Seeing “Woodbury,” aka Senoia, GA, from “The Walking Dead”

It would be Halloween of 2010, and a little unknown show called “The Walking Dead” premiered. I love a good ghost tale, and it sounded really intriguing, so I tuned in to AMC that evening. Who would’ve guessed how much I would love the show, how many of millions would love the show, and so our love affair began with Daryl, Rick, Carol, Carl and so on. I watched faithfully and so when I started to plan my first ever road trip in 2017, a friend piped up and said “Did you know I live next door to where they film The Walking Dead?” To which I freaked out, then composed myself and said “I will be there.”

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So before the big studios were built here, before it was known as Woodbury, it was a beautiful little city located in the heart of Georgia. Senoia is as sweet as it is small- it’s own Main Street of magic for the dead whom walked it so many times.

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You can’t even help it…the excitement just builds as you turn the corner to traverse the Main Street hill. As if I have walked into the TV set itself, I find myself In Woodbury, and I am watching my back for the Governor. Everything feels like the show, except a key ingredient is missing. Yes, the actors and zombies alike, but actually the Mansion was torn down after production, being replaced with new shops and an alley way.

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It’s crazy to look up the hill and see Woodbury, and then turn to your left and see Alexandria! It just blows your mind! The famous wall around it, the logs holding everything up, the burned out cars, they were all there and I just squealed with glee. Seriously it was like getting two seasons for the price of one.

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Not only is this city famous for the Walking Dead, but it boasts the famous “Walking Dead” Store, Café, Tours, and “Nic and Normans” Restaurant. First off, the store is AMAZING!! It has EVERYTHING you ever wanted from Walking Dead INCLUDING a Museum in the bottom half! Memorabilia right off the set can be seen, taken selfies with, including one of the jail cells from the Prison! A LOT of the Cast has signed the walls there, so I took as many pics as I could of the signatures.

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The Café next door is also incredibly cool, filled with autographed posters, artwork, and personal photos of the Cast from Season to Season. Grab a latte with a side of Daryl…or just Daryl.  Or grab Daryl’s side…yeah, no, don’t do that. He doesn’t appreciate that, some woman BIT HIS EAR at a Con event like it was no big deal. Yowser!!

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“Nic and Normans” is the brain child of Norman Reedus and Greg Nicotero. I am sure seeing a way to capitalize on the popularity of this well-known town, it fits in well with everything “dead.” I didn’t get a chance to eat there, it wasn’t open for lunch and I was only there for the afternoon for Senoia.

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I had a lovely lunch with Christa Ryan and Martha Rogers and then Christa gave me a tour of the other filming spots of the show. IT. WAS. AWESOME!!! So here are all of my pictures around the city, I highly recommend you come and check it out for yourself!

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Giving makes you a kinder person, why not test that theory?

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my brand for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Finding “Wayne’s World” in Aurora, IL

On my travels, one of my favorite boxes to check is film and tv locations. Having spent a great deal of time in the Midwest this year, I thought it only appropriate and responsible to find all of the amazing places they shot “Wayne’s World” while in Aurora- right? I mean who didn’t head bang to Queen with them in the Garth Mobile, who didn’t want to eat donuts with the guys or head to the club? I expected that some of it was movie magic, some of it was probably a sound stage or stages, but there had to be SOMETHING from the movie that was filmed in the namesake of the very city they live in and reference right?  WRONG!

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No, seriously, they just said the City and maybe did a drive-by shot for stock footage…that’s it. Yeah, it bummed me out. I mean, what’s the point of having the movie say your city and not take full advantage of it? I have traveled enough to know that there are cities that LEAN into their fame with the right intent and energy- Woodstock, IL for example.  “Groundhog Day” was filmed all over the town and they have embraced it with open arms. Check out my amazing day HERE.  Even if a movie or show just mentions you, USE IT to bring tourism in for the film nerds like me! 

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The only thing I could find was on Atlas Obscura, GREAT site, and they listed the Garth Mobile in Aurora. Say what now? I didn’t see it under any “Welcome to Aurora” signs, or it being the centerpiece of town, so what gives?  Nope, it’s there, just hidden away in a smokey Casino for all the gamblers to drool over when they need a break from their playing. Seriously. 

