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If you've ever walked down some Chicago streets and looked up to find yourself at the intersection of "Hugh Hefner Way" and "King Sargon Drive," you'll know about the Second City's obsession with commemorative street names. Over 1,000 brown street signs are scattered throughout the city, oftentimes placed directly above the official green signs that give the streets the names you see printed on maps. Nonetheless, the honorary street names can be a big deal for celebrities and yesterday, Oprah Winfrey finally got hers.
So where exactly is "Oprah Winfrey Way?" It's not a big streetin fact, it's only the one block of North Carpenter Street in front of Harpo Productions on the near west side. We're pretty sure the city gave Hef a larger chunk of pavement than that.
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It's a very rare thing to catch a glimpse of Oprah at O'Hare Airport these days, especially since the woman has had her own $42 million custom-built Bombardier Global Express XRS jet for several years, but we did itwe spotted her recently out on the tarmac at ORD.
What we saw was United's "Oprah The Farewell Season" plane, a special livery just for one Boeing 757 which was unveiled back in November 2010. Of course we were there to see her off into the sky for the first timecheck out those pics hereand it's great to see she's still out there even though Oprah's Final Season comes to an end in just about two weeks.
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Cairo's Tahrir Square is clear of the makeshift dwellings of the protestors who were in it for the long-haul before Mubarak stepped down, and now, as the site of another event in the country's history, Cairo is looking to capitalize on the Square's popularity...and fast. So fast indeed, that they've invited lovely little Oprah Winfrey (and other famous faces) to come and do shows in the Square.
The brainstormer behind this is Egypt's freshly appointed Minister of Tourism, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, and he's got designs on more than just the queen of media. Nour is anxious to dip into social media as well, as Egyptian paper Al-Masry Al-Youm reports:
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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.
Oprah has left the building. In fact, Oprah is finally down under in Australia, after announcing to her audience back in September that they'd all get to go the other side of the world to celebrate The Oprah Show's final season. So how are things going? Well, aside from the fact that the Travolta jet was cancelled on account of his child being born, Oprah isn't wasting any time. She's got 300 people with jet lag, and they're out helicoptering around.
According to Australia's International Business Times (who are bothering with Oprah why?), Winfrey and the gang are traveling in style: "nine helicopters have left Essendon Airport this morning to pick up Oprah and her lucky audience from Melbourne to be flown to the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. They will be touring Twelve Apostles which is only accessible by air."
While everyone was reeling at the 2012 Volkswagen Beetles that Oprah gave to her lucky audience in yesterday's final "Ultimate Favorite Things" episode, we were busy scoping out her other picks from the double-episode free-stuff extravaganza. And no, we don't mean the glittery Uggs—really, Oprah? Among the goodies, there were a number of great gifts for travelers on your holiday list, or yourself. We won't judge.
Check out our version of Oprah's Favorite Things: Travelers' Edition after the jump.
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.
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Oprah has a new plane! Oh no, but it's not a private plane...it's a United Boeing 757, which was unveiled today at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. This one is so special because it sports some fancy "Oprah The Farewell Season" designs, with an Oprah signature on its nose and even up on the tail.
The flightsa Chicago to Los Angeles regularly scheduled onewasn't packed with VIPs, and Oprah herself didn't even come out to the airport to see it. She did have a video messages for the gathered passengers, but those flying the Oprah plane today were normal United flyers...including former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
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America's National Parks have been having a pretty good month, publicity-wise. First there was the announcement that master documentarian Ken Burns would be lending his skills and voice to creating tours of some of America's backlands and badlands and now comes news that the world's single biggest marketing jackpotOprah Winfrey herselfs getting into the mix.
The talk show host/erstwhile cult leader took a camping trip to California travel destination Yosemite National Park earlier this month, and then featured the experience on her show. The hope from the park service is that the episode and all the associated attention will increase interest in National Parks across the board, but they're especially looking to remedy the disproportionate lack of African-American visitors.
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.
Not sure what to do for Mom this Mother's Day? You could take her for a stroll through New York City, with Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of O Magazine with the Live Your Best Life Weekend on May 7-9, 2010 in NYC. Lady O has a full weekend planned for her fans which includes a Welcome Reception at Gotham Hall on Friday, Lifeshops with some of her most popular contributors including Suze Orman, Dr. Oz and Nate Berkus, A special evening with Oprah at Radio City Music Hall on Saturday night and the Live Your Best Life Walk on Sunday.
Now that Oprah officially announced she'll book it out of Chicago once her TV show ends in September 2011, it's a good time to head to the Windy City to tour the daytime diva's favorite local haunts.
Although the TV hostess doesn't make public appearances in the city often, we found out which restaurants and shops O visits when she does venture out. Who knows, take this DIY tour and you might run into her before she departs for the West Coast.