Los Angeles Here I come for the 3rd Time!

In my whole life, I dreamt about going to Los Angeles and Hollywood, California. It was my first time in October 2012, and I must say I did choke up and was so teary. I Saw the Hollywood sign and I just lost it. I just couldn’t believe what I was looking at. Since I was a child looking at movies, television, ads in the paper, travel ads, magazines, entertainment stuff, and all I saw was LA, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills and of course; the Hollywood sign. I knew where the celebrity central and the biggest entertainment capital of the world is.

As I was approaching the Hollywood sign above the Griffith Observatory, I cried up a storm. I was an emotional wreck. All my dreams of going to Los Angeles came true. I couldn’t believe I was close to all the stars, seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame with all the artists, entertainers, then ending up right outside Jimmy Kimmel’s show studio set. Then seeing Capitol Records, and all these entertainment broadcasting corporation buildings. Then I saw the Iconic 405 Freeway everyone was talking about. They say that it was such terrible traffic and you are so right. So many lanes and still lots of traffic. Even the carpool lane didn’t make any difference.

In my mind, I was thinking of all the award shows, the red carpet, and I was keeping my eyes peeled and had my eyes everywhere with the hopes that I would meet a celebrity. That was highly unlikely, but It could happen and it has happened.

Anyway, my 2nd trip to Los Angeles was in May 2015, where we went through Santa Monica Beach where we hung out for a bit, then driving through Beverly hills. Seeing these huge houses where majority of them are covered in high bushes and trees, and a lot of the celebrities live there. You would see the home cleaners park their cars outside on the road, and them coming out with buckets, mops and other cleaning products, then you would see super expensive cars. This time, I did see Actor Hugh Jackman drive a black Porsche. It was definitely him. I can tell for sure. Then I looked online and it was true. We also traveled to Fresno, San Francisco, Drove on the Pacific Coast Highway, went to Newport Coast, Newport Beach.

My 3rd Los Angeles trip will be in about 3-4 months from now. I am excited to spend about 10-11 days there. I am definitely going to other parts of LA such as Pasadena, Glendale, Malibu, La Crescenta, and so many other places. I have a lot of time now to plan and I am going to be so organized. Gotta love LA. I cannot believe in just 3-4 years, I will have gone 3 times. I did not go all my life. I am really excited to be amongst the stars again.

I can’t wait to indulge into In-N-Out burger, and also the Famous Oscars Pizza Guy Edgars Pizza. Big Mamas and Papas, and amongst other great restaurants I have heard about.  I hope to see Ellen Degeneres, go to Warner Bros, CBS Studios, NBC Universal and more.

I just want to Meet Bradley Cooper, Jason Statham, Chris Hemsworth, and Channing Tatum. :) Hopefully, will bump into them at LAX Airport or down a street walking or something. Now that would be awesome. I can hardly wait!

What Will I Do If I Win The $1.5 Billion Powerball?

As you may or may not know by now about USA’s $1.5 Billion Powerball lottery jackpot that is up for grabs and one or couple of lucky winners will get to have a serious amount of cash in their bank accounts, and live off only just the interest and be set for life. Even hopeful Canadians are crossing the border to get their hands on the winning ticket numbers.  Of course as well as all that cash

Now, some people dream of buying a huge yacht, a private aircraft and other super luxurious things, go to the biggest and most expensive hotel suites, spending ridiculously and buy the most expensive watches, clothing,  handbags, shoes, jewelry, and live in a super huge mansion with so many rooms, bathrooms, and spend it like no tomorrow and some will not even know what to do with all that chunk of cash. Just because someone has a huge load of cash, doesn’t mean the money should be spent on foolish things and not on materialism.

Money of this amount should be spent on the betterment of this world, to make life better, to spend it wisely on things that matter. Not of what some people’s wild fantasies could be of just being luxurious and way too materialistic.

Now that If I get a ticket and IF I win, I will donate to villages in my home country Armenia, help my family and friends, personally go to third world countries that live in poverty and donate money, food, clothing and everything to people who need it.

I will open up a community centre for people who have been victims to social abuse and those who have been bullied emotionally, mentally, physically, also people who are alone and haven’t got too many friends. I want them to have that chance to come together with others and make life better for them and to make a difference in this world, where they can come and have fun with group activities, getting to know one another. Putting a smile on these people’s faces from young to the elderly is all the payment I need. They will be the true winners at life and to give them that extra boost that everything works out for them.

Now, that is the true lottery and jackpot that is won. Making a difference in lives, making someone’s day, life, seeing them smile, being happy, healthy and so much more.

From experience in my life, I have been there. I have been a victim of bullies, social abuse and the difficulty of people accepting me because I am and look different than everybody else. I will be happy knowing I have been able to help people in need with that amount of cash.

The rest, I will use for traveling to places I have not been to, buy a nice decent size house and not as huge as a villa or mansion. Just something reasonable, then live comfortably.

At the end above all that dough, health is wealth.

What will you do with that much money? If You do win it?

Advice for Connecting flight passengers.

Travel is such an incredible thing to experience when you go from one place to another and there are some pros and cons about connecting flights versus direct non-stop flights. Although its great to see different airport hubs and to fly with different aircraft, however there can be some stressful yet frustrating moments when it comes to layovers when it comes to delays and even worse, cancellations. It is something that we do not want to hear, but sometimes it is out of our control due to discrepancies with the weather, runway delays, an unruly passenger, late passengers, aircraft issues. Whatever the case maybe.

I am here to give you advice on what to do when you have a flight that is delayed and you have to make it to your next flight within the hour or 2. whatever duration it maybe that cuts very close to your departure time to your final destination. It can be a nerve-wrecking, panicky moment when you hear your flight is delayed for 2 hours and you have to make it to your next flight and you have about an hour or so time gap in between. It makes anybody nervous and anxious.

When you know you are going to be delayed, right away without waiting, go to the desk counter where you see staff from the airline and explain your situation to them that I have I connecting flight, I will not make it for that flight because of the delay. You must do something for me, reissue another boarding pass for a later flight from that Airport hub. When you do that, your flight is automatically protected and they will know you are connecting.

Always show the airline staff your travel itinerary and give them an understanding of your situation. It can save you hassle in the long run and you are secure to arrive to your final destination on the same day. It would be terrible to lose time during your travels due to connecting flight delays.

That is why I mostly recommend people taking direct non-stop flights rather than layovers. I have learned from experience twice and both times were so stressful and my palms were sweating. I know sometimes people have no choice but to have layovers whether or not its one stop, two stop, 3 stop connectors. It is absolutely exhausting to find terminals, gate numbers, and you have to literally run because you are on a tight schedule. I can definitely relate. It is not a pleasant thing to go through, especially when flights are so close with each other in time.

I remember once I had 50-55 minutes to make it to my next flight when I flew to USA. The airports in USA are so spread out and huge, I had to switch terminals because one was from international to domestic, took a shuttle which took about 5-10 minutes to get to, and then followed by a long hallway to my gate and then I had to stop for a bathroom break, then by the time I got to my gate to sit down, not even 1 minute later they started to board my flight. I was completely exhausted, hungry and frustrated. I was almost going to cry. I was by myself which stressed me out even more.

Since then, I have never taken connecting flights and always looked for itineraries which has direct. I don’t care. I will pay more for my airfare, I will not go through what I went through. It was absolutely crazy.

Have you been through nightmares and frustrations with Connecting flights?

Safe travels!

Residential Area’s and Fireworks. There is a place for Everything

We all know when Holiday’s approach that people venture out to buy their own fireworks to blow up and they find the thrill to do their own fire show on celebration days on their streets where there are homes, other residents, vehicles, trees or whatever else there can be. It is a fun and awesome thing.

Although Fireworks can be pretty and exciting to see, however it can also pose as a danger as well. especially in residential areas where it is unsafe and it can become that way as well. One wrong move, if the fire goes the wrong way or the spark, something serious can happen such as, damaging a home, cars, trees and even worse and ultimately can hurt/injure somebody and then having to live with the agony afterwards.

