Travel

Railroad Park Resort - All aboard! Visit Siskiyou County and experience #train #travel like never done before.

By Joy A. Kennelly

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My review of the Railroad Park Resort is biased because I've known the owners, Mark & Mary Lilley, for a very long time and know they ran a very successful campground elsewhere for about 30 years. They know what they're doing and it makes me happy to see them take on this very fun adventure here in Dunsmuir. For those who don’t know where Dunsmuir is, it’s just below the Oregon border, past Medford, on the northernmost part of California, above Shasta Lake in an area called Siskiyou (Siss Kew.)

According to the visitor site for Siskiyou: “Presiding over it all is Mount Shasta – the 14,179′ strato volcano that towers 10,000 over the surrounding area – and provides a ready playground for climbers, skiers, hikers and sightseers of all stripes.” 

Mt Shasta
Lezlie Sterling The Sacramento Bee photo credit

Learn more of the nearby fun activities here
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To me, the Railroad Park Resortlooks like a perfect place for a HUGE children's party because kids LOVE trains. I wonder if any of the celebrities with children would consider renting out the entire place? LOL Sandra Bullock? Charlize Theron? Chris Pratt? He's a big kid himself! Can't you just see Angelina Jolie's brood enjoying this? How about it folks?
Railroad Park Resort, Dunsmuir CA
Family size caboose with a special climb-up Cupola
 
Or what about a press junket stop for Murder on the Orient Express?! Doesn't that film look fabulous? In theaters November 10th. 
It reminds me a little of The Grand Budapest Hotel film, although Grand Budapest is hilarious! If you haven't seen it yet, you simply must! The views of the countryside are sumptuous, the acting superb, the cinematography amazing and the plot-line hysterical. For mature audiences only. Helps if you're a fan of Wes Anderson's directing too.

I also thought the Railroad Park Resort would be a great place for a conference because each of the 23 cabooses are independent, there's also six large cabins, an RV Park attached, multiple attached fine dining cars, and a very cute gift shop. Many of the cabooses include double beds, queen and king if memory holds true. Check out the website for exact details though because all the real details are there: http://www.rrpark.com/  

Grounds
Railroad Park Resort grounds


We enjoyed breakfast the next day and it was very hearty. Can you tell I like hearty?:) You don't have to stay here to dine either so if you're craving a unique night out with the Mrs., pop in.
Railroad Park Resort dining car
Joy goofing around
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Railroad Park Resort
Owners Mark & Mary Lilley enjoying breakfast here
Breakfast, dinner and a bar. What more could you want?
 
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Each caboose is as it was originally, but with some enhancements to the restrooms because apparently when they were working cabooses your restroom would have been the size of a closet! LOL Now they're normal size and come with a shower or bathtub depending on your preference. Again, check the website because then you can choose which one suits you.  P1150102 P1150111 P1150091
Just know, it's a little hard to find when driving north because semi's often block the signs for the exit. I would mark it on your GPS to keep an eye out to make it simple. There's great signage heading south and it's very easy to find. Just look for Railroad Park Road exit. There's also a RV camp so pick your poison!:)
 
It's a fun, unique experience as you're driving between CA and the Pacific Northwest. It's reasonably priced, there's specials and I would encourage you to check it out! Mary and Mark are great and will take great care of you! 
 
And for a few unbiased reviews of the place, read Buzzfeed's article here! We Found The Quirkiest Vacation Spots In California And Actually Stayed There

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Having each lived in New York City at one point, we've both definitely dozed off inside trains before.

But sleeping on the subway or on a commuter train definitely lacks the romance of yesteryear. So when we discovered Railroad Park Resort — a lodge made entirely of antique railroad cars — we signed up pretty much immediately.

We got there right before sunset and asked the friendly desk agent where the best place to get a view of nearby Mount Shasta would be, and she literally just pointed up the road. 

This place was pretty much a one-stop shop of gorgeous views. Continue reading here.

Here's another fun travel video produced by Go There Media which gives a nice overview of everything there is to see and do in and around the Railroad Park Resort, but please note, there are now 23 cabooses since this was filmed:


Quick Update on #Life, #Startup, #Education, #Friends and #Travel

By Joy A. Kennelly

Life has gotten progressively better and better. Had a wonderful visit with my Aunt and Cousins in Colorado while exploring opportunities for group travel in Glenwood Springs and Boulder. Having difficulty transferring pix from my phones to my computer and for awhile lost my camera, but it's coming back together soon. Thus, no pix for now unfortunately.

Also, been reading great books that are inspirational like Jessica Jackley's Clay, Water, Brick about her experiences with co-founding Kiva.org and ProFounder, which opened the door politically for current crowdfunding being approved by the government. She's extremely gifted, articulate, informative and connected.

Highly recommend reading her book if you're an entrepreneur seeking to do a global business like we are. What I enjoyed is the similarities in our backgrounds - raised in Christian homes, love East Africa, love helping disadvantaged people and more...

Read it.:)

I really love learning and enjoyed hearing and learning from the British Social Media guru - Vincent Dignan who is really out there fashion-wise and how he conducts social media, but I'm telling you it works. Brilliant! Here's a tip for Instagram: Follow, like, like, like. Try it you'll like it.:)

Then, last weekend just completed another intensive media training program taught by Ann DeVere called Turn Your Interviews into Cash and met some really interesting people. Learned a lot too and can't wait to apply it.

May work with one woman I met to produce a business cruise if we decide to move forward with that idea. Another woman and I might collaborate on medical tourism. You never know what comes out of attending events is what I find.:)

My motto is Always be Learning and Growing.

Otherwise, living my life and enjoying each day despite having a leg injury that the ER docs haven't been able to explain or discover why I have it. All I know is I thought I was better, went out with my crutches for an evening event, and then was worse immediately.

Needless to say, even though I'm feeling better, sticking on my crutches until I see my new Dr this week. Despite the toll it plays on my hands too. I'm falling apart I tell ya.:)

Sometimes I think we're given challenges to make us slow down and have time to process what we're doing in life and who should be in our circles. I chose to separate from certain people while bringing other people closer and continuing good relationships I value which has been very healthy and healing.

Doesn't mean the difficult ones will be gone forever, but as I'm healing from my Mom's death, needed the mental space to focus on taking care of myself and get my life going again. You can't build when you're surrounded by negative energy that's always tearing you down. Feel much lighter now.

Busy pitching agents, angels, friends and others in an effort to get funding underway. There's so much more I could be doing if I could afford to bring in help and ramp up certain technological and marketing aspects.

In the meantime, just plugging away and grateful to Ariel Barco for his technical support and friendship as we change things up behind-the-scenes. Hire him! Great IT professional: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ariel-b-3438a750

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go read my book on The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan S. Kennedy.

Always be learning people. Always be learning.:) 

 


.@WTM_London 2015 Opening Day Huge Success! #WTM15 #Travel #TravelTrends

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#JDVTravel at the #Longines Masters Show in case you missed it on Facebook

By Joy A. Kennelly

I rotate stories throughout all my social media sites before bringing them to my blog and if you'd like a jump on what we're sharing, please like my fan page for Joie De Vivre Travel here: https://www.facebook.com/JoysTravelAdventures?ref=hl

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We were very privileged to be included as special guests of Longines during the prestigious Longines Masters Show at the Downtown Los Angeles Convention Center a few Sundays ago.

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Here's the links to the actual photo albums and stories on our fan page too:

Longines Masters Grand Slam Pre-Show

Longines Masters Series wrap-up

 


So many events, so much work, so little help, but working on changing this asap. #JoysTravelAdventures update

By Joy A. Kennelly

Realizing I can't continue to do this all myself, I've brought in Tomiya Eastlin to assist me with social media efforts and more. We get invitations to events to attend and cover almost daily which makes it hard to keep up with here, in addition to all my technology, videography, writing and fundraising efforts, but we're working on changing that asap.

More later. 

Can't wait to share with you all the fun times at The Forum during Happy Hour and the REO Speedwagon concert. Boston was the headliner, but didn't recognize much of their music since I was more into R & B in high school.:) 

Michael Joy and Nicole at Boston Concert
Bumped into good friends Micheal and Nicole of SouthBay Foodies too!

More pix coming soon! Enjoy the sun and hit their outside patio for some refreshments before your next concert why don't you? Here's some pictorial highlights of the food offered to get you in the mood too: https://www.facebook.com/JoysTravelAdventures

Sharlina, another Joy's Travel Adventures member and long-time friend, Nikki, and I were invited to participate in the Volunteer thank you party for Grand Performances which was a blast. Rocky Duwani and Blitz the Ambassador performed. (This pic is of Blitz- Sharlina says he got flow.:)

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Here's more pix from that super fun night: Joy's Travel Adventures Facebook Fan Page We post a lot of events we're attending or recommend on our fan page too so like it already ok?:)

Last night was an absolute blast too attending the Mercedes Benz Evolution Tour concert with Bastille.

Joy & Tomiya at #MBEvolution TourI wore my Demand Media t-shirt to give them a shoutout and because it's one of the few t-shirts I actually like how it fits.:)

We've also posted highlights on our twitter feeds which you can peek at here: https://twitter.com/thejoywriterx2 and https://twitter.com/TOMIYAMIYA23 

More to come.

Oh, and if you notice my hair has magically grown long almost overnight, I owe this magic to Hairdreams and the wonderful team of David Matthew Reid, Danny & Aubry of Studio DNA. I was first introduced to Danny & Aubry by Yelp when Yelp Elite launched in Santa Monica years and years ago.:)

Here's the formal pic from that amazing night with more pix from my amazing transformation available here and here. Can you believe I won all this glamourizing? Really boosted my spirits along with my hair!:)

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There's so many other events I need to share, but gotta run! Happy Hump Day everyone!

 


Thoughts on #GenderBias or Growing up in a family where my Dad wanted boys and how it's shaped me

By Joy A. Kennelly

My two sisters (Grace and Glori) and I were raised by a Father who wanted boys, but ended up with three girls. A blonde, a brunette and a redhead. So you could say I've grown up with gender bias my entire life.:)

When we were little we didn't play with dolls, we played with hot wheels, building blocks, and imaginative games where we were wild animals, perhaps because when we were very young, my Dad moved our entire family to live in Africa on a missionary boarding school in Kenya while he taught school on his sabbatical. Perhaps because Dad subconsciously was giving us toys he thought we'd like? Who knows. 

We visited wild animal parks, tribal villages and traveled around Africa during the month-long breaks we took during our three month on, one month off school experience.

You could also say we grew up traveling because prior to that life-changing experience, we also traveled 7 years earlier throughout South America in a converted Pepsi Cola truck motor home as a family and had adventures none of my friends growing up in the South Bay could relate to.

As a result, my sisters and family and I were very close because it happens when you only have each to depend on, or share such intense life-changing experiences like we did. That's why I love traveling and encourage everyone to do it, even with small children. It shaped my sisters and I into very independent, strong women which has it's good points and it's bad points.:)

I distinctly remember walking behind my Dad while we were in one South America country because we had been warned of pickpockets and I was "guarding" him (as a 7 year old I believe.) I'll never forget the armed military men with guns, the tanks in the streets and other images you just didn't see in the states as children, but other young foreign children grow up with on a daily basis.

As children back in the states, my sisters and I laid bricks, we painted and maintained my Dad's numerous rental properties and again, were treated like boys because my Dad is all-male and never thought anything of it. My least favorite memory was having to pick up dog poop the day of my birthday party.

Maybe that's why I don't own a dog to this day?:)

We also all played AYSO soccer and my two sisters became quite good at it, one playing as the only female on an all-boys varsity team (which went over really well with the boys she played with, and against, trust me) and my other sister continuing to play and referee the sport to this day.

I, on the other hand, really didn't like it. 

Because my birthday falls on December 31, I was always younger than my teammates in many ways which was difficult. I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I know one team my Dad forced me onto was an All-Star team and they resented having a "non-AllStar" player like me join them.

As a result, my own team members would run past me at practice and deliberately kick me in the shins to express their anger. They also taunted me constantly making life miserable.

Needless to say, I hated playing, but stuck it out because my Dad wouldn't let me quit. I remember it never got better, but since it was a short season having joined midway through, I was able to endure it.

There are three years between my sisters and I. They are only a year apart. This meant I was always forced to go into various Sunday Schools in churches we were visiting by myself, while my sisters had each other for company.

I hated that too, but did it because my Dad wouldn't let me not do it. 

See a pattern here?

My Dad has always forced me to do things beyond my comfort zone and as a result I now have little fear of entering rooms where I know no one, joining groups that are already established and expressing my opinion as a woman in a room where often I'm the only female.

Two final stories then I'll share why I'm really writing. 

Two memories that stand out as defining moments in my life and probably subconsciously are part of the reason I established my travel company are as follows.

My best friend growing up was a girl named Kieva who was the daughter of my Dad's best friend, Ed. My parents attended the same church, double dated, married around the same time and knew each other for years before we were born.

Kieva and I were born two days apart, in the same hospital, two doors down from each other, and she was my best friend even though she lived in Frazier Park, about two hours outside of Los Angeles. She was fearless, had a brother, was raised by a then divorced single mother with little supervision while I was sheltered, all sisters, with a Dad who was constantly sharing articles on rape, women getting hurt by men and other stories designed to make me more cautious, even as he pushed me into situations where it could easily have been dangerous.

I'll never forget the time when I was 13 years old and really wanted to visit Kieva so my Dad put me on a bus by myself to go from Manhattan Beach, where we were living at the time, to Downtown LA to catch the Greyhound Bus for a bus ride two hours away to Bakersfield.

Now I had never gone Downtown before, had never been to that Greyhound bus station before, and as you can imagine, was pretty overwhelmed when I arrived (thinking of all the bad things that could happen to me as a result of the indoctrination my Dad kept giving me via newspaper articles.)

Somehow I missed the bus I was supposed to take probably because I arrived late and was too shy to push to the front of the bus line to make sure I got on the right bus and missed my connection. There was a black guy who saw me looking confused who came and put his arm around me offering advice. I am positive he was a pimp to this day and probably thought I was a runaway by his actions.

I was able to get away and finally found a bus station person to help me find the right bus and get on it hours later. I didn't arrive in Bakersfield until 2am after leaving Manhattan Beach earlier that day which explains how lost I was and how much time passed.

Kieva and her Mom were worried when I didn't arrive on time and were there waiting for me until that time. Remember, this is before cell phones and there was no way to communicate with anyone what had happened. 

We were so happy to see each other we stayed up talking until 4am I remember. Good times. We used to get in so much trouble together. I think she was the one who helped me overcome many of my fears and will always hold a fond memory in my heart for the friendship we shared until she got married and moved away.

The other distinctive memory I have of my Dad pushing me out of my comfort zone was when I wanted to attend a class at a church I didn't normally attend and not driving yet, think I was 17 at the time, my Dad drove me there, dropped me off and told me to find my own way back. 

I attended the seminar, enjoyed myself, and when it came time to go home, asked the organizer if she knew anyone going my way. She didn't and asked the attendees for me. An older man offered and I thought she must know him, so I agreed to go with him in his car. She told me after she didn't, but by this time I was committed and kept my guard up.

We got into his two seater Mercedes Benz convertible and that's when it started. He wanted to date me and began asking me all kinds of questions. Turned out his youngest daughter was older than me and he was in his sixties. 

He wanted to take me out after and being the naive, sheltered 17 year old that I was, raised in a Christian home without much worldly influence having grown up without a TV (until my sisters and I won one when we sold the most candy bars together to help me win the contest when I was a Junior in High School.:)

As a side note, that wasn't my first selling gig either. When we were very young, I had a flower and lemonade stand where I sold to my neighbors. The TV was such a goal of ours in high school having not had one for so long, I recruited my sisters and we went door-to-door, sat outside our local grocery store, recruited our friends at church and sold the most candy bars out of anyone except one other student who I tied with.

I'll also never forget being so proud and happy carrying my TV box through the corridors of my high school only to get beaned in the head with an apple core by someone who was jealous. That was probably my first experience realizing not everyone will be happy when you work hard and win.:)

But I digress. 

So, here I am in this man's car, being driven from Torrance to Manhattan Beach by someone who is in their 60's who wants to "date" a 17 year old. Me. Tall, blonde, freckled, naive me. Again, no cell phones people. Gotta remember this.

He keeps asking me to eat with him so I give in and choose Bob's Big Boy thinking it will be crowded and perhaps safer than somewhere else. It was, and I'll never forget the looks we got walking into the restaurant.

Even they knew something was wrong with this picture, but my Dad? Oh, no worries. My daughter can handle it. Oy.

We sit down and in order to look even younger than my age I order a tall ice cream sundae. We talk some more, me still extremely uncomfortable, and then it's finally over. We get back into his car and he drives me home.

I'll also never forget what I said to him when he asked if he could see me again. "Sorry Bob, but I don't think I can meet your social needs right now." LOL Where I came up with that line I'll never know, but when I went inside and told my Dad my experience, all he did was laugh.

No concern at all...

That's kinda when I realized I was on my own as far as the world was concerned. I chose to travel to Europe by myself after college with great fear and trepidation, only calmed by the fact I was going to volunteer with a missions team for the first month or two of my experience which gave me time to acclimate to being in a foreign country by myself for the first time.

That's a story for another time, but all this to say, I know what it's like to be in scary situations or pressuring situations. I know what it's like to travel alone (that wasn't my last experience doing so.) And I know it's more dangerous for single females to travel alone than males simply by virtue of our gender.

I also know it's more difficult for women to find funding in technology than men because I've lived it, seen it, researched it, reported on it, and fought against gender bias since getting into this field.

But at a certain point, you just give in and say, I want to eat. I want to have my bills covered. I want to thrive, not merely survive and if having a man be the face of my women-focused business in order to get funding, then that's what I'm going to do.

I'm tired of fighting for respect. I'm tired of my accomplishments being discounted as a professional. I'm tired of my abilities being questioned or marginalized.

I give up fighting.

These past few weeks, living with no money due to the male friend I was helping with his business get funded (while mine isn't) stiffing me on money he promised he would pay for my work, and the fact I can't do the telephone sales job any more because it aggravates my hand injuries too much, has caused me to wake up to the fact I either change, adjust, fit in, or allow my dream of running a successful technology company for women die.

And I refuse to do that.

I've worked too hard, for too long not to see it through. I know it's a good idea. I know it's needed and I know I haven't exhausted all my options yet. You know how I know that? Because my male CTO told me that when I called him ready to quit.

He believes in me, my company, our efforts together and because of his encouragement and belief, I'm willing to do what it takes to continue.

I have been told by travel experts, the winner of last season's Amazing Race, women I meet wherever I travel or hold mixers, and other travelers I meet, the idea of helping women find other women to travel with is a great idea. I've experienced it personally. I know women travel differently than men and we sometimes need a little more encouragement to step outside our comfort zone.

I had my Dad pushing me, but there are many women who don't and will never accomplish their travel dreams out of fear, lack of experience and or right planning. That's why I created the company. It's why I'm still passionate about it despite the many, many obstacles I've overcome and continue to overcome.

It's why I am now seeking a CEO who will come along to push it forward and work beside me with skills and experience that will enhance my abilities and my team's abilities. I want someone who will take an objective look at what I'm doing right, what needs fine-tuning and what needs to be done differently in order to achieve our goals of finding funding. 