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I was super geeked to see it, but I had to traverse a maze in and around the Casino itself before actually finding it in a lobby type area off the Main Game room. It’s a replica, so there’s that, I mean COME ON were there not a bunch of these and you couldn’t acquire ONE of them for the CITY the movie was set in?? So frustrating. With some digging, I found out that the car was only recently brought into town for the 25th Anniversary of the film in which the City celebrated. Again, that’s it? I mean AT LEAST a Wayne’s World donut diner, or a photo opp on the famous couch in their basement.  Maybe it’s the Gen X in me that is holding onto the nostalgia a little to tight, but it’s a fun and favorite movie and it’s one they are KNOWN for – get it together Aurora! You’re not just the name of a Disney Princess….and yet ANOTHER thing they could somehow capitalize on in some way (the Disney in me would love that-but Disney has good lawyers and so there you go).

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OK so the car- it’s fun for a photo opp and it’s protected by those fancy roadbock signs, so no touchy! It’s an AMC Pacer, baby blue with the graphics on it like in the film. Garth’s drum sticks laid on the dash board, but there was no licorice dispenser! It was still fun to see, but one of the real deals will always pull more people in- it’s called PLANET HOLLYWOOD. Anyways, would I recommend it? Well, if you are in the area for something else, stop by the Hollywood Casino on 1 W. New York Street, parking in the back.  Just ask where it is, because it took a little time to find it.  And as always, “Party on Wayne,” “Party on Garth” – enjoy!

Thanks for you support!!!

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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“There is a Superhero in all of us, we just need the courage to put on the Cape” Visiting Metropolis, IL

Having driven all over Illinois this past year, and getting the lay of the land, I found a quieter way to drive back and forth out of the State. Most normally take the highways in and around Chicago when cutting through the State, albeit it faster, it also is a stressor for people like myself. Give me the quiet whir of the pavement under my wheels, some caffeine in my cup holder, and nothing but open spaces and I am good to go. So when I found this quieter junction, right at the bottom of the State, I was super excited. I saw the sign and thought, where have I heard Metropolis before? Ah yes, Superman! And so it begins….

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Now, Metropolis in my mind was something of a Chicago right? Tall buildings, hustle and bustle of city life, traffic honking all day and night.  What I came upon was nothing more than quiet Main Street of USA, very similar to Walt Disney’s hometown, Marceline, in Missouri. This small town sits on the Ohio River, just across from Kentucky, and only has around 6500 people. And even though there is no “Daily Planet” for real here, the town was proclaimed the official “Hometown of Superman” on June 9th, 1972 by the Illinois House of Representatives.

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So what I am assuming this town did was, of course, capitalize on the name. Like Casey, IL, who decided to make their town something of an attraction, so did this one, too bad it was just a but underwhelming. Of course a small town isn’t going to be the big city, but they didn’t have much in the ways of “Superman” that they could have. Now I visited during Covid, so things may have been closed or not provided, so let me add that before the “Super” fans jump down my throat.

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I followed my GPS to the Main Street area where are large Superman statue stands, as to look over the town from his super spot. Adjacent to this is a Superman gift shop, museum, a phone booth for great pics (because you HAVE to, that’s where he does his super change LOL) and that was about it.  I was told there is normally a tour you can take in town, and the Museum portion wasn’t open when I visited, but it cost only $5 to check out. It’s a great place for photos, and the Store was really cool! If you are looking for something for the Superman fan in your life, this is the Store for you. Pretty sure the Store itself is the first part of the Museum, because I saw merch in there from forever ago.

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After getting my “super” on, I was famished! Before hitting the road once again, I found a cute, little Mexican Restaurant just a block down from the Superman action. Enjoyed a dish of enchiladas while I perused my IPhone- the food was delicious.

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Is it worth a trip to see the town? Well, if you are driving past, or find yourself wanting something to do on a Sunday afternoon, yes. But it is roughly 6-7 hours from the Chicago area, and to drive that amount JUST to see this area, no, it isn’t. I am glad I stopped and it was cool to see once, but it isn’t something I would want to do again.  Check it out for yourself, enjoy!

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Thank you for your support!

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Finding the Blues Brothers in Illinois

I have to say that besides “Ferris Bueller,” the other movie that SCREAMS Illinois is the “Blues Brothers.” Funny enough, for me I first found them at the Joliet Correctional Facility in Joilet, Illinois. Not really THEM per say, but the spot where the boys had a famous scene just outside the prison walls. They literally have a plaque there commemorating the spot, it’s pretty cool to see (if you saw the film LOL).

