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Old 09-13-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
RAPstar
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Robbie/Andy brings a newbie to Universal and HHN (Completed)

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!! Mwahahahahahahahahaha!!

So, anywho, I figured since I'm now 2 weeks out I should start my pre-TR that will eventually become a TR, lol. Most of you should know me by now, but if not too bad, lol. There's several TR's in my signature so go read those. I'm very entertaining.

The newbie is my best friend Adam. He's also the reason we're going to Universal. Originally we were going to be doing a 7 night Disney Cruise out of Galveston. But Adam didn't want to take a full week off of work anymore, becasue of reasons(?). I'm still bummed we're not doing the cruise, but c'est la vie. Here he is:



This will be my third out of (hopefully) 4 trips this year. There was my January Orlando trip, my April NYC trip (which was amazing, I got to meet George Takei!!), this trip, and hopefully going to San Diego in December for the zoo and to see a show at La Jolla.

I was thinking about posting this earlier but I wanted to have pretty much everything booked first. I'll be going to HHN Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Really excited to do both of the UTH tours this year, kinda cool to see into 6 different houses! Adam will be going with me at least one night, if not more. Since I got an AP this year for this trip, the discount on the ROF ticket is only slightly more than a single night HHN add on ticket, so I'm gonna try to get him to go Friday and Sunday at least. I already have an EP for Saturday, but will probably get one for Friday too....unless they're sold out in 2 weeks, lol.

Oh, and this will be my first time ever to stay onsite at the Royal Pacific!! Found a really good deal using Southwest Vacations (yes, they have very mixed reviews online, but most of the ones I read were because they used to do paper tickets but they don't anymore). Here's hoping everything goes well on that end, but I'm sure it will!

So, that's the gist of my trip so far. Now to just get through the next 2 weeks!

Last edited by RAPstar; 11-19-2013 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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Subbing!

We did the SD Zoo at the end of August. DD had my new camera and took about 1150 shots at the zoo. Yep, not a typo. I still have alot of editing to do.


Wanting to hear about HHN, so safe travels.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:08 PM   #3
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Hi Robbie

I'm here...can't wait to read about your trip & meet up with you ...only 12 days to go for me
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:05 PM   #4
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Hey Robbie! Glad to see you back here. Wouldn't be a proper HHN season without you and your report!

Your trips this year sound fantastic. You met George Takei?!? How incredibly cool. Oh, my, he has the funniest and shariest posts on Facebook!

I'm in!
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:06 PM   #5
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Well, I'm already packed for the most part. Have all my shirts in my duffle bag (yes, duffle bag, no suitcase this time since I'm only gone Friday to Tuesday). All I have to do is wash socks and undies again Thursday morning before I leave for work (if my mom can get here early enough to get the fur baby). May have to wash my jean shorts too. And pack the camera and charging cables (leaving the laptop behind this trip too).

Oh, I forgot to mention I bought a new camera this year. It's a Sony Cybershot (model DSC-W710). Its not top of the line or anything, but better quality than my old Kodak and just what I prefer. My TR from January is noticeably short on pictures cause I took my mom's camera which I found difficult to operate and just too bulky. I got a good deal on it too from Best Buy. I got the camera, an 8GB SD cars, a carrying pouch, and a mini tripod for only a little over $100! I also still have my 2GB card from my old camera, so if for any reason I use up the 8GB, I'll have back up lol. Here's a couple pics of what it looks like (found on Google search):


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Old 09-15-2013, 12:06 AM   #6
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And, cause I'm feeling talkative tonight, here's a mini-TR of my NYC trip.

So around the time of my January trip, I had downloaded the London cast recording of Matilda the musical. At my job we're able to listen to music while we work, so I'm constantly trying to keep new music on my iPod so I don't go stir crazy. I literally became obsessed with Matilda. I listened to it at least once a day for a few months. The first time I listened to it I almost started crying at work, I connected so much to it. After I got back, I found out that Matilda was coming to Broadway, and I HAD to go see it! I had a friend who lived in Jersey who offered to let me stay with him, and so I was set. Until Southwest raised the airfare right as I was going to book, so much that I just couldn't afford it (it was around this time I decided to do the cruise with Adam, see they're connected, lol).