What people sometimes fail to understand about me is that I am in constant self-improvement mode. I want to change, grow and develop into a better person. Doesn't mean I always react correctly, but it does mean I take constructive criticism really, really, really well.

I'm not the same person I was even a year ago.

There are parts of my life I will continue to chip away at because I haven't reached perfection, but there are other aspects I'm proud to have conquered. That's why I love to read and learn from people in the tech field and every aspect of business because years ago, when my Dad paid me to read motivational books in college to earn money, I'll never forget reading one that said, the books you read today will be who you are like five years from now.

May we all continue to grow, expand our minds and our lives and read.

Therapy helps too.:)

So, now back to the grindstone if you'll excuse me. I have a lot of work to do. 

 

 


#JOYSTRAVELADVENTURES ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH SHOPPINGQUIZZES.COM TO DEVELOP #TRAVEL QUIZ

As a travel writer/video producer who has experienced 27 countries and most of the United States, Joy Kennelly has produced publicity materials, tour guides, blogs, scripts, travel articles, website copy and travel videos. Her love of travel was cultivated by her adventure loving parents from a young age traveling by plane, boat, train and bus all over South America and Africa.  

She has covered four-star hotels, Food & Wine Festivals nation-wide in her page one Google blog: Pure, Unadulterated Joy, and her coverage on Big Sur and Hearst Castle inspired a TV travel episode. As an airline industry professional, she wrote the script and appeared in a "Beating the High Cost of Travel" infomercial featuring Travel Expert, Tom Parsons, and Radio Personality, Casey Kasem. Her interesting experiences abroad earned her the “Spirit of Adventure” honor from the Youth Hostels of America Organization.

She is building Joy’s Travel Adventures into an online global travel community for female travelers.

ShoppingQuizzes.com startup was the winner of Digital LA’s Digital Women Startup Showcase, a finalist in Silicon Beach Fest 2015, and recipient of the USC Marshall-Greif Incubator Award. The team has been part of the NSF Innovation Node - Los Angeles ZAP! Entrepreneurship Program (Spring 2015) and Women's Startup Lab (Winter 2014.) CEO/Co-Founder Jennie Wong was accepted into the prestigious Female Founders Conference hosted by YCombinator in San Francisco in February 2015 and launched the Female Founders Happy Hour upon her return to Silicon Beach which has grown to over 60 members under her leadership.

JOY’S TRAVEL ADVENTURES’ WEBSITE/APP ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH SHOPPINGQUIZZES.COM TO DEVELOP TRAVEL PERSONALITY QUIZ TO MATCH FEMALE TRAVELERS WITH BEST COMPANION

Custom Quiz Based on the Latest Research in Cognition and Decision Science

 Los Angeles, CA July 2015:

 

 

Joy's Travel Adventures Founder, Joy Kennelly
Joy's Travel Adventures Founder, Joy Kennelly

Travel Startup Founder, Joy A. Kennelly of Joy’s Travel Adventures, is happy to announce partnering with Co-Founders, Jennie Wong, Ph.D. and Steve Krause of ShoppingQuizzes.com, an award-winning custom product-finder for online retailers, to design a travel personality quiz to match Joy's Travel Adventures' emale travelers with their most compatible traveling companions. Using the latest research in cognition and decision science, ShoppingQuizzes.com quizzes deliver greater engagement resulting in increased conversion rates, boosts social sharing and enhances the mobile experience.

 

 

 

Co-Founders, Jennie and Steve of award-winning tech startup, ShoppingQuizzes.com
Co-Founders, Jennie and Steve of award-winning tech startup, ShoppingQuizzes.com

“Our members will now have the opportunity to be matched according to their personality and travel preferences making for a smoother, happier experience traveling with someone new,” says Kennelly, founder, Joy’s Travel Adventures. “It’s important our matching service is cutting edge technology and with ShoppingQuizzes.com creating this travel personality quiz for us, it will be.”

 

 

Quiz for Golf Headquarters example
Quiz for Golf Headquarters example

Jennie Wong, Ph.D., is also certified in the Meyers Briggs Personality Type which makes the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people's lives. 

“Our quizzes solve the problem of overwhelming choices which creates a minimal conversion rate for online businesses,” says Wong. “We have been working with apparel, beauty, and general merchandise retailers, and travel is another category where we can help women quickly find the best option for them.  It was a natural fit for us to partner with Joy’s Travel Adventures to design their travel personality matching quiz.”

Joy’s Travel Adventures (working title) is a multi-channel engagement and e-commerce platform specializing in providing matching services for like-minded females to share travel experiences. Joy’s Travel Adventures’ goal is to provide one-stop social, shopping and matching services, resulting in greatly enhanced overall travel experiences for the target audience.

The platform provides a full range of offerings to enable a successful travel experience, such as travel packages and tours with professional, qualified guides, travel advice, products, information, and other resources (www.joystraveladventures.strikingly.com) An Android App for Joy’s Travel Adventures is also available on the Google Play Store.

Joy's savvy, unique and fun travel videos showcase different aspects of any given city including all the best places a city has to offer and how to enjoy a local culture.   

In conjunction with the web series and travel personality quiz, Joy’s Travel Adventures’ online travel community offers travel tours and special events designed for female solo/group travel experiences including: latest summer adventure to Ecuador happening July 29 – August 6, 2015 in Quito and the Galapagos Islands which includes hotels, international air transportation, yacht to and from the islands, certain meals, and all activities. (Custom itinerary available for review here: https://docsend.com/view/cn8jgik - use passcode JTA Ecuador 2015 Blog)
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attending the Cirque Musica Hollywood Bowl performance on July 19, 2015

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and a travel-focused brunch at the newly renovated Farmer’s Daughter Hotel Tart Restaurant on August 16, 2015 at 10:30am.

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ABOUT JOY’S TRAVEL ADVENTURES Founder/Host Joy Kennelly is an Award-Winning Digital Marketing Strategist and Founder of The Joy Writer PR & Digital Marketing Firm, Goal Gals LA, and now Joy’s Travel Adventures (www.joystraveladventures.strikingly.com) As an adventurer who has traveled through 27 countries and most of the United States, both on her own and with her family, Joy Kennelly has worked for Alaska and Delta Airlines, the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, high-end hotels both in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and appeared as an airline expert in “Beating the High Cost of Travel” infomercial featuring Travel Expert, Tom Parsons, and Radio Personality, Casey Kasem, as her first job in entertainment. Her interesting experiences abroad earned her the “Spirit of Adventure” honor from the Youth Hostels of America.

A published writer, she has covered the Silicon Beach scene for TechZulu and her page one Google blog for numerous years. A Who’s Who in Technology, she ran the Los Angeles Chapter of StartupMind, an offshoot of the 5,000 person Meetup Group in Silicon Valley, for a year and a half in Silicon Beach which grew from 40 members to over 700 under her leadership.

Joy’s Travel Adventures’ CTO is Robert Mathieu who has over 20 years’ experience leading design and development on application and Web projects for widely varying clients, including Walmart.com, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, General Electric, Chevron, VISA, American Medical Association, Reliant Energy, Universal, and Mattel.  In addition, Robert has led and successfully delivered application development projects for the United States National Reconnaissance Office and Department of Defense.  Projects led include early Web adoption for the U.S. government and satellite launch support programs, ecommerce implementations, online banking system development, multi-media integration, and ticketing systems.

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ABOUT SHOPPINGQUIZZES.COM 

Multi-award-winning ShoppingQuizzes.com is a Los Angeles based tech startup that provides custom product-finders for online retailers that more than DOUBLE conversion rates. Quizzes embed on the retailer's website and ask the user 3-5 binary questions to generate a personalized Top 3 list (and in the case of Joy’s Travel Adventures will identify a traveler’s personality and compatible travel companions.) The subscription tool is based on the latest research in cognitive and decision science and delivers greater engagement, as well as boosted social sharing and mobile experience.

ShoppingQuizzes.com startup was the winner of Digital LA’s Digital Women Startup Showcase, a finalist in Silicon Beach Fest 2015,

Jennie Wong at Silicon Beach Fest
Finalist Jennie Wong pitching at Silicon Beach Fest

and recipient of the USC Marshall-Greif Incubator Award. The team has been part of the NSF Innovation Node - Los Angeles ZAP! Entrepreneurship Program (Spring 2015) and Women's Startup Lab (Winter 2014.) Jennie was accepted into the prestigious Female Founders Conference hosted by YCombinator in San Francisco in February 2015 and launched the Female Founders Happy Hour upon her return to Silicon Beach which has grown to over 60 members under her leadership.

Jennie Wong Headshot

CEO Jennie Wong received her Ph.D. at the age of 22 from the Annenberg School for Communication at USC and worked with Fortune 500 companies specializing in human behavior change and cognition for over a decade before becoming an entrepreneur. CTO Steve Krause is a full stack e-commerce engineer with 20 years experience and is a 3-time CTO, including a previous startup eventually acquired by ESPN. ShoppingQuizzes.com is the second company they have built together.

 


Visit Ecuador! The wonders of Quito & The Galapagos Islands with #JoysTravelAdventures 7/29 - 8/6/15 #travel

By Joy A. Kennelly

61142-004-2E4A5A9E Galapagos-reptiles

We're offering a 25% discount for our 8 day tour because we don't want anyone to miss out! Includes 13 meals, all hotel stays, all activities in Quito and Galapagos Islands, international travel between Quito and Galapagos Islands, and more! More details here: http://bit.ly/1Ja4b45 

Very happy to announce the final Ecuador: Quito and the Galapagos Islands itinerary for July 29-August 6, 2015 is finally ready for viewing for those whose vacation time is flexible, enjoy spontaneous adventures, and those who want something completely unique and special for their summer escape.

I've run the itinerary by a few friends and family who travel extensively, or who have actually been to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, and their response has been very favorable.

Here's my favorite response to date by my accomplished friend, Dr. Alice Villalobos who has lead tours to the Galapagos Islands in the past. She is a Hermosa Beach and Woodland Hills Veterinarian who runs Pawspice and Animal Oncology Consultation Service. (I took this picture of her for an article years ago which she still uses on her About Us page.:)

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PEOPLE'S RESPONSES TO OUR JOY'S TRAVEL ADVENTURES ECUADOR ITINERARY

Dr. Villalobos said, "OMG!! Your Trip to the Galapagos is GREAT!"

My parent's friends who traveled there years ago told my Mom, "From the description, It sounds lovely!"

My Aunt, who is very erudite and well-traveled, responded, "Your description makes the trip sound very inviting and fun. People can opt out of activities if they wish to. Good write up, Joy."

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Now I can't take all the credit because my tour counterpart and I worked very hard to create a customized excursion that would allow us to enjoy the eclectic art-filled sights and sounds of bustling Quito with the relaxed, fascinating views of wildlife you will see nowhere else in the world than in the Galapagos Islands, all while staying in the beautiful Silberstein hotel properties.

Here's some highlights of the trip I posted on Linkedin for you to see too. Click here

Only $3,000 and includes meals, hotels, transportation on Quito and Galapagos Islands, entry fees and more as notated.  $304  Single Supplement if private room for one person is requested. 

For the comprehensive itinerary to consider joining us, please use passcode "JTA Ecuador 2015" to sign in here as well: https://docsend.com/view/ktziddd 


#JoysTravelAdventures videos, events, MVP & updates for your reading pleasure #travel #tours

By Joy A. Kennelly

Joy's Travel Adventures Launch

Recently launched a Meetup site for Joy's Travel Adventures to gauge interest and within a few days had over 50 members. We continue to grow and it's been fun meeting the women offline and learning more about their travel interests to help refine what we offer.

Here's the link in case you're interested and would like to join us: http://www.meetup.com/Joys-Travel-Adventures-Global/ 

Our next event is called 50 Shades of Selfies with the Style Club which you can find out about by clicking the link to our group above. Join us and make sure to RSVP on our group page to be added to the list.

Website MVP

My goal is to take this beautiful rendition of what our full website will look like created by my amazing Polish team and build this out once I find the right developer here in the states. This is what I envision for the website with a proprietary matching service women will join for a behind-the-scenes, private social networking community to keep confidentiality, privacy and security issues managed.

It will also require approval for inclusion which creates an exclusivity for member only events, offerings, and tours.

Joys_adventures_main_v2a-01 version I did choose

I've also been working on a variety of quick, 20 second videos to showcase some of our travel adventures which you can watch here: http://flipagram.com/thejoywriter

Here's my latest: 

 

I've also created an app and have submitted it for approval. So, yes, a lot going on behind-the-scenes creatively, but also in other realms.

I've also been working on the following:

1. Refining my Executive Summary with the assistance of my advisors

2. Working on financials for the business which has become clearer and clearer now that I have an actual travel group to visualize expenses and income with.

3.  Applying to numerous accelerators which is almost a full-time job in and of itself. Made it to a first interview with a few of them. Fingers crossed.:)

4. Taking classes to help refine my travel video concept because I still see this as a TV show since there are really no travel shows for women and Anthony Bourdain's style of traveling just doesn't cut it 100% of the time for females. We need to see traveling we like to do as females, not always eat Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern either. We want to see Fashion, Food & Fun like my tagline says.

5. Pitched over 100 cable, network development executives and others regarding my travel show for women and had quite a few accept my Linkedin invitation, thus opening the door for future communication once I apply what I've learned in my classes for creating the show bible and budget.

6. Been working on finding more advisors because you can never have enough people helping you move forward towards your goals and why wait for an accelerator to provide them, when I can successfully seek them out myself professionally via Linkedin?:)

Oh, and speaking of job, also looking for work that I can do without further injuring my hands until I find investors willing to come alongside and grow my vision to allow me to hire more people to help me.

Balancing a lot, but feeling more driven now than ever because I have a personal deadline to fulfill. I'm not going to let my injuries hold me back from achieving my dreams and goals. No matter what JW Marriott Las Vegas thinks or does.

Say a prayer and wish me luck! 


Announcing our "Vegas Escape" #travel video #JoysTravelAdventures - see the side of #Vegas only locals know

By Joy A.Kennelly

Very happy to share our completed "Vegas Escape" travel video with everyone. We had so many people help make this a reality and wanted to give them a shout out here, in addition to on our YouTube Channel. 

But first, without further ado, please enjoy a side of Vegas only locals know and that I reveal here in our "Vegas Escape" travel video:

 

I want to first thank Francis Vincent, my cameraman of Production Central Group, for catching my vision and coming alongside me to film all over Las Vegas in the quick five-day shoot we did together. It was great to have his son, Winston, and my good friend, Shawana, participate too.

We worked together so well, I'd love to go back to shoot a longer version whenever we find funding.

And now in no particular order, here are more of the wonderful companies, people and places who helped create this show with their support. Please visit their locations and tell them Joy's Travel Adventures introduced you to their services!

BIG THANK YOU TO:

Las Vegas News Bureau 
Wynn / Encore Las Vegas 
The Smith Center 
MGM Resorts International
Tivoli Village 
Faiss Foley Warren PR 
Fashion Show Mall 
Marc Abelman, Arts B18 District
Las Vegas Canoe & Kayak Club
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area 
Lake Las Vegas Westin 
Michelle Olds, Lake Las Vegas
The Arts Factory
Happy Panda Toys 
BarBistro 
Big Ern’s BBQ
Sonrisa Grill 
Artist Q – Wang Viva 
Las Vegas Skate Co 
Tesoro Imports
Winky Designs 
Cathay Las Vegas 
Jessica Galindo Fine Art & Leather Couture 
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Chill Spot
Megan Barker, Singer/Songwriter 
Downtown Project
Downtown Container Park 
Jana's Red Room 
Island Girls Designs
Chris Builder, The Stratosphere 
City of Las Vegas 
Peace Art Studio 
Mingo Calloso, George Harris, Mingo Kitchen & Lounge

And if you want to visit the people we interviewed, here's their info too. Big thank you to all of them. We were sorry we couldn't include everyone we interviewed and hope to include them in the future:

INTERVIEWEES

Karen Sanders, Tourquoise Door 
Chef Robert Solano, Mingo Kitchen & Lounge & Mundo
Marty Walsh, Trifecta Gallery
Javier Anaya, Pinches Tacos 
Leslie Marroquin, Garden Grill 
Chef Roy Bass, Those Guys Pies

Lastly, big shout out to my Editor, Dustin Elkin, for his patience with all my tweaking and requests to pack in as much as possible to showcase everything I wanted to share with viewers. He took raw footage, b-roll, and captured my vision in his own unique way after I explained what I was going for.

I loved how he was able to get the edits to fit the beats of the songs I chose because I'm not an editor and would never have been able to do this on my own. He also had to work with technical difficulties presented with audio on all my interviews and standups which he overcame with Francis gracefully and without complaint.

We included footage from some of my past shoots and I want to thank and recognize those folks as well:

LOS ANGELES TEAM

Dustin Elkin, Editor
Nelson Brann, Videographer/Editor, Film-Alchemy
Mike Tringe & Sara Akhteh, CreatorUp
Tony Le, Videographer
Steph Belsky, Associate Producer

I hope we thanked everyone and if anyone feels left out, please let me know and I'll include you because we want everyone who helped us to be recognized.

I love the music we included and want to throw out a big thank you to the artists as well. They really helped set the tone, pace and vibe. I have loved their music since first hearing it and couldn't wait to share it with the rest of the world because it's so fun and hip:

MUSIC

"Happy" is a song written, produced, and performed by American singer and producer Pharrell Williams from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack album.

"Angel in Blue Jeans" is a song recorded by American rock band Train for their seventh studio album Bulletproof Picasso. The song was written by Pat Monahan, Amund Bjørklund, and Espen Lind, and was produced by the latter two as well as Butch Walker.

"Stolen Dance" is a song by German duo Milky Chance and was released by Lichtdicht Records and Republic Records on 9 May 2014.

"Do I Wanna Know?" is a song by English indie rock band Arctic Monkeys from their fifth studio album AM.

" Rather Be " is track #1 on the album Rather Be by British group Clean Bandit and features vocals from Jess Glynne. It was written by Napier, James John / Patterson, Jack Robert / Marshall, Nicole.

And last, but definitely not least: 

GRATEFUL HEART TO 

My Parents, Pat & Dianne Kennelly, for their loving financial support and belief in me

Here's to the future and creating the website for Joy's Travel Adventures next.

Stay tuned. More to come. The adventure is just beginning!


What I gained attending Global Innovation Fellows upon returning to Los Angeles, CA

By Joy A. Kennelly

Recently I had the pleasure of participating in the Global Innovation Fellows Program. From what I gathered, it was started to bring students out of the classroom and into the real world which is a great initiative.

When I first moved back to Los Angeles my good friend, Ariel, invited me to join him only three days after my arrival and because nothing else was going on, I decided to dive in head first; especially when I heard we were visiting Google and Facebook up in Silicon Valley!

Wouldn't you have wanted to go too?:)

We started out at Junior Achievement where I bumped into a friend, Marisa Materna, whom I've known for over 10 years and had lost contact with.

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Joy Kennelly and Marisa Materna, Special Events Director, Junior Achievement

The guest speakers were great, but have to admit, re-connecting with an old friend definitely was the highlight of that day.

