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Photo TR: Divv California Adventure


Divv3k
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I know SFMM has its up days and down days, but do you think that maybe being at the DLR for 2 days before visiting may have affected the visit? I just know it's hard going from one of the best themed and well run parks in the world to SFMM the very next day.

 

I have found that when showing friends from out of town around, I like to do SFMM first, that way it 'seems' good and fun...until the visit to the DLR

I was thinking the same exact thing. Although SFMM is my home park, I will admit that it has some serious problems. If all you care about is coasters, that SFMM is your place, but if you want a higer quality park, than practically any other park in SoCal will fit the bill.

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Green Lantern is another curiosity – curious in that Six Flags somehow managed to completely mess up one of the best rides in the world! How they can take a ride that’s the exact same make, model and layout as the incredible Insane in Gronalund and turn it into such a tame kiddie-like ride beggars belief.

 

SFMM believes that Americans are, as I say, made of butter and cannot appreciate intense rides.

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I know SFMM has its up days and down days, but do you think that maybe being at the DLR for 2 days before visiting may have affected the visit? I just know it's hard going from one of the best themed and well run parks in the world to SFMM the very next day.

That might be fair if I was only using Disney as a frame of reference but really I'm basing my review (and pre-visit expectations) off my previous visits to other Six Flags parks in 2007 and 2010. Based on this visit to Magic Mountain it appears that either Magic Mountain is an anomaly in the chain or that something has gone badly awry in the management of Six Flags in the last few years.

 

I don't like to write a negative trip report, if you look through my history of TRs on this site you'll see that I've only wrote a handful of overly negative TRs over the years (Fuji-Q comes to mind!), I really am quite positive in my trip reports wherever I can be. Like Robb said, I've been to a fair few badly run parks over the years and it pains me when I have to visit one with the potential of a park like Magic Mountain.

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Yep--I'm old enough to remember when McDonald's had no dining rooms.

 

And I am old enough to remember when McDonald's fries were deep fried in beef tallow back in the 70's that made them taste so much better than today. Of course that came with a greater health cost to my arteries but damn did they taste good!

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From a trip lowpoint to the absolute highlight - Warner Bros Studios! For this day we plumped for the $250 6 hour deluxe tour around the studio. There's a two hour version which costs about $50 but we decided to go all out for this one and it turned out to be a great decision. The deluxe version includes access to loads of places not on the cheaper tour and also includes an amazing lunch in the commissary on the lot. If I ever get the opportunity I certainly will be doing the WB deluxe tour again!

 

There are quite a few parts of the tour where cameras aren't allowed - foley studios, sound mixing studios and pretty much everything that's indoors on the lot. There's an incredible huge museum here with props from Warner Bros movies over the decades (and a full floor of Potter stuff but we were too intrigued by all the other movie props to even check that out). The tour also concluded with a visit to the sets of The Mentalist and Big Bang Theory! Very cool.

 

Alright, so that's the stuff we couldn't photograph. Here's the rest!

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It's a bright and early morning and we've made our way over to Warner Bros Studios in Burbank!

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We're special, so special!

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Right away the extra we laid down for the deluxe tour was paying off when we got hold a real Oscar statue! It's heavy!

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Here comes our deluxe golf cart!

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Even the bottled water they give you makes you feel special!

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Like the Paramount tour this one starts out with a tour around the backlot where the guide points out all the different shows and movies shot here.

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The building on the left has been used in movies on this lot since the 1920s!

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For some reason it appears to be mandatory that all movie studios have a water with their logo emblazoned upon it.

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This little nugget in the backlot excited me immensely!

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Yup, this is the staircase down to the little shop from the start of Gremlins!

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You probably saw parts of this street whenever they needed to go outdoors on Friends!

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There's some things money can't buy. For everything else there's.. wait, what? BankMaster?!

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Here's the alleyway where Kirsten Dunst got her upside down on with Tobey Maguire!

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Merlotte's! This place will do bad things to you!

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"Must go faster". Yeah, this is where they shot the T-Rex chase in Jurassic Park! It's really tiny too - they just kept turning the car around and driving over the same hundred yards!

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In Hollywood a roof on your house is optional.

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All these houses are used when needed in shoots and double as production offices.

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The entrance to more offices on the lot or an airport from The West Wing? It's both!

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Like Paramount, WB have their own movie theatre on the lot.

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You probably don't realise how many times you've saw this exact Subway entrance on TV and in movies.

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Here's the Friends stage! This is where the apartments and Central Perk stood for ten years!

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I think this is where the Ark of the Covenant ended up.

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Whenever you see a WB movie now this is the building that appears right at the start.

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Simon Helberg lived here for an entire summer hiatus.

