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05 Aug, 2009

West Hollywood Meets London in a Chic Hotel

Posted by: Beach Reporter In: california| travel

The London West Hollywood is the greatest new offering in West Hollywood featuring affordable accommodations (I found a room for around $218 for next week), and really nice decor. Perched on the Hollywood Hills, it’s where glamour and sophistication blend to offer that good vibration missing from some of the other offerings nearby.  The London West Hollywood was selected as the No. 1 Large City Hotel in reader survey awards in a prestigious travel magazine, and it’s a hotel we intend to check into and check out.  This  boutique hotel situated just off the Sunset Strip has luxury and amenities such as a rooftop pooldeck with panoramic views of the legendary Hollywood Hills, and a location that can’t be beat. Did someone say beat? West Hollywood is known for its beating drum… the music scene that brought fame to this other side of Hollywood, which is a city unto itself.

05 Aug, 2009

Surfing Star Power in California

Posted by: Beach Reporter In: california| events| world

If you think surfing is limited to youngsters in body suits, the Celebrity Mosaic Project benefiting Surfrider Foundation could dispel such misconceptions. Celebrities Al Pacino, Brooke Shields, Heidi Klum, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mark Hoppus, Peter Facinelli, and many others built ocean-themed LEGO mosaics to be auctioned to benefit Surfrider Foundation, which is about surfing, oceans and beaches. Dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans, waves and beaches, the hand-made celebrity designed objects are on display at LEGOLAND California Aug. 11 to  Sept 9.  with portions of them in each of the two Legoland Parks–the original Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium, a smaller park that costs less to enter, but is a delightful addition with its unique aquarium.  Legoland is a great kids vacation attraction, but adults also love it, kids or not.

With an estimate 100+ piers in California, there’s much to see this summer as you visit your favorite beach destinations, many offering piers in top tourist spots such as Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz.

Santa Barbara is a vacationer’s dream. Beautiful beaches, great cuisine, plenty of sunshine and wine sampling are mere icing to the cake of this Central Coast seaside locale which is home to Stearns Wharf, a must-see on any visit to the beach. Home to restaurants, shops and a museum, the shopping and dining entertainment will keep you busy on this wooden-planked structure you can actually drive on for a fee (free with merchant validation).

Santa Cruz Wharf is similar to Stearns Wharf in its being a landmark mecca for entertainment. It also offers that quaint feel that only wooden planked piers can provide. On the wharf you will discover and explore over half a dozen restaurants, wine tasting, a Made in Santa Cruz souvenir gift store, and launch point for party cruises, fishing trips, kayak rental and boat rentals. Santa Cruz Wharf is tied to an historic Santa Cruz BoardWalk with an outdoor, beach amusement park over 100 years old. You can also ride a summer beach train from the Redwood forests of Felton to the beach, or begin your train ride from the beach boardwalk.

Two truly spectacular beach town playgrounds for fun provide wharfs that make a visit oh-so-special!

05 Aug, 2009

California Post Offices on List for Possible Closure

Posted by: Beach Reporter In: california| events

Rumors have been flying in my own California city about US Post Office closures. They’ve mostly been flying on the Internet, though one postal worker told me she thinks the facility she works at will be sold.

United States Postal Service Station Branches that were identified and recommended for full study were released less than a week ago.  The Postal Service has marked 677 post offices nationwide for possible closure or consolidation, according this listing provided to Congressional staffers by the U.S. Postal Service. Possible closure or consolidations were provided in a list to the House subcommittee holding a hearing on the future of American mail delivery. Some blame online bill paying as a culprit. Others blame the Internet. Whatever it may be, the fees are going up again.

Here are the California post offices on the list of possible closure or consolidation:

