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Wow!  What a week!  I left you last in Connecticut where the leaves were just starting to change colors.  It seems a little late this year and not as colorful but it's still beautiful.  When the cool air comes in, and you can smell the fallen leaves and the chimney fires, it brings me back to when I used to trick or treat as a kid.  It's a special time of year-I just wish my allergies didn't act up.  If you do not live in an area where you can experience this, then get on a plane- it's worth the trip!
Tuesday morning, I met Amber, my Californian cousin Art and his girlfriend Kim in NYC.  Art has been to NY only a couple of times and Kim has never been there, so it's always a treat to show first timers around the big apple.   I  immediately took them for a long walk through Central Park so the Jet Lag wouldn't set in from their Red Eye flight.  We walked through the park to midtown where we had a late breakfast at Norma's in the Le Parker Meridian hotel.  I heard they served an incredible breakfast and I had to find out.  Well, they do.  I also was told that they give everyone a smoothie when they sit down, and they do that too.  What I didn't know is that Norma's is reeeeally expensive, and that the free smoothie they serve is in a shot glass. I think $18 for  pancakes is a little crazy and $22 for eggs is asinine, don't you? Are you kidding me?  My name is Johnny, but my last name is not Rockerfeller!

I made a rookie mistake when I ordered a round of OJ's without looking at the prices.  The waiter, a very nice transsexual,    the  OJpoured's and then I looked at the menu and saw the price.  I guess my eyes popped out of my head becasue Amber Airplane said, "Is everything ok?"  I said "Oh sure".  But really my brain was working overtime and I was thinking $7 a glass times four equals $28.... and we haven't even ordered food yet. OUCH!  I figured this probably will be a once in a lifetime experience (unless I am on someone else's dime), so I should splurge!  I did just that when I ordered the most divine dish on the menu: Belgium waffles , served with  caramelizedbananas and drizzled with chocolate.   Amber phrased it best when she said it was more like dessert than breakfast.  But baby it was goooood,  and well worth the $18.  When "Pat", our nice waiter poured me another glass of OJ without asking me, I almost choked on a banana.  Then when he/she came around again for round three, I said politely, (while covering the top of my glass) "BTW: Did that just cost me another $7?  "Pat" replied "No, they're free refills".  I was like thank God, and  by the end of the meal I had three more!  So, the $7 for fresh squeezed OJ quickly became a bargain.

After breakfast, Amber took over as tour guide for approximately 1 minute.  Where do you think she took them? Yes, that's right, Madison Avenue for some of the World's best shopping, and I might add the most expensive.  After we went into Barney's, I retook control of the tour in fear of wasting the whole day spending money. So, instead of going to stores like Bergorf-Goodman's, Tourneau, and Tiffany's......   we went out for a little culture where you name your own price.  We met my sister and her kids at one of my favorite museums in NYC; The Museum of Natural History ,  located at Central Park West at 79th Street .  The suggested adult price is $12, but if you don't have the money you can go for free.  It was great to see all the dinosaurs and the stuffed animals through the eyes of children , but after an hour we got tired (their jet lag kicked in).

We went back to the Apartment for a quick cat nap and then we were off to the VH1 Fashion Awards at Radio City Music Hall.  I don't know how it look on TV but it was fun to attend.  We were fortunate to be sitting in great seats in the Orchestra section, that way we didn't have to squint when the models strolled by :-).  We watched half the show from our seats and then we took full advantage of our green room passes.  Downstairs they served finger food and had an open bar.  It was a blast.  We unexpectedly ran into about seven of our friends from LA and NY.  I would have taken a lot of pictures, but the security guard found my camera when I went through security.  Too bad too because I could have taken some good ones.  After the show I was able to snap a few pictures but nothing too interesting.  Here's one of my buddies that we ran into; Eric Epstein .  My brother was also at the show which meant we were able to hitch a ride home in style !  You gotta love having a brother who has a limo.
Wednesday night was another doozy.  As many of you know my cousin AJ is engaged to Jamie Lynn Sigler, who plays Meadow on the Soprano's.  Well, the story behind Jamie is that she has been on broadway since she was a little kid.  And the reason she auditioned for the Soprano's was because she thought it was a singing part. Get it... Soprano's?   It turned out she landed the most important role of her career.  Therefore, it shouldn't be a surprise when Jamie is not filming for HBO she takes to the stage.  Jamie is presently playing Belle in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway ,  which means we wanted to go and support her.