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This entire day was like being in Charlie Wonka's factory for movie fans!

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Yes! The ultimate Batmobile! It'll never look better than this!

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Though those Tumblers certainly do look much more practical!

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I was one of the only Chuck fans in the world so this was cool to see!

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They took a green screen photo of us and told us we'd get a souvenir photo at the end of the day. Some guests got a Superman photo and we got stupid Potter. Damn!

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Prop storage! Very cool place to visit!

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Michael, what a joker.

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Casablanca tat!

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Ooooh! President Bartlet's desk! So cool!

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Speaking of cool..

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The Deluxe tour guests get to visit the Central Perk set by themselves without all the other guests running around.

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After the show ended the entire set was moved from Stage 24 to the prop warehouse so tour guests could see it for themselves!

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The thing that amazed me was how small it is!

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Seriously. it's Disneyland Castle small!

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May I take your order!

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We're both huge Friends fans so this was awesome to see in person!

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Here's the soundstage where ER was shot for 15 years!

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And a little more for the ER fans - the L train station!

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Of course like all good tour we end in the gift shop. We had such a good day we ended up buying some WB tat!

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Hands down the highlight of the trip! There were so many cool things on this tour that I couldn't show you here but it really is all awesome. If you're any kind of movie fan I would highly recommend checking out the deluxe tour if you ever get the chance!

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After our visit to WB we had another wander around Hollywood and took a little visit over to Santa Monica...

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Meltdown comics! This was another place that was on my list of Hollywood places to visit!

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It's a really kickass comic book shop!

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This is also where loads of Nerdist podcasts and stuff is recorded.

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This shop is also kind of a museum with some of the old stuff they have here.

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Yeah, that's action Comics number 1! It's worth a little more than 10 cents now...

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Some super expensive landmark Spider-Man books! I loved this place!

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Just so Michael has some proof that he actually visited Hollywood.

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Our evening stop was Santa Monica Pier!

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It looks really cool at night!

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Pacific Park entrance photo!

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This place has probably been in as many movies as some of the spots we visited on the backlot.

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This was a quick visit so we just bought our tickets for the coaster and got on our way.

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This appears to be the only photo of the coaster in action that I have! Oops! It's alright!

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Our dinner stop tonight was also pretty awesome... In-N-Out!

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Double Double Animal Style! So good! Between this and Five Guys all our burger needs on this tour were truly covered!

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What a day! And Pacific Park was a great way to top it off!

 

 

Knott's is up next!

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Our next morning took us to Knott's Berry Farm - the way our schedule worked out we could really only visit on a Saturday so we decided to do as much as we could in the morning while the crowds were light and then we ducked out and went back to Disney. The park feels very "Cedar Fair" but there is some good stuff here...

 

Like I say, this was a quick visit so there aren't a lot of photos...

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New park credit for me!

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Of course we started the day over at Xcelerator - I really liked this! One of my favourite Intamin launchers.

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Ugh, a boomerang.

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We missed the new section by a few weeks, but that's okay since we weren't expecting to ride everything on this visit.

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Pony Express. A bit of a weird ride for this park but it doesn attract a decent crowd.

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Ghost Rider was closed. I'm under the impression that I should be thankful that this was the case!

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Silver Bullet! One of the tamer B&M inverts for sure but certainly one of the better rides in Knott's.

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We were tricked into waiting in a long line for jaguar - I didn't realise that pyramid thing where the queue is goes on for so long!

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And that was about it for Knott's. I'll come back here again some other time when it's not so crowded!

 

Next up - back to Disneyland!

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Knott's has been getting some of its "old-time charm" back over the last few years, which is a good thing. I'd love the take the Warner Bros. VIP Tour some day, too.

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After our morning at Knott's we went for some lunch and then headed back to Disneyland. This was a Saturday evening so we didn't have any grand plans of riding stuff. Instead we just wanted to chill out and see the fireworks and Fantasmic. If any ride opportunities presented themselves then we'd be happy... Turned out to be quite a good evening where a lot of the rides had no lines really late on which meant we actually got a hell of a lot in!

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Rather than eat lunch at Knott's we tracked down lunch at Taco Bell seeing as I had some important credits to obtain!

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For the last time on this trip we arrive at Disneyland!

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Oh no, a parade!

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Good thing we got all our rides in on our previous visit this week!

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Ooft, that's a lot of people!

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Finally we succumbed to one of the long lines...

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But it was for a Dole Whip! Michael needed to pop that cherry!

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We decided to hop over to DCA and found that the Radiator Springs Racers single rider line is really quite tolerable even on a busy Saturday!

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We didn't ride Luigi's Tires but it doesn't look like it does a whole lot!

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Jeff introduced me to these awesome corn dogs last year so I was really excited to get another this time.