District    Station/Branch Name    City/State

Los Angeles    CRENSHAW-IMPERIAL PRT    INGLEWOOD CA
Los Angeles    ING-MAIN OFFICE    INGLEWOOD CA
Los Angeles    LENNOX BRANCH    INGLEWOOD CA
Los Angeles    MORNINGSIDE PK STA    INGLEWOOD CA
Los Angeles    NORTH REDONDO STATION    REDONDO BEACH CA
San Diego    Riv–La Sierra    RIVERSIDE CA
San Diego    College Grove Postal Store    SAN DIEGO CA
San Diego    Escondido Postal Store    ESCONDIDO CA
San Diego    First Street    OCEANSIDE CA
San Diego    George Washington    SAN DIEGO CA
San Diego    Moreno Station    MORENO VALLEY CA
San Diego    Naval Amphibius Base    SAN DIEGO CA
San Diego    North Park Retail    SAN DIEGO CA
San Diego    Point Loma Retail    SAN DIEGO CA
San Diego    Rancho Del Rey    CHULA VISTA CA
San Diego    San Bernardino Finance    SAN BERNARDINO CA
San Diego    San Bernardino Westside    SAN BERADINO CA
San Diego    San Luis Rey    OCEANSIDE CA
San Diego    University City Retail    SAN DIEGO CA
San Francisco    Bernal    SAN FRANCISCO CA
San Francisco    Civic Center Box    SAN FRANCISCO CA
San Francisco    Federal    SAN FRANCISCO CA
San Francisco    McLaren    SAN FRANCISCO CA
San Francisco    San Mateo 25th Ave    SAN MATEO CA
Santa Ana    ANA-BROOKHURST    ANAHEIM CA
Santa Ana    ANA-CANYONSTA    ANAHEIM CA
Santa Ana    ANA-FEDERAL STA    ANAHEIM CA
Santa Ana    ANA-STADIUM STA    ANAHEIM CA
Santa Ana    FUL-COMMONWEALTH    FULLERTON CA
Santa Ana    HBC-BEACHCENTER    HUNTINGTON BEACH CA
Santa Ana    IRV-EAST IRVINE STA    IRVINE CA
Santa Ana    LBC-BELMONTSHO    LONG BEACH CA
Santa Ana    LBC-NOLONGBEAC    LONG BEACH CA
Santa Ana    LBC-TRADECENTER    LONG BEACH CA
Santa Ana    NBC-BALBOA ISLAND    NEWPORT BEACH CA
Santa Ana    NBC-BALBOA STATION    NEWPORT BEACH CA
Santa Ana    NBC-BAYSTA    NEWPORT BEACH CA
Santa Ana    NBC-BAYSTA STAMP STORE    NEWPORT BEACH CA
Santa Ana    ORANGE - OLIVE STA    ORANGE CA
Santa Ana    ORANGE-EL MODENA STA    ORANGE CA
Santa Ana    POMONA- YORBA STA    POMONA CA
Santa Ana    RC - ETIWANDA    RANCHO CUCAMONGA CA
Santa Ana    RC- ALTA LOMA    RANCHO CUCAMONGA CA
Santa Ana    SJC - PLAZA STA    SAN JUAN CPISTRANO CA
Santa Ana    SNA-DIAMOND STA    SANTA ANA CA
Santa Ana    SNA-FOUNTAINVAL    SANTA ANA CA
Santa Ana    SNA-INDUSTRIAL STA    SANTA ANA CA
Santa Ana    SNA-P&DC RETAIL    SANTA ANA CA
Santa Ana    SNA-SPURGEONST    SANTA ANA CA
Santa Ana    TORRANCE- MARCELINA STA    TORRANCE CA
Santa Ana    TORRANCE- WALTERIA STA    TORRANCE CA
Santa Ana    WHI-BAILEYSTA    WHITTIER CA
Santa Ana    LA PUENTE-BASSETT BR    LA PUENTE CA
Santa Ana    LA PUENTE-CITY OF INDUSTRY    LA PUENTE CA
Santa Ana    LAG-SOUTHLAGUNA STA    LAGUNA BEACH CA
Santa Ana    LBC-Station B    LONG BEACH CA
Santa Ana    WHITTIER- SANTA FE PLAZA    WHITTIER CA
Bay Valley    SAN PABLO BRANCH    RICHMOND CA
Bay Valley    SOUTH BERKELEY     BERKELEY CA
Bay Valley    TODOS SANTOS    CONCORD CA
Bay Valley    AMERICAN CANYON BR SITE    VALLEJO CA
Bay Valley    BRADFORD    HAYWARD CA
Bay Valley    CASA CORREO    CONCORD CA
Bay Valley    COLONNADE    SAN JOSE CA
Bay Valley    DIMOND    OAKLAND CA
Bay Valley    KAISER CENTER    OAKLAND CA
Bay Valley    LANDSCAPE    BERKELEY CA
Bay Valley    MILLS COLLEGE    OAKLAND CA
Bay Valley    MIRA VISTA STATION    RICHMOND CA
Bay Valley    MISSION SAN JOSE    FREMONT CA
Bay Valley    MOUNT EDEN    HAYWARD CA
Bay Valley    NILES    FREMONT CA
Bay Valley    OAKLAND STATION B    OAKLAND CA
Bay Valley    OAKLAND STATION E    OAKLAND CA
Bay Valley    OAKRIDGE MALL    SAN JOSE CA
Bay Valley    PARK STATION    BERKELEY CA
Bay Valley    POINT RICHMOND STATION    RICHMOND CA
Bay Valley RICHMOND STATION A RICHMOND CA
Sacramento    Fresno Barton    FRESNO CA
Sacramento    Fresno Cedar    FRESNO CA
Sacramento    Modesto Main    MODESTO CA
Sacramento    Modesto Paradise    MODESTO CA
Sacramento    Stockton Main Office    STOCKTON CA