Although Jamie started two week's ago, they considered this her opening night to the media (I guess they wanted to work out all the kinks).  She reserved 50 of the best seats in the house for all of her close friends and family.  We still had to pay full price ($95 a ticket) but to be able to get 5 rows back in the orchestra section is amazing!  Walking in I saw all the tv camera's lined up, so I figured the cast of the Soprano's would be in the house.  I was right.  We walked inside and  my cousin AJ introduced us to Pauly Walnuts (Tony Sirico).  After meeting Tony, it doesn't seem like he has to act too much on TV.  He is a character!  Tony was more than willing to take a picture with the girls, and in fact he made them give him a kiss on the cheek before he would let me snap the shot.  Then AJ laughs and says to me, "You know he won't take a picture with you Johnny, only girls".  I said "Come on?" And then I asked Tony myself  "Tony can we take a picture with you?".   Tony heard AJ so he says "Hell NO!"  Then he says ok , but HURRY UP, and DON'T touch me! (I later realized he was doing it in a jokingly manner, but hey he scared me so bad I almost had to go home and change my underwear).  

It was not only a Soprano reunion that night, but a DiScala one as well.  About 25 of my relatives were there and having the DiScala's and the Soprano's in the same room, was interesting to say the least!  The play turned out to be great and Jamie was stellar.  The audience gave her a standing ovation.  If you have kids, the show is a must, and even if you don't it still should be high on your "plays to see list".   

After the show, we walked two blocks to Planet Hollywood for a private party that welcomed Jamie to the show.  The party was a lot bigger than I expected and they had more than enough food, drinks, and desserts!  They also had a VIP section.  It's weird because almost every "Hollywood" party I go to there's a VIP section.  Why would you have a VIP section, if you are having a VIP party?  I never understood that, but hey they do.  I guess it's for the Stars and the reeeal important people.  Kind of a joke don't you think?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining since I was able to cross the red velvet rope and hang with my family and the celebs.  I did get to meet some of the other Soprano's in there.  Including Aida Turturro who plays Tony's sister and Federico Castelluccio .  They were both very cool and friendly.  We also met Joey Fatone from N'SYNC (After he was introduced to us I had to help Amber and Kim put their tongues back in their mouths).  Later we met the guy who played Luminear (The candlestick dude) in the play.  He was awesome in the show and in real life.  When the party ended at 2am, we painfully declined our second after party invite in two nights.  (They really know how to party in New York, there's no doubt about that).   I'm just happy to be along for part of the ride.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! was founded as a labor of love.  To keep supporting this valuable information please send your friends, colleagues, and anyone else you have in your address book an email encouraging them to log on.   Make sure you ask them to sign up for our weekly newsletter, and to book their travel from our site!  Thanks for all your support!  Johnny

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Honeymoon Bridal Registry
Bridal registries that specialize in honeymoon travel options By Susan Breslow Sardone

Every new household can surely use a set of pots and pans as well as silver, glassware, and china (although we're not convinced of the utter necessity of possessing pickle forks or a silver tea service). So the existence of a wedding gifts registry is useful to soon-to-marry couples and their guests.

But what if you already have most of the necessities to feather a nest, or neither of you have much interest in domestic acquisitions, or you're simply hoping that wedding gifts pay off in something you really want to do -- like travel? In that case, and for couples who might not otherwise be able to afford a great trip, signing up for a honeymoon bridal gift registry could ensure you get wedding gifts you really want.

HoneyLuna was the first dedicated honeymoon travel bridal gift registry and has sent more than a thousand couples on dream vacations. It works by allowing a couple to select elements of their honeymoon (airfare, hotel nights, meals, tours, sports, spa treatments, admissions, spending cash) that friends and family may buy for you in increments as wedding gifts.

Registered couples get a secure, separate Web page that they and their guests can access by password. In addition to maintaining a registry for you, HoneyLuna can also act as a travel agent to book your trip. Gift choices range from DisneyWorld to African safaris, European capitals to romantic cruises. HoneyLuna can also design a trip to a destination of your choice.

The company provides up to 100 registry-notification postcards. These cards, designed to be mailed to a couple's family and friends, explain what a honeymoon registry is, how to give such wedding gifts, and provide HoneyLuna's Web site address and toll-free number.

Couples can register online for HoneyLuna, or by calling 800-809-5862. HoneyLuna charges a $100 registration fee to use both the company's gift registry and travel services. If you simply want HoneyLuna as a travel registry and intend to book the trip elsewhere or on your own, the fee is $150. There is also a 15 percent service fee for purchased gifts .

The Big Day, accessible online or by calling 800-304-1141, is a bit less expensive. There's no signup fee, no setup fee, and couples needn't make travel arrangements through the site. The site deducts a nine percent service charge from the total contributed by your guests. So, at honeymoon time, you receive a check for the total gift cash contributions minus 9 percent. You can create gift registry items for any part of your honeymoon. Registry "wizards" help you to build a complete honeymoon registry in about 5 minutes. The Big Day also provides information on registry etiquette and a honeymoon checklist.

In addition to these major services, you may also find that others, such as After I Do, Giftpile, The Honeymoon, Your Honeymoon Registry, or France Honeymoon suit your honeymoon bridal gift registry needs. In addition, many travel agencies also will provide honeymoon gift registry services.

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