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The sun is setting so that means it's time to leave DCA and head back over to Disneyland for...

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Soup! Here's another delight that Jeff introduced me to the previous year. The soup in bread bowl combo is so good!

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Fantasmic! While not as orgasmic as the Tokyo version it's miles better than the one in Florida.

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Apparently they have fireworks around of the castle. If anyone can point out a castle around here to me that would be magic. Thanks.

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On the way out of the park I made sure to stop by the town hall to get Michael his obligatory first visit badge.

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we actually got a load of stuff done later this evening - Mansion, Pirates, Indy and more. When everyone leaves after Fantasmic it's a pretty good time to get a lot done!

 

Alright, that's it for Disneyland on this trip. Up next - More McDonald's history!

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Not sure on this one, but I have heard they are both the same thing.

 

That's what I was thinking. Cooking them up fresh to order makes a big difference, too.

Edited by cfc
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I remember decades ago I had a friend was was an exec at WB. I got a pass from him and was dropped off by him in the middle of River City, lowa and told I could go anywhere there wasn't red lights or signs. I got not only a free run of the stdio, but also Burbank Ranch. I wasn't allowed to take any pics which was a shame, but I'll always remember the odd sights - like the Waltons house across from the Fantasy Island house at the Ranch. Or the western town with all the doors missing (apparently they had taken them to a standing real set for Maverick, to make sure it matched backlot footage).

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Fried foods are EVIL.

 

Sorry, that's the way I feel, after so much of it on the TPR 2014 Scandi Tour. So much

fried food offered - and I went with salads instead. Go figger...

*(Sorry I went that way, Divv. Great report btw....)

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After our late finish at Disneyland we hit the road the next morning to make the drive to Las Vegas. One of the stops we had planned out for this road trip was in San Bernardino. Now you'll remember a few updates ago I posted an update from the the world's oldest operating McDonald's but that was the third restaurant. Yes, there was a couple of restaurants even older than that one which no longer exist.

 

One of those of course is the very first McDonald's restaurant that was opened as a BBQ joint by brothers Dick and Mack McDonald in 1940. In the 1950s they changed the place to a hamburger fast food restaurant and eventually sold the franchise rights to Ray Kroc and the rest is history. This restaurant is long since closed down and demolished but a new building that now exists on the site was purchased by the Juan Pollo chain a while back where a museum commemorating the history of McDonald's now sits in its place. This location is not officially recognised by the McDonald's Corporation however. There's a museum in Des Plaines. Illinois where the ninth store was built (Ray Kroc's first) which the company officially says is their first store. But now you know better! (I'd still love to visit the museum in Illinois though!)

 

When you enter the museum you are greeted by the curator who ushers you around and gives you a detailed history lesson on the company. You can tell the place is not official - it all looks a bit thrown together but what they have there is fascinating and it's great that this landmark still exists to such a historical site.

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More McDonald's history! Here I am at the site of the very first McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino, California!

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You enter the museum and the first thing that grabs your eye is that utterly terrifying Grimace costume!

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There's a whole wall showing photos of some of the early restaurants and staff.

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Here's one of those milkshake mixers that Ray Kroc was selling when he encountered McDonald's and decided upon a career change.

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There's just cabinets upon cabinets of old school Happy Meal toys.

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Old busted fryers and bricks from the original restaurant - yup, they have those!

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A look back to happier times when Disney was in bed with McDonald's.

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More old school Happy Meal tat.

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There were some really awesome employee hats over the years. I'd love to see our good Brit Crew friend, Brad in one of those Big Mac hats!

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McDonald's razor blades?! It was a thing in 1980 apparently!

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These are happy meal boxes from way before my time. I love that they joined to make a train!

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The world's longest french fry (at one point at least, I've no idea if it still is). Looks delicious!

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The curator collects McDonald's promotional boxes from all over the world and encourages visitors from other countries to send theirs in. (I can kind of relate to this!)

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McDonald's Lego! YES!

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Mac Tonight was apparently some campaign from the 80s or 90s in the US. I don't think we ever saw it in the UK. Cool sign!

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It's worth taking a huge detour on any drive just to see one of the original straws from the McDonald brothers' 1940 Barbeque place!

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Here's a picture of what the original restaurant looked like before it was demolished.

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The outside of the building has a few items taken from McDonald's playgrounds over the years.

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There's loads of random pictures from the history of the company and other random San Bernardino stuff painted over the walls.

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And that's the Original McDonald's Museum! Like I said in the earlier update, I'm really fascinated by the history of McDonald's and since we were passing on the way to Vegas this made a pretty cool stop for us. Check it out if you're ever stopping by!

 

Up next is Nevada - a new state credit for me!

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