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Joshua Freedenberg (Motivational Speaker, Author of “The World’s Next Top Leader”) and Brian Williams (CEO, Junior Achievement)

Although all the speakers were excellent and inspiring too. Recognize anyone?:)

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Anna Ouroumian (CEO, Academy of Business Leadership) Center surrounded by this year's Global Innovation Fellows Class of 2014

Throughout the week we were able to visit Idealab, CAA, the Fashion District and many more businesses across Los Angeles. It was wonderful to hear amazing speakers and visit companies I've admired for a long, long time. 

The only bummer was trying to get from place to place logistically due to LA traffic and consistently running an hour behind for each session which ultimately resulted in certain sessions being canceled due to the delays.

In addition, choosing to drive up to SFO without knowing where to stay and arriving at 2am only to be expected at our first session by 8am when we were still an hour away was very difficult; and it was very disappointing to learn two key speakers for that morning were canceled last minute who I really wanted to hear.

Overall though, a good experience. The program is free, fairly new, run by only one person, and you get what you pay for.:)

I've never understood why women don't travel more, but after experiencing this last-minute trip with no guidance or assistance from the organizer, I now have a deeper understanding of what those who've not traveled much experience which was beneficial all on it's own for my travel company, Joy's Travel Adventures.

It also opened my eyes to the tech community's need to have assistance with travel which is a great side benefit too. Sometimes life's greatest frustrations turn into life's greatest opportunities and provide insights into needs not normally revealed in normal, every day experiences.

The opportunity to hear all the wonderful speakers: Freddy Nager (USC Professor & Founder/CEO, Atomic Marketing); Richard Pan (Entrepreneur/Investor); Gustavo Demoner (UCLA Professor & Brazilian Innovator); Kent Smith, (Executive Director, LA Fashion District); Russell Hancock, (President & CEO, Joint Venture Silicon Valley); Alex Maleki, (Business Development, Idealab); Philip Leslie (Engineer, Google); and more...see first hand how companies are run while visiting them on-site, learning new things, and taking tours of Google P1060092and Facebook was awesome, especially for a social media junkie like myself!  P1060075

I felt like I was on a technology high my whole time in Silicon Valley seeing Twitter headquarters, hearing speakers at Kiva

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Justin Renfro of Kiva and Rob Campbell, Global Innovation Fellows Leader

and Code for America,

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Code For America

and squeezing in a visit with my friends, Roger Royse and KP, my co-organizer with StartupMind, too. 

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Kaustav P. Chaudhuri aka KP, Co-Organizer of StartupMind with myself, Joy Kennelly

I learned a lot, made some great connections, spent time with new friends and had a blast touring SFO as a tourist with Ariel and Avanti, my road trip buddies,

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Avanti Armendariz, Joy, Ariel Barco

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which was a fun way to blow off steam after the intense week.

Logistically, there are things to improve,  but program-wise, Global Innovation Summit on the surface is an excellent concept. Great cross-section of business, non-profit and variety of industries. I wish the organizer well because he's onto something positive.

That's why my interest is piqued in attending the California Connections Fellows program through the Southern California Leadership Network/LA Chamber of Commerce because of the opportunity to meet with civic leaders, learn from experts in their fields in their business environment, and in this instance, the ability to network with government officials also, which is always beneficial to one's career.

Plus, the cost of the program includes all travel logistics!:)

I heard someone say once they don't believe in criticism which I think is missing the point if it causes you to improve and correct what needs to be changed to make something stronger and provide a better overall experience for all involved.

Plus, if everyone blows smoke at you and you never hear the truth, what good does that do anyone?:)

That's one reason I'm excited to begin working with two new members of my Joy's Travel Adventures team, Lana Leazer and Shar Martin. I've come to realize I can't do everything on my own, other people have skills, connections and experience I don't have, and by combining our backgrounds we will develop something even stronger for female travelers.

More on this later, but next up is my MAGIC experience which was so overwhelming as a newbie, I had to take some time to digest everything I saw and all the wonderful brands I met. Very cool to see the huge variety of clothing, accessories, shoes and booth decorations. Very fun too!

I posted pix from both experiences on my Facebook fan page which you can review here: http://www.Facebook. com/JoysTravelAdventures


The Great Love Debate is coming to @CityofLasVegas this weekend! #love #dating #relationships

By Joy A. Kennelly

I've been reading a lot of relationship advice books since I have the time and have enjoyed telling my girlfriends what I've learned and which books I recommend. We're keeping the library busy! And bookstores too (if you're an author.:)

You can see some of my reading suggestions on my Pinterest board here: http://www.pinterest.com/thejoywriter/books-i-ve-read-and-recommend/

As a result, when I saw this event on Match and then received the press release, I knew it was a fun event to attend and cover. I used to attend "love" seminars and groups while living in Los Angeles under Dr. Pat Allen, but she's so coarse I eventually stopped going. There's only so many F-words I can tolerate, especially coming out of a 60 year old plus woman's mouth! No matter how good her advice is!

So, it will be interesting to see what this show/event reveals. I think I'm beginning to get a handle on what I've been doing wrong all these years and what I also have been doing right which is hopeful.

I believe in love. I believe in soul mates. I also believe when the time is right and you keep putting yourself out there, you will meet "The One." 

I had a good friendship with a guy I  wanted a future with because he's kind, super smart, handsome, successful, yet down-to-earth, humble and generous, but alas and alack, I ruined it which is why I'm now reading the book, It's Not Him, It's You! LOL I want to learn from my mistakes and grow as a person because I also believe it will benefit every aspect of my life, professionally and otherwise as well.

Plus, I don't want to make that mistake again. I really liked him and enjoyed the mental connection we shared which I haven't felt in a long time. Miss that and him, but trying to move on. Hence this event...

I want to meet someone special because traveling is so much more fun when you have someone to share it with which is one of the many reasons I've been working on building Joy's Travel Adventures to help women find travel partners.

If we're single, there's no reason to wait on a guy to have fun!:)

There are so many single women who never travel out of fear of the unknown, fear for their safety, and not knowing what to do and see  when they go somewhere, which is why I'm excited to help them experience the empowerment and self-knowledge that comes when you travel. Also, introduce them to all the fun things there are to do!

Travel opens your mind, your heart, and your soul in ways staying at home will never accomplish. It makes you more flexible, more tolerant, more interesting, and more open which is one of the reasons I love exploring new places. I always come back a better person for the experience, even if negative and difficult. 

This morning I dreamt I was traveling in Europe in August and meeting up with travel friends there. I hope this is one dream that comes true because I'm ready for a new adventure.:) In the meantime, I'll continue working on my travel episode for Las Vegas and introduce my fellow female travelers to the wonderful opportunities to explore Nevada they may not be aware exist. 

And share with them what I learn through attending this love debate. Maybe I'll see you there? All the details follow. Enjoy! Tell 'em Joy sent ya!Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: gld1

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LEADING PANEL OF EXPERTS HEADLINES LAS VEGAS EVENT

TO ANSWER QUESTION “WHY IS EVERYONE STILL SINGLE?

LAS VEGAS, NV (July 7, 2014)  –  Hello Products  in partnership with Match.com, is proud to announce THE GREAT LOVE DEBATE tour will be coming to the Baobab Stage Theatre at Town Square in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 12th.  10300045_723212184391517_1057574653270104392_n

This lively, interactive Town hall-style discussion and debate on the current state of the date will be comprised of an audience of 100 of Las Vegas’ most eligible bachelors facing off against 100 of its most dynamic single women to answer the question, “Why is everyone still single?”

‘We are thrilled that this unique, entertaining, and engaging event is coming to Las Vegas,” says the event’s moderator, Kimberly Seltzer, nationally-renowned Therapist, Image Expert, and Dating Coach. “This city’s singles are extremely passionate about love, the evening will be a really fun and exciting way to raise questions - and find answers!”

The July 12th  show continues the summer leg of a 45-city national tour, and features a panel of the region’s most prominent relationship experts and influential voices including;  Crystal Cardoso, Las Vegas Dating Expert and Relationship Specialist;  Kristine Givas, National Director at the World’s Premier Matchmaker, Kelleher InternationalBrian Howie, Award-Winning Producer and Author ofHow to Find Love in 60 Seconds; and Arden Leigh, Author, Relationship Strategist, and Women’s Coach.

 

Tickets for this event are $40 and are available online at www.greatlovedebate.com. Doors open at 7pm for cocktails, showtime is at 8pm.  The first 50 people to use promotional code LOVE20 at checkout receive $20 off the ticket price.

 Seating is extremely limited (100 per gender), all attendees receive admission to the “Meet, Greet, Mix, Mingle & Match” party which immediately follows the show at Yard House10513445_10152522458524222_2496803903043909572_n

 For future tour dates and panelist information, please visit www.greatlovedebate.com.

 


Joy's Travel Adventures: @threesquareLV @Zappos @DowntownProjLV @GirlsInTechLV @TheMobMuseum @Barrett_Jackson & more! #VegasTech #VegasFun

By Joy A. Kennelly

Long time no chat, howzit going out there?:) Since arriving in Vegas it's been a whirlwind of activity and writing opportunities that always preclude my writing here. 

Now that I've had bronchitis for almost two weeks and feel like I'm finally coming back from the dead, I feel inspired to share all the fun things that have been happening just in case you're curious.:)

I dove head first into getting involved with the tech scene and enjoyed many Downtown Podcasts with my Girls in Tech friends until I started having other events and illness affect my ability to participate. The Downtown Podcast is a fun gathering of tech entreprenuers who live in Vegas and is produced by the founders of Ticketcake.com.

Here's a pic and a link to more if you're curious: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152297110938849.1073741830.348417258848&type=1

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Girls in Tech is a "global non-profit organization which aims to support the collaboration, promotion, growth and success of women in the local technology sector.

It does this by offering educational workshops and lectures, panel discussions, networking functions, social engagements, and recruitment events."

I was fortunate to arrive just in time to participate in GIT's Computer Education classes for the Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada and really enjoyed helping young girls develop a passion for technology.

Plus, made some new fun girlfriends in the process! You can see Christina Aldan sharing our events during a recent Downtown Podcast. She runs Lucky Girl Designs and is a great person. Connect with her on Linkedin here! http://www.linkedin.com/pub/christina-aldan/8/2/b13

Here's a pic from that experience with a link to more too: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152297068708849.1073741828.348417258848&type=1 1240207_10152297086803849_237917020_n

There's a really supportive community for female entreprenuers out here in Vegas and I was able to participate in a recent Women of Influence seminar featuring: Jean Birch, Owner/CEO Birch Company and Former CEO of IHOP Restaurants and Romano's Macaroni Grill; Rose McKinney-James, Managing Principal of Energy Works LLC; Fafie Moore, Owner of Realty Executives of Nevada; Renee West, President/COO Luxor and Excalibur and Dr. Kate Zhong, Senior Director of Clinical Research and Development at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

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Impressive, eh? Tell me about it! Here's a pic from the event with a link to more if you're curious too: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152297131378849.1073741831.348417258848&type=1

I crashed Zappos Headquarter move to Downtown Vegas which was really cool too! 

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Tony Hseih cutting the Zappos celebratory cake
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Also, the Downtown Project tour given by the Pixie of Positivity, HeidyNoelle Stamper, (isn't she great!:) which gives you the overview of the vision for Downtown was interesting too.

20130906_145027I especially enjoyed the last speaker I heard during the Downtown Speaker series too. You can view those pictorial essays here: https://www.facebook.com/JoyKennelly?ref=hl - just scroll down a bit.

I also loved participating in the DISH Las Vegas Three Square Food Bank Charity Fundraiser held at the "Palms Casino Resort (at The Palms Pool & Bungalows) with tastes from Las Vegas’ most acclaimed restaurants, including: N9NE Steakhouse, NOVE Italiano, TAO Asian Bistro, LAVO Italian Restaurant & Nightclub, rm Seafood, Border Grill and Bar+Bistro @ The Arts Factory." (As written in their press announcement.)

Talk about a feast! It was really fun and for a great cause too. Here's a little facts on Three Square Food Bank and how they help the community. They are partnered with over 650 community program partners including non-profit and faith-based organizations, schools and feeding sites; serve over 100,000 people monthly; and have provided the equivalent of roughly 18 million meals in 2011 alone!

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What a wonderful event and charity! Click here for more pix: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.444327465687980.1073741830.412260405561353&type=1&l=59d3b5e860

In addition, I've enjoyed the Cowboy BBQ,
1184789_10151800983478600_2091483794_nhosted by my former employer, O Entertainment, who recently relocated here to Vegas as well!

1377577_10151798880768600_1409303840_nAnd for a change of pace, crashed The Las Vegas Biker Fest with another new Vegas BFF, Jamie, with very fun results. We never know what will happen when we hang out which always makes it fun.

Just another Adventure!:) See what I mean?:)

529136_10151798886713600_1799920117_nEarlie that day we visited The Mob Museum in Downtown Vegas which is really interesting, but very graphic too. Here's me with the cut-out of the former Mayor of Vegas, Oscar Goodman, recognize him?:) 

1380834_10151800353828600_450322504_nHis memoir was very good too by the way, although I think he kinda white-washed the criminals he represented in my humble opinion. No offense mobsters who might be reading this, but when you kill and rob people, you're not a family man, no matter how many times you say it out loud or want to believe it.

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I worked the amazing Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction which I have always wanted to attend ever since an attorney I was working for years ago helped Micheal Jackson sell his Maybach there. 

Here's a teaser... It was so cool to see Siegfried and Roy on the final day make an appearance. I remember that fateful day 10 years ago when the tiger attacked Roy and was thrilled to see Vegas royalty live at the auction fully recovered and supporting the community.

P1030389View more pictures from all my adventures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joystraveladventures/

And for my latest tech adventures with the Vegas Tech scene, check out my Social Media Strategist Facebook fan page here: https://www.facebook.com/JoyKennelly?ref=hl

I still have to share about other adventures including the cool luxury travel show, Rock of Ages, crashing a local Harley Davidson BBQ, exploring the Strip, and much, much more...

I will as soon as I catch up on everything else I need to do! Oh, and if you want to read my latest travel article on traveling to and through Big Sur for C-Suite Magazine, you can do so here: http://pages.cdn.pagesuite.com/4/6/46c0e80c-2401-4055-b495-bb4d11633343/page.pdf

I also wrote an article on social media for a classy, cultured magazine out here in Vegas called BLVDS Las Vegas which I will be able to share soon. I was pleased to include my friend, Social Media Guru, Peter Shankman, and his esteemed colleague, Dr. Jennifer Hartstein, of Hartstein Psychological Services in New York City whom you may recognize as a contributing psychologist for CBS’ The Early Show.

So, needless to say, I've been berry, berry busy.:) Oh, and in addition to all of this, have managed to create my budget and work on more details for Joy's Travel Adventures, despite being too sick to participate in a cool pitching event in front of a bunch of potential investors. Sad face, but there will be other opportunities.

I'm continuing to plan my next travel video now that I'm here in Vegas and reaching out to all the cool casinos for freelance and permanent work because you always create stronger relationships when you work with people.

Funding may take awhile and I'm hustling!

Wish me luck!:)

I'm also still trying to coordinate activities both here and in Los Angeles for my StartupMind group I run with my friend, KP http://www.meetup.com/StartupMind/members/3248131/.

Become a member to stay in touch with what's happening in Silicon Beach, Silicon Valley and Vegas Tech scenes here: http://www.meetup.com/StartupMind/

Now that I'm feeling better I plan to update it more frequently, along with all my other event organizers too.

Okay, I think that's all for now.

Thanks for reading and staying in touch. Love to hear your thoughts.


Thoughts on traveling, empowerment and adventures as I move to Vegas.

By Joy A. Kennelly

I have a lot of other articles I'm "supposed" to write, but life has been to crazy to sit and concentrate to write them up the way I like to cover things. So if you're waiting, I apologize. Your event is constantly on my mind and will be covered, just not right now.

That said, after listening to the "brain lady" speak the other night I realized I really just feel like writing my story to help sort out my thoughts and process what is happening right now.

I have a tendency to travel on rather short notice and couldn't figure out why that kept happening even though I know about events I want to attend weeks, if not months, in advance. Upon returning from my last, last-minute trip it hit me.

I do it to overcome the fear of going somewhere alone.

I remember when I was preparing to go away to school in Seattle and how afraid I was to leave CA and start fresh there. Friends and family all encouraged me and once I made the leap, I was fine. I became copy editor of our school yearbook, convinced the school to send me and our staff to DC to a huge journalism conference where we learned all about marketing, making our yearbook pop and when we returned, it was the first sold-out yearbook in years. 

When I was one of a hundred selected to attend Obama's first inauguration, I waited until the last minute to make all my travel arrangements there too. It turned out perfectly and I had a great time (even though I was probably one of the few conservatives attending. LOL)

My Mom and Dad plan everything down to a t, but for some reason I just find making things happen quickly works best for me. As a single woman traveling solo, safety is always in the back of my mind which is another reason I decided to start my travel company. It's not easy to find travel partners who have the same schedule or interests as you and if you want to take a big trip, often it's easier and more fun when you have a friend or travel partner to go with you.

Watching Jobs last night with Ashton Kutcher I really related to him, bad sides and all. When I'm focused on something, I'm laser focused and that doesn't leave much time for anything else. I also have really high standards of what I expect to happen which doesn't always sit well with people I work with and I'm working on it. That said, when I do create something it turns out well and I'm proud of it.

After college, I decided to volunteer with Hungarian Orphan children to give back before hitting the real world and ended up staying in Europe traveling around by myself for three months after that experience. I also ran a toy drive for them for three years afterward, but that's another story.

If you had told me I would have the courage, wherewithall, or whatever to do that before I left, I wouldn't have believed you. I was almost raped coming home late from catering one night just before graduating and it really did something to my psyche for a long time, but traveling restored my spirit and joie de vivre in ways no therapy ever did.

When you travel and you only have yourself and God to depend upon, you realize you have deeper resolve and wisdom than you will ever experience staying in your comfort zone.

That's why I love traveling. It's challenging, it's invigorating, it's stimulating, and it's fun. It can also be stressful, difficult, and scary, but the positives so far outweigh the negatives it's the main reason I decided to start my travel adventures for women.

Having run numerous empowerment groups for women where I taught them to set goals and actually achieve them and to see these same women blossom into powerful women who see themselves in whole new ways and accomplish things they never thought possible, it's another reason I see the value of what I'm creating.

We as women are judged by our age, our beauty, our weight, our social status, our cars, our clothes and so much more. But when you travel, it's the great equalizer and for once we're just people on a journey experiencing new opportunities, people and all the rest fades away.

Plus, it's fun! And I'm all about the fun.

I could go on and on about other last minute trips I've taken that turned out really well, but actually, I'm about to take another last minute trip to Vegas to start a new life there and really must get to packing.:) 

And yes, you read this right. I'm moving to Vegas.

It's been on my thoughts since January when I visited their tech scene then and this last trip mixing and mingling with the startup scene again through Startup Weekend and SXSWV2V only cemented my desire.

Plus, I have nothing really holding me here and am ready for a new adventure. I'm sure I'll have a lot of visitors too because everyone wants to come to Vegas!:) Another great reason to launch my travel business there!

So, best get back to packing. Say a prayer for me if you pray and stay in touch.

Love to see you there!