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Next I saw them on a quiet moment where I was driving the country roads of Route 66, and someone stuck their infamous car high up on a pole…I thought, ok, weird but definitely worthy of a nod and noting of a bizarre roadside attraction.  There’s a lot of that “weird” in Illinois.

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I then decided over the summer to take a movie in and hedge my bets on a matinee that would be safe and probably empty- and I was right on both points! Hollywood Palms had JUST opened back up, and sure enough, there were the Blues Brothers again, sitting and having a drink, high above the entrance to the individual theaters.

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Next, I was on Route 66 again, having a good old time looking at all of the fun, kitschy 66 stuff and decided to stop at the “Polka Dot Drive In” for a burger, a soda, and a sit that wasn’t my car for awhile.  Marilyn Monroe, Superman, and you guessed it- the Blues Brothers were on the outside wall, dancing away!

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The irony of all of this is one, I haven’t seen the film. Two, I used to see these characters all the time at Universal Studios singing and driving around in their car. Three, now having seen them all over the place, I will definitely check out the film. I mean it has Dan and John, it must be good right?

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So if you are in the Illinois area, come check out the many places you can find the boys, snap a pic, and sing the blues. Enjoy!

Thank you fo supporting me!

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Finding Ferris Bueller in Chicago

As most of you know, Ferris Buellers Day Off was filmed heavily around Illinois, and mostly in Chicago. John Hughes, the director, had grown up in the suburbs, so he was talking from experience of what the area had to offer (and I am sure he had done himself growing up there). This past summer I was blessed with finding an impromptu “John Hughes Road Trip” experience in which I traveled around the great State of Illinois and tracked down some of his famous movie locations. You can check out that blog post HERE– it’s definitely worth the trip and the read!

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So while in Chicago this past year, I also wanted to catch some of the spots that Ferris partake of in the film. One was the Art Institute of Chicago, the Sears or Willis Building (wasn’t open for tours because of Covid), and of course, Wrigley Field.  Honestly I should just say nothing was open because of Covid, so I was resigned to get pics of the outsides, but hey, still counts.

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I’m not sure why I love this movie so much- maybe it’s his sense of adventure, his enthusiasm for “what could go wrong?” or his blatant want and need to skip school when we ALL felt that on one or more occasion. I have to say, as an adult, it is a wonderful thing not to have to go anymore. Also if you are looking for “Ferris” merch, there is a gift shop right across from Millennium Park that sells shirts from that film and also Tommy Boy. I highly encourage you to check these areas out and get your Ferris on – enjoy!

Thank you for the support!

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Macys on Michigan… The Store and the Film Location

While shopping on Michigan Avenue this past summer in Chicago, IL, I came across the most beautiful building. I have been in love with the characters these old buildings take on, so beautiful in each curve of stone. I didn’t need anything, but I thought it was worth the look inside. I had to go to a Walgreens once on the other side of town, just looking for a restroom, and I couldn’t believe my eyes on these ordinary businesses taking occupancy in these historic homes.

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After I cleverly avoided the perfume and makeup sections with their aggressive salespeople, I found myself looking for an elevator to get a better view of this phenomenal place. Again, could care less about the merch, it was the view that had me.

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I went up several floors where I found myself alone near what looked to be a reception type hall- a perfect place for a party. It was quiet, as most of the floor was closed due to Covid. BUT I was able to look up and down, and the “fear of heights” kid in me held on for dear life as I peeked over the railing. Seriously, breathtaking. And then it occurred to me that I had seen this place before somewhere! After some research, and watching the film again- yep, sure enough, “My Best Friend’s Wedding” was filmed here! Actually it was filmed several places around Chicago, but I remembered this store from the movie.

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Even if you have nothing to buy there, it is still worth stopping by to see this beauty-enjoy!

Thanks for the blog support!

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice

During my trip to Universal Studios in Orlando last month, I was more than excited to see they had the “Halloween Horror Nights” Store open. Due to Covid, they only opened two mazes this year so having just a small piece of that event was nice. My oldest and I enjoyed all of the Halloween décor but the best part was the Beetlejuice exhibit (which I am told would’ve been a house this year).

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Nothing I write will do this justice, so I am just going to share my pics. The nostalgia of the 80s meets one of the best campy, horror flicks of all time…it was just awesome. Enjoy!

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Thanks for your support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my brand for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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