Tuesday, May 14, 2019

New York



     Greetings everyone! It's Stephen Gaiber: The Autistic Traveler again. For today's blog, we're going to talk about the city that never sleeps, New York City. Let me tell you, it is a very lively city, from museums to family entertainment to tourist traps to restaurants to famous sites and everything you can imagine. This diverse city is where most of the immigrants came from, stopping on Ellis Island to start a new life. Some of these immigrants include Italians, Jews, Russian, all different types of people. There's a lot to explore and so little time to explore it all, so let's explore New York City.

   Since there's a lot to offer in New York City, let's talk about some interesting facts that make New York the city that it is. The city was originally called New Amsterdam -- too bad they aren't as liberal as real Amsterdam. The city was first founded in 1625, with the first settlers coming in 1624. The island of Manhattan was named after the Native American tribe that lived in Manhattan. For a year, 1789 to 1790, it was the nation's capital. Imagine if Trump was president then how he'd feel at home with his little adoring crowd. Speaking of minorities, 52% are women and half of residents over the age of 5 speak a foreign language. Even though most of us think New York is big, it's only 300 square miles.














 

    There are a lot of sites that New York has to offer, from big buildings, excellent museums, excellent views, and so much more. New York has many walking tours from Wall Street, movies, Madison Square Garden, and transportation walking tours. Sadly, since there is only so much time I've had throughout my duration in New York, I have been unable to do a walking tour, but I hope one day to do a walking tour.

    One of the most famous museums is the Natural History Museum. It has dinosaurs and creatures from all over the world, as well as science exhibits. It is one of New York's historic sites. There is a lot to learn, such as how the dinosaurs were made and a very topical subject, global warming. There are a lot of creatures from all over the world. I think this is an excellent place to explore if one has a free day.

    New York has no shortage of art museums. Some of the famous art museums include the Museum of Modern Art, which always has new exhibits. It is also free every Friday after 5pm, but be aware of very long lines. Another famous art museum is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The art is displayed all around the museum and shows all different types of art on each level. Each level you walk up, you see the art on display and see different types of amazing art. It's definitely worth walking up all the floors.

    The best art museum is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, known as the Met. Wow! is this museum big and amazing. I mean, one could literately spend a whole day there and still miss out on a lot of art. The types of art include European and British art, Egyptian and Pharaoh art, Asian art, and New Zealand art. This museum consists of several main floors, where one would get engaged in seeing all the different types of art work and feel they are experiencing the culture. The best art, I feel, is the Egyptian art because it feels like YOU are in ancient Egypt. It is 2 million square feet. One might be able to get admission just by making a donation rather than paying the suggested price for admission. I've done that throughout the years, but it's at the discretion of the person selling tickets. If one has A LOT of time in New York and is not rushed, it's worth spending a whole day at the Met.

    New York has some great views, such as Top of the Rock, Chrysler Building, and Empire State Building. They're all really excellent. There is now a new excellent building to see views, the One World Observatory. It's right near the 9/11 Museum and is a great reminder of how great New York is. I loved exploring the excellent views really high up. One can see the beautiful skyline, showing the entire city, and get a history lesson too. One should definitely explore this if one happens to be near the 9/11 memorial.






    There's no reason why one should ever have to pay full price for admission unless one is only interested in literately seeing one thing throughout New York. There are many different passes that include the New York Pass, the New York Sightseeing Pass, the New York CityPass, and the New York Explorer Card. My two favorites that I would recommend if one wants to have unlimited choices for a certain amount of time would be between the New York Pass and the New York Sightseeing Pass. They are pretty much the same with some exceptions. Some of the things that the New York Pass offers that the Sightseeing pass doesn't offer are the Museum of Sex and the Empire State Building. The New York Sightseeing Pass does offer discounts at Planet Hollywood and Buffalo Wild Wings.

    If one only is in New York for a day or two and only has a select few attractions to see, maybe the New York CityPass or Explorer Card is right for YOU. The New York Explorer Card lets you pick a certain amount of attractions for a certain price. The New York CityPass will either let you pick between three of a certain amount of attractions or six attractions all together with three allowed and a choice between three others. There's a lot to explore in New York and to get the best bang for your buck, one should get at least one sort of pass.

    New York has a lot to offer the average person. Some of the attractions it has to offer include museums, history, shopping, tours, famous sporting events, and just a place to spend time. People from all over the world consider New York a prime place to visit and I hope I gave you some better insight into why that is. Please feel free to watch my video at https://youtu.be/dczxBA2SfzQ

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Travel Show II



       Greetings audience! It's Stephen Gaiber: The Autistic Traveler. For today's blog, I am going to discuss my time at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show. It's a travel show that advertises different travel itinerates such as Asia vacations, European vacations, Africa vacations, different styles of vacations and many different ways to see the world. The Travel and Adventure Show. There are booths of travel agents who work for particular companies and explain the benefits of all types of vacations.