 

 


Thoughts on #Entrepreneurship, Actress @SuveriaMota, @OKMagazine's "So Sexy" party, & Notes of a Freshman @Enplug doc

By Joy A. Kennelly

Every so often, there comes a point in my journey where I realize I can't do it all by myself no matter how hard I try. I need help. As an entreprenuer it's easy to get so focused on what you're working on that you forget there are people in your life who are struggling too and we're not alone in this.

We're all in this together. We all want each other to succeed. 

Sometimes it doesn't feel like that. Sometimes it doesn't look like that. But when you peel away the facade, hear someone's story and realize they're struggling to make it just like you it's really encouraging. I'm not alone. I can relate to someone else. They get me too. 

It was another reason I returned to LA after living in GA. I missed the entreprenuerial spirit, the "we're going to make something big happen," and the excitement of seeing people find success when they worked hard enough and long enough towards a goal. The skies the limit out here. You never know when you'll meet the next Bill Gates, Ralph Lauren, Van Gogh, or Jennifer Lawrence and that's exciting.

I also love the international aspect of CA. My new client is from the Domican Republic, I have a Russian friend I'll be telling you about in a little bit, and LA is such a melting pot you're always meeting new cultures, new personalities and new people. Love it!

Being an entreprenuer is something I've been all my life. I don't really know how else to be. When I was very young I picked flowers from our yard and sold them to our neighbors. When I was in high school my sisters and I sold the most candy bars in the entire school to earn a TV because we didn't have one growing up and really wanted it. We went door-to-door, sold them outside grocery stores and just made it happen.

My Dad wanted us to read and not be influenced by TV, but gave in when we won one of our own. What could he say? He's very entreprenuerial too and despite having stability with his teaching career, always invested wisely in real estate and taught us the value of a dollar and working hard to achieve it.

I've tried corporate life and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Each time has been a learning experience, a growing experience, and a chance to see how other people run their companies - what works, what doesn't. What systems are in place, what roles people play, how people accept certain things, or not. Also, a chance to make friends, many I've kept in touch with long after.

I've been working at Shopzilla, a shopping portal, off and on for a few years now and it's one of my favorite companies I have ever worked for. They're chill, low-key, low stress, no drama, and everyone genuinely likes each other and working there. At least that's what I've observed. 

I always feel welcome when I pop in for my gigs and like I have value. It may be a minor role I play, but I feel accepted, supported and like I have friends who care. When I'm not there I don't think about them or hang out, but keep up on Facebook and when I'm back, it's like no time has passed at all.

All that to say, it's what I realize is missing in my life more and more. Working on my new web series/travel show and corresponding online social community for women has been a lonely, isolated experience. I don't have an office I go to, I don't have co-workers to bounce ideas off of, and I am not actively encouraging or supporting anyone else in their endeavors until recently.

That's why I was so happy to work with an actress to help her launch her career now that she has a starring role in a big TV movie airing on GMC this spring called "What Would You Do for Love." She's beautiful, talented, grounded, humble and smart. Everything you could ever ask for of someone you represent.

Her name is Suveria Mota and mark my words, you will remember her name because this is just the start of something big for her. She's too talented, too beautiful, and too motivated not to succeed. Plus, she has the support of her family which makes all the difference in the world. 

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Sultry Actress Suveria Mota

 

See what I mean? Beautiful inside and out.

And we're just getting started working together! It was so fun to have her join me at the OK! Magazine's "So Sexy" party at the Mondronian Sky Bar recently because it was a great party filled with lots of beautiful people. Recognize anyone?:)

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Actress Suveria MotaIt feels good to sow into her life and help her achieve her goals because I love helping women move forward in their lives.

It's why I started my Goal Gals group and it's why I'm starting my travel adventure website/show for women too.

I want to show women they can have fun traveling, escape the worries of their life and come back with a renewed, refreshed outlook and perspective to attack life more joyfully, with an open-heart and feeling fulfilled. Travel does that as a by-product of new experiences and new people.

It's life-changing.

I may not have a lot of physical possessions, but the memories I've developed over the years from traveling is priceless. I'm not materialistic, never have been.

I like nice things, but don't need them to feel I have value as a human being. I learned that volunteering with Hungarian orphan children right after college and through my spiritual studies. The orphans gave freely of the little they had and were the happiest children I have ever met. It's why I ran a toy drive to give them toys for four years after meeting them until a Hungarian woman took over the toy drive for me.

94b4ef_ba046ca3d8a972fa3fa8485636e03d56.jpg_srz_305_625_75_22_0.50_1.20_0That's why I wanted to share another friend's story with you too. You have probably seen Victoria Kashtan at various Silicon Beach events shooting pictures, smiling, always gracious, always kind, but her humble demeanor hides her brilliance which I really feel needs to shine and why I felt compelled to share her doc with you today. 

Plus, her doc, Notes of a Freshman, includes another tech startup company I respect and support, Enplug. Win, win.:)

Here's the story line: "They are both Freshman – they’re both dreamers. An amateur Russian filmmaker struggling for her life in America meets a Chinese entrepreneur – David – building a new media Empire in Hollywood.

Inspired by David’s personality and deeply believing in his ideas, she rises to the challenge of making a movie about him and his company. Treating his character as a future celebrity in the beginning of his way she stakes her career on creating the story of the American Dream in the twenty-first century."

Watch and see...

 Isn't she talented? And so interesting too. I find her Russian background very unique and also, Enplug's story too. If you care to contribute, or get involved, click here for info: http://www.victoriakashtan.com/#!notes-of-a-freshman/c23eb

So, all this to say, even though our LA Tech and Entertainment scene can be disjointed. Even though it sometimes feels like you're not really supported, you are. We're not alone. We are in this together. We really do want each other to succeed. I know I need to immerse myself even more by moving closer and getting involved even more.

Find an accelerator to be around more like minds. Find funding to move my project along faster. Find business people I can learn and grow from even more. Find more cool events to take my client to and introduce her to the right people.

I need the support and encouragement of friends who get me and what I'm doing too. I also need some distance between me and my family to be able to focus on what I need to accomplish for my client and myself more fully. 

Even though I have no idea what the future holds, I'm excited for it. I know if I work hard enough I will find success for Suveria and myself. And hopefully other women who need a positive role-model to see they can make it too against incredible odds.

I gain encouragement from the youthful optimism of the young female entreprenuers I meet at various tech events who haven't faced road blocks yet, or experienced aging parents yet and all the dynamics that brings.

Here's something Victoria has on her website which encapsulates this feeling:

“Very quickly I realized that if you really want to become Someone in America you have to create something unique and be persistent in promoting yourself. Even if you can only show your naked ass in the window you have to show it every day at the same time so finally you’ll start to get paid for it”

– Vica for Notes Of A Freshman​

I need to be reminded by younger entreprenuers that it is possible. Life can be good. And everything's going to be ok. Sometimes I just wish I had someone strong to lean against to gain strength from, but since I don't have a guy in my life right now I gain encouragement from my friends and my church. And God. 

"For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil 4:13

9 "And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 9,10

And I'll leave you with this because it's one of my favorite songs to listen to and sing along with. Gives me such hope and encouragement too. Christina Perri's A Thousand Years

 

Have a great day. I plan to!:)


My experience speaking at the Rome International Film Festival wrap-up & #Rome, GA sightseeing photo essay

By Joy A. Kennelly

Recently I was invited by North Avenue Post Director of Marketing, Tracie Kriete, to join Georgia Production Partnership's "Plugged in Producing" Panel (say that fast three times:) at the Rome International Film Festival, considered by Moviemaker Magazine as “one of the outstanding film festivals in the southeast” and “one of twenty film festivals worth the submission fee.”  Theatre2

Now, for those of you who have never heard of Georgia Production Partnership (GPP), it is a "not-for-profit coalition of companies and individuals who are active in the state’s film, video, music, and interactive game industries. (They do) whatever it takes to promote film and television production in Georgia. You might say that the most important achievement to date has been our contribution to the Georgia tax incentives bill.  GPP has worked tirelessly on the formulation and passage of, what is officially called, The Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act of 2008."

Now what does this mean to you as a filmmaker with a budget of $500,000 or more? You are eligible for a transferrable 30% tax credit for qualified production and post-production expenditures if you shoot in the state of Georgia. I don't know all the details, but you can learn more if you click the link above. I do know it has turned Georgia into one of the top five TV and film production locations to shoot however.

Did you know Denzel Washington is coming to Georgia with Director Robert Zemeckis to film Flight? Or that Billy Crystal and Bette Midler are coming here to shoot Us and Them? Also, Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock and JLo have been here shooting What To Expect When You're Expecting.

Pretty fun, eh? But I digress. Back to the Rome International Film Festival and our experience visiting the city of Rome, GA

DowntownI convinced my CA2GA girlfriends, Brenda and Anne, and my new screenwriter friend, MH Witten,  All of usto join me for the day and this gorgeous building below was our first view of the festival site. There is such history in Georgia we love driving anywhere.

Heritage hallWhen we arrived in the room where we would be speaking, initially I was worried my friends would comprise the entire audience, but pretty soon people started trickling in and we ended up with a good-sized crowd.

Here's the pictures and bios of our moderator and my fellow panelists in order of our appearance:

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Moderator: Tracie Kriete, MSM:Tracie is the Director of Marketing for North Avenue Post.  She has worked in the digital landscape since 1997. Her expertise lies in social media, search, SEM/SEO, video, display, sales strategy/execution, oine marketing, and graphic design to name a few.  Currently she is on the Speaker Series Committee for GPP, MembershipCommittee for AIMA, Membership Committee for DMA, Founder/President of WIIM, and freelances online reputation management for a variety of clients.

Panel6L.C. Crowley: L.C. Crowley is a writer, producer and director with a diverse background in music videos, television and lm. In 2006 he produced and directed the feature-length documentary Birds of Eden, which explores therole played by African-American spiritual music in the tiny Alabama hamlet of Gee's Bend. He has also directed commercials for a wide range of brands including Coca-Cola, Toyota, AT&T, and General Electric. 

Crowley now is based out of School of Humans, the bi-coastal entertainment label he founded in 2009. There, Crowley has executive-produced, written and directed myriad projects including Funny By Nature, featuring Sarah Silverman, Janeane Garafalo, and Judah Friedlander in conjunction with General Electric. And Stu You Should Know, a multiplatform series for Discovery Networks starring hit-podcasters Josh and Chuck. Crowley has also directed several music videos, recently helming the critically-acclaimed "Close To You" for popular indie-rock artist Ben Sollee.

David Warren: David is an Atlanta based producer and location scout. He is a Texas lm school grad who did time in LA with Spelling and Hallmark. In the "ATL" he made his bones producing for Cartoon Network. Some highlights were the Adult Swim Launch Campaign, The Star Wars: Clone Wars Launch Campaign, and the doing time in a haunted prison with the Scooby Doo Villains. Currently, he is juggling commercials, features, and television series and developing three original reality series.  

Joy Kennelly Joy A. Kennelly is an Award-Winning Social Media Strategist, Producer, Personal Publicist and Founder of The Joy Writer. Using her expertise in social media on such platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Hootsuite, etc., she has successfully integrated and incorporated over one hundred additional regional online social networking sites into publicity for numerous clients in entertainment, travel, technology, and fashion, as well as, in promoting and supporting numerous political candidates and social causes.

Joy began her publicity career at Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) marketing the visual effects team of THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS starring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer. At SPI, she founded, produced and began serving as the Executive Director of the Short Pictures International Film Festival (SPIFF) for four years. 

SPIFF began as an internal screening event for SPI employees and quickly grew into an internationally acclaimed film festival. MTV, HBO, and William Morris agents scouted the films she personally helped select and screen. Many films which premiered at SPIFF went on to appear at other prestigious film festivals around the world, including Cannes Film Festival. She also produced an online film festival called ME Fest for Penton Media which drew 100,000 hits in less than three weeks in 1999.

Joy has presented classes and produced seminars on social media at The Musicians Institute, American Cinematheque, and at conferences throughout the US. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA. 

(Since this is my blog I allowed for a little longer bio because some might not know my film background and I am qualified to discuss producing, especially from a publicity standpoint. The others credits stand alone. I think these guys on my panel are about to become huge if you must know...)

What I enjoyed about our panel discussion is we all came at this topic from different perspectives (branded entertainment, TV producing, film) and together we were able to provide a wide spectrum of information many appreciated hearing. 

Panel4 - good Everyone is so talented and humble here in GA I really enjoyed the entire experience. The gentleman speaking to us above is the Film Editor for Paste Magazine. That reminds me, I need to touch base with him!:)

(I will also have some exciting news to share very soon regarding one of the panelists too! Stay tuned.) 

PanelHere's all of us with the Festival Director, Harry Musselwhite, after the panel discussion. Casting Director, Shay Bentley-Griffin, who is a board member of the Rome International Film Festival and GPP, was also in attendance and it was a pleasure to meet her after reading about her involvement in creating GPP in the September issue of Atlanta Magazine. (Click the link for the full story.)

I also enjoyed the interaction that occurred with the audience during our talk. Even MH, my screenwriter friend, had a chance to contribute her insights on participating in a Burbank, CA screenwriting pitch fest. I was surprised to hear how many people who attended her event weren't even in the business, but wealthy people wanting to get involved in film.

Don't they know the risk?:) And where are they now?:)

Very interesting filmmakers in the audience too. One guy (whose email I have misplaced - please email me again if you're reading this!) began making films after his sister died two years ago. He just submitted his first documentary to Sundance. Good luck!

Another was a high school student who had won an award for his film and was heading off to college on a full scholarship. Many others were accomplished and had produced numerous films too.

Award-winning filmmaker, James Kicklighter, was in our audience too. Check out his credits on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2155567/bio Impressive filmmakers coming out of Georgia, I'm telling you!

What I enjoyed about the Rome Int'l Film Festival was there also appeared to be many first time filmmakers whose films were accepted which we watched later on in the day. They may not have been tightly edited or the best produced, but the fact their voice was being seen and heard was cool.

Festival brochuresThere were also a few very well made films which we especially enjoyed. Click here to download the program for the entire roster. Many zombie films (which, us being girls, skipped.:) and more which looked entertaining if their trailers on the official site are any indication.

Grow! was all about sustainable farming and was very interesting. A wee bit long, but it was a topic I enjoyed learning about. Had no idea it even existed, but apparently it's huge and my new friend from the panel, David Warren of Maglev Media, actually is pitching a very cool reality show concept on it.   Another documentary we enjoyed watching was Fanning the Fire. If you like bluegrass, then you will enjoy this one too! Very well-made. After exploring Rome's main street drag and enjoying dinner at one of their famous chicken wing places, we popped into the Zombie after-party for a few minutes before heading back home.

After-partyNow, if you're curious about what Rome, GA looks like, continue on because I'm going to post my pictorial essay from here on. Enjoy! 

TrioThis is the three of us CA2GA girls in the lobby of the renovated theatre. It had a distinct smell of smoke due to there being a fire there a few years back apparently. Beautiful old-style theatre. One of the attendants, an older African-American woman, kept saying, You girls are Charlie's Angels. You're Charlie's Angels.:)

Mary HelenHere's MH enjoying the shops. Such quaint stores and restuarants! She and I met at my writing group and since she's pursuing screenwriting I invited her to join us knowing she'd appreciate the opportunity. She drove too which was an added bonus since she knew where to go!:)

TheatreBuildings Buildings2 Buildings3 Brenda and anne Bulldogs Me Restuarant Window2 Window Skate Beer Me2 Anne Buildings4 Tattoo Buildings5 All in all, it was a wonderful time with new and old friends speaking the language of storytelling. 


Welcome to Atlanta! My experiences with @samsung #Summer Splash, #Alon Bakery Market, @Comcastcares, @comcastbill @ATTCustomerCare #OC BBQ Bonanza @louiegiglio @Christomlin @passioncity and more...

By Joy A. Kennelly

Well, well, well. This blog post has been a long time coming now hasn't it? Upon arriving in Atlanta I had nothing but internet and phone troubles and am on my 3rd phone now, a Samsung Galaxy, and still experiencing battery failures, GPS screw-ups, and other hassles, but hey, whatever! (Samsung if you're reading this, hit me up. I hate this fast battery drain and need help!:)

Otherwise, life is grand out here in Hotlanta! I love the Southern hospitality and the weather is growing on me.

I do mean, HOT, HOT, HOT!:) It took me almost a week to acclimate and realize the more time I spent in air conditioning, the less time I will spend passing out or dripping wet.:) Temperatures haven't varied much from the 90's except for the occasional rain storm when the weather drops to around 80, but the balmy nights more than make up for the scorching days.

To break the heat, my friend and I decided to hit Sandy Spring's Summer Splash and inner tube down the Chattahoochee River with the rest of Georgia. I believe I heard rumor about 4000 people went? It's the 4th Annual Summer Splash and was so relaxing and fun.

Click here to see the photo album our local Sandy Springs Patch created: http://sandysprings.patch.com/articles/summer-splash-photo-gallery?upload_started=1312733492#photo-7202964

It was so much fun going down the sporadic rapids and just lazily floating down a river with the most beautiful scenery we have seen in a long time. Nice people along the way too. I would have taken pix, but didn't bring my phone because I was worried about tipping over and losing it.

I caught this one at the end though. Isn't this scenery just gorgeous? LOVE IT! I've added more of my pix to the official Patch site which you can click on above to view.Getting out at Paces FerryDespite numerous promises by Comcast and AT & T to have switched our service by August 8, we are still without wireless in the house which has required me to camp out at various cafes around town until August 18.

We dislike both companies' customer service and service overall because they keep changing everything constantly and require my roomie Brenda to sit for hours on the phone while they do who knows what behind the scenes to make the switch, but when you live surrounded by trees you're somewhat limited on your choices.

Comcast Bill and ATT Customer Care help us out here! We can't deal with the incompentence of your companies much longer... Seriously!:)

That said, it's been fun to sit in various cafes and observe how people dress, speak, chat and interact while I'm working. My favorite cafes to date are Alon Bakery Market (seen below, but for the full impact, click the link!:) and Caribou Coffee, which is comfy cozy, and there's always Starbucks too.

Weird there is no Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf out here, but lots of interesting cafes still left to explore. Isn't Alon adorable? Reminds of a much bigger Joan's on Third back home.Alon Bakery

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I have been busy promoting our upcoming OC BBQ Bonanza at the Fountain Valley Sports Complex taking place August 18 - 21 across the internet and inviting foodie bloggers and media to attend our private press event on August 18, 2011 in addition to looking for work and exploring Atlanta. 

Bbq1 - smallClick the link here: http://www.ocbbqbonanza.com/ for more information. We're offering special discounts to military, children and everyone else too. Plus, there's an amazing VIP Rib Village open to the public where you can buy all the ribs, drinks, and sides you want to enjoy in an exclusive area during the festival.

More details here: http://www.ocbbqbonanza.com/rib-village.php

If you fit the media/blogger catetory and are interested in covering this as press, please send an email to: vipribvillage (at) gmail (dot) com with a link to your site, your media outlet, what you cover and we'll send you information if you qualify. 

Other than that, real quick, I am thoroughly enjoying being out here. I was getting so bored in CA having grown up there. Now? Everything is new and fun to explore with my two CA girlfriends, Brenda and Anne, who moved out before me. We call ourselves the CA2GA girls (get it?:) and plot all kinds of fun adventures together.

