Half A Day In Mississippi

Since I was already in the southern part of the United States, I might as well do some side trips to see other state. It brought me to look on the U.S state map and have decided to venture to the Magnolia state. I spent half a day in Mississippi since it was just near Tennessee.

I was searching for tourist destinations in MS but most of them were located far from the border state of Tennessee and I only have a half a day thus, I don’t want to spend it in the road and come back right after I got to the location. So, I came up with the idea to just visit the nearest tourist attractions. One tourist spot came up on the list was Tunica County River Park.

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Tunica River Park and Museum cr; tunicariverpark.com

Tunica County River Park is located in the town of Robinsonville, Tunica county in Mississippi. It is a perfect  for outings with family and kids and can also be a romantic destination for couples and lovers. It has the perfect view emphasizing the beauty  of the Mississippi River. Tunica River Park and Museum is rich with native wildlife and flora and the focal point of the park is the stunning architectural of the River Park Overlook that provides the breathtaking views of the America’s river. For more information, visit their site by clicking here.

After my visit in Tunica River Park, I was curious about these two cool-looking gate poles that looked like a castle. So I went through it and found out that it was a casino. It was the Fitzgeralds Tunica Casino and Hotel.

Fitz Tunica Casino and Hotel is just located few miles of Tunica River Park. If you have noticed when you get to Tunica, there are a lot of casinos and hotels and they aren’t just ordinary casinos, they are worldly known such as Hollywood, Gold Strike to name a few. Tunica might be named as the Vegas of Mississippi. It is like in the middle of nowhere and once you get there, it boomed with a surprise with ginormous casino buildings.

I was just seeing the vicinity out of curiosity and just went by passing. The building was indeed huge and looked like a castle but the location was just bland and dead. It was around 1000H. It might be a different story when you get inside the casino but it was never part of the itinerary to get inside a casino so, I left after I got satisfied with my curiosity. I, then, went to Southaven to do some shopping since they have this famous outlet. It was Tanger Outlet Mall.

Tanger Outlet Mall is located in Southaven. It is just outside of Memphis, TN. Tanger Outlets Southaven is the first outlet mall near the Memphis metro area. It is a nationally known outlet center brand.

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Tanger Outlets: Coach, Pandora, Guess, etc

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Tanger Outlets

That ended spending my half a day in Mississippi. It was spent most of the time in the mall but at least I got to see Mississippi even it was just in short period of time. If I get another opportunity to visit Mississippi, I would definitely give more time traveling down south since it has a lot to offer for a traveler like me.

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The Child in Me Unleashed

I am used to traveling to see what the place has to offer and not to go to theme or amusement parks. But this time, I went out of my routine travel itinerary and have decided to try to go in one of the happiest places in Los Angeles and that is in Universal Studios. Letting the child in me unleashed.

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Universal Studios Hollywood

It was 10 in the morning on a cloudy day when I got to Universal Studios. The park was filled with a lot of guests wandering here and there. There were plenty of rides to choose from but the first ride I took was the Studio Tour since the waiting time is not that long.IMG_3726
Studio Tour is good for an hour. The guests usually ride in a shuttle and will have a tour in studios where most films, sitcoms, or TV shows were shot. We were toured in a New York City setup, studios of movies such as Jaws, Ted, and films that we thought were shot in Texas and part of Mexico but were actually filmed in Universal Studios. The whole journey in the studio was fun added with some 3Ds from King Kong and Fast and Furious and it was also full of information on how they use technology with the aid of the blue or green screen.

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Queue for the Studio Tour

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Shuttle for the tour

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New York City facade

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Ted

After the studio tour, I headed to the newly opened attraction which is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The queue at the back was a little bit long. As I mentioned, I am an avid fan of the movie series. So, without further ado, I didn’t care how many minutes it’ll take me waiting to get inside the famous world of wizards.

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Welcome to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Have some butterbeer.

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Whomping Willow

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It took about 15 minutes to get inside the castle passing thru the Whomping Willow. For the rides such as the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff, it may take a little more longer.

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Going to Forbidden Journey

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Hippogriff

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Flight of the Hippogriff

I also went to Hogsmeade and checked Ollivanders and more wizard stores. They were selling memorabilias from magic wands, robes, stuffed animals to even sorting hats. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter surely has captured most of the scenarios of the movie and somehow made us, fanatic, reminisced the days when we first saw it on big screen.

I went out of the Wizarding World and took time to grab some munchies and went to other amusement rides. The next ride was the Transformers.

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Military base under Evac in Transformer amusement ride in Universal Studio Hollywood

The setup before getting into ride was like a bunk or a military base for an evacuation. The story is to deliver and keep the AllSpark safe. It was an awesome 3D ride, full of action and death defying scene.

Next attraction was Jurassic Park. I rode the river raft adventure. The ride was one of those exhilarating rides yet nerve-wracking when I didn’t expect that 84-foot drop. It was full of fun though and wanted to get to ride that again if only I have all the time in the world.