Well, as Feb and part of March crawled by, I for some reason felt that if I didn't make it to NYC in April, I wouldn't be going at all and I'd miss my chance to see Matilda, and Pippin, one of my favorite musicals which was also going to be playing around the same time. So I looked at the airfare again, and it was back to a somewhat affordable price, so I booked. My friend wasn't able to host me, but I found a decently priced hostel about 6 blocks from Times Square (a little over $200 for 3 nights in NYC? yes, please). So I booked that and got all my show tickets. I was set!!

My flight was into Newark, and it went pretty well. Well except, I was oddly craving a burger at 6am when I go to the gate area at Love Field. And Whataburger was just opening. But my decision was not wise as, on the flight between Houston and Newark, I threw up. Luckily I made it to the bathroom. And after, I was feeling much better! lol The train from the Newark airport to Penn Station was only $25 round trip, which was awesome.

The walk from Penn Station to my hostel was less than 10 blocks, or right at, I don't remember. It wasn't horrible. I was staying at Equity Point, which is right next door to the Nederlander, where Newsies is playing.






This is literally the view from the only window in the room, lol


The elevator was cool. It had one door in front which opened to the lobby, but then another door on the side that opened when you reached your floor


Check in went ok. They literally will not let you check in till after 2pm, and I was about 20 minutes before, so not too bad. They did tell me I'd have to change rooms the second day, but only that one time. I went up to the room to drop off my suitcase and linens and charge my phone. The room was really hot upon entering, and I didn't even notice the thermostat till I'd been in the room about 20 minutes, haha.

After I charged my phone, I decided to go pick up my tickets to that night's show and go get some real New York pizza! My first stop, of course, was going to be the Times Square Disney Store!!

Really, New York, really?!


So, since that was a bust, I headed over to the theater to pick up my ticket



Yay!! One of my favorite actors in my favorite Shakespeare play!! After I got my ticket, I was starving. So I hunted down a pizza place a friend mentioned to me, Ray's I think it was.

Yummy!!


After I ate, I walked around a bit, and then just chilled on the TKTS stairs in the middle of Times Square. I did a lot of that during the trip. I found it oddly calming to just sit there and look at all the posters and the people walking around.





Eventually it was show time. Alan Cumming was just brilliant. It was a one man version of Macbeth, and he did a miraculous job of finding a way to make each character somewhat different so that you were able to tell who was talking when.



After the show, I happened to see another famous face, Constantine Maroulis. He was in NYC doing Jekyll & Hyde, which he toured first and I got to see in Dallas. I didn't get to see him after the show then, so I just popped over to say hi. Yes, I am a nerd, lol.



I got back, and fell quickly asleep since I had been up since 10am the previous morning with no sleep. The next day was a 2 show day. The hostel had a very minimal continental breakfast, but I made do with a bagel and some juice. My first show was at 2pm, so I decided to walk around some more. I explored the Toys R Us in Times Square and some other stores. I know I had lunch, but I don't remember what, lol.

My first show was The Nance, starring Nathan Lane. It was really good, and Nathan Lane was remarkable. I didn't get to really meet him though. He walked by briefly while some of us were waiting and just said he didn't have time to say hi. Oh well. This was were I got to meet George Takei, who was in the row behind me during the show. Also, Jerry Lewis was about 4 rows behind me but I didn't get to say hi. After the show, I got to see my Jersey friend. We went and had dinner, and then he walked me back to the theater for my second show.

Matilda lived up to everything I was hoping for. I was a bawling mess by the end of the show. I was on the aisle, so as soon as it was over, I hurried down to the stage door to meet the cast. While waiting, I got to say hi to John Lithgow as he was going in the stage door to say hi. And James Corden (who was in a couple episodes of Doctor Who) was there, but I couldn't remember his name till after so I didn't say hi to him, lol.

Lesli Margherita who played Mrs. Wormwood, Matilda's mom


Bertie Carvel who was just brilliant as the Trunchbull


I then went back to my hostel to get some more sleep. (I switched rooms in between shows, just FYI, lol). The next day was my last show. It again wasn't until 2, so I decided to trek down to Little Italy. I had some more pizza, and also found a wonderful Italian bakery. The pastries were so good, and nothing beats real New York cannoli. The cannoli I've found here is made with marscapone, but the real stuff is made with ricotta cheese, and it just doesn't compare.



I then hurried back to see my last show, which was the one I was really the most excited for, even more than Matilda. Pippin was not short of spectacular. The cast was awesome, and I was just in heaven the entire show. I had an aisle seat again this time, so after the show I hurried down to the stage door again. As I was waiting, I got to say hi to none other than Joan Rivers herself as she was going into the stage door. She was shortly followed by Melissa Etheridge, and Rosie O'Donnell. I didn't get to say hi to them, mainly cause as soon I saw Rosie I was speechless. I watched her talk show religiously when it was on the air, and credit her for a lot of my musical theater education. She must have noticed cause she winked at me as she walked past me. I still get a little emotional when I think about it.

This is Charlotte D'Amboise, who is one of my favorite Broadway performers. Mainly cause she was in the original cast of my Broadway flop guilty pleasure, Carrie the musical (yes, Stephen King's Carrie. Yes, they made a musical)



The one and only Andrea Martin! I've been a big fan of hers ever since I saw her in the film version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And of course her hilarious performance in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She was spectacular in Pippin, she even performed part of her song in the show whilst being held upside down from a trapeze!! No wonder she won the Tony, lol!



I also found the most amazing lobster roll randomly in the middle of Times Square. It was so good, not too much mayo, and the lobster pieces were just huge! It was about $12 for the roll, but totally worth it!



When I got back to the hostel, I got to meet one of my fellow bunk mates who was this amazing girl from Australia. We got along so well, we decided to go have dinner at this delicious burger place a friend told me about called The Counter. Afterwards, we went to the M&M and Hershey stores to satisfy our sweet tooths.

I didn't sleep well my last night, and so was pretty tired as I made my hike back to Penn Station. NYC was sad I was leaving. The weekend had just amazing weather the entire time, but this Monday it was drizzly and dull. The flight back was ok, except stupid me forgot to check in the day before. I had an ok seat the flight from Newark to Austin, but I was in the very last row from Austin to Dallas. Oh well. It was still an amazing trip!!

Last edited by RAPstar; 09-15-2013 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 09-15-2013, 05:36 PM   #7
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All I can say is ...wow... Robbie what an awesome trip.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:16 AM   #8
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All right!!!!

That lobster roll thingy has made me soooo hungry!!!!

I got two weeks left before MY trip!!

Cheers!

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Old 09-20-2013, 10:23 AM   #9
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One week left!!!
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:45 AM   #10
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What an awesome trip to NYC!!!

Name dropper!



What a really cool group of people you met, said hi to or saw!

I'm also impressed with all of the great shows you saw.

Speaking of Macbeth... my son played Macbeth in a show called "Paranormal High School" last fall. It was a show within a show- a high school English class gained appreciation for the play while performing it in a haunted theatre. It was a really fun way to introduce the story to students.

Looks like you had some really good eats in the city. The pizza and lobster rolls made me hungry!
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:05 AM   #11
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Thumbs up

Getting on board - thanks for NYC and looking forward to your Universal TR.

Cheers,
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
What an awesome trip to NYC!!!

Name dropper!



What a really cool group of people you met, said hi to or saw!

I'm also impressed with all of the great shows you saw.

Speaking of Macbeth... my son played Macbeth in a show called "Paranormal High School" last fall. It was a show within a show- a high school English class gained appreciation for the play while performing it in a haunted theatre. It was a really fun way to introduce the story to students.

Looks like you had some really good eats in the city. The pizza and lobster rolls made me hungry!
We did something kind of similar at the acting school I went to. A local playwright did an interpretation called "Shakespeare for the Modern Man". It was the equivalent of those Shakespeare for Dummies books where it had one set of actors doing the original text and another sort of translating it. It sounds simple but the way he put it together was fairly interesting.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:47 PM   #13
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Following along! You'll be there about a week before I go (also from Dallas), so I look forward to your report!

Also your trip to NYC was amazing.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:32 AM   #14
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One work day down, 3 to go!!
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:58 AM   #15
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Ooh! Your NYC trip report has got me excited for next summer! We are going to TRY to go to NYC again! Hubs and I went on a belated honeymoon after we were first married.

I have a dear friend who lives an hour or so train ride away from NYC and want to see her. She offered us her house to stay. Hubs has a friend who lives in Brooklyn and is a chef that he's anxious to see! The kids want to see the Statue if Liberty really bad and have heard us talk about the amazing food we had there. Hoping to go!!

Looking forward to seeing your pics from Universal! I'm also wanting to get a small camera to take. Do you like yours?
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