There is a place for everything, and fireworks are not meant to be blown up in residential area’s. It doesn’t matter if people have been doing it for years, and how professional someone can be with it, but I am sure there are wide open areas where you can go. I am not telling anybody what to do, but it is for your own safety and for everyone around you. It can be dangerous.

I get so petrified every single time a celebration day comes along. It should be illegal and banned from residential areas. I know some people still do it in places that it is banned. I do not understand why people know the laws and still have to do things and endanger themselves and others around them. Some people are so selfish. They only think of themselves and the thrill they seek, but it doesn’t matter if it hurts and affects other people’s well-being and they think they are the only ones on the street who live there. Things have to change. People need to look out for each other, especially when you are surrounded by other residents and homes.

I am not telling you, not to have fun, but come on, people should know better than that to not do it where its unsafe.

Please be responsible, and do it elsewhere.

Thanks and all the best.

Our Ultimate 1308 Miles of California Getaway

A couple of weeks ago on May 21st, 2015 after a long wait and anticipation, Our ultimate California getaway had arrived when I went with my Family. We were so impatient and anxious to get to Toronto Pearson’s YYZ Airport to take our Air Canada Flight AC 789 to Los Angeles Airport LAX at 8am when it took off. As we submitted my boarding pass to the Air Canada attendant and as we made our way to the Aircraft and grabbed our seats, we were absolutely excited for the 5 and a half hour flight, which to us did not feel long at all, as we are used to flights. We arrived at 10:10am LA Time, so we had the full day ahead.

As soon as the aircraft attendants announced that we will be landing momentarily to LAX and as we saw the Los Angeles Buildings in Downtown while landing, the hills, valleys, and the beauty of LA, we began to get more excited then ever and then I said to myself, it is about to get real now. So much is waiting for me to discover, my family to see, my cousins wedding to attend to, Facebook Friends whom I met for the first time, and covering so much ground in so little time. 10-11 days went by like a dream.

It was an incredible time when we went through towns and cities, and firstly after getting our rental car, we made our way to Newport Coast, where we stood the night, taking the 405 Freeway, where then we began driving north to Fresno where my cousin got married, and reunited, and united with family and friends, then after Fresno, we made our way to San Francisco passing through San Jose, Oakland, and many other towns. After San Francisco, we ventured out to Highway 1 Freeway 101 which is the Pacific Coast Highway. It took over 8-9 hours to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We made a stop in Santa Barbara for a night, Then we stood in Northridge Area, visited Santa Monica Pier and Beach after that we went back to Newport Coast where we ended our trip with more family time. On May 30th we returned our rental car, then at 10:20pm we departed Los Angeles LAX airport to arrive back to Toronto on May 31st, at 6am in the morning our time.

In Beverly Hills, we were on our way to Santa Monica, where I saw Actor Hugh Jackman driving a black Porsche when he was getting out and stopped on one of the streets in Beverly Hills close to Carmelita Ave with the tall Palm Trees around the homes. All the cars were either Range Rovers, Porsche, Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW, Maserati, Teslas and so many more crazily expensive cars around there, and then there were cleaners and maids coming out of some of the stars homes as I was driving and watching the streets. It was quite awesome to see a celebrity in LA… What is a trip to Los Angeles without seeing a celebrity?

With all that you hear from Movies, TV, Entertainment websites and all the hype of Los Angeles with the home of Celebrities, Music Performers, Directors, Producers and a huge Population that works in the entertainment industry somehow are scattered all over Los Angeles area’s. LA is just so huge that you need at least a month to comfortably go all around. 2 weeks is not enough. There is just too much to see, too much to do. If I lived in Los Angeles, I would definitely be in the entertainment industry.

Now Los Angeles is not just about Film, Entertainment and everything. There is far more to it than just film making, awards, studios, mansions, Malibu beach houses, movie sets, the glitz, glamour, vanity, fashion and everything is not just everything about it. There is so much more to do. If you have never been, you should make a trip there whenever convenient for you.