Here's a pic from our recent excursion to the High Museum of Art which I particularly love because it's like art is imitating life, or is it the other way around? You tell me...:)Us at the HIGHWe're still getting asked why we moved out here, but rather than go into everything here in this particular blog, I'm going to write one specifically addressing it later. For now, just know the men are friendlier and nicer; Atlanta is extremely sophisticated and cosmopolitan contrary to the myopic belief in LA; there's plenty of opportunity to create a new life and find work; I've found a wonderful writing group: http://www.meetup.com/roswell-alpharetta-writersgroup/  lead by a real dynamo with amazing writers and a publishing company attached; the art scene is eclectic and varied; the food is some of the best in the nation; the music scene beats LA hands down; too many quaint towns and homes to see; lots and lots of gorgeous nature; more faith-oriented people than CA by a long shot (19% vs. 38%); there's always something going on and it's the positive change I was needing.

So much happier!:) And with that, I'm off!

Tonight is Passion City Church with Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin and I need a little nappie poo today after my busy week last week.:) Enjoy this song by Chris!

 


My news, #Shopzilla, #The Joule, and touring Dallas, TX - Part II

By Joy A. Kennelly

Quick Update

It's been a crazy few weeks. Had to find and buy a car, find and move into a new place, and started teaching Social Media & Fan Management at the Musicians Institute.

Whew! All good though. Very happy with all the positive changes in my life. Now I'm prepping to attend BlogWorld if all goes well.

Social Media Optimization Summits continued

Finally have a moment to write more about my experience in Dallas and Los Angeles surrounding Social Media conferences I spoke during and attended. Here's a link back to Part 1 in case you've forgotten what I wrote before: http://bit.ly/aGqhaT

I spoke during Family Pro's Social Media Optimization Summits   and taught: Beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn: Introducing, Combining, and Leveraging New Opportunities to Boost Your Brand.

I'm currently working on another  fun foodie/holiday festival launch for John Forrester & Associates utilizing these tools and tactics and if all goes well, you should be seeing O Entertainment's Annual Long Beach Oktoberfest in the top ten searches of Google soon.  

Wait! It's already there.:) Well, what do you know....Trust me, this strategy works. It's extremely time consuming, but definitely worth it.

Shopzilla Plug

Oh, before I get too much into everything, here's a fun video of the tech company I worked for during the summer called Shopzilla. Know it?

Cool group of people and brilliant tech business. Here's the employees and management as you've probably never seen them before. lol I enjoyed seeing all the people/friends I made goofing around in this.

Everyone really is that fun to be around too. My former boss, Robin, is the rocker chick and my buddy, Britton, is rocking out with her around 1 minute in. He's part of the talented band Red Circle Underground so this "acting" came naturally.:)

Here's just one of the fun monthly company-wide activities I worked on while I was there. All the children of employees in the company were given art supplies to create Shopzilla posters. Other times I worked on a huge Mexican Fiesta, a Carnival complete with a live camel and a beach party.

I love tech companies.:) Always have, always will.

Here's a few examples of the kid's design creativity of Shopzilla's logo, and what they received as a gift for participating.

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Adorable, eh? I wish I could have stayed on, but they needed someone with Human Resources experience which I don't have, nor ever want to learn. LOL

Great company though... One I admire and wish well!
 

The Joule in Dallas, TX

I had the privilege of staying at The Joule, in the heart of Downtown Dallas, as their guest during the Social Media Optimization Summits which was absolutely delightful.  I highly recommend this hip, boutique hotel as a central location for anyone doing business in Dallas, looking for an excellent restaurant to entertain guests, host an event poolside or inside privately, or attend a hip nightclub to dance and socialize.

Here's a quick peek into why I enjoyed my stay so much:

My beautifully appointed room.

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The Joule's beautiful poule high up in the city offers great views. A very popular happy hour venue too.
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These two professional pictures were provided by The Joule. The others are mine. Please don't use without permission.

Lobby 2
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Meeting rooms.
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Wine shop on-site in the entryway to the delicious Charlie Palmer restuarant. Click their name to see some of the cuisine, learn about the chef and the venue.
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  My dessert was delicious and just the right size.
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Here's some professional shots of the Joule Penthouse & PM Nightlife Lounge. For more information and to review even more images, please click on the links. 

They're both so opulent and you'll love what you see! I was very impressed with my experience there and give it a 4.5 star rating.:)
Penthouse
Penthouse Library 1
Penthouse Living Room
Penthouse Master Bedroom 2
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My Quick Dallas Tour

Every time I travel to a conference or Food & Wine Festival, I like to take in some of the local sites to gain a better idea of what the city is about above and beyond the event I'm attending. This trip was no  different. Every moment I had free, I walked, rode the metro, or explored because I love traveling and having new experiences.

Similar to LA's Downtown, Dallas streets were rather empty of people walking around, but I never felt unsafe. I only wish I had more time since there's a few museums and art galleries I would have liked to see.

But that's for another trip. Enjoy my visual essay. I will write up the Social Media Optimization Summits Conference next because I took notes and want to share now that I finally have the time.

Thanks for reviewing!

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Bye Dallas. I may be back!:)


Scottsdale Culinary Festival, Scottsdale Mondrian, Downtown tour

By Joy A. Kennelly

Recently I had the pleasure of traveling back to Scottsdale, AZ to attend the 31st Annual Culinary Festival with Chef David Linville and his colleague, Chef Jake. I say back because I was there a year ago this past September for another conference in Phoenix.

A very kind friend had taken the time to show me Scottsdale's art galleries during a conference break at that time which helped me gain my bearings this time around. Thanks Dharma! Here's a sampling of some of the art galleries I visited this go round. Love their work, don't you? This one is called The Signature Gallery and Charles Pabst's work really spoke to me.

His collection is called Peace. Can you see why? Click on the link for more close-up images.
Art Art2 This gallery's artists were a little more whimsical and I enjoyed their work too. Isn't it fun? This gallery is called Leslie Levy Fine Art, Inc.Art43  Art3
 Art4 I also visited LeKAE Gallery which I especially liked due to the variety of blown glass art and fine art. Turns out a publicist friend of mine had represented them years back. I have good taste in art if I do say so myself. Art5 Art6
Art7 Art8 Art9 This is one of my favorite flowers, isn't it gorgeous as a painting?
Art11 Art12
This trip to Arizona I knew a little bit better what to expect and packed lots of allergy medicine. If you're allergic to dust like I am, be warned that it's very prevalent out there because you're in the desert.

Chef David Linville was participating in the Cooks & Corks event that Saturday which meant since we arrived on Friday, we were free to enjoy the Eat, Drink, Be Pretty party happening that evening --a great way to start the weekend.

Here's a Cooks & Cork promo to whet your appetite. If you look closely, you'll see Chef Dave in the corner near the pretty blonde lady.
Dave2
Due to my previous writing experience for the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, I had met representatives from the Scottsdale Convention & Visitor's Bureau a few years ago who had been emailing me interesting information on Scottsdale for months.

It felt good to finally take advantage of what this western town had to offer. And I do mean Western. They have horse drawn carriages giving tours of Downtown Scottsdale, numerous western art galleries and all kinds of western statues, memorabilia and museums. I didn't have time to check them all out, but here's a few pictorial highlights.
Downtown3 Downtwon
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There is also a trolley service that runs daily until about 6pm, but I didn't take any pix - just imagine an old-fashioned San Francisco trolley and you've imagined correctly. Here's their routing. Trolley I wish the City of Hermosa Beach would do something like this because it's a nice way to get around town quickly and easily.

Now this is a community who supports their Downtown business district!Three hour free parking, free trolley service, and lots of cute shops, art galleries in addition to the bars and restaurants. Even caught a Farmer's Market while we were there. Farmers mktFarmers mkt2 Shopping Sale

Horses
Downtown
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Sale2 Statue
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Very balanced Downtown experience which was very pleasant and fun to explore.

In talking to people who had traveled to Scottsdale before I knew that Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa was a place I wanted to visit. However, I was way too busy to go and also had received a wonderful invitation to experience the Mondrian Scottsdale which I couldn't refuse.

Having enjoyed the hip stylish ambiance of the Mondrian Los Angeles numerous times and the DelAno Miami this past Spring, I knew it was a perfect place to enjoy Scottsdale's Sexy Single's Scene. Say that fast three times.

According to the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau's press release and I quote, "Hollywood “It” girls like Jessica Alba, Kristin Cavallari and Vanessa Minnillo have relaxed and partied alongside celebrity hunks Nick Lachey and Brody Jenner at Mondrian Scottsdale.

The hotel also played host to Vice President Al Gore, who celebrated his win of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming awareness at the urban resort.
(You really must click the link to Al Gore's visit for a fun recap of that event.)

After staying there, I can see why it's so popular! What a lovely, lovely, lovely relaxing place to stay. I was hoping to have some official pix to share with you, but since I don't, enjoy the ones I took here ok?

My room, thank you very much. Isn't it to die for?:) I love modern contemporary spaces like this. Crisp and clean. Minimal, just like I like my men. HA HA!
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Mondrian3 Not one, but two flat screen TV's - and don't you just love the sitting room area? So relaxing, I can't begin to tell you.

The bed was so comfortable I felt like I was sleeping on a cloud. Forgetting I was allergic to down, I have to admit I did wake up rather congested, but that's my own fault.

And to be honest, worth every dream filled delicious moments of sleep. I haven't slept that well in ages! Feather top mattresses make you feel like you're weightless they're so comfortable.
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Mondrian When I arrived there was vibey music playing loudly for guests enjoying the pool which was right outside my room making me wonder if it would be playing all night. Be warned, there is a party element due to the sophisticated stylish space geared towards young hipsters, but the hotel is always very accommodating which makes it fine.

When my room service arrived, the sweet girl assured me the music would end when the pool closed at dusk. Room service is one of those special treats I never get tired of. Especially when the person delivering your food is courteous, timely and professional like she was. My food was delivered hot and was very delicious.

She was right about the music ending soon. I was able to catch a quick catnap before getting ready for our evening out with a quick bath in this amazingly long tub. I'm tall for a woman - 5'10" to be exact and this was the first time I felt I could stretch all the way out and really relax in a tub. Amazing!
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I liked the tile work and floral trim pattern which was repeated throughout the hotel in pathways and elsewhere. There was also a shower, another sink and mirror and toilet in an entirely separate adjacent area which was nice because if I'd been sharing it would have been easy for both of us to get ready.
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As it was, I was solo on this trip. The chefs were staying off premise, but did enjoy the club and private bar with me afterwards before continuing their nightlife excursions long after I went to bed. Allergies always wipe me out and I need my rest.

Here we are in the hotel lobby that night.
Dave & jake2 Both of these guys have been Hollywood insiders for years and appreciated the sexy vibe and atmosphere of this property as much as I did.

Chef David Linville worked for the Standard Hotel in Hollywood which has been described as a "Chic Mecca" by Vanity Fair, while Chef Jake throws amazing private parties with models as live food decorations up in Santa Barbara, CA, in addition to cooking for a variety of celebrity clients who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent.
Me2 I know, crazy to be wearing a jacket, but again, allergies kicking my butt make me cold. Plus, it does get a little chilly at night in Scottsdale.

I'm wearing what Project Runway Style Guru, Tim Gunn, refers to as a faux fur chubby coat in his book,
Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) if I remember correctly. Read it and let me know if I got that one right.

In any case, here's some highlights from the actual Scottsdale Culinary Festival Eat, Drink, Be Pretty event we also attended earlier that night. What an amazing event. Scottsdale truly has some of the most beautiful people I've seen in a long time and they know how to party!:)
Absolut Our first stop, the Absolut Vodka bar, what can we say? Gotta love an Absolut pear vodka and soda. I really don't drink that much, but when I do, I enjoy a nice sweet drink.
Cute bags Fruits & Passions Bodycare Fragrances Home was passing out products and these cute bags which were all the rage that night. Perfect for the beach or pool. Bliss Spa had wonderful spa items to share too. The oxygen mask is so soothing and refreshing.
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Fest11 Dave6
Sexy devil, isn't he ladies? Whoops, did I just say that? I am his publicist after all. Guess I'm supposed to say that, but glad I mean it.
Fest3 Fest4 Fest5 Fest8 Fest9 Fest16 Lots of fashion shows going on inside and outside on the premises which was fun to watch.
Fest22 And of course, wine tasting and dining. I liked this "New Age" wine the best because it was sweet and carbonated - an adult pop. My mom's from Ohio, can you tell?
Plate Upon arrival you were given this plastic plate with attached cutlery and this cute souvenir wine glass you used throughout the evening while marking off the biz card with the amount of wine you had enjoyed.

These two women were the most unflappable organizers I've ever met. Kudos to you two for pulling off such a wonderful event with such gracious smiles and spirt.
Organizers
Fest18 On the way out we all received a beautiful red rose and program. Here's a close up for your viewing pleasure.
Cover Brochures
Here's some highlights from the next day too. This was the calm before the storm. Imagine it packed with people later on all wining and dining and you will be right.Signage2
Setting up Setting up3 Setting up4 Setting up2 Setting up6
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David Chef David Linville prepared CA Style Gazpacho. This weekend, he will be appearing at Grand Food & Wine Affair in Houston, TX. I make sure he keeps a busy schedule!

Back to the Scottsdale Mondrian. The next day I woke up early and decided to start my day by taking advantage of the Olympic size pool. Isn't this wonderful? I basically had it all to myself except for two business men discussing stocks in the hot tub and we mutually ignored each other.

Too early to schmooze and it's understood you want privacy when you stay at a place like this which is why I enjoyed my experience there so much.
Mondrian Mondrian2 Mondrian3 This cabana space beats any I've seen at any of the luxury hotels I've visited in Hollywood hands down. Fireplace, flat screen TV anyone?
Mondrian4 Later on in the day, I'm sure this would have been packed with guests, but for that moment in time, it was all mine. Pure relaxation and so peaceful. I loved it.
Mondrian18 After swimming a few laps, showering and packing up, I went down to enjoy breakfast at the restaurant on site.
Mondrian17 Here's a little tour to the restaurant.
Mondrian19 Care for a ride? Numerous sports cars were lined up last night because this was the place to be after the Eat, Drink and Be Pretty event. We saw quite a few people from that event had wandered over as we were leaving.
Mondrian15 Just outside the front lobby. Isn't that inviting? I enjoyed the pink and Western accents throughout the lobby too.
Mondrian13 Mondrian11
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Mondrian12 I loved how this room glowed with a soft pink light. So welcoming and sexy!
Mondrian5 And for a completely different motif, check out the restaurant. I believe it's Asia de Cuba, but am afraid I forget which one I visited. Isn't it fun?
Mondrian6 Mondrian8 Mondrian7 I didn't see anyone famous while staying there, but that wasn't the reason I chose to stay here. I appreciate quality, excellence and exquisite surroundings which this property definitely offers. The food was delicious and the ambiance perfect.

I would wager to say, almost more than my local LA version, but having never stayed there, only attended private parties, I can't say for sure.

Maybe that will be my next visit....

Here's some highlights of our drive home. The scenery is visually stunning, although have to admit after awhile it begins to all look the same. That said, I thought some of you who have never driven this route might appreciate seeing this great land through my eyes.

Best Dinasor  Musuem2 We didn't have time to stop and visit, but there is a General George S. Patton Museum out in the middle of nowhere you might want to catch. Apparently, the cafe next door is where Chef Anthony Bourdain stopped during one of his road trip shows.

Could be a fun rest stop. We wouldn't know, although we did share some food there.
Musuem3 Musuem4 Musuem5 Mtns3 There are windmills as far as the eye can see in certain sections of the freeway. If you can believe it, I took these pix while driving because we were only going 20 mph since Coachella was happening that weekend nearby too. Everyone was driving home at the same time. We made pretty good time considering the amount of people who attend that music festival each year.
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Finally, we arrived in Los Angeles and were greeted by the most amazing sunset. (For the record, I did not take these pix. lol) I love LA. No matter where I travel and live, I will always call California home. Sunset Sunset2

Questionable Politicians, taxation problems and all.:) That's all.

I hope you've enjoyed my tour of Scottsdale, AZ and have been enticed to visit this fascinating desert community. It's a quick getaway from Los Angeles and worth at least vacationing there once in your lifetime.

Have a good evening everyone. Thanks for stopping by. If you do stay at the Mondrian, tell 'em Joy sent you.:)













Highlights from DC Trip for the Inauguration - in no particular order

By Joy A. Kennelly

MediumObama
First art I saw in DC by Artist, GA Gardner.
Another art gallery Another art gallery2
Another art gallery3 That one painting of Obama reminded me of a cross between Bill Cosby and Obama.:)
Another art gallery4 Another art gallery5 Another art gallery6 Art3 Sign Art2 Art4 Art6
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Art10 Art11 Art gallery Art gallery2 Art gallery3 Building Building2 Building3 City street2 City street Billy joel Kissinger
Nat'l portrait gallery3 Natl art gallery Nat'l portrait gallery4 O me an mccain Whittaker Bush & clinton Joan Nat'l portrait gallery5 Nat'l portrait gallery2
City street3 City street4
Dar bldg Vendor Obama signs Statue Vendor2 Vendor3 Vendor4 Corcoran gallery Corcoran gallery2 Jon stewart Obama signs2 Me & white house White house2 White house Washington memorial Washington memorial2

Mie n yu

More to come soon. Have a good one.


It's good to get out of the Hood! (Hermosa Beach hood that is...)

By Joy A. Kennelly

My back has been out of commission for so long I haven't been able to leave Hermosa Beach or the South Bay for weeks. Never realized how important the escape was until this past week.

Ventured down to the Santa Monica Pier to catch their free concerts on the pier, but just wasn't feeling the music. Some Italian woman was singing soulful, sad sounding songs by the time we got there. We enjoyed the rasta band playing in Rusty's Surf Ranch on the Pier so much more!

Even the armless guy playing guitar with his toes begging for money on the sidewalk was better in our minds. Sad, but true.

I had grabbed a friend for company and we ended up taking quite a nice little tour of Santa Monica Pier. Here's me on the beach. Me
It had been so long since I'd been to the pier, I didn't even know there was a Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant there!

That was fun to check out. I bought a t-shirt for my son (who lives with his adoptive parents in DC) and then we flitted in and out of a couple places to check out the scene. Loved the bathroom mosaic tilework at Shutters Hotel on the Beach.

Here's us goofing around inside. What's the guys bathroom like? 

Me in shutters bathroom

Also, the decorations at Casa Del Mar - two of my absolute favorite places in Santa Monica to hang out, meet people for drinks, enjoy a nice meal and conversation, or just read. 
Me at cdm

 
 
Me at cdm bar
Me at cdm lobby close up I love nice hotels even when I don't stay there, but just visit. We really felt like we were on vacation because we'd both been cooped up for a bit - her with a cold and me with my back.

Good to get out is all I have to say.

Then my friend/client, Arlene, was very sweet and treated me to high tea at my favorite Beverly Hills hotel - The Four Seasons on Doheny. Recognize these stars? lol We did see an actor there, but everyone's famous in BH, so who cares right? Just kidding. Me at 4 seasons I don't know what it is about that place, but it's my favorite hang. Plus, their high tea is really, really wonderful. We had a great time catching up and she was busting a gut at some of my recent pix which made me happy.