     The Travel and Adventure Show travels to different cities to show all the different places that are available in the world. Some of the places that the Travel and Adventure Show goes to are Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. They have been doing these shows for 15 years and 84 events, bringing 4,000 different exhibition companies around the world. I am proud to have attended these events for 10 years and I look forward to discussing the highlights of the travel show.




    The Travel and Adventure Show has a lot to offer those who love to travel. There are people who advertise many different tours such as safaris in Africa, Mediterranean Boat Vacations, all different destinations in Asia, and different counties in California. I have learned about more there is to do in different parts of California, such as what there is to do in San Bernardino County, Inyo County, or even more that there is to see in Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Mammoth, and Lancaster. The main aspect regarding California that the travel show likes to explore is that there is more to see than just Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    One can learn about many different types of vacations out there other than just the big cities. Different types of vacations include hiking and camping and sun vacations. As I've mentioned before, some of the big highlights that the travel show has to offer include the touristy parts of Asia and Europe. One can also learn about different types of vacations such as house-swapping, which is changing houses with a particular person like the movie The Holidays. They also have a website called Cashbackmonitor.com, which shows all the websites where one can do online shopping to get cash and frequent-flyer miles. There is a lot to learn about travel by visiting the travel show.

    There are some things I would like to see The Travel And Adventure Show expand on. I am an avid Disney fan, particularly of Disneyworld. They should advertise Orlando, Disneyworld, Universal Studios Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, and many other parks. A lot of Californians might forget about those places and it might help draw tourists to check out Disneyworld. Also they should have other states from the Midwest or even the East Coast come in and explain why one should visit their states. One example would be South Carolina; there's a lot to see in that state, such as Beauty and the Beach. Also the big cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, etc., should come and explain why one should visit their cities.

    Overall, I feel that The Travel and Adventure Show has a lot to offer world travelers who want to explore. I love coming here annually and I hope that I have given YOU an idea of what to explore when you're in the area. They at times can switch it from the Los Angeles Convention Center to Long Beach Convention Center, but both are accessible by the Metro, so no need to endure Los Angeles traffic. There are pleasant surprises at the end, such as this year I rode a zip line and last year I rode an elephant. I encourage all to check out this amazing show. Also please watch my video at https://youtu.be/bSrrwGYWv1U

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library



     Good day audience! I am a member of the presidential libraries and as a member, I get general admission included to visit the presidential libraries anytime. These libraries are great for history and people who want to learn facts about the presidents' administrations. There are 14 presidential libraries including the upcoming Obama museum. The libraries I have attended include those of JFK, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon. If one happens to visit Northeastern Orange County and wants to escape the shopping malls, beach, or Disneyland, one should hop to Yorba Linda, both Richard Nixon's birthplace and the location of his museum.

     The Richard Nixon Presidential Museum and Library is the final resting place of both Richard Nixon and his wife Pat. The museum was opened on July 19, 1990. The museum goes into exclusive detail about the president's life, history, and career. His family home was designed to appear as it did in the 1910s. Wow! What an impressive fact for those who like to explore history. The museum did a massive expansion in 2016 and includes the oval office, media to appeal to millennials, the Vietnam War, Nixon in China, and Nixon's sitting room. These exhibits add more variety and give one a better appreciation of Richard Nixon's legacy. The main topics I hope to address are Nixon's life, the Vietnam War, his accomplishments, and the Watergate Scandal. I'd rather relive Watergate than live Trump and Putin.

 

     Richard Nixon was born in Yorba Linda on January 9, 1913. Interesting fact: Richard Nixon's father was a grocer like I am. One of Nixon's earlier quotes about his life was, "We were poor, but the glory of it is we didn't know it." That would make everyone's financial problems much easier today if they adopted that mentality. Both of Nixon's brothers died before he turned 20. Richard Nixon got into Harvard, but due to finances, he went to Whittier College and got a full scholarship to Duke University Law School. In 1940, he married a schoolteacher Pat and had two daughters.

     Richard Nixon was determined to do what it took to be president. In 1960, he competed against John F. Kennedy. Talk about the heartbreaking loss, by just 120,000 votes. Reminds me of the 2000 election of Bush vs. Gore. At least JFK won the popular vote. Upon return to California, he was encouraged to run for governor against Pat Brown, ultimately loosing to her. Richard Nixon decided to come back and run for president against Hubert Humphrey and independent George Wallace. He won the election by 500,000. If Nixon taught us anything, it teaches us to do what it takes to follow our dreams. I can relate to Nixon in the sense that I've been trying for years to get a job in entertainment and travel, and despite my failures, I keep trying to get that job.



