ALL POSTS IN [Entertainment]

Staycationers and vacationers alike, rejoice! This weekend, Travel Channel premieres Extreme Waterparks and Insane Coaster Wars, in addition to our summer lineup that includes Trip Flip with Bert Kreischer, which premiered last week and Top Spot, starting next week.

These shows might be too adrenaline-pumping for certain New York Times’ writers, but for those of us looking for a vicarious thrill and perhaps some ideas for our next thrill-seeking adventure, it sounds like the perfect way to spend a Sunday night. Insane Coaster Wars will pit the best and scariest rollercoasters against each other in categories like “G-force Giants” and “Speed Demons,” while Xtreme Waterparks will give viewers a peek at the world’s craziest water attractions.

As far as we’re concerned, journalist Neil Genzlinger’s idea for “Insanely Xtreme Top Shot” sounds pretty entertaining, but we wouldn’t recommend shooting rabbits with a hose or attempting to make a waterslide on your roof. So instead watch videos of insane coasters and extreme waterparks to prepare yourself before buckling down for the jaw-dropping premieres.

Catch double episodes this Sunday, July 8th, of both Xtreme Waterparks at 8|7c followed by Insane Coaster Wars at 9|8c.

If you’re anything like us, you were pretty excited about US sprinters Allyson Felix and Janeba Tarmoh’s runoff scheduled for today. So we were bummed to find out that the runoff has been postponed … for now, anyway. But until the race actually happens — if it happens — here are some other venues to satisfy that adrenaline-rushing need for speed displayed on the track … or the streets.

Check out our gallery of the World’s Wackiest Races or read about Extreme Races.

Watch people race in rather unconventional contraptions.

Learn more about Oregon, where the Track and Field Olympic trials are taking place up until today.

Finally, see everything we have on the Olympics in London, from galleries of London’s major attractions to David Beckham’s Guide to Britain.

Yesterday, the world lost the queen of romantic comedies: Nora Ephron. The movies that she wrote and directed are not only romantic movie staples, they are also about the cities where the relationships blossomed.

Although Nora Ephron is best known for writing and directing Sleepless in Seattle, which highlighted the waterfront communities of Seattle and Baltimore, her other movies celebrated another equally exciting place: Manhattan. When Harry Met Sally, Ephron’s first big hit, and You’ve Got Mail, which reunited actors Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan via dial-up internet, are both romantic comedy classics, as well as love letters to the city that gave her a voice — New York.

Relive Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s cross-country romance with our photos of Seattle’s sights and our gallery of Extreme Houseboats, which features homes like Tom’s in the movie.

READ MORE

What happened this week in the travel blogosphere? Well, retro is in, cleavage is out. Here’s what else grabbed our attention on Travel Channel’s blogroll.

Opening today, the new Disney film Brave is sure to be a hit – set in Scotland, it’s already inspiring trips to the country, including those with a special itinerary designed by Disney. Gadling explains… READ MORE

The History Channel’s Hatfields & McCoys 6-hour miniseries sparked renewed interest in America’s most famous feud, with nearly 14 million viewers tuning in over each of the 3 nights. Now a Hatfields and McCoys reality TV show involving descendants on both sides of this famous conflict is rumored to be in the works. READ MORE

By Troy Petenbrink

It’s official: The Hunger Games topped the $400 million mark over the weekend, making it one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. But the story doesn’t end on the big screen. Now you can experience where the Hunger Games were actually shot.

Hunger Games

The phenomenal success of The Hunger Games has launched a cottage industry in North Carolina, as multiple tours are now offered to allow the movie’s fans the opportunity to visit the Hollywood-envisioned world of Katniss, Peeta and the other Tributes. READ MORE

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival …
Stars descended on the small French Riviera town this week for the beginning of the annual Cannes Film Festival. Among the guests was “The Dictator,” a character played by actor Sacha Baron Cohen in the upcoming movie of the same name. READ MORE

Aspiring travelers flocked to the Convention Center in Washington, DC, for the Travel & Adventure Show this weekend, and today is the last day to catch Travel Channel host Sam Brown chat about her travel mishaps. Former Taste of America host, Mark DeCarlo, will be signing his new book, “A Fork on the Road,” and hosting an Interactive Cooking Class on the Culinary Stage.

Adventure and Travel Expo

The annual event has dozens of booths to inspire travelers to visit specific destinations and to tap into their sense of adventure by offering people with an opportunity to experience diving in a Scuba Dive Pool, experience the rock climbing wall, strap up for a zip-lining adventure and feel the motors revving with a NASCAR video game. A few tour companies are on hand to help you plan your wildlife safari, whitewater rafting trip and more.

And there’s not a shortage of destinations to plan your next fun-filled getaway. The Show has reps from popular destinations, both near and far, including Fiji, Maryland, Tibet, Spain, US Virgin Islands, Australia, Orlando, Belize, South Africa, Hawaii, West Virginia, Singapore, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.

So plan your next water park trip now, and don’t miss the last day of the Travel & Adventure Show in DC or check it out in a city near you.

The Descendants

With the Oscars this Sunday, we’ve pulled together our own awards list: 2011′s Most Travel-Worthy Flicks. The Descendants is a no-brainer. Who doesn’t daydream about walking barefoot on a beach in Hawaii (and with George Clooney)?

But we were equally inspired to pack our bags for the City of Lights to find the “Lost Generation” in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Even the dark thriller Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had us eying Stockholm to see where the stories took place.

Postcard-perfect scenes in movies we saw years ago still influence our travel plans.  Even though it’s been years since we saw The Beach, we still have Maya Bay in Thailand on our bucket list. And its cinematic merits aside, Twilight couldn’t help but make us want to see the town of Forks, WA, for some of them most stunning scenery on the Olympic Peninsula.

Has a movie ever inspired one of your vacations?

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Patti LaBelle

Looking for a fun, theme cruises? Then pay tribute to the TV show The Soul Train and its creator Don Cornelius. Book your room on the Soul Train cruise, scheduled for February 17-24, 2013. Holland America’s Westerdam will host the festive cruise that will feature multiple shows and activities simultaneously.

According to Huffington Post, 12 acts have already signed up to keep the patrons shaking their groove thing. Patti LaBelle, The O’Jays, Kool & The Gang, The Spinners, War, Gerald Alston, George Duke, War and several other artists will help keep things lively with nightly shows held in the Vista Lounge.

The cruise line will stop in Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. Book now! Cabins run from $1,800 to $7,500 for early reservation, which end on April 31, 2012. Get more information about the hippest trip at sea.

Travel Channel has more cruise information to help you plan your next voyage.

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