Isn't the elevator tilework pretty? I'm a sucker for good artistry.
4 seasons elevator

Popped over to visit my married Cougar friend Shana afterwards for a quick minute who informed me this morning after going out last night with her friends some 27 year old is after her now. We crack each other up with our young guy tales. She's very happily married and I just like to have fun with the whole concept.

My friend Adrienne keeps telling me I should pitch a cougar reality show, but I figure if I'm that interesting, people will find me. Plus, do I really want superficial, sex-driven, go nowhere relationships showcased on TV? Not really. I just like goofing around and being silly. Helps break up the stress of real life. LOL I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille! Me at shanas
Okay, that's all the fun recap for now.

Please pray for my friend Deborah's dad who's in surgery today from 12-5pm. It's extremely serious and he could die. Sorry for the downer, but sometimes life interrupts and requires a quiet moment, or two. Thanks for your prayers. She's very scared for him. Me too.

Now this really is good day.

Enjoy yourselves! And pray for Deborah's dad!


Joy Kennelly's Surfrider Fdn promotion & Miami photo blog coverage for your review.

This is an old blog post I wrote in June '08, and in reading it again I realized it is a showcase of what I have done in the past to promote clients through blogging and provide photo essay examples of my travel coverage as well.

I've edited out other information to make this focused on topics I support and love- i.e. Surfrider Foundation and art in Miami.

Enjoy the read.

By Joy A. Kennelly

Ever since returning from Miami I've been going through something of a life/career transition. While vacationing I had the epiphany that although I will always love art and am still open to representing artists, it's not what I want to focus my entire business on any more.

With the economy the way it is...

Here's a quote from a recent NY Times article entitled: Gatekeepers to the Art World, "As contemporary art’s Armory Show in New York concludes this weekend and the auctions unfold later this spring, many are watching to see what impact the sliding economy will have on the art market.

Mary Parr, a director at Cheim & Read in Chelsea, noted that if real estate slows noticeably, the art market follows suit about six months later. High-end collectors, she said, 'don’t get affected as quickly.'

A springtime thaw in prices may well trickle down to the gallery’s front desk. When the public, perhaps of necessity transformed into eligible customers, pushes open those chilly opaque doors, will gallerinas finally look up and smile?"

Click the link here for the entire article. VEERRRRRYYYY Interesting.

That's all I'll say about that. Plus, the other reason to go back to a more diverse client roster is I miss the variety I've always enjoyed. There's something to be said for being a generalist or jack of all trades. I still love artists though! Art rules!

Oh, and since you've been so patient, here's some of my architecture and art pictures from my vacation in Miami, FL.

I've been very busy with producing another event for my South Bay Professional Connection starring Hermosa Beach's own amazing Chef David Linville of The Shore Restaurant, and TVLand's She's Got the Look Finalist, Melissa Todd, a native of Redondo Beach, CA (she's the tall blonde sitting down wearing a black dress to the left of Kim Alexis.) TVLand\'s She\'s Got the Lookwhich will benefit Surfrider Foundation. More details soon.

Now here's Miami and South Beach... I recommend hitting the Jewish Holocaust Memorial, Bass Museum of Art, Ocean Drive (of course! I especially loved visiting Ritz Carlton and the Delano), the Miami Design District and the Lincoln Road art and cafe scene. Very cool.

Enjoy!


Hermosa Beach - Fun and Food

By Joy A. Kennelly

You know what I love best about Hermosa Beach? The ocean. Hb_pier_ocean

I love that I can go down to the surf and walk along with the crashing waves while dodging piles of seaweed and the incoming tide. I love seeing the sandpipers digging in the foamy water that glides across the sand in rhythmic motion.

Hb_pier_ocean3I also love being alone with my thoughts except for the occasional jogger or walker who also wants to get away from the crowds on the strand and thus ignores me, as I do them. I love being able to look out over the expanse of the ocean and feel like it never ends. And how small I feel.

I love the smell of the sea, the feel of the cold water covering my body as I inch myself out to catch a wave willing myself to not be cold and adjust to the temperature to allow me to dive under the next big one that threatens to crash on top of me.

I love sitting on empty, closed lifeguard stations just watching the waves crash while the sun sets and thinking about my life and what's next. Flag_beach_stn_2

I love that during the winter it's like it's only my beach and only locals enjoy it with me. I love that there's always a pick up volleyball happening somewhere with people sitting around enjoying the day as I pass by doing the same. Pu_game_of_vball

I love that people express themselves in different ways and it's all good.

I love the variety of homes you see as you look back on the strand to find out where you are, or how far you've come or have to go.

I love that along the strand there are no tract homes, only unique, individualistic expressions of the home owners. I love that wood shingle houses are still around since that's what I grew up living in when we lived on the strand as a child in Manhattan Beach.
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I also love all the beach cottages, mansions, and interesting stone homes you find as you walk along.





Beachy_bungalow   Gbs_home_2
Contrasting_house_on_other_side_of_ House_for_rent Modern_monstrositySee what I mean? Recognize any? :)

































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I also love the little cute restaurants we have that people probably don't even know about.  Java_man_with_md

Let me introduce you to some that have great food and really are restaurants, not bars - since we do have places that serve food with their alcohol or smoothies.:)

In no particular order... All price ranges, all types of food, all styles of dining from casual to cafes to vegetarian to Italian to American to very nice (some even have 5 star rating!) all over Hermosa Beach. Have you been? Aren't some of them adorable? And Yummy! Jaxx_dining Java_man_pin_up_union_cattle_2 

That's all for now. Next, Hermosa Beach's Fashion and Fitness and more fun...














                                               Zeppys_shirt_tales                 Upper_pier_ave_restaurants                                                                      The_union_cattle                         The_spot                                            The_beach_hut_hawaiin_food                                                                                     Thai_to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Ragin_cagun                                                                          Planet_earth                                                                                                                                                            Pilates_place_and_stone_cold_creame                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Phuket_thai                                                                                               Pedones_pizza                                                                                   Mediterraneo                                                                    Jitters_cafe                                                                                                                                       Mcdonalds                                                                                                                       Ashleys_deliBottle_inn Britney_spot Cajun Lapperts_coffee

 


Pix from GenArt, Fashion Week, Cambria & Big Sur - Finally!

By Joy A. Kennelly

Finally uploaded all my pix and have them ready to be seen. Just know, this is a new camera, I haven't read the owner's manual and as a result, some of the pix aren't the best quality, but others are wonderful (if I d say so myself. LOL) Enjoy my picture diary!

Genart_fashion_show Okay, here's a bad one, but at least now you know what I meant by the stationary fashion show at GenArt's recent event. I had taken a bunch of other pics, but ended up deleting them to accommodate my scenery shots up north.







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This girl totally reminded me of Kate Bosworth, doesn't she? These was real rain droplets and I thought it was such a clever display.





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One of my good friends, Lana, and her brother, Erwin I believe, joined us at the GenArt event which was a lot of fun. I always have a great time with both of them!












Lana_melinda_and_me 
My good friends, Lana and Melinda, joined me at the GenArt event. Oy vey! I look so pregnant and I'm so not, but boy do I feel comfortable wearing this top. Got to buy a belt.














My_pants_friend

Lana has some crazy pants just like me. Now my pants have someone to go out with on the town! LOL














Joseph_domingo
Here's one of the shows I caught during LA Fashion Week by Joseph Domingo. I always love to see what the hair stylists will create to go with the clothes as much as I enjoy the fashion.












La_fashion_week_shows

Is this wild hair or what? This is what the runway looks like at the end. This show had some really pretty dresses with unusual adornments and piping which I liked.

Sorry, had more, but again, deleted them to find space for my vacation pix since I forgot to buy a larger memory card. My bad!









Nit_wit_ridge

This was the first place I walked to in Cambria because it sounded so unusual... Nitt Witt Ridge. Don't you agree? Of course, it didn't open till 10am and I was there much earlier. Next time I'll take a tour.

This trip, it was Hearst Castle tours instead.



The_view_from_hearst_castle

This is the view from the top of Hearst Castle. Again, wish I had a telephoto lens, but I think you grasp a little of the splendor of the view right?






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This is one of the side entrances to the castle. Can you believe it? How grand!














Hearst_castle_pool

This is the first pool you come to and it's called Neptune's Pool. Once a year all the staff get to enjoy a huge pool party where they can invite their friends up to enjoy spending time with them.

A lot of the surrounding statues were especially created for Mr. Hearst and shipped in from Italy and all over the world. See the man standing in the top? Apparently, when this statue arrived it was too big so they chopped off his feet to fit it inside that area! Isn't that funny.

Also, if I'm remembering correctly, Mr. Getty copied a lot of what Mr. Hearst did with his smaller museum over in Malibu. Oh, those rich people. Always trying to keep up with one another.:)

Wouldn't you just love to swim here? Absolutely stunning.

Outside_pool_looking_back_up



Here's another shot of the same pool, but looking back up towards the castle itself. So regal, I just loved it! The stark white of the statues contrasts so beautifully with the clear water and blue tiles of the pool.










Hearst_castle_garden

This is just one of the many gardens Mr. Hearst had planted. The building you see behind was one of the guest houses he built for guests that weren't invited to stay in the "big house," but enjoyed a beautiful setting nonetheless.

What I found fascinating is that every plant and trees were brought into this area and weren't here normally. What an undertaking and how beautiful now.












Grand_entrance_to_hearst_castle

This the main Hearst Castle entrance. I thought my shot of this was unique, but as I look up the information, it's so not. Oh well, I tried.:)

It's nice though, right?










Here's another one straight on...
Another_view_of_grand_entrance

Isn't the color of the sky incredible? I did not digitally enhance it either. Just naturally beautiful. The balcony is where Mr. Hearst would watch his guests having fun. What I thought was so funny is that he was really against unmarried couples shacking up together, but personally kept a mistress for 34 years.

Her name was Marion Davies and they had adjoining rooms on the third floor where no one else was allowed to enter. I enjoyed my Tour #2 because then we toured that area also. Lots of small, winding staircases with small rooms and lots of beautiful furnishings.

Click here for some of the amazing statistics and an overview of the entire Castle property.


Typical_furnishings_in_hc

Here's some examples of the furnishings and his extensive art collection. Sorry this one is blurry, but you weren't allowed to use a flash. The ceilings and wall coverings were over the top too!





Pink_jade_lamp


Isn't this just so delicate and feminine? If I could have taken t with me, I would have.:) I love pink.













Dining_room_of_hc


This is the master dining room where everyone ate together. Again, sorry it's so blurry. According to our fast talking gay tour guide (why do they love this job so much? Just kidding. It's a gay man's dream! LOL), the longer that you stayed at Hearst Castle, the farther you would be seated away from Mr. Hearst who sat in the middle across from Marion.

One of the famous old time stars, either Carey Grant or someone else who I've forgotten, said if he was sat any further away he'd be sitting outside! One of those stars was invited back 40 times. Others were never invited back.

Oh, another interesting character twist of Mr. Hearst is that he hated his guests to get drunk. Sound familiar? HA!

He would lock up the liquor cabinet until the evening to make sure he kept things under control. Isn't that funny? I bet some  old time alcoholics weren't too happy about having their booze controlled once they realized they'd have to wait to imbibe. LOL Maybe some began packing their own just in case...:)

Inside_theatre

Tour number 1 takes you to Mr. Hearst's huge private theatre. Just like one of the grand theatres you would see Downtown LA today. Very ornate and gaudy.

This statue is one of many that graced the walls to help with acoustics I believe. We were able to enjoy home movies playing on the big screen in this room.

Mr. Hearst, because he owned so many newspapers, was always receiving films ahead of the general public and began throwing his lavish parties to entice people to drive the four hours up from LA to sit and review them with him.

Oftentimes many of the actors, actresses, directors and writers of the films were included. There was a whole mezzanine floor with shared bedrooms set up just for starlets to stay in so the gentlemen would have pleasant female  company while visiting. What that life must have been like back then. Can you imagine?

Actress Katherine Hepburn has been quoted as saying her one regret is that she didn't take up Mr. Hearst's offer to come visit his "little ranch." Now do you see why?
Inside_pool

Both tours I took ended up in this amazing Roman style inside covered pool room. Now according to my outspoken first tour guide, oftentimes midnight love trysts occurred in the steam room. A note slipped into a pocket, a furtive glance and the next thing you know...

The bottom of the pool, although flat, creates an optical illusion and looks curved when you look straight into it. Just directly above the lamp in the foreground is a ledge where people could dive into the 10 foot deep part of the pool.

What I loved about the National Geographic movie, Hearst Castle Building the Dream which is part of Tour 1 is that it follows one starlets experience staying there and you see the place come alive with action.

You also follow little Hearst as he travels with his mother when he's only 10 years old all over Europe where art first captures his heart. Apparently, he wanted his Dad to buy the Louvre after visiting France. His mother had a great deal of influence over him and when his father died, he left his entire estate to his wife since he knew young William would squander his fortune.

Thus, when William wanted to buy something, he would have to ask his mother's permission and she would use that opportunity to make him stop dating some undesirable woman, or give up something in exchange.

Some tour guides surmise that Marion Davies played a mother figure to him. She was an amazing lady all on her own - Actress, Real Estate Investor etc etc! What I loved learning about William Randolph Hearst is that he loved and appreciated strong, career-minded females.

His architect who worked with him almost day and night to build his vision, was a female residential architect named Julia Morgan. She was also another extraordinary woman of that time and in addition to creating Hearst Castle, created and oversaw over 800 other projects in California and Hawaii. She worked nearly 28 years on Hearst Castle and numerous other residences for both Mr. Hearst and Ms. Davies.

A very humble Victorian woman, she requested all her private papers be burned upon her death, but fortunately for us, her relative refused and that's why we know what we know today. Click on her name if you want to learn more about her. Quite an extraordinary woman.

Julia_morgans_desk Here's a picture of the small studio she used when she would come to stay and oversee the project. Isn't this amazing? Such a small location for such a grand scale project, but I guess she was out in the field for a large part of this.

Notice the old timey phone too on the desk.











Hc_backside

This is the back courtyard where she would cross to go to her "office." The backside of Hearst Castle isn't as finished as the front and the tape on the tour bus taking you back down to the bottom of the hill lets you know that if you'd like to donate you can donate to the Friends of Hearst Castle foundation.

They host some amazing special events at the Castle and if you want to enjoy some with other philanthropic minded individuals, click here for more details. Really sounds like fun. I wouldn't mind going to a few myself? Anyone care to join me?


Hc_kitchen

 


There is only one kitchen in the entire Castle and this is it. I took these pix for my chef friends.:) I can only imagine how many people were responsible to make the wonderful meals for all the guests and workers who came to the hill.









Kitchen_ovens_in_hc











Kitchen_in_hc

Isn't the attention to detail adorable?






Hc_pantry

This is the pantry. I ended up touring with a family of five on this tour because I mistakenly joined them and when I figured out I was in the wrong place it was too late. They were nice about it and it was great to have the entire castle to ourselves while touring, rather than the huge group I would have been with otherwise.

You can take private tours for about $600 if I remember correctly and you're allowed to invite up to six guests with you which is actually fairly reasonable since it covers the entire castle tours on a private basis.

Click here for information on all the tours available.



Library



I can't remember which room this is (they all blur together after awhile, but maybe it's the library. I think that's right.) William was kicked out of Harvard is one of the stories told.









Gold_room_in_hc

This is the "Gold Room" where the infamous gossip columnist, Hedda Hopper, used to stay as a guest. It's up in the top spier of the castle (is that what the towers are called? Well, that's what I'm trying to say.) and is very small, but really pretty with the sun shining through.

Click here for a list of some of the other important people who stayed here.









Gold_room_chandelier_in_hc

This is an example of the ornate ceilings Hearst was fond of. This is also the chandelier that hangs in the Gold Room. Everything is so ornate and gaudy and so of the time, I just loved it. Not to my taste for my own personal space, but definitely something admirable in this setting.









Inside_pool2

Tour 2 ends in the same pool house just from a different viewpoint. Click here for some Behind the Scenes info on the beautiful details involved in this room and all the others.

Now do you see why this was so refreshing and just what I needed? I love art and visionary men. When the two come together... It's a beautiful thing.






Elephant_seals_lazing

The other fun thing to do while visiting Cambria and Hearst Castle is to check out all the Elephant Seals that love to laze around in the sun along the coastline. It's just a few miles past Hearst Castle and the turn-off is clearly marked. There are walking trails to allow you to walk and view closer.

There are hundreds of seals like this and they make the funniest sounds. They also seem to do the Michael Jackson moon walk as they push themselves across the sand to get back into the water.

Certain areas were quite stinky perhaps from a dead one, but otherwise, it's very pleasant although when I was there it was bitter cold and windy. These next few shots are blurry because it was too cold to stand and get a good shot!

Coastline3_below_hc



Isn't it rugged? Just love the different seascapes Northern CA offers.




Coastline_below_hc

This could be further up, or in Cambria, I don't remember.






Big_sur_coastline2

The next day I drove up to Big Sur. I had been told it was only 25 miles away, but it was actually more like 100. However, it was well worth the drive.

Stunning vistas like this all up and down the Northern coast. You really must see it for yourself because I'm not doing this half the justice.

 

Big_sur_coastline_2

This is my final shot heading home from Big Sur and thus ends our tour. I hope you've enjoyed your visit and make plans to come back and see me again real soon.

We'll leave a light on for you...:)

Have I convinced you now to make the trip? I'll even go back up with you! Only this time I might suggest staying at the Cambria Pines Lodge based on the referral of another friend, Jaimi Blakely who just hosted a writer's retreat there.

According to Jaimi, Cambria Pines Lodge has "24 acresthat you can hike and a free drink at their bar and a free breakfast buffet every morning. There's an organic garden on the property where they grow a lot of their own produce.

When you call Cambria Pines Lodge, say that you want their current special.Usually, the specials are from $69-$89 depending on the season. (Such a deal!) Also, if you register to receive the weekly email from TravelZoo.com, then you will see frequent specials listed that are in that area (from San Luis Obispo to Monterey).

"Jaimi" loves Black Cat Bistro and Robin's for dinner and Indigo Moon for lunch or a casual dinner. "She" heard that the Thai place is great, too, but hasn't been yet."

Okay, that's really all. Cambria isn't that big so you can find the perfect place for you just by walking through the town once. I did it in 30 minutes or so from where I was staying. It's that small. Totally reminds me of what Hermosa Beach was like so long, long, long ago...:) I'm not that old, but I can imagine.

Enjoy your Sunday. I need to get outside now.


Big Sur, Post Ranch Inn, Cambria, Hearst Castle, ya da ya da

By Joy A. Kennelly

Remind me not to drink a 24oz iced coffee from McDonald's again without asking for decaf. OY! Although I'm very tired, I can't sleep because of the caffeine coursing through my veins. Hopefully by writing, my brain will calm down and I can get some sleep. Busy week ahead.

If you've never been to Cambria, or Big Sur, you must put those locations on your must see places in California before you die. I was referred to the Bridge Street Inn Youth Hostel there years back by a good friend and always thought I'd make it up there one of these years.

Well, 2008 was the year. I was planning to hit a fam trip to Mexico, but certain things prevented me from taking full advantage of the week long escape. As a result, I opted for a shorter, yet just as satisfying, quick getaway which I so desperately needed.

