• Korea – DMZ

    Korea is a country with rich history and one of my favorite countries in Asia to visit because of its unique culture and the warmth of its people. I have visited the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and Joint Security Area (JSA) several times over the past 10 years. It’s a popular tourist destination and has an extreme waiver that participants must sign to visit the area. The waiver says that the government cannot guarantee the safety of visitors from hostile acts and not to make any gestures toward the North Korean soldiers at the border.

    One of the most interesting parts of the visit is entering the conference room in the blue building, where half of the room is in North Korea and half of the room is in South Korea. This is the room where the two countries have come together for meetings.

    For many in South Korea, President Trump’s recent historic meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore last week was seen as an opportunity instead of a failure. In a Gallup survey, more than 1,000 people two days after the summit, two-thirds of the population said they think the Kim/Trump meeting was a success. Only one in 10 thought it a failure.

    When we entered the building the back door of the building was closed and South Korean soldiers stood guard as we walked around the table to North Korea. The photo above shows the Republic of Korea (South Korea) soldiers standing guard at the JSA in between North Korea and South Korea in the village of Panmunjom.

    My hope is that these two countries can be united in the future with peace and families can be reunited through a peaceful negotiation process over time.

  • Dr. Seuss Themed Water Park

    It’s no surprise that last year, Carnival carried approximately 5,000,000 passengers, 800,000 were children. Outside, above the lido deck of the Carnival Horizon, a 455-foot-long water tube is a part of the Dr. Seuss-themed water park, which looks like a blast for kids and adults alike. The new ship also boasts an 800-foot-long sky ride around its top deck and, on the inside, an IMAX Theater. Like other Carnival ships, Horizon has a range of other deck-top fun zones, eateries, bars and entertainment.

  • Lip Sync Battle on Carnival Ship

    The main event everyone was waiting for on the Carnival Horizon was a unique Lip Sync Battle between Queen Latifah and Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliot. First up on stage was CEO Arnold Donald and Carnival president Christine Duffy got the crowd warmed up to The Black Eyed Peas’ ‘I Got a Feeling (Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night)’.

    Elliot took the stage next with gold, glittery pants, and a colossal blonde wig as he performed Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again.” Queen Latifah took the stage next with a yellow raincoat dress as she belted out “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls. Both performances were complete with enthusiasm, back up dancers and some serious outfits. Voting was done by crowd applause and Queen Latifah was the clear winner.

  • Guy Fieri’s New BBQ Smokehouse

    On board the Carnival Horizon, celebrity chef Guy Fieri attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for his new restaurant and brewhouse aboard the Horizon called Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse. In true chef style, Fieri asked for a knife to cut the ribbon rather than scissors. The ship also has a brewhouse where craft beer is brewed and served with Fieri’s BBQ creations. The four craft beers brewed exclusively on Carnival Horizon include ParchedPig Smoked Porter, ParchedPig Farmhouse Ale, ParchedPig Toasted Amber Ale, and ParchedPig West Coast IPA.

  • Queen Latifah Becomes Godmother

    “Choose Fun” that’s the motto of Carnival’s Horizon and someone that emulates fun and laughter is Queen Latifah, the godmother of the ship. On board, everyone gathered in the atrium of the ship for the customary naming ceremony where Queen Latifah and Captain Luigi De Angelis poured champagne all over a bell to inaugurate the ship. Afterward, she had to get ready for her Lip Sync Battle in the Liquid Lounge. Queen Latifah is in good company, fellow actress Dame Judi Dench is also a Carnival godmother.

  • Carnival Horizon Launches in NYC

    Carnival Cruise line held a special event in New York City to commemorate the newest ship, the Carnival Horizon. The ship happens to be second of the Vista class, the 26th ship in the Carnival fleet and the 102nd cruise ship operated by Carnival and holds 3,954 passengers.  

    The day began with a press conference with Carnival President Christine Duffy, St. Jude’s President Richard Shadyac Jr. and young brain tumor survivor Victoria. The Horizon is special because, in many ways, it’s a representation of the cemented relationship between Carnival and St. Jude. Duffy also presented a $100,000 check to Shadyac Jr., for St. Jude’s on behalf of Carnival. On board, in the boat’s lobby, there is a floor to ceiling spherical screen called Dreamscape which features artwork from children at St. Jude’s.

  • March for Our Lives

    I made a very last minute decision at 9 PM on Friday night to buy a plane ticket and go to Washington DC at 6 AM on Saturday morning to photograph and join the March for Our Lives protest in front of the U.S. Capitol. I would typically attend these type of political events to photograph the musicians and celebrities for news coverage, but not this time. This time I was there to support the kids.

    My first stop was the Capitol Building where I saw a group of teens standing with signs. I met students from Guilford High School in Connecticut who traveled to attend the rally. Claire Keanna is pictured above with the sign #NeverAgain one of the strong mottos for the march.

    The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have rallied a nation of concerned pupils, parents, teachers and citizens in a united effort to make legislative changes to make schools safe for children and teens. They lived through a tragedy and are now standing up and making a revolution happen. No child or teen should have to stand up in front of a crowd in Washington and talk about how they lost friends and beloved family to gun violence.

    It was a beautiful day in DC and I was in awe of the scene upon arrival as people were marching toward Pennsylvania Avenue by the thousands to join the protest. Handmade signs and t-shirts could be seen all around. I know this is not just a “gun issue” and mental health plays a huge part in the conversation but nowhere else in the developed world do students get gunned down while going to school to get an education. Something needs to change in our system.

    I was very proud to stand with 800,000 other Americans to support these kids in their efforts for change. I can only hope the youth of America will be inspired to VOTE in the future and fully participate in our political process. It’s hopeful to see what the future holds.

  • Sunday in New Orleans

    I love to walk around the French Quarter in New Orleans on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The weekend crowds are trickling out of the city and it gets quiet late in the day. Today was the perfect spring day after the rain cleared from the area to see the sights of the city.

    As I turned the corner onto Bourbon Street a second line parade approached and quickly got the tourists to fall in line for the march down the historic street. Every day there is something to celebrate in New Orleans.

  • New Orleans Museum of Art

    I spent International Women’s Day at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The current exhibit celebrates women. A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes is open through May 28 and is a must see for visitors coming to the city.

    The exhibit includes: experimental gowns, headpieces, and jewelry by avant-garde fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen, Gucci, and Iris van Herpen investigate symbols of womanhood and expand the theme of fashion as art. More than 100 articles of daring fashion are presented in a dramatic gallery design that explores seven archetypal personality types, including Sage, Magician, Enchantress, Explorer, Mother Earth, Heroine, and Thespian.

  • New Orleans Sculpture Garden

    There is a hidden gem behind the New Orleans Museum of Art in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden that occupies approximately five acres in City Park adjacent to the museum. The sculpture garden is open and free to the public seven days a week. There is even a free audio tour that can be accessed through visitor’s cell phones.

    The garden is divided by a pond on tree lined paths and is a beautiful place to visit and see over 64 sculptures from artists like Fernando Botero, Antoine Bourdelle, Arman, Henry Moore, Deborah Butterfield and many more.

    I spent some time in the garden before my visit to the museum today after an Uber driver insisted I take a walk through it before I visited the museum. New Orleans has some of the friendliest Uber drivers I have ever come across and they are always happy to recommend a great restaurant or place to visit to see the sites of the city.