This week on television you may tune into a sensational show that will surely grab your interest to the point of distraction. It is Shark Week on Discovery Channel, or better yet, shark bite week. The shows or episodes include accounts of people who lived to tell about their bite experiences.

It was just a year ago that a swimmer in Encinitas was attacked and killed by a great white shark.

In every case throughout the episodes and segments that are broadcast, the survivors tell you they didn’t see it coming. Read the rest of this entry »

04 Aug, 2009

Hotel Maya in Long Beach is on the Waterfront

Posted by: Beach Reporter In: california| travel

Hotel Maya in Long Beach has many names and many changes in operations. We think the current renovation holds great promise as the rooms get a new look, the restaurant gets new foods, and the name has changed. Located across the bay from the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, the hotel is just around the bend from the Queen Mary ship and the catamaran trips to Catalina Island on Catalina Express. If you’re looking for a great little getaway, this is one you may enjoy for its bay setting, new accommodations, and many things to see and do.  Packages include a stay at the hotel and admission to the Aquarium, or add-ons such as the trip to Catalina Island. Check out more info.

04 Aug, 2009

California Events for August 5

Posted by: Beach Reporter In: california| events

Are you looking for something to do tomorrow? Theater, music and arts abound throughout the state of California. From the hilarious Spamalot (Monty Python) in L.A., to a delightful Shakespeare fest in Lake Tahoe, there’s some comedy, mixed with more comedy in Wicked in San Diego. Here are a few things you may want to check out from our Califonria Calendar of Events:

CALIFORNIA BEACHES - Grunion Run.  Southern California beaches grunion run spans the beaches from San Diego to Santa Barbara in Southern California. Time: 9:30 PM - 11:30 PM. Cost: Must have California fishing license to fish the shoreline for grunion.

BEAR VALLEY -Bear Valley Music Festival. Brothers of Baladi (world music) featured at 41st Annual Bear Valley Music Festival in an inspiring  outdoor setting in Alpine County. Cost: $25-50. Call: (209) 753-2574. bearvalleymusic.org

COSTA MESA - Orange County Fair. Orange County Fair is one of the most popular urban fairs in the U.S. Pig races, people contests, carnival rides, food, fun, and loads of live entertainment and fun for the entire family. Runs through Aug. 9, 2009 (closed Mondays). Tickets: $5 - 10, kids under free 5 free, subject to change. Location: 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA. Call: (714) 708-1500. ocfair.

LAGUNA BEACH - Art-A-Fair festival. Annual art event located in a beautiful garden setting with 125 artists, plus live entertainment, fine food, demonstrations and workshops. This year’s theme is “Venetian Carnival.”  The event runs through Aug. 31. Location: 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, Calif. Hours: Sun. – Thurs. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. until 10 p.m. Cost: Season pass $3.50 - $7; under 12 free. Call: (949) 494-451.  art-a-fair.com

LAGUNA BEACH - Sawdust Festival. The show offers a great opportunity for home decorating and gift shopping. Summer Art Festival runs daily through Aug. 30, 2009. Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Cost: $3 - 7 (approx.) Annual pass sold for approx. $19. Location: 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, Ca. Call: (949) 494-3030. sawdustartfestival.org

LAKE ELSINORE - Cruise Night. 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month, car show, music, awards, and more. Time: 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Cost: Free admission. Location: Lake Elsinore Marketplace, on Central between Dexter and Cambern, Lake Elsinore, CA.

LAKE TAHOE - Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. Measure for Measure and Much Ado About Nothing at Urban Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Cost: $22-77. Call: (800) 747-4697. LakeTahoeShakespeare.com.