     
     One of the major conflicts that Richard Nixon had to endure was the war in Vietnam caused by Lyndon B. Johnson. He really had a dilemma because the war caused the country to be split. If he didn't end the war, there would be outrage, but if he did, it would be an outrage too. Part of the problems he faced with the Vietnam War was that Democrats could charge Nixon abandoning a peaceful solution with war crimes. But if he didn't end the war, Saigon would fall. He slowly pulled troops out of Vietnam. In 1972, there were no troops on the combat field and by 1973, only 25,000 soldiers remained in Vietnam. The Vietnam War is a subject we can all debate if it was necessary or not. However this ended the mandated draft. Ending the war will go down as one of Nixon's accomplishments.



     Like or hate Richard Nixon, he tried his best to make America better than when he came in. He accomplished some excellent goals that helped set up our country for success. He founded the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), which was in response to pollution and conservation. Some of the laws that were passed were the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Mamel Marine Act. These laws have been very beneficial to make the environment safer and easier to battle global warming. He started the War on Cancer which created national cancer centers and medications to battle cancer. My favorite accomplishment of Nixon was that he was the first US President to visit China. He eased relations between China and America, making it easier for me to go on my favorite trip since graduating high school and go to Shanghai Disneyland this summer. I think these were excellent traits of this president. Unfortinatly, the Watergate Scandle were what led to the end of Nixon.


     Most of us are aware of the Watergate scandal, and it is relevant today to Trump colluding with Russia. There was a break-in on June 17, 1972 at the Democratic National Committee. The people involved were with Richard Nixon's re-election campaign. They used wiretapping phones and stole documents. Nixon made sure that Watergate was covered up. This caused people to question their leaders. Two reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein from the Washington Post, did a deep investigation and were applauded for their efforts in investigating and won a Pulitzer prize. This was traced back to Nixon because phone numbers of the re-election campaign were with the burglars' stuff. Also Richard Nixon arranged hush money to the burglars to keep quiet about Watergate, like Donald Trump did for Stormy Daniels. Nixon's administration tried to impede the CIA, which was both an abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The Saturday Night Massacre, October 20, 1973, was when Archibald Cox was fired upon his request for Nixon to give up the tapes. Nixon was forced to resign on August 8, 1974 and six weeks later was pardoned by Gerald Ford. This was a dark time, causing a lot of problems for years to come. Nixon was at least admirable for leaving when he knew he was in trouble. We live in similar times now and I hope that we have a country where we can trust our leaders.

     After Nixon resigned, he returned to Southern California to have a regular life. He went back home to San Clemente. He had a lot of struggles, both physically and financially, since Watergate. He died on April 22, 1994, and his wife Pat died a year earlier. At the end of the library, they had the video of his memorial. Richard Nixon left a legacy both good and bad, but did care for America's best interests. I hope that if you happen to be in Orange County or traveling from Riverside County, you will get off the 91 freeway and make up your own opinion about Nixon. Please watch this video: https://youtu.be/zztLek59e_M


Monday, January 28, 2019

My Adventures On Carnival Cruise Line

     Welcome audience! It's Stephen Gaiber: The Autistic Traveler here to discuss my first vacation of the year, my journey on the Carnival Splendor to the Mexican Riviera. For this blog we're not just going to talk about my journey on this cruise, we're going to talk about all my times on Carnival Cruise Line and how they are very similar and what the cruise line has to offer YOU. There are many reasons why one would pick Carnival Cruise Line, such as how it's the least expensive cruise line, especially compared with Disney (you might as well go to Disney World, where YOU would get more bang for your buck), it goes to all the places ONE would dream of such as the Caribbean, Mexico, and Europe, and how people from all around the world drink and party together. People from all over the country, particularly the Midwest, come explore the world with Carnival Cruise Line and make it the fun ship.

     Before I talk about what works and what doesn't work for Carnival Cruise Line, I will talk about the history of how these became the fun ships. It's one of the 10 cruise line brands owned by the American-British Carnival Corporation. Founded in 1972, its headquarters are located in Miami, Florida. There has been a lot of economic impact to ports such as the Caribbean and Ensenada, Mexico. Carnival has brought lots of jobs and money to Port Everglades. Let me explain to all of YOU why Carnival is the way to party at sea.






     I have taken a good amount of cruises on Carnival Cruise Line such as the Eastern Caribbean, Southern Caribbean, Ensenada, and most recently the Mexican Riviera. Our journey on the Carnival Splendor begins in Long Beach, CA. From there one will start off with a fun day at sea where one can go into the pools and hot tubs, explore lots of restaurants with many different cuisines, and explore activities. Then we arrive at Cabo San Lucas, where one could check out the touristy town full of bars and restaurants as well as shopping. I checked out Lovers Beach, which is one of the best beaches in Cabo close to the Arc. One can also snorkel and see fish and crabs play on the rocks.
     If one wants to get a feel for a real Mexican beach town that feels less American, the cruise stops the next day at Mazatl├ín. On this port, one should take a city tour where one can see some of the architecture statues, cliff divers, and check out this little town, which feels more authentically Mexican than a tourist town.
     For those who want a mix of both America and Mexico, one would like to explore the final port Puerto Vallarta. There's beach life, Mexican culture, zip-lining, and shopping in town. Something I would recommend would be a city tour, which also allows an hour of shopping and photo opportunities at the Art Walk. If one is a big drinker, the tour offers a tasting at a tequila factory, which includes chocolate, vanilla, and coffee tequila. They all taste great for those who want to drink but don't love the taste of alcohol. The beach is also walking distance from the cruise ships at the resorts.

    

 

     Let's talk about the Carnival Splendor and what one can expect on it. The ship's crew really try their best to make the ship a lot of fun. This ship has a lot of food choices, such as burgers, a 24-hour pizzeria, a deli for those who like grilled cheese, and room service. There's always entertainment that would WOW music and production fans such as those who love Hasbro, as many of the productions are based on the games, as well as music from Queen and Freddie Mercury, Elton John, and Billy Joel. The productions take us back to life in the '70s and '80s with music and costumes. There are also movies on deck at night. If one wants to game and relive The Hangover, of course there's a casino onboard. There are a lot of activities to please all audiences on Carnival Splendor.


       
     On a Carnival cruises, they do more or less the same stuff on each cruise. They typically have a lot of pools and hot tubs for anyone who loves to swim. There is always entertainment such as shows and stand-up comedy featuring comedians who've performed with famous comedians. One can meet people from different parts of the country and build everlasting relationships. Families can see characters such as the Dr. Seuss' Guys and Mr. Potato Head. There's dancing and partying. Also there are people who go on a limb and get hammered. Most Carnival cruises feature the same material, but there is something for everyone.

    Why go on a Carnival cruise? There are several reasons. It seems to be the best value for the money. There also are many different types of destinations that Carnival offers, from just a port that one would choose not to get off at, to weekend getaways, family beach vacations, and that fancy trip around the Mediterranean. One has something to look forward to on these fun ships.



Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Los Angeles Auto Show 2018


     Let's talk about the West Hall of the car show. From the moment you enter, one can take a picture with Bumblebee as they were promoting the new movie coming out. A very cool car that actually is a motorcycle is the Slingshot. I feel it's a combination of a motorcycle and a car because it doesn't feel like a motorcycle but doesn't look like a car. Let's explore some of the awesome cars in the first exhibit. The first exhibit features both the car models I had: Honda and Nissan. If you're a current Honda owner like myself, there's a lounge where you can hang and charge your phone. All the cars talk about their MPG, gas mileage, how much you could save in gas per year, costs, etc. Other types of cars this level had were Fords and Kias. You could test-drive a Kia and get a $10 Amazon gift card.




     Let's talk about the West Hall of the car show. From the moment you enter, one can take a picture with Bumblebee as they were promoting the new movie coming out. A very cool car that actually is a motorcycle is the Slingshot. I feel it's a combination of a motorcycle and a car because it doesn't feel like a motorcycle but doesn't look like a car. Let's explore some of the awesome cars in the first exhibit. The first exhibit features both the car models I had: Honda and Nissan. If you're a current Honda owner like myself, there's a lounge where you can hang and charge your phone. All the cars talk about their MPG, gas mileage, how much you could save in gas per year, costs, etc. Other types of cars this level had were Fords and Kias. You could test-drive a Kia and get a $10 Amazon gift card.



     One of the major dealerships that comes to the Los Angeles Auto Show is Galpin Ford, which is located in Mission Hills. I think it's impressive to see all the different cars Galpin has and to see how it has a history of being in business and has a story different than just a typical car dealership. I like knowing how the business has evolved since its inception in 1946. Frank Galpin opened up the dealership in San Fernando and the showroom had three different models and sold 46 cars in the first year. The Galpin Ford Convertible was created in 1952. Galpin's Shaggy Dog became the mascot in 1958. In 1961, Galpin created a NASCAR racing team for the west coast. Galpin Ford loves to show its history and evolution to those who visit the car show. It makes me wish more dealerships actually catered more to customers rather than sales since there is a true story that makes the dealership special.



     If one wants to see luxury vehicles, then one should go to the South Hall at the end of the Los Angeles Convention Center. The first cars one would see are the different types of Toyotas from the low-end to the high-end models. The Toyota Corporate Office comes in to talk about the benefits of having a Toyota. Now let's talk about the higher-end vehicles that look really amazing. Some of these cars include Jaguar, Lincoln, BMW, Lexus, Chevrolet, Acura, and Mercedes-Benz. If one wants to look at nice cars all in one place, this is the place to check out. I think that this is a must-see for those who like to look at cars and know what each type of car contains. I can't wait for next year's car show to see how these models evolve.


     At the end of the Convention Center, there is an exhibit called The Garage. This exhibit shows a lot of vintage cars that have been worked on and updated. These cars get customized to look awesome. One example is a truck that is branded with the Monster logo from the beverage brand. The vintage cars are a great thing to check out as you exit the show.

     Thank you for exploring the Los Angeles Auto Show with me and reading about my journey. This is a fun and interesting event to check out if one happens to be in Los Angeles before or after Thanksgiving. If one wants to go to the car show on the weekdays, there is a $3 discount. They even give tours and open up early for an additional fee. Next year's show starts on November 22 and ends on December 1. Please feel free to watch my YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZR_in1-UoU&feature=share

Monday, December 31, 2018

Top 5 New Years Destinations


     Happy New Year everyone. I hope all of you had a happy holidays, whatever holiday you celebrate. I appreciate all of you for following my blog and hopefully I am encouraging you to go out and follow your dreams and be inspired by my travels. For this blog, I am going to be discussing some top New Year's destinations and, much like the top Christmas destinations blog, I will explain why these destinations are worth checking out.

                     
                                  HONOLULU, HAWAII

    This Hawaiian capital is surprisingly a good place to spend New Year's. One reason is the warm and lively beach weather. Much better than spending it in some East Coast city. Fireworks explode over both Waikiki Beach and Aloha Tower Marketplace. This is an excellent place for families to visit for New Year's. An excellent New Year's event is The Kaka'ako Waterfront Park, which contains a beer garden, carnival rides, food trucks, and a lot of entertainment. This city is also a nice place to lie on the beach to deal with a hangover.


                           LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

     This divided city from West Los Angeles, Downtown LA, Hollywood, San Fernando Valley, has a lot to offer on a reasonable budget. Some of the events include black-tie affairs, street parties, and all-night clubbers. One way to do it would be to buy a club package, which allows access to multiple clubs. Some big events in Los Angeles include Cleopatra's New Year's Eve Bowl at the Egyptian Theater, which has a DJ playing the newest releases, LED light show, and a balloon drop. A free event that one should do is Grand Park, which has entertainment and food among the streets. Both Grand Park and Hollywood are accessible by Metro stops.


                                   CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

     There are lots of things to do in the Windy City, including dinner parties, firework cruises, and family-friendly events. One should explore Navy Pier to see an amazing firework show that bursts over Lake Michigan. A fun place for mingling and dancing is the Chicago Resolution Gala. That is the highlight for New Year's in Chicago, containing 30 bars, buffet stations, and access to the Grand Ballroom and Lakeview Terrace. Another excellent activity would be to go to one of the hotels for one of their parties.


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
     Sin City, particularly the strip, is an excellent place to party with over 300,000 visitors who check out all the themed hotels all on one boulevard. All traffic shuts down and the strip transforms into a big block party. At midnight, the casinos put on a firework show that makes Times Square look bad. Party goers dance the night away. The Skylofts at the MGM Grand give one a superb view of the strip during this party season.

                                NEW YORK, NEW YORK
   
     This is the destination of all destinations to visit for New Year's Eve. People head to Times Square to watch the ball drop, and all the networks play New Year's there. There are over 100,000 places to drink and ring in the new year. Many people brave up for Times Square and purchase a party pass for open bars. Other amazing activities for New Year's include STK Rooftop, where a DJ spins the hottest tracks and the bar overlooks the Hudson River. Or Monarch Rooftop Lounge, which offers a view of the Empire State Building. No matter what you do in the Big Apple, it will be epic.

    I hope I gave you an idea of places to visit for your New Year's. From the beach to a city in the desert to the Midwest to two coastal cities, there's no shortage of fun places to check out for your holiday. I look forward to taking YOU to more destinations in 2019, and thanks for reading.