You'd think I'd learn my lesson. Yesterday I wrote about our first visit to Hawaii, and how we were lured there with Hollywood trickery in the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Normal people would probably learn a lesson from that, and not trust the Hollywood depiction of places in the future. I, of course, am not normal. Not only do I have another city that I want to see based on the impression I formed while watching a movie, I have a whole list. I'm sure there may be a few discrepancies between real life and these films, but I guess I'll have to go find out for myself, so here are the movies that are inspiring me to travel right now:
#5) The Princess and the Frog - New Orleans:
Wouldn't you want to go hang out in a place where there are trumpet playing alligators? Alright, even I don't believe Hollywood that much, but everything in this movie makes New Orleans look like a fantastic place to visit. The whole movie centers on the great Cajun food that's available, the amazing live jazz that gets played on a riverboat on the Bayou, and of course, Mardi Gras. Disney does such a good job of representing Mardi Gras for the good, wholesome, family event that I'm sure it is. How could I possibly have been misled here?
I've always wanted to go to Paris, but really I couldn't tell you a single connection it has with the Bourne movies. My wife, on the other hand, has a serious crush on Jason Bourne. No really, the first time we were in New York she tried to make me run across Grand Central Station and leap over the turnstiles because she'd seen Jason Bourne do it once (I won't tell you if I did it or not, but I will tell you that there is no YouTube footage of such an event taking place, so don't bother looking.). Taking her to Paris would score me countless brownie points, and if I can manage to throw in a couple of references to things that happened in the Bourne movies, I'll be her hero (at least until the next time I do something stupid). Combine that with french pastries and it's a good bet this trip will happen sooner rather than later.
Unlike most of my world traveling friends, I have no desire to climb any of the mountains. I do, like every other person on the planet over the age of 30, want to sit in a field and spin in circles with the Alps as my backdrop, while singing "The hills are alive....with the sound of music....". Also, any country where families randomly stop and break in to musical numbers is practically calling my gang to come visit. (Side note: Based on the above criteria, Mamma Mia and Greece were a close second. In the end, chocolate won out over calamari.)
I think this one might be a somewhat subliminal yearning kind of thing. I'm never going to be mistaken for an Australian bushman - I recently took a job aptitude test and actually scored a zero on the "Works with hands" category (First one the tester had ever seen!) - so I'm thinking that maybe the Australian Outback is tapping in to a deeply buried longing for a "roughing it" experience. It's more likely though, that it's related to the beautiful beaches, the Sydney Opera house, my love for saying "G'day Mate!" and the whole "Shrimp on the Barbie" thing.
Here's my problem with this one...I can't envision myself arriving in the Caribbean by any mode of transportation other than pirate ship. Flying to St. Thomas just doesn't sound as exciting as navigating to Tortuga. I'm also going to be pretty disappointed if everybody isn't walking around in 17th century pirate clothing. This trip is probably going to have to wait until somebody makes a replica of the Black Pearl, and then puts it in to commission as a cruise ship. If you know a travel agent who specializes in that kind of trip, please let me know.
There's a whole bunch more that I have in mind that I haven't listed here (I don't even want to try and discuss Lost in Translation - Tokyo in a family blog.) but these should be enough to keep us going for a while. After having my ideology shattered by the Forgetting Sarah Marshall filmmakers, I'm approaching these destinations with a slightly less optimistic outlook. I've come to accept that it's possible random buildings won't blow up in Paris, and that Grand Cayman may not be all taverns and brothels. Still I'm sure that there's going to be plenty of things from the movies that ring true in real life. As long as I can play a trumpet at Mardi Gras, have a car chase around the Eiffel Tower, sing in the Alps while eating chocolate, throw a shrimp on the barbie, and drink rum on a pirate ship, I'm willing to let everything else slide a little bit.