing to come together in celebration of the mighty Endeavour.

Just thinking about it gives me the chills.


I was so inspired that over the next couple of days I created a fun video comprised of photos and video footage we took set to a well known musical score.  I hope this brings you as much joy as it did for me.  Enjoy!

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