Waterworld was next. It is the number 1 show in Universal Studios Hollywood and every guests shouldn’t miss it. The plot of the show is the characters were looking for dry land. Fighting to get to dry land first made it full of action and adventure added with some pyro works. The show ran for 30 mins with specific time schedule so, always be in tune with time.

After that burning and getting wet show, I went to lovable characters ride. It was the the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. The ride started by transforming the riders into minions and were trained by the kids. It was hilarious.

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Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

I also watched the Special Effects show on how special effects were done and lastly, I rode my last amusement ride in Shrek 4D.

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Shrek 4D

When I got out from Shrek 4D, I was walking around the park glancing to keep memories of it since it will be a long wait for me to come back.

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The whole day in the Entertainment Capital of L.A. was indeed memorable. I had so much fun that I forgot taking pictures of the park. I did enjoy and deep inside me, the feeling of being a child again was unleashed. If you want to know more about the rides and attractions in Universal Studios Hollywood, visit their site by clicking here.

The Sunny State

Every state in the United States has a nickname. It so happened that I’m in the Buckeye State, Ohio, and the weather changes like changing clothes. In the morning, it will be sunny but at noon, it’ll rain or even snow in the middle of spring season. Since I have missed a lot of sunshine in my whole year here in the Land of the Brave, so, I have decided to catch the sun myself and headed to the sunny state, California.

California Flag

California is located at the west coast of the country with the capital, Sacramento. It has a couple of names such as El Dorado and Golden State. It is also a famous destination since it houses Hollywood, the rich and popular people of showbiz and etc, amusement parks such as Disneyland and Universal Studios, the iconic Golden Gate bridge and more. But the main reason of why I’m visiting this state is due to my mum coming over this country and her port of entry is in LAX, Tom Bradley International Airport, in Los Angeles.

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LAX sign cr. wikipedia

I flew all the way from Cleveland to Los Angeles and arrived in LA at night time and welcomed my mother in the U.S. The next day, the tour schedule was packed for the whole day. Our hosts were actually my cousin and his family who live in LA for more than 5 years which is a plus. First on our visit list was the Hollywood sign.

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Hollywood sign

This sign is an American icon in Los Angeles. The same as the Eiffel Tower in Paris. So, it is a must to take photos with this sign whenever a traveler or tourist is in the City of Angels.  It is situated on Mount Lee, in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains. The sign overlooks Hollywood, Los Angeles.

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View of downtown LA near the Hollywood sign

Few miles from the Hollywood sign is the Griffith Observatory.

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Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory is a facility built on Mount Hollywood. It is a popular tourist attraction with an amazing view of the Hollywood sign and it also has an extensive array of space and science-related displays. Admission is free of charge except some planetary shows with some small added charge.

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View of LA in Griffith Observatory

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View inside Griffith Observatory

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After seeing the displays and attractions in the observatory, we went to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

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Harry Potter fanatic here!

The Hollywood  Walk of Fame is a sidewalk embedded with brass stars with names of mix of actors, musicians, directors, fictional characters, musical and theatrical groups, and more. It is also a popular tourist attraction.

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Buildings in Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Buildings in Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Hollywood street

We went back home after walking miles in the Walk of Fame. On the second day, we just stayed at home but the best thing is we were staying in Hermosa Beach. Thus, I walked into the beach and went to the pier.

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Hermosa Beach Pier

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Tim Kelly statue

Looking on the surfers, beach volleyball players, beach tennis players, men fishing, runners, or just plain people like me lounging on the heat of the sun gave me a greatest feeling of R&R.

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House near the beach

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Surfers

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The wave

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Hermosa Beach

Next day, we were toured in a famous movie location in Santa Monica Pier.

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Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier is a famous movie location which movies such as Hancock, Cellular and Forrest Gump were filmed. It has been considered as a landmark that has been over 100 years. The pier contains a lot of attractions. It has  Pacific Park, a family amusement park with its one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art, solar paneled Ferris wheel, a carousel hippodrome, shops, pubs, restaurants, entertainers and more.

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Santa Monica Beach

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Santa Monica beach

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Pacific Park Ferris wheel

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Tourists

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People flocking to see entertainer performing.

We have to leave before rush hour because traffic in Los Angeles is unforgiving. It was a little bit hot, walking and wandering around Santa Monica but I am thankful enough that the weather was perfect.

The fourth and last day in California was spent in one of the happiest places on Earth and that is on an amusement park in Universal City. Yes, we went to Universal Studios Hollywood. Ticket price varies on where you purchase it. If the ticket was purchased online, an individual can save up to US$10-30. Without having second thoughts, we bought our ticket online and save US$10 instead of buying it in the studio. For my story about the trip in Universal Studio, I will write a separate blog article and will publish it in a few weeks.

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Studio Map

The whole experience in the Sunny State of California was joyous. There were no dull and boring moments. It was awesome and definitely will be going back soon. California is indeed a great place to live with everything you need and want you can find. I have only explored Los Angeles and there are still more iconic places in the Golden State to see such as the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, the capital city of Sacramento and more.

To see the places I’ve visited in California in just 4 mins, check my vlog at my YouTube channel below: