Around 30 years ago, my parents took my sister and I on a road trip to Washington, D.C. Along the way, we stopped at several locations in Pennsylvania, making memories that have lasted a lifetime. With our girls hitting two and five this year, my wife and I decided it was time for our first family vacation - and as such, it was to be a road trip. We plotted several potential courses, with the Philadelphia area set to be the focal point and ultimate destination for a couple of reasons. First off, we were going to finally take Sprout up on a long-standing offer to stop by the Comcast Center and see Chica at the Sunshine Barn during a visit to the set of THE SUNNY SIDE UP SHOW. Second, we wanted to head for Langhorne to visit SESAME PLACE. During our planning, we attempted to pack in as much as possible, with potential stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, West Virginia and Cincinnati on the chart. Instead, we strategically plotted our trip to be centralized in PA - visiting some iconic locations in Philly (but scrapping the Sprout visit), our big trip to SESAME PLACE, a visit to THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE in Easton, HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD in Hershey, and a swing back through Ohio to visit my friends at SMUCKER'S on our way back to Northern Illinois.
G.J JOE or COBRA? Autobots or Decepticons? Coke or Pepsi? Angels or Demons? Empire or Rebellion? Throughout the course of time and mankind, there have many been epic battles that have raged on and become the subject of infinite debate. Is there a "right" or "wrong" answer? Probably not, but whichever you prefer will ultimately become your "right," and besides - everyone knows that COBRA rules. Last week, however, I dropped myself smack-dab in the middle of two longtime rivals, PAT'S KING OF STEAKS and GENO'S STEAKS - both located directly across from one another in South Philadelphia. You see, I dig a good "Philly Cheesesteak" - but I'm from Chicago, and up until now, I'd never had the chance to take the cheesesteak challenge for a legit Philly Cheesesteak. While this doesn't really fall inline with my fitness challenge, I made an exception (and hit the hotel gym later) to choose my side.
On July 15th, my friends at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release RIO 2 on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD (it's out now on iTunes). The film is sort of a "road trip" story in which Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) and his family take flight after his wife Jewel (voice of Anne Hathaway) decides that their children should explore the world. In the spirit of the film, there's a RIO 2 Summer Party Tour hitting select cities over the next two weeks (dates here), and the 2014 #RockFatherTour is hitting the road once more, too! But this time, we're actually on the road (as opposed to the air). While we get started on that end, Fox and I are giving all of you a chance to WIN the RIO 2 Blu-ray Combo Pack, and since THE ROCK FATHER has a foundation built on music... we're going to take a quick look at some of the "Musical Messages" of RIO 2...
The 2014 Rock Father Tour hits the road and takes to the sky again this week, as I head back to the West Coast on another adventure. One of the best parts of my job is a side-gig that I've had with PBS as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent). Having written about PBS programming for quite awhile before we made any kind of formal connection, it's been a real honor to work the the folks from PBS KIDS over the past two years, helping to spread the word about quality, educational programming. Last year was the first year that I'd been invited to attend the PBS Annual Meeting (then in Miami), and this year I've been invited back, as we "get the band back together" and hit the streets of San Francisco to get the rundown and game plan for the next year of PBS programming and events.
When I first posted that "The Greatest Christmas Film of All-Time is Getting a Sequel" back on Valentine's Day, I made a promise that I'd be "watching this one closely." What I didn't know, was exactly how closely I'd be watching it... as-in, from the set of the film. But that's just what happened, as I found myself stepping off a plane in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada last weekend - nearly 2,200 miles from Rock Father HQ here in Illinois - a guest of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment - to witness the birth of some cinematic holiday cheer, first-hand. JINGLE ALL THE WAY 2 is happening, friends... and while I won't be going into vast detail about it until the 2014 Holiday Season is a little bit closer, I'm going to give you just a little taste... a sneak-preview of coverage to come.
"They have every Disney Golden Book ever made. I had that one... and that one... and this one right here." Those were the thoughts running through my head last month as I browsed a selection of books held within The Walt Disney Archives in Burbank, California. Just a few weeks prior, when I learned (and later announced) that I'd be flying out to Los Angeles to meet up with the Disney crew for a variety of projects (a trip that Disney paid for in full), I'd visited my own archives, specifically, a silver tote in my garage that holds a variety of keepsakes from the earliest years of my life. Mickey Mouse and his friends were a huge part of my life back then (pictures here), and now they are again, as I raise my daughters... and continue my own adventures in media. To think that a little kid that was making Mickey Mouse thumbprint art in the 1970s would be exploring the heart of the Disney empire in 2014... it's still completely hard to wrap my head around.