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November 28, 2007

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WHERE'S JOHNNY JET?                                 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

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I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving! As you can tell, I've returned from my trip to Australia, but because I went to four incredible destinations, the weeklong trip appears as if it were four separate trips. Before I take you along for the ride to Fraser Island, let me tell you briefly about my Thanksgiving Holiday. I spent it in New York City and Connecticut (they're only 40 miles apart) with my family. The weather was amazing. Can you believe the temperature reached a high of 66 degrees? People were walking around in T-shirts and the colorful leaves on the trees were still hanging on for their lives. It felt more like early October.

A friend recommended that I go see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons getting blown up. He said that this was his favorite part because itís less crowded and you can really feel the excitement in the air. I agree! It was exciting but nothing could compare to the parade itself. Since this was my first year attending the parade, I made a few mental notes for next year ... get there at least an hour early or get tickets in advance because itís packed! The parade begins at 9am and starts at 77th and Central Park West. I had spent the night on the Upper East Side and because of road closures, the fastest way across the park was to walk, which takes between 10 and 15 minutes. The park was as peaceful as could be but the moment I reached the West Side, New York quickly turned into a madhouse; crowds, helicopters hovering, blocked off streets and sidewalks and the unmistakable sound of kids crying. But it was worth it. Seeing the balloons make their way slowly through the cement jungle was surreal. My ADD would not allow me to spend the whole three hours at the parade nor would I want to. So, after seeing the Discovery float with the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's wife and daughter, it was the perfect time to bolt. After all, I had just returned from their country and this week's feature story is all about an island very close to Steve Irwin's Australian Zoo.

Oh yeah! I can't forget about the other highlight, besides of course, hanging out with my family and celebrating my dad's birthday. I had my very first CNN interview! It all started when I received an email asking if I was available to talk about Thanksgiving travel. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity! CNN arranged a car service to pick me up from Connecticut and drive me into the city. Showtime was 1:45pm and I didn't arrive at the CNN Center until 1:20pm. Talk about cutting it close! The CNN staff was calm, professional and made me feel at ease. After clearing security, I was taken up to makeup and then, without even having time to visit the green room, I was shuttled down to the newsroom. I have done countless interviews over the years but none bigger than this. Nor have I ever spoken directly into a camera before so I was a bit nervous. I was sitting in a director's chair, with an earpiece in my ear, and all of a sudden I heard a voice, like a higher being saying, "Hi Johnny Jet! This is the CNN Center in Atlanta doing a microphone check. Can you please count to five?" One, two, three, four, five ... and before I know it, I'm being broadcast live around the world with host Chad Myers. I stumbled through the first part of the interview but I eventually warmed up. I think it went well and so far, I've received lots of positive feedback from friends, family and even strangers. What an amazing experience! Here's a link to the video.

Now for the good stuff; Fraser Island, Australia! Getting here was an experience in itself. Natalie and I took a four-seater plane and landed on the world's longest commercial runway, which also just happens to be the only one to share common space with automobiles. Take a guess what the landing strip was? That's right ... the beach! It was sick. To see why this is one of the great sand islands of the world and why it's been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, read on! There are a ton of pictures and a four-minute Johnny Jet video if you're pressed for time. If Australia isn't your thing and you want a little something to feed your European fix, then check out our newest writer Devin Janosov's tale about his trip to Scotland. Plus, The Viva List Latin America: 333 Places and Experiences People Love, is a travel book that will take you on an extensive tour of 25 Latin American countries, courtesy of 140 different travel writers and photographers. Check out Dave Zuchowski's review of this guidebook.

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Copyright 2007 JohnnyJet, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pictures From

The Trip


New York City




Blowing Up The Balloons


Macy's Day Parade


Ronald McDonald Balloon


Central Park


Ride To NYC


CNN Center


Live On CNN


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