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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Following the Torpedo of Truth 3.23.11

Whether you think Charlie Sheen is a crazy drunk or a marketing genius, you have to admit that he is everywhere, spewing his “knowledge” to anyone who will listen to it. Well, now that Sheen’s Korner is on “hiatus”, Charlie’s taking the country by storm with a tour of his 80-minute one-man show My Violent Torpedo of Truth: Defeat is Not an Option. Coming soon to a town near you! You might be like me and so intrigued by Charlie’s rants that the $79.50+ ticket price isn’t surprising to you and would definitely think hard about not going to one of these shows. If Sheen was stopping in Portland, I might have to break out my credit card and see what the show’s all about, if for nothing else than my own amusement. Personally, I would shell out the larger ticket price if there was some way to get a tour going with Charlie, Mel Gibson and Gary Busey! Now there’s a troupe of truly extreme wordsmiths that would be a crime to miss.

Sheen’s been adding tour dates faster than you can count and, with 80% of the profits from tickets going straight into his pocket, is going to rack up at least $8M from people coming to the first block of dates to listen to his life philosophies and recite his own poetry. So, what else can you do in these cities if you were lucky enough to get tickets to one of these shows? (Since they all sold out in minutes.) Find out how you can be WINNING by saving on the rest of your trip with these cool things to see and do in each stop along the tour. So far there are 15 firm city dates, so we will look at some of them today and more tomorrow and Saturday.

Detroit, Michigan – The Great Lake State is one of Charlie’s first stops. If it’s warm enough, bring a swimsuit to test out some of their beaches. Other than that, here are some cool things to check out.

  • Ford Rouge Factory: Want to see how the Ford F-150 series is made? Check out this assembly line walking tour. It’s self-guided and runs $15 per adult, but for a tour that could be pretty awesome and potentially waste 3-4 hours of your day, that’s a decent deal. Purchase your tickets online before you go. 

  • Morley Candy Factory: Get a taste of Disney’s candy without actually going. Morley produces and supplies candy to the theme parks. This factory tour is free, but you will want to bring your wallet with you for the gift shop at the end. Get a sundae at the ice cream counter and then take home some candy and Sanders hot fudge.

Fly Delta to Detroit from just $164 roundtrip, but you must purchase by 3/24.

Chicago, Illinois – Do you know anything about Chicago, other than it’s the Windy City? They have some great food (deep dish pizza, anyone?) and a rockin’ club scene. Unfortunately, they are also an expensive city, so here are some cheap (or FREE) things you can do.
  • Don’t forget to get yourself a CityPASS if you will be in the area for more than the day! Skip the lines and visit fun attractions like the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium and Skydeck Chicago for a big discount.
  • Navy Pier: Take a ride on the giant ferris wheel or check out the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows for free. If you’ll be heading to Chicago later in the year, from Memorial Day through Labor Day there is a free fireworks display every Wednesday and Saturday night!

  • Lincoln Park Zoo is Free every day. You can go to the underwater viewing area to see sea lions swimming.
Cleveland, Ohio – I hear Cleveland rocks, but I also hear a lot of other things about the city. Did you know that half of Ohio is farmland? I didn’t! You probably aren’t going to wander around cornfields all day, even though it’s free, so here are some other ideas.

  • “You’re gonna shoot your eye out!” Just kidding, but for $8 per person, you can tour the actual A Christmas Story House. It’s open year-round and across the street is the ACS Museum. For those that love the movie, this is a must.
  • Cleveland Botanical Garden: For flower-lovers everywhere, don’t skip the CBG. Each month new events are happening. Right now they are showcasing Orchid Mania: Purple Reign. Check the calendar for your visiting dates. Admission is $8.50 per person.

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Come on! You can’t have a trip to Cleveland without making a visit…unless you HATE music. While a bit pricey at $22 per person, you’ll probably be shunned if you don’t go. Just sayin’. General consensus from those who visited? Totally worth the price, especially since it takes a long time to walk through. Plan to spend most of your day there. When you start to get hungry, you’ve been there long enough.

Columbus, Ohio – Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492…And now you can at least discover the capital of Ohio, including a replica of the Santa Maria sailing ship that brought Chris to our fine country.

  • The Santa Maria Tour: For just $4 per person, you can tour the replica of the sailing ship that Columbus sailed across the Atlantic in. Tour guides help you relive the drama of such a voyage and let you interact with exhibits and games.

  • Columbus Food Adventures: Sample cuisine in 5-7 restaurants on this fun foodie tour. Choose from a variety of itineraries, such as a taco truck tour or ethnic food tour or all dessert food tour, which range from $45 to $60 per person. Each tour has only around a dozen people in it and lasts around 3 hours.

  • Columbus Zoo: For me, no trip is complete without a visit to the local zoo. Perhaps I’m prepping for children or perhaps I just love animals. In any case, the Columbus Zoo is here for you to ogle new, exotic animals that you may not have at your own zoo. Over 600 species are on display, which comes out to roughly two cents per amazing animal variety for the $12 admission fee.

New York City, New York – It’s up to you! There are so many things to do when visiting the Big Apple, it’s hardly worth mentioning any of my feeble attempts at giving you an experience to last a lifetime. You already know the draws of NYC, so I will just give you a few ways to save on this trip.
  • Make sure you purchase your CityPASS here, too. With NYC being known for helping you go bankrupt on a vacation, it’s a plus to save right off the bat. Explore top attractions like the Empire State Building, Museum of Modern Art and Statue of Liberty for the low, low price of $79 per person (less for children, obviously). You save 46% off the admission to 6 attractions (choose from 8 that are valid with your pass) and can skip the queues.
  • As always, make sure you hit up BroadwayBox to find theater tickets to Broadway shows. You can save up to 50% and sometimes also get dinner thrown in there, too. You can also find discounts for attractions (if you won’t have enough time in the city for a CityPASS) and accommodations.
  • I am told that street vendors have excellent food in NYC, so bring your walking shoes and a supply of wet naps and save money over a sit-down restaurant by hitting the pavement.
Next stops: Connecticut, Boston, Seattle, Vancouver and Ontario. These will be the focus of my (extra bonus!) blog post tomorrow.

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I don’t like to profile, but New York and other large cities are known more for muggings and pickpockets than other destinations are. Keep your valuables safe with a good looking and purposeful bag from Pacsafe. With industrial strength wire mesh in the handle and inside the lining, it prevents you from being a victim of a “cut and run” or the thing I like to refer to as a “slash and grab” where thieves cut open the bottom of your bag and then steal anything that falls out…hopefully, your wallet. Pacsafe bags comes in many different style options, including shoulder bags, backpacks and crossbody bags. Another good thing about these bags? With the extra weight from the mesh (which I assure you is minimal), you can beat attackers off with your bag! Make sure it’s zipped up properly though.

Join in the discussions on Spring Fashion on the Frugal Living Community over at Blog Frog or right here! There are several great members over there that are fashion experts and can also tell you how to look great for less! Join in some of the conversations, including my latest on Spring Travel Fashion. Do you have a favorite piece of Spring clothing? Tell us about it!
Where this crazy train stops: 

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