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On the latest episode of Oprah's Next Chapter, the talk show icon visited Sean Penn at his J/P HRO camp in Haiti. Penn has been helping with the Haiti relief effort since the catastrophic earthquake hit in 2010. His organization provides emergency medical services, distributes food and water purification systems, and runs Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps with the ultimate goal of finding stable housing for all those still living in the camps.
Oprah toured the camp with Penn, who explained there are still more than 20,000 people living in the tent city, which includes a market where people trade goods, a clinic, and a free school that educates more than 400 kids.
TV Travel / Oprah / Australia Travel / Oprah Winfrey / Celeb Travel / Bridges / Sydney Travel / → All Tags
So, do all the stories about Oprah's adventures in Australia make you want to book a trip Down Under yet? We're betting that answer is "nope," but obviously the Aussies are betting that it's "ohh yeahhh" instead. Thanks to Winfrey's galavanting aroundfrom helicoptering out to see the Twelve Apostles in Victoria to hosting her show at Sydney's Opera House, she's really aiming to give those who watch her final season a good look at Australia's greatest sites.
Tour operators are gearing up to offer Oprah-centric packages in January, when the Aussie episodes air. Surely her most recent escapade (and world record) will be included: Oprah took 249 of her audience member trip buddies up onto the walk of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with her, creating a record and some photo ops in unflattering grey jumpsuits. It looks scary and thrilling, but it's kinda like a walk through Times Squarewe don't know anyone who's ever been to the city who hasn't done it, whether they wanted to or not.
When Oprah Winfrey announced at the start of her final TV season that she'd be taking all 300 members of her audience on a trip to Australia, flown on a Qantas plane piloted by John Travolta, more people than just those 300 audience member celebrated. In fact, the whole country of Australia is more than a little jazzed about the upcoming visit, and thousands of locals are seeking tickets to the shows while thousands other business apply to be featured on it.
In addition to taking her audience around Sydney, Oprah will sit tight for a week, filming two episodes at the Sydney Opera House. The "Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure" episodes will air in January, when Australia is all sunny and summery and the United States is in the midst of the cold, dark winter. Think many viewers will plan an Australian vacation because of it? You betcha.
Oprah has always done things bigger and better than anyone else, and, if yesterday's show was any indication, she's even going to outdo herself during her The Oprah Show's final season.
On Monday's season premiere episode, she gave her entire audience an 8-day, 7-night all-expense paid trip to Australia, which got us thinking, how do we get a seat in Oprah's Chicago studio audience?
Wait, what television is it that gives away big, fancy trips to places like Australia? Isn't that The Price is Right? Well, not this week it isn't as Oprah kicked off her final season of show by awarding 300 members of her studio audience with such a journey "to the other side of the world." Of course they'll all be jetting off on that trip thanks to Qantas, whose fake little airplane also appeared on the show, with actor John Travolta emerging from it. Believe it or not, Travolta is a part-time pilot for the Aussie airline and he'll be flying them over.
The trip won't happen until Decemberprime holiday time and the group will be away for an 8-day, 7-night extravaganza including the filming of two episodes as "Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure." And these weren't just any old audience members either; the group was selected as some of Oprah's most loyal watchers from over the years...we wonder how they figured that out.
Going to Australia in the middle of their summer sounds perfect; we'd bet money that Australia totally sees a small bump in tourism from the US after the "Ultimate Adventure" airs.
Obama-Around-The-World / Presidential Travel / Olympics / Michelle Obama / Olympics Travel / Copenhagen Travel / Oprah / → All Tags
Tomorrow is the big day! On October 2, the Olympic Committee will announce the host city for the 2016 Olympics, and it's a hot race right down to the last minute for finalist cities Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Madrid. These final 24 hours have been particularly important to the decision-making process, as each city flew their star-power spokespeople to Copenhagen, Denmark to make final pleas before the Committee.
While soccer star Pelé did what he could for Rio's case, Chicago's representation was a bit more impressive with both Oprah and Michelle Obama stepping up to the podium to pitch The Windy City. Oprah might rule it these days, you see, but Michelle was born there and remains a Second City gal, even if her residence is now the White House.
Fresh from the Chicago blowout season-opener, Oprah Winfrey is bringing her show on the road and broadcasting live from Central Park's SummerStage on Friday, September 18. Mariah Carey, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa will appear on the special NYC show, which begs the question, couldn't Oprah book anyone better than Regis and Kelly? Lady O will also announce her next Book Club selection and promises to have a few other special surprises up her sleeve.
The live-taping will be open to a crowd of ticketed audience members. Anyone interested in attending must go to Oprah.com/audience and check for a link under Last Minute Reservations for the Free New York City Taping. There is an extensive form you will need to fill out about yourself and your love for Oprah. If you are selected to receive tickets, you will be contacted by The Oprah Winfrey Show with details.
Celeb Travel / Oprah / Barcelona / Spain Travel / Cruises / → All Tags
It pays to work for Oprah. The second most powerful celebrity in the world is treating 1,700 of her employees and their families to an all-expenses-paid Mediterranean cruise this week, estimated to be setting Oprah back about $5400 per person, totaling $9.2 million.
The trip began on the mainland in Barcelona, where Oprah celebrated her 55th birthday in Poble Espanyol, a popular tourist destination featuring shops, restaurants and bars. During their three day stay in the Barcelona, Oprah and her staff toured the city, taking in sites like the famously incomplete Antonio Gaudi church La Sagrada Familia.
Inauguation Travel / Inauguration Hangover / Barack Obama / Jessica Alba / Rihanna / Oprah / Lindsay Lohan / → All Tags
The party this week wasn't in New York or L.A.: It was in Washington D.C., where Barack Obama took the oath of office to become the nation's 44th president. Our own correspondent on the ground at the Inauguration sat next to Dana Delaney, spotted Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins at the swearing in and Dame Judi Dench and Heather Graham on the red carpet.
Some were there to party, but many were there to participate: Beyonce performed on the National Mall on Sunday at the "We Are One" concert, later opening an inaugural ball with her take on Etta James' "At Last." Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson attended the Declare Yourself! inauguration party together, and later in the week, Sam DJ'd the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball.
Some used the night to call attention to their pet causes: Ben Affleck and Jessica Alba appeared at a benefit for filmmakers who want to make political movies, and Rihanna cut a rug at the Feeding America charity ball, with proceeds going towards hunger relief efforts around the country.
Some, like Oprah, an early supporter of Obama's candidacy, brought all their besties to the party. (A tipster sent us a great shot of Oprah with Steadman and trailed by Gayle.) But whether they got all bundled up to watch the ceremony from the Mall or got all dolled up for an inaugural ball, stars in D.C. knew they weren't really the attraction on offer: The new Democratic administration was the real draw.
· Inauguration Hangover Insights: "The Real Party Is On The Metro" [Jaunted]
· Obama Can Haz Cheezburger On Air Force One, Now With Video [Jaunted]
· Celeb Travel coverage [Jaunted]
Celeb Travel / Fourth of July / Tom Cruise / Katie Holmes / Suri Cruise / TomKat / Oprah / Britney Spears / Super World Travelers / Brad Pitt / Angelina Jolie / → All Tags
Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and baby Suri went for a stroll on Independence Day in Telluride, Colorado. Cruise has owned a home in the ski town for years, sharing the local mountain air with Oprah and Oliver Stone.
Other stars used their holiday weekend to visit summer homes, plan sexy getaways or just get out of the house for a bit.