LOS ANGELES - Monty Python’s Spamalot. Time: 8 p.m. Cost: $88 - 227 approx. Location: Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA. centertheatregroup.org

PLEASANTON - Imagination Expressed 2009. The Pleasanton Art League show runs through September 13 at the Museum On Main Street, 603 Main Street, Pleasanton. Artwork will be available for sale. Museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Cost: $2 donation requested. Location: 603 Main St., Pleasanton, CA. museumonmain.org

SAN DIEGO - Wicked, musical. The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz, Wicked is Broadway’s biggest blockbuster with a Grammy and three Tony awards, but does equally well in San Diego. Time: 7 p.m. Cost: $25-128. Location:  Location: San Diego Civic Theatre, 3rd & B St., San Diego, CA 92101. Call: (619) 570-1100. broadwaysd.com

SEAL BEACH - Outdoor summer concerts will feature Sin Twins Rhythm & Blues Revue at Eisenhower Park overlooking Seal Beach Pier. Time: 6 p.m. Cost: Free.  sealbeachchamber.com

VENTURA - They Paint Horses, Don’t They? & Amazing Horses A to Z. Horses are viewed from unexpected perspectives by 14 contemporary American artists in the exhibition They Paint Horses, Don’t They? runs through September 7. Cost: Free. Location: 89 South California Street, Ventura, CA.  Hours: Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday -Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. venturamuseum.org.

04 Aug, 2009

Cheers for California Piers: San Clemente, Pismo Beach

Posted by: Beach Reporter In: beaches| california

California piers number well over 100, and they range from long concrete structures to t-shaped wooden planked piers with wood pilings. California’s official piers all offer free fishing under the guidelines of California’s Department of Fish & Game. Fishing is one sports activity that attracts people to piers, however.

Some come to watch the sunset, the surfing, and the sea. Some wander on a pier to feel a breeze. Some are looking for exercise. And others are among the pier groupies who feel the excitement of finding all of California’s piers and walking on them. Many of us are included in that group that simply feels compelled to go out and explore the world.

Two special piers worth mention are the San Clemente Pier in South Orange County, and the Pismo Beach Pier on the Central Coast California. San Clemente Pier has one of the coolest restaurants on a California Pier. Evening cocktails, affordable meals, and ocean views are part and parcel for this indoor/outdoor dining experience. I love it, and you will, too!

Pismo Beach Pier is an  interesting anchor to the busy streets and beaches where sand is supreme. Surfing, sunbathing and sand dune riding are a few activities in and around Pismo’s beaches. The pier has a concession selling snacks and gifts. It has lots of seating for hanging out and watching the beaches. Its wooden planks (my favorites), offer the comfortable worn look and feel that gives a pier so much character whether old or new. What’s best about Pismo Beach Pier are the vistas. It’s a 360 degree spectacular! Try it some time. The mountains that lead to the pier from land, the bays and mountains to the north, sand dunes to the south, and ocean straight ahead west, all make you glad to be alive.

04 Aug, 2009

Anaheim, Stanton and Westminster Beaches?

Posted by: Beach Reporter In: beaches| california| travel

People searching for beach vacations usually want the beach-close or on-the-beach experience. California, unfortunately, affords less opportunities for such vacations thanks to Coastal regulations. While hotels abound across the street from beaches and sometimes actually at a beach, those options are in the minority. Who would honestly say that you’re going to stay at Anaheim beaches, Westminster beach resorts, or a Stanton beach. It generally is a stretch by even the most imaginative individual who’s contemplating and picking the California beach-close vacation.

But here’s something less considered. Vacationers who come to Anaheim for a Disneyland vacation often strongly desire to fit the beaches (around 25 -45 minutes by car) into their trips. You can actually stay at the beach and drive to Disneyland each day. But you can also consider a stay at the affordable hotels in Anaheim, Stanton and Westminster as beach vacations. Each of these cities includes the close proximity to a beach or many beaches, minus the high price. And travelers sometimes choose these spots because they provide freeway access, actually cutting up to 20 mintues off a beach commute to Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other themed attractions that are popular in Southern California.

04 Aug, 2009

Judge Prentice & His Monkeys, A Santa Ana Zoo Legacy

Posted by: Beach Reporter In: california

Santa Ana, Calif. — If you happen upon the delightful Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park, you may be surprised to know that the zoo got its start with a local judge who was “monkeying” around. He loved his pets and when he deeded land for a park and zoo, the judge made a stipulation that there would always have to be a certain number of monkeys in the zoo for the public to enjoy. Read more about this zoo and the Judge Prentice’s legacy.

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  • Jesse: It was a great day all over Southern California. All the fans wore their jersey and hats to the beach. Even little kids showed their pride for L.A.'s
  • Lisa: OHh.. I wanna do hair for this event next time! =)
  • Herb Spitzer: Surfer/Guitarist Ray Spitzer passed away 6/18/10. He is survived by his wife and 2 childern. Ray had been battling cancer in his back for years. He wo