Now, they say that the Highway 401 here is jam packed and so much traffic. You haven’t seen and heard nothing yet. We took doses of the 405, 110, traffic and that is extremely brutal. I do not know how residents of California, LA area can handle that day in and day out. It takes patience, skill and guts to go through that almost everyday. Highway 401 traffic in Toronto is nothing compared to what they go through on the 405 and 110. I would go crazy with that everyday. People of LA are brave.

I love Los Angeles so much. I am excited to make a return next year. I have been back for a couple of days now and I miss it so much already, especially my family and my friends there. Next time I will be there longer to see my other Facebook friends that I didn’t have time to see. Cheers to LA!

There is so much more that I have to say about my trip, but this was just the bit of it.
Now to take off my bucket list:

– I saw the Painted Ladies and the Full House TV Show house, and Alamo Square in San Francisco,
– I saw the Fisherman’s Wharf, also the skyline of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge.
– I saw the Santa Monica Pier
– I Drove on the Pacific Coast Highway
– I went close to the Hollywood Sign
– I saw Beverly Hills and glimpse of Celebrity Homes
– I saw a celebrity in LA – Hugh Jackman in his Black Porsche.

Sahlab – Salep — Middle Eastern Sweet Beverage

Sahlab, Salep is a type of middle eastern sweet beverage that is served hot. You can top it with cinnamon and serve it. You can also put raisins in it as well and drink and eat the raisins. With the winter upon us and the cold weather has arrived, this is a great thing to drink in a cold winters night. I was introduced to this a few years back going to my Armenian Bible study. We would usually have cookies, and snacks for after bible study sessions, so a few times Sahlab, Salep was made by the women’s guild group of the church and we would enjoy 2nd even 3rd servings of it. They would make so much that everyone got seconds and 3rds. It is so delicious.

The ingredients are Skimmed Milk or Water
Salep Flour
Sugar
Rose Water
Cinnamon
Coconut

In Specialty Grocery stores and middle eastern stores, they sell the ready mixed ingredient packages, you just add the milk or water to it and it becomes Sahleb, Salep, however you want to call it. Many countries and regions have different names for it which have different spellings and pronunciations. Sometimes all you need is a warm beverage to satisfy your sweet tooth and just enough for cold days. Who says you cannot have it in the spring and summer also. Its a good thing to have all year round. It is yummy, delicious and you will keep wanting more of it.

Enjoy and bon apetit!

Great Airline Information Websites to Bookmark

Hello all, as you may or may not know, I am an avid traveler and a person who enjoys traveling especially on airlines. In the past little while I have been doing extensive research on the best websites to cater to my needs in finding out information on airlines, aircraft photos, different designs of the planes, and so much more. I then ventured out on the internet to find great websites to further educate myself on the travel industry, airlines, different aircraft and more, and of course my own knowledge, and education as I have experienced in flying with numerous airlines. Some I had the pleasure of flying with before they went out of service years ago such as Royal Airlines, Canada 3000, Skyservice, Armenian Airlines and so on and so forth. Well, without further delay, here are websites that I recommend when planning an air getaway:

Airliners — A website that has different types of Aircraft, photos, information and history.
http://www.airliners.net

FlightStats — Information on Airports, Airlines, Flight information – a one hub stop for all your needs.
http://www.flightstats.com/

Flightaware — Tracking live flights, aircraft descriptions, commercial aircraft and more.
http://www.flightaware.com

FlightRadar — Another Flight Tracker website which caters to how many aircraft is in the air as we speak.
http://www.flightradar24.com/

Planespotters — A website that lists airline fleet index, photos, latest deliveries, information and interacting with other airline and travel enthusiasts.
http://planespotters.net

SeatGuru — A website for airline information as well as locating your seat and find the best seats suitable for you onboard an aircraft and all kinds of aircraft types.
http://www.seatguru.com

Skytrax — Airline ratings, star ratings, quality, service and more.
http://www.airlinequality.com/

If you have airline, aircraft websites you would like to contribute and that you think are interesting, please list them in the comments below and I will add them to my list. Thank you. Enjoy the websites and all the best in your research before you travel..

:)
Bon Voyage! Safe Travels!