Only four hours away from Los Angeles in time, but light years away in style and tempo I fell in love with the quaint small town of Cambria upon arriving. My youth hostel was a former church parsonage complete with bunkbeds, international guests, and children.

I wasn't expecting children for some reason and normally wouldn't have minded except for the fact the little boy who was only a room away woke up frequently throughout the night, first from a nightmare and then with a coughing fit which went on for quite a bit. Needless to say, I didn't get much rest.

My German bunk mate however, was smart and used ear plugs. I haven't traveled in so long that I forgot I even had them, or that I should consider using them. She, on the other hand, had been traveling for the past few weeks in much noisier places than this and was quite prepared. She is very cool and is going to hook me up with some art galleries in Munich. Thanks Jessica if you're reading this!

I also enjoyed meeting a very entertaining English chap and spontaneously had asked to go to dinner with him upon returning from touring Hearst Castle because I was so excited to share my day with someone after being alone within a group for so long.

I never invite men I don't know to dinner and didn't really know what to expect, but we had a very nice meal together. I'm very clueless on picking up clues that a man might be interested in me unless they hit me over the head with a shovel (actually a kiss normally is my first realization that there's even an attraction!), and didn't realize that might be the case when he invited me back to the hostel for a glass of wine which I should have accepted.

My loss. All because I really wanted to find a coffee house to see what the nightlife was like in Cambria. I should have just gone back with him because there 'aint no nightlife in Cambria. This small town's streets roll up about 9, 9:30pm! And I thought the South Bay was dead at night! Totally cracked me up.

What I loved about Cambria is that on my way home I popped into one of the quaint, naughty gift stores called "Dirty Laundry" run by two gay business partners and had a very entertaining chat with one of the gays, I mean guys. (Joseph, if you're reading this you know I love you man.:)

In any case, Joseph explained that similar to Hermosa Beach, there really wasn't a lot of stuff going on so people were very political up there too. Apparently there's a very strong conservative Christian contingency and at the other end of the spectrum, a very strong lesbian contingency. Needless to say, I'm not moving up there any time soon. LOL!

He explained too that SLO - (pronounced SLOW and the abbreviation of San Luis Obispo over 1/2 hour away) had a great entertaining Farmer's Market complete with live music and lots of socializing every Thursday evening which was basically the only "nightlife" apart from college bars in the area.

Again, not moving up there any time soon. It really is quaint and beautiful though. I think next time I might upgrade my lodging to the local B & B because although I really enjoyed meeting everyone who stayed there and it's very reasonable, I think I've outgrown the hostel environment.

Plus, this particular place was a little too eco-conscious for me - no paper towels, no paper napkins, bathroom sinks using recycled water from the clean water in the back of the toilet tank, and lots of recycling (it boggles the mind how many ways trash can be sorted!)

Plus, I just want to be able to sleep at night in the privacy of my own space while enjoying the company of others at breakfast or in the evenings. However, it's very popular and I recommend it if you're on a tight budget and can sleep well anywhere.

I just didn't know what to expect and it came so highly recommended I thought it might be a little more plush than it was. A youth hostel though - what did I really expect? Great for the serious traveler! Not the weekend wannabe traveler like I was this past weekend.

I've become spoiled and need basic creature comforts like heat in my room, peace and quiet, and no children waking me up in the middle of the night (unless they are mine and right now I don't have one-- at least not living with me.)

What cracked me up is the hours all the stores and galleries kept too up there. 10:30am open and 4:00pm or 5:00pm closing, or in the case of one place, whenever she felt like it! I caught the West end of the village the first day before racing off to take two tours of Hearst Castle and see the 45 minute movie.

I was really glad I saw both tours with the movie because it really put all the pieces together nicely. If you have the time and have never gone, I highly recommend Tour 1 and 3 together with time in between to sit and catch the film. That way you are introduced to the basic overview, get a deeper insight and then see more of the castle in perspective.

I was so disappointed my dinner companion, Roger, didn't want to see my pix, but hey, English bluntness being as it may, I appreciated his honesty. Once I have them downloaded, I'll share them with you. What cracked me up is that he had offered to give me his extra memory card for my camera, but when I didn't return for a glass of wine, the offer was withdrawn. I am so clueless sometimes. OY!

The last day I drove up to Big Sur to re-visit all the places I had stayed nine years ago while pregnant with my son. It was up there that I had made my decision to pursue having an open adoption and as a result, this place has special memories and feelings for me.

I wasn't sure it would be like what I remembered or not and drove the winding road up not knowing what to expect. I felt like I was on a pilgrimage of sorts because I had fallen in love with the magic of the redwoods and beautiful locations and wondered what might have changed in nine years time.

Although there had been threats of rain, instead I drove up the winding single lane highway for most of the way in a deep fog. It was so thick you couldn't see over the cliffs to the gorgeous scenery below. I wondered if I had imagined it being as gorgeous because I couldn't see anything.

Soon I burst into bright sunshine and there ahead of me was a beautiful, breathtaking expanse of the greenest blue water I'd ever seen with ragged rocks jutting out all over the ocean and coastline. It was absolutely stunning. My little camera can't capture half the beauty, but hopefully you'll see it in person one day.

There was the coolest old timey bridge too in the far distance around one of the windy curves and I really wished I could have taken a picture to show you. However, since my memory card was full, it was either delete more, or just commit it to my personal memory which I chose instead.

As I got closer and closer to Big Sur it all came flooding back. I had made this same trip nine years ago for a long Thanksgiving weekend getaway with my good friend and fellow birthmother, Emily. She had inherited some money and opted to treat me to a weekend I will never forget as a special treat for being pregnant.

She is/was one of the main reasons I chose adoption because she shared her very personal and oftentimes, painful story of her own open adoption. She helped me to see it could be done and really was the best choice for me and my child at the time painful though it was.

She had booked two different locations for us to experience. I'm really glad because the first was very basic and not really to our liking at all. It was the State Park accommodations and when I visited this trip, it was still going strong. Nice gift store and cafe too.

We then had moved over to Post Ranch Inn and to this day that is my favorite of all places I have stayed  before or since. I was dying to go back and see if my memories were true. We had the best time there. Everyone got to know us since we stayed so long. Plus, I was 5 months pregnant and Emily was a real character which made us stand out from other guests.

It also helped that we were the youngest ones staying there since it was, if I remember correctly, about $400 a night back then and up towards $1500 a night for certain rooms now. Pure, pure, pure luxury. If you are looking for the ultimate place to run away and hide for rest and relaxation away from everything, then look no further.

Post Ranch Inn is small, intimate, eco-friendly and very well-suited to the quality of life that is Big Sur. It's easy to miss if you're not looking because it's set far away from the road with a sign that isn't easily visible in certain directions. The long, winding road up to the main area is open and inviting with a small pond and beautiful meadows. We saw deer one morning grazing.

When we were staying there a Los Angeles Magazine writer was covering the Post Ranch Inn for the first time and often looked at us like what the hell are they doing here since we were so out of place among all the rich and famous.

If I remember properly we were there while Jon Favreau was there. We didn't want to bug him, but it was fun to see that we were enjoying the type of life that a celebrity would too.

I kind of secretly hoped some of the same staff would still be there and remember me, but that was a dream. However, everything else was just as I remembered. You can't just enter the property to look, but you can go to dine in their well-appointed restaurant with amazing cliff views of the entire ocean through the floor to ceiling glass enclosed dining area. STUNNING! And the food is delicious too.

I chose to enjoy my lunch there and everything came rushing back while I was sitting eating. I almost remembered what I had been wearing the memories were so strong. I distinctly remembered wavering on what to do with my unborn child because I wasn't ready to parent, but also wasn't prepared to never see him again.

It was at Post Ranch Inn that I had the time to sort out all my thoughts and feelings once and for all to make the decision I felt was best for my son at the time. He may never visit Big Sur, but I hope one day he does if only to appreciate the tremendous beauty and peace this area gives to those who visit.

I remembered going to the infinity pool and meeting some fun couple we promised to stay in touch with, but never did. I remembered the gorgeous slate covered bathrooms and comfortable, yet stylish room with beautiful furnishings. Hearing satellite radio for the first time. Having the best massages by their trained staff.

Eating the best meals there and all over Big Sur. We had visited Ventana Inn for dinner one night and bumped into one of my old classmates, Judy Holstein. She used to beat me up and I blurted that out when she introduced herself because she recognized me. We both laughed and she apologized for years past. She of course is totally different and we really enjoyed seeing each other again.

She was up visiting on her honeymoon with her new husband. We caught up and spent a great time reminiscing old times. For all I know, she still lives here in the South Bay, but we never stayed in touch after that random visit.

When I visited the Ventana Inn this time the reception staff were extremely gracious and gave me all kinds of materials and information. Turns out if you're a CA resident you get a special discount during the off-season and it's only $275 a night. Apparently April is generally quite booked as a result since it's the last month before high-season.

I love this place too because it's so pretty, but in a totally different way. Whereas Post is small, spread out and extremely private; Ventana is more like a standard luxury hotel that is more compact, but with only 20 more rooms.

They have a wonderful day spa on site called The Spa whichy was very popular as I was walking in to reception. Everyone, men and women were walking by just wearing robes like this was normal attire while on vacation. I guess it is!

I enjoyed visiting one of the art galleries on my way in to town too. It's called Coast Galleries and is one of four this owner owns throughout the country. However, he's ready to retire and all 27 acres are currently on the market. Know anyone with money to burn, but a true eco heart? Send them his way.

I hope whoever buys it keeps the gallery going at least because this owner has the best art collection. Many interesting pieces and it would be so sad to lose it. However, may the best bid win. I would love to see my artists represented in there!

Back in Cambria there is another wonderful gallery that has very wonderful art on display with the most helpful, informative, kind woman manning the upstairs gallery named Lili. If you go, tell her I sent you and say hello. She knows everything there is to know about the artists and their fascinating backgrounds and work. Sorry, I don't know where her card is right now and will have to tell you later.

I can't wait to share all the details with my artists! If you want to know too, either call her, or hire me!:)
I think the caffeine is finely out of my blood and I'm tired, or else my brain has stopped wanting to write any more, so I think I will bid you adieu and write more later.

Have a great Monday morning and seriously consider making a trip to Big Sur and Cambria. Trust me, you'll be so happy you did! I am a new woman after this brief respite.

Ready for my next trip! Where to go, where to go? It's in my blood now. Gotta start hitting more places from my travel Bucket List.:)

Have a good one. TTFN.


Here's my Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau case study

By Joy A. Kennelly

This past summer I was hired by the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau (LA Inc) to coordinate hotel getaway promotions for Ralphs' large-scale summer promotion.

This will give you an idea of the scope of the promotion:

"LA INC. will be launching a new website May 2007. The address for this website is www.seemyLA.com. A new feature of the website will be a section called Gateway LA which offers themed vacation packages centered on some of LA’s most popular attractions and activities.

From June 2007 to September 2007, approximately 16 weeks, LA INC. will be conducting an integrated consumer advertising campaign targeting mainly residents of the greater San Diego metropolitan area to take advantage of quick getaway vacation to LA. This multi-tiered campaign will drive visitation to our new website and will encompass the following marketing channels: television advertising, on-line advertising,
radio advertising and print advertising.

TV / Cable Broadcast Advertising

June - July 2007

                                    San Diego County

2,455 Target Rating Points

87.8% Reach

28 x Frequency

30.9 Million Impressions

On-Line Advertising

June - September 2007

                                     San Diego County, Orange County,
                                     San Bernardino/Riverside County, Oxnard/Ventura

Search

Display

Contextual

Email

                                    21 Million Impressions

                                     Radio Advertising

                                     June - July 2007

San Diego County

13 Million Impressions

 AAA Publication Westways

June 2007

                                    Southern California

3.7 Million Circulation

4 Page LA Special Insert

                                    Ralphs Overview: 

                                    392 Stores

                                    5   Million Weekly Customers

                                 Timing:

                                    July 4, 2007 (Wednesday) – July 24, 2007 (Tuesday)

                                    3 Weeks

                             Audience: 

                                    General

                                    Female 35 Years and Above

Strategy:    Promote www.seemyLA.com.

Promote the Getaway LA vacation packages.

Promote diversity of LA visitor experience.

 Call to Action: Visit www.seemyLA.com to plan your Getaway LA vacation.

So here's my part in this wonderful promotion. I was hired to contact 100 hotels and collect and coordinate their summer getaway packages for display on the LA Inc website and accomplished this goal within a month.

Here's the pitch letter I sent out via email to announce my part in this promotion which received a great response:

Hello,  

I'm a freelance travel writer hired by LA Inc to describe the summer promotions you are offering at your location. I've worked in the travel industry before and understand how busy you can be which is why I've   put together this introduction with all the details I need from you to hopefully make it easy for both of us to help each other.

From June 2007 to September 2007, approximately 16 weeks, LA INC. will be conducting an integrated consumer advertising campaign targeting residents of the greater San Diego metropolitan area to take advantage of quick getaway vacations to LA. 

This multi-tiered campaign will drive business and will encompass the following marketing channels:  television advertising, on-line advertising, radio advertising and print advertising.

Some of the current information we need from you to include your involvement in our Web site promotion are the following:

Hotel Package Details - Are you planning any special getaway packages for the summer? Suggestions include: Culture/Live Performances/Museums, Family, Attractions, Gourmet, Casual Fashion, Dining, Relaxation, Romantic, Dining & Entertainment, Pet Friendly, Environmental friendly, Celebrity Insider, Adventure, Body Beautiful/Spa

Hotel Package Price - what is the price?

Hotel Package Disclaimers - any black-out dates, or special issues?

Hotel Photos - any or all would be great of the following:

       Interior
       Exterior
       Room
       Pool
       Spa
       Restaurant
       Bar
       Other

I will be calling you to follow up as well. I look forward to communicating with you and helping you bring business to your location!

Here's a list of every hotel I sent that pitch letter to and the promotions I coordinated. Not every hotel participated for various reasons, but we had an above average response rate:

WICKED

Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn Universal Studios
Ask for special AAA rate. Located in the heart of North Hollywood, next to Universal Studios Hollywood/Citywalk and only a metro stop over to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Tula's California Cafe and The Coffee Room Splash Bar. Free wireless Internet available in all areas of the hotel. Free shuttle service to Universal Studios Hollywood/CityWalk. Outdoor swimming pool, sauna, tennis court and kid's playground.
Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills
$185 Includes continental breakfast. Ideally located half way between Venice and the Pantages Theater, our hotel is also walking distance to Rodeo Drive and a great array of restaurants — from fancy to family friendly.
Fairmont Miramar Hotel Santa Monica
From $359. Play in LA, but stay in the beachside city of Santa Monica. The "Westside WICKED" package at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel includes a full American breakfast for two, overnight parking, two exclusive tickets to the show and a limited-edition WICKED chocolate box amenity.
Hilton Los Angeles Airport
WICKED Packages: $250 (without limo service) $600 (with limo service). Includes 16th-floor junior suite; access to the Executive Towers Lounge, which offers an evening reception and morning continental breakfast; VIP access to ticket reservations for WICKED; and transportation courtesy of Broomstick Limousine to and from the show with champagne and WICKED-covered strawberries.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – A Thompson Hotel
Starting at $209. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, just blocks away from the Pantages Theatre, has captured the essence of original Hollywood elegance and fused it with the desires of LA's modern-day scene makers. Two highly acclaimed restaurants, a pair of exclusive nightspots and an intimate spa garden with a heated Olympic-size swimming pool, make the hotel a perfect destination for your WICKED getaway.
Los Angeles Airport Marriott
$119. Includes breakfast for two and free parking for one night.
Mosaic Hotel Beverly Hills
$625 (plus tax). Night of show. Includes accomodation in our preferred luxury room; private town car transportation to and from the show; and breakfast for two.
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
$306. Special package price per room, per night. Includes deluxe accomodations for two at the Reniassance Hollywood Hotel; full breakfast buffet for two at Twist, the hotel's restaurant; discount card from Hollywood & Highland Center; overnight valet parking; and shuttle pass to Pantages Theatre for two.
Sheraton Universal
$199 regular room. $299 executive room. Rooms include breakfast and hors d'oeuvres in the club lounge. Overlooking Universal Studios Hollywood, our 20-story tower offers fantastic views of the studios and the San Fernando Valley. Three-story poolside wing offers room with balconies or direct pool access.
Sofitel Los Angeles
$455 package price (plus tax). One night's stay in a superior room for two; overnight valet parking; continental breakfast for two at Simon LA; VIP access to ticket reservations for WICKED; WICKED amenity delivered to room upon check-in.
Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel
Starting at $149. Minutes to WICKED at the Pantages Theatre, Beverly Hills and all major attractions. Free shuttle to Universal Studios Hollywood. Free hotel parking. Heated olympic pool. 200 remodeled rooms.
Wilshire Grand Los Angeles
$169. Includes executive-level room, tax, parking and deluxe continental breakfast for two in the executive lounge. Located in the "heart of downtown Los Angeles" with door-to-door subway access to Hollywood Blvd., Universal Studios Hollywood, the Pantages Theatre and WICKED!
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Cultural

Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Includes classic-room accommodations and two tickets to the Museum of Contemporary Art. Complimentary roundtrip transportation to the museum in our luxurious towncar is available to guests booking this package.
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Attractions & Entertainment

Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
Two nights of deluxe accommodations for two at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel; (2) one-day admission tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood SM; breakfast for two daily at Twist, the hotel's restaurant; overnight self parking with in-and-out privileges for two days; discount card from Hollywood & Highland Center, adjacent to the hotel; and Universal CityWalk® savings booklet.
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
Deluxe accommodations for two at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel; breakfast buffet for two at Twist, the hotel's California-eclectic restaurant; discount card from Hollywood & Highland Center; and overnight valet parking. Package does not include tickets. For ticket purchase information, visit www.ticketmaster.com or call 213-480-3232. For information on upcoming shows at the Kodak Theatre, visit www.kodaktheatre.com or call 213-480-3232.
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
Traditional room, internet, buffet breakfast and Metro Day pass (for each day the package is purchased). This package starts at $185.
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
Deluxe room accommodations (larger corner room) and two adult tickets to Universal Studios (tickets include come back next day for free) and complimentary hotel parking for $235.00.
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
You're cast for an action-packed getaway starting from just $235. It's sure to be a memorable motion picture with two adults tickets to Universal Studios. For a limited time, visit the park on the second day FREE. Package includes: * Deluxe Accommodations * Two Days Admission for Two to Universal Studios Hollywood * Complimentary Hotel Parking
Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel
The price is $259 + tax per day. The package includes Overnight Poolview accomodations, 2 tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood, Kids Goody Bag & 1 free kid's meal for each purchased adult meal daily. Additional tickets to Universal Studios can be purchased at the Hotel Front Desk.
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Family Fun

Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel & Convention Center
Marriott wants to help families this summer carve out time for family fun. So when you book a big, comfortable room at a small, comfortable rate, the pizza, sodas, movies and internet are all on us. This weekend, or next weekend. Any weekend from now on until the kids go back to school. So families can have their pie (and eat it, too). Summer for Families Special from $164 - $194
California Health & Longevity Institute
This summer, let Four Seasons help plan a special family vacation that will allow your family to reconnect and share memories to last a lifetime. The hotel's Kids and Teens for all Seasons program will keep the children entertained and enchanted while the adults are enjoying a leisurely swim in our heated indoor serenity pool or a rejuvenating treatment at the Spa. Includes luxurious accommodations; in-room welcome amenity appropriate for children; complimentary access to kids and teens for all seasons (open Saturday, Sunday and selected holidays); one complimentary in-room children’s movie per each paid night. The Hotel's Kids and Teens For All Seasons program will keep the children entertained and enchanted while the adults are enjoying a leisurely swim in our heated indoor serenity pool or a rejuvenating treatment at the Spa. Includes: Luxurious accommodations In-room welcome amenity, appropriate for children's ages Complimentary access to Kids and Teens For All Seasons (open Saturday, Sunday and selected holidays) One complimentary in-room children's movie per each paid night.
Le Merigot A Jw Marriott Beach Hotel And Spa
$1,250 per night Celebrate the joining of blended families with quality time for all! The package includes: welcome family amenity, two adjoining superior accommodations (based on availability), “Four hours of freedom” (babysitting for four hours, up to three children), couples massage, $60 credit toward cocktails and/or appetizers, in-room movie, gourmet popcorn and a guided family activity.
Manhattan Beach Marriott
$149.00 Includes: "fun bucket" with toys and treats for children, one in-room moview and parking.
Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Includes one-night classic-room accommodations (suitable for up to two adults and two children); American Girl amenities in-room, including use of an American Girl doll bed with turndown service, lip gloss, book and hand gel; complimentary valet parking; complimentary hotel transportation in our luxurious town car to the new American Girl Place store at the Grove; and breakfast for the kids at Smeraldi's Restaurant. Plus, guests booking this package can enter our quarterly drawing to win American Girl's 2007 Doll of the Year, Nicki!
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
Two nights of deluxe accommodations for two at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel; (2) one-day admission tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood SM; breakfast for two daily at Twist, the hotel's restaurant; overnight self parking with in-and-out privileges for two days; discount card from Hollywood & Highland Center, adjacent to the hotel; and Universal CityWalk® savings booklet.
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
Deluxe room accommodations (larger corner room) and two adult tickets to Universal Studios (tickets include come back next day for free) and complimentary hotel parking for $235.00.
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
You're cast for an action-packed getaway starting from just $235. It's sure to be a memorable motion picture with two adults tickets to Universal Studios. For a limited time, visit the park on the second day FREE. Package includes: * Deluxe Accommodations * Two Days Admission for Two to Universal Studios Hollywood * Complimentary Hotel Parking
Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel
The price is $259 + tax per day. The package includes Overnight Poolview accomodations, 2 tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood, Kids Goody Bag & 1 free kid's meal for each purchased adult meal daily. Additional tickets to Universal Studios can be purchased at the Hotel Front Desk.
Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites
Children under 12 eat free. One complimentary Childs meal available from the children's menu in exclusively in Lakeview Bistro Restaurant. One Childs meal for each full adult meal purchased for up to 2 children. Lakeview Bistro is open for Breakfast or Lunch. Plus includes one complimentary movie per night.
Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites
Special discount rates open for graduation weekends.  Includes guest room and overnight valet parking.
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Romance

Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach & Marina Hotel
Come to the Riviera Redondo Beach and we will take you on a romantic adventure. Experience the prestigious Crowne Plaza Hotel with panoramic ocean views of Catalina Island and Malibu, sunset dinner specials and a memorable “gondola amore” tour through the bella enchanting Redondo and Portofino marinas. This package is popular for any special occasion, such as anniversaries and proposals, with rates beginning at $294. Inquire about package upgrades, including the ultimate luxury rendezvous ($1,450) with his and her spa massage, Jacuzzi suite and limo cruise of the spectacular Palos Verdes coastline ending with brunch at the fabulous Trump National Golf Club.
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles At Beverly Hills
An exceptional spa experience awaits you at Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills. Relax and restore your mind, body and soul in our world-class Spa, where?? treatment rooms and your choice of rejuvenating treatments await. Includes: Luxurious accommodations, Choice of one of the following 50-minute massages or facials per room, per day (excluding gratuity): • Swedish massage • Therapist's choice massage • Men's rescue facial • Pure results facial
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
Upgraded accommodations for two (executive bedroom); complimentary breakfast for two at Twist; chilled bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival; late check-out (based on availability).
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
Upgraded accommodations for two (Executive Bedroom) • Complimentary breakfast for two at Twist • Chilled bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival • Late check-out (based on availability)
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
Quality time is invited. A special rate starting from $179 makes it easy to reconnect. Make room in the heart of Downtown LA and fall in love all over again. * Bottle of Wine and Cheese Plate * Daily Full American Breakfast for Two * 4 p.m. Late Checkout
Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites
Includes full American breakfast for 2 daily via room service or restaurant, champagne & strawberries, 4pm late check out
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Shopping

Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Includes one-night classic-room accommodations (suitable for up to two adults and two children); American Girl amenities in-room, including use of an American Girl doll bed with turndown service, lip gloss, book and hand gel; complimentary valet parking; complimentary hotel transportation in our luxurious town car to the new American Girl Place store at the Grove; and breakfast for the kids at Smeraldi's Restaurant. Plus, guests booking this package can enter our quarterly drawing to win American Girl's 2007 Doll of the Year, Nicki!
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Dining

Le Merigot A Jw Marriott Beach Hotel And Spa
$600 per night/double occupancy Who said Malibu is just for surfers? Wine aficionados will be glad to learn about Malibu’s burgeoning wine industry. Rosenthal Estate Wines recently began offering tours and tastings and Le Merigot sends its guests off in typical SoCal style. The package includes: 2006 Range Rover, superior guest room, a picnic basket with baguette and artisanal cheeses, a map to the Rosenthal Estate Wines’ tasting room and 4 p.m. check out. This package represents 25 percent cost savings.
Le Merigot A Jw Marriott Beach Hotel And Spa
$840 per night/double occupancy This girlfriend getaway is designed for the gourmet-in-her. The package includes in-room wine amenity, superior guest room with two double beds, massage for two, gourmet dinner in Cezanne with wine pairings, map to Malibu’s Rosenthal Estate Wines Tasting Room, a chick flick and gourmet popcorn.
Manhattan Beach Marriott
$179.00 Includes: Breakfast for two, parking and $25.00 gas card.
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Relaxation

Avalon Hotel
The Los Angeles lifestyle has long been synonymous with poolside lingering and the joy of driving. Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills will help you do both in high style. Soak up the SoCal sun in the retro charm of Avalon’s mid-century-modern pool terrace, then tool around the trendsetter’s playground of Beverly Hills in a swank Mercedes Benz. Enjoy a memorable meal in the see-and-be-seen milieu of Avalon's Blue on Blue restaurant. Overnight premium room accommodations; poolside snow cone cocktails for two, E-class Mercedes Benz rental and sun kit; dinner for two with entreé wine pairing. Rates from $569
California Health & Longevity Institute
An exceptional spa experience awaits you at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. Relax and restore your mind, body and soul in our world-class spa, where 28 treatment rooms and your choice of rejuvenating treatments await. Includes luxurious accommodations; choice of one of the following 50-minute massages or facials per room, per day (excluding gratuity): Swedish massage, therapist's choice massage, men's rescue facial or pure results facial.
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles At Beverly Hills
An exceptional spa experience awaits you at Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills. Relax and restore your mind, body and soul in our world-class Spa, where?? treatment rooms and your choice of rejuvenating treatments await. Includes: Luxurious accommodations, Choice of one of the following 50-minute massages or facials per room, per day (excluding gratuity): • Swedish massage • Therapist's choice massage • Men's rescue facial • Pure results facial
Le Merigot A Jw Marriott Beach Hotel And Spa
This package includes Superior Guestroom accommodations and a Back, Shoulders, Ears and Chest Wax followed by a full-session Deep Tissue Massage. Spa Gratuity Included starts at $610.00 per Night
Le Merigot A Jw Marriott Beach Hotel And Spa
$840 per night/double occupancy This girlfriend getaway is designed for the gourmet-in-her. The package includes in-room wine amenity, superior guest room with two double beds, massage for two, gourmet dinner in Cezanne with wine pairings, map to Malibu’s Rosenthal Estate Wines Tasting Room, a chick flick and gourmet popcorn.
Maison 140 Beverly Hills
"Los Angeles lifestyle has long been synonymous with poolside lingering and the joys of driving. Maison 140 in Beverly Hills will help you do both in high style. Soak up the SoCal sun in the retro-charm of Avalon's mid -century-modern pool terrace, then tool around the trendsetter's playground of Beverly Hills in a swank Mercedes Benz. A memorable meal in the Mandarin-French mystique of Maison 140 will seal the deal. Overnight Accommadation In A Mandarin Room Poolside Kit: Includes Sunscreen, Magazines, Water, Lip Balm And After-Sun Care, Poolside Snow Cone Cocktails For Two At Avalon Hotel E-Class Mercedes Benz Rental With Airport Pick-Up And Drop-Off Breakfast For Two Early Check In 1pm Late Check Out 3pm
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Just For Fun

Avalon Hotel
The Los Angeles lifestyle has long been synonymous with poolside lingering and the joy of driving. Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills will help you do both in high style. Soak up the SoCal sun in the retro charm of Avalon’s mid-century-modern pool terrace, then tool around the trendsetter’s playground of Beverly Hills in a swank Mercedes Benz. Enjoy a memorable meal in the see-and-be-seen milieu of Avalon's Blue on Blue restaurant. Overnight premium room accommodations; poolside snow cone cocktails for two, E-class Mercedes Benz rental and sun kit; dinner for two with entreé wine pairing. Rates from $569
Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn Universal Studios
Make reservation for the package and get additional PC points on top of all the additional amenities that comes with being a Priority Club Member.
Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Airport
Avoid the hassle of traffic getting to the airport for that early flight by making use of our park and fly package, which includes a standard room for one night and parking for up to seven days. Additional nights of self parking at $12/night. Complimentary airport shuttle is also available. Rates starting from $139 plus tax.
Le Merigot A Jw Marriott Beach Hotel And Spa
This package includes our Superior Guestroom accommodations and your choice of a Mercedes Benz C class or a 3 series BMW Rental Car or a Mercedes R350 (seats 6) no class guarantee except for SUV. Starts at $389.00 per night.
Le Merigot A Jw Marriott Beach Hotel And Spa
This package includes our Superior Guestroom accommodations and your choice of a convertible Porsche Boxster or a BMW Z4 Roadster Rental Car for the ultimate L.A. adventure. $429.00 per night
Le Merigot A Jw Marriott Beach Hotel And Spa
This package includes Superior Guestroom accommodations and a Toyota Prius Hybrid Synergy Rental Car. Starts at $359.00 per Night
Le Merigot A Jw Marriott Beach Hotel And Spa
This package includes our Superior Guestroom accommodations, a full-session Swedish massage, a two hour Professional Surfing Lesson, and one Blue Crush graduation cocktail. Starts at $479.00 per night
Le Merigot A Jw Marriott Beach Hotel And Spa
$600 per night/double occupancy Who said Malibu is just for surfers? Wine aficionados will be glad to learn about Malibu’s burgeoning wine industry. Rosenthal Estate Wines recently began offering tours and tastings and Le Merigot sends its guests off in typical SoCal style. The package includes: 2006 Range Rover, superior guest room, a picnic basket with baguette and artisanal cheeses, a map to the Rosenthal Estate Wines’ tasting room and 4 p.m. check out. This package represents 25 percent cost savings.
Le Merigot A Jw Marriott Beach Hotel And Spa
$840 per night/double occupancy This girlfriend getaway is designed for the gourmet-in-her. The package includes in-room wine amenity, superior guest room with two double beds, massage for two, gourmet dinner in Cezanne with wine pairings, map to Malibu’s Rosenthal Estate Wines Tasting Room, a chick flick and gourmet popcorn.
Maison 140 Beverly Hills
"Los Angeles lifestyle has long been synonymous with poolside lingering and the joys of driving. Maison 140 in Beverly Hills will help you do both in high style. Soak up the SoCal sun in the retro-charm of Avalon's mid -century-modern pool terrace, then tool around the trendsetter's playground of Beverly Hills in a swank Mercedes Benz. A memorable meal in the Mandarin-French mystique of Maison 140 will seal the deal. Overnight Accommadation In A Mandarin Room Poolside Kit: Includes Sunscreen, Magazines, Water, Lip Balm And After-Sun Care, Poolside Snow Cone Cocktails For Two At Avalon Hotel E-Class Mercedes Benz Rental With Airport Pick-Up And Drop-Off Breakfast For Two Early Check In 1pm Late Check Out 3pm
Manhattan Beach Marriott
$159.00    Includes:  2 rounds of golf with pull cart and clubs, breakfast, parking and accommodations in a golf view room.
Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Includes one-night classic-room accommodations (suitable for up to two adults and two children); American Girl amenities in-room, including use of an American Girl doll bed with turndown service, lip gloss, book and hand gel; complimentary valet parking; complimentary hotel transportation in our luxurious town car to the new American Girl Place store at the Grove; and breakfast for the kids at Smeraldi's Restaurant. Plus, guests booking this package can enter our quarterly drawing to win American Girl's 2007 Doll of the Year, Nicki!
Mosaic Hotel Beverly Hills
A Mercedes sports Sedan or Mini Cooper S and a room at the Mosaic Hotel Beverly Hills. Complimentary airport pick up with your car from LAX or Burbank. Rates start at $400 for a Luxury Room,$420 for a Preferred Luxury or $650 for a One Bedroom Suite.
Mosaic Hotel Beverly Hills
Package includes limo transfer to and from LAX, a bottle of Dom Perignon and gourmet chocolates upon arrival, dinner reservations at the top restaurants in town. Breakfast for two daily and of course an Aston Martin Vantage to drive. We'll also include a debit card for $500.00 to help with expenses. The package will require a two night minimum and include our one bedroom suite for $1,700 per night based on double occupancy.
Omni Los Angeles Hotel
Ladies can get their glam on through their senses with a complimentary women’s sensation bar, which includes a “chick-flick” DVD, wine and chocolates, lip masque and glosses and a girlfriend’s tarot card kit. The “Get Your Glam On” package also offers an advance concierge call to arrange additional services such as: in-room hair/makeup team for styling before hitting the town; limo ride to local hot spots; shopping recommendations; and spa treatments.
Omni Los Angeles Hotel
Guys can get their game on and enliven their senses with a complimentary men’s Sensation Bar, which includes a sports-focused DVD, a rock ’n’ roll CD, the “art of shaving” travel kit and a local micro-brewed beer with gourmet chips. An advance call from the concierge enables guys to customize their stay at an additional cost, providing items such as: poker cards, chips and dice; bar with private bartender/mixologist; limo ride to local hot spots; tickets to a local sporting venue; and reservations for tee-times at local golf courses.
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
Triple the fun and feel good about where you are and who you’re with. The Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel extends a special AAA rate starting from $135 and a $20 credit. Ease into the comfort and enjoy a sense of satisfaction. * $20 credit per stay. * Complimentary room upgrade, subject to availability. * 2:00 PM late checkout, subject to availability. * Special AAA room rates starting from $135.
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
High fives are invited. Stay with us after your favorite sporting events Downtown. Catch some ZZZs on our Sweet Sleeper Bed and be on the receiving end for free parking, breakfast and bar appetizers. Fans can’t get enough of this four-pack. * Breakfast for Two * $20 Team LA Card * Complimentary Bar Appetizer * Complimentary Parking
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Room & Breakfast

Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel & Convention Center
Marriott wants to help families this summer carve out time for family fun. So when you book a big, comfortable room at a small, comfortable rate, the pizza, sodas, movies and internet are all on us. This weekend, or next weekend. Any weekend from now on until the kids go back to school. So families can have their pie (and eat it, too). Summer for Families Special from $164 - $194
Manhattan Beach Marriott
$159.00    Includes:  2 rounds of golf with pull cart and clubs, breakfast, parking and accommodations in a golf view room.
Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Includes classic-room accommodations; breakfast for two at Smeraldi's Restaurant and complimentary valet parking.
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
Upgraded accommodations for two (Executive Bedroom) • Complimentary breakfast for two at Twist • Chilled bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival • Late check-out (based on availability)
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
Deluxe accommodations for two at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel; breakfast buffet for two at Twist, the hotel's California-eclectic restaurant; discount card from Hollywood & Highland Center; and overnight valet parking. Package does not include tickets. For ticket purchase information, visit www.ticketmaster.com or call 213-480-3232. For information on upcoming shows at the Kodak Theatre, visit www.kodaktheatre.com or call 213-480-3232.
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
Two nights of deluxe accommodations for two at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel; (2) one-day admission tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood SM; breakfast for two daily at Twist, the hotel's restaurant; overnight self parking with in-and-out privileges for two days; discount card from Hollywood & Highland Center, adjacent to the hotel; and Universal CityWalk® savings booklet.
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
High fives are invited. Stay with us after your favorite sporting events Downtown. Catch some ZZZs on our Sweet Sleeper Bed and be on the receiving end for free parking, breakfast and bar appetizers. Fans can’t get enough of this four-pack. * Breakfast for Two * $20 Team LA Card * Complimentary Bar Appetizer * Complimentary Parking
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
Waves of relaxation are invited. Make the most of your weekend with rates starting from $149. You deserve a break with this exclusive Sheraton Weekend Getaway * Full American Breakfast for Two in our Restaurant * 4 p.m. Late Checkout, Based on Availability
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
Quality time is invited. A special rate starting from $179 makes it easy to reconnect. Make room in the heart of Downtown LA and fall in love all over again. * Bottle of Wine and Cheese Plate * Daily Full American Breakfast for Two * 4 p.m. Late Checkout
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
Breakfast on the house lets you share the morning and plan the perfect day. Treat yourself to a good night's rest and an eye-opening buffet breakfast. Package includes: * One Night of Accommodations * Breakfast Buffet for Two Each Morning
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
Traditional room, internet, buffet breakfast and Metro Day pass (for each day the package is purchased). This package starts at $185.
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
Finger snappin’ and toe tappin’ invited. Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown is in sync with the special shows coming up in the Downtown Sports Arena area. Breakfast, appetizers, and parking are on the house. Keep the fun going just a little longer and get into the groove with a major hit package. * Breakfast for Two * $20 iTunes Card * Complimentary Bar Appetizer * Complimentary Parking
Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites
Includes full American breakfast for 2 daily via room service or restaurant, champagne & strawberries, 4pm late check out
Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites
Children under 12 eat free. One complimentary Childs meal available from the children's menu in exclusively in Lakeview Bistro Restaurant. One Childs meal for each full adult meal purchased for up to 2 children. Lakeview Bistro is open for Breakfast or Lunch. Plus includes one complimentary movie per night.
Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites
Full breakfast in Lakeview Bistro for 2 daily, newspaper delivery each morning.

Here's the other promotional information I helped coordinate with Sales Directors, publicists, and others:

Pet-Friendly Hotels

Looking for a place to stay where pets are treated just like all the other paying customers? The following hotels welcome guests traveling with four-legged friends. For more information about each hotel’s specific policy, check out the following links.

Downtown

Hollywood

Westside

Beach Cities

San Fernando Valley

San Gabriel Valley

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