Los Angeles–Fans of Cuban songstress Omara Portuondo won’t want to miss her one night only performance at UCLA Live’s Royce Hall on October 23rd at 8 p.m. Omara Portuondo celebrates her recent visa clearance to tour in the United States as she is one of the only Cuban artists to be granted this privilege in several years. Since her first U.S. tour in 2004, Portuondo explores songs that mark her path from celebrated Cuban chanteuse to international stardom, including aching boleros and new Brazilian-influenced ballads. From dancing on stage of Havana’s famous Tropicana cabaret as teen, to appearing on movie screens around the globe in “The Buena Vista Social Club,” Omara Portuondo’s career has been full of remarkable moments and unforgettable music. Location: 340 Royce Drive, Westwood, CA. For tickets call: (310) 825-2101, www.uclalive.org
Solvang, Calif. is nothing without its vehicles. Bicycles, horse-drawn carts, surreys and classic cars are part of this city’s entertainment and heritage as much as its Danish roots. Come one, come all to join the fun at the 37th Nojoqui Falls Fun Run - Car Truck & Motorcycle Show held Sunday, November 1, 2009 from 8am to 3pm at the park at Nojojqui Falls. The event features Pre 1972 Street Rods, Cars, Trucks, & Motorcycles. Free Food with entry! Free Admission to the Public. 50/50 Drawing - Awards - BBQ - Prizes - T-Shirts - carshow.rodrigue.org/ or Call: Don Schuyler 805 736-7090
Fish Camp, CA–With star-studded skies and a location in Sierra mountains near the south entrance to Yosemite National Park, visitors can take a trip back in time in the moonlight as they hop aboard the Yosemite Sugar Pine Rail Road. The exciting trip departs from the station at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 10. As the last scheduled moonlight ride of the season before the winter snows arrive, it is bound to be a special trip well worth taking if you happen to be visiting Yosemite National Park this week. Located not far from our favorite hotel, Tenaya Lodge, the autumn chill is in the mountain air, so do be sure to take a jacket! The temperatures this week reach a low of 43 degrees at night, and 72 degrees during the day in Fish Camp. For more information on the upcoming train schedule, call (559) 683-7273. The cost of the Moonlight Special is around $46.
Awe Inspiring: Monterey Bay Aquarium Turns 25
By Craig MacDonald
The Monterey Bay Aquarium, which has become internationally known for its incredible ocean conservation efforts, is celebrating its 25th Birthday.
I was there, with my mother and 3-year-old son, the weekend it opened Oct. 20-21, 1984, and it has been creating major waves ever since. Spectacularly-built at the south end of Cannery Row, the amazing aquarium has played host to over 46 million visitors, 1.5 million school kids and distributed more than 32 million Seafood Watch Guides (which objectively show people the best ocean-friendly seafood). The Seafood Watch Program has even shifted the buying habits of the two biggest food service companies.
The aquarium’s cutting-edge research and advocacy programs further help protect white shark, tuna …> Read More
San Diego, Calif.–Christmas is around the bend, and it’s nearly time for Surfing Santa to cruise into Seaport Village to greet the kids and adults. Wearing boardshorts, a tropical themed shirt and carrying a bag of gifts, Santa Claus will lead a parade down the palm-shaded sidewalks of waterfront Seaport Village to launch the holiday shopping season. Seaport Village is an entertainment complex of restaurants, gift shops and services next to the San Diego Convention Center, cruise port, near Amtrak and Gaslamp Quarter, offering all the great gifts and products that any happy tourist would enjoy giving loved ones. Bring cameras for the photo opportunities to get pictures with your family and the Surfing Santa dude!
To participate in this unique event, ink in your calendar November 28 starting at 1 p.m. seaportvillage.com/ Read more and see photos!
Swashbuckling pirates, beautiful damsels, and the hot choreography of Daryl Gray– Pirates of Penzance explodes on the San Jose scene with in the unique Ballet San Jose production. Jam packed with tour de force dance, a Broadway-flavored score and four comic onstage vocalists, this promises to be one of the most exciting productions ever seen on the San Jose stage. Follow the dutiful Frederic who was accidentally apprenticed to a band of pirates as a child. Frederic vows to pursue a more honorable path in life and fight against the pirates—that is, as soon as he finishes his apprenticeship with them, as he feels duty requires. The buccaneers are really kindhearted folk, but nonetheless, they kidnap a group of beautiful young women to become their wives, incurring the wrath of the local authorities. Only the intervention of Frederic, who falls in love with one of the women, can bring peace between pirates and police.
Fantasy, gaiety, romance, action, non-stop laughs, and a production that explodes with Daryl Gray’s creative genius makes this PIRATES OF PENZANCE the must-see event of 2009. Tickets are available for the Nov. 19-21 performances …>Read More
Westminster, California is sometimes overlooked as a fun spot to visit. Just minutes from beaches–Seal Beach, Long Beach and Huntington Beach–Westminster has long served these beach cities with its own brand of entertainment such as the mega-shopping center, Westminster Mall and the Asian Gardens of its very own Little Saigon! But once a year the city of close to 90,000 residents celebrates a unique heritage that people of all walks of life, faiths, and ethnic backgrounds share with the annual Founder’s Day Festival and Parade.
Westminster Founder’s Day Festival and Parade invites residents and visitors to enjoy outdoor activities ranging from carnival rides in the midway, contests for kids, Battle of the Bands, International Food Court, a Dog Show, and more. The event is held Oct. 24-26, 2009. Read More!
Huntington Beach, CA–It was a great night for a walk on the Huntington Beach Pier this evening…just perfect for watching the sunset over the Pacific. Downtown on Tuesday nights there’s Surf City Nights street fair, which draws a crowd, even in the winter months. Along the beach path, a few people rode bikes, jogged, and roller bladed. Only one firepit was blazing out of approx. 100.
I wandered along the pier and enjoyed the beauty of the evening. Heading over to New Zealand Natural ice cream store on 5th Street, I was told that the sales were soft and even the new Johnny Rockets was having a slow night. I didn’t actually spend much money myself, but did enjoy the best things in life that are free such as sunsets and beach strolls.
The photo above is from 2009 Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios
Universal Studios Hollywood each year puts on one of the top Halloween haunt shows that mixes Hollywood film trickery with imagineering and the art of persuasion. By creating just the right environment of lighting, sound and props, guests’ minds can play tricks. Suspending belief, you are transformed into another other world. With the popularity of B-rated horror movies produced by the company’s studios and elsewhere, the Halloween experience each year draws from the talents of the creative artists who work in the industry and know how to make an illusion seem real.
My Bloody Valentine 3-D, the Genre Film Favorite Joins “Rogues Gallery” of New Attractions for Annual Halloween Event, began October 2, and was inspired by Lionsgate’s 2009 theatrical re-make. My Bloody Valentine: Be Mine 4 Ever is a multi-sensory horror experience based upon the 2009 theatrical re-make of the original 1981 Canadian slasher classic considered “the ultimate slasher film” by horror aficionados. Universal Studios Hollywood maze..>read more
State Street Holiday Shopping is festive and bright. See the full picture.
Santa Barbara, CA–Visit Santa Barbara this Winter Season when the weather breaks below the 60 degree barrier to herald that favorite time of sweater weather at the beach. In California’s Riviera of sunshine, you can travel on a weekend getaway to enjoy whale watching tours starting in December.
For holiday day shopping, State Street offers a mile of deals and unique items, mixed with some amazing restaurants to energize you along the way. Starbucks coffee makes for a great pit stop to keep your shopping mojo working while you try to come up with something for the loved ones, while shopping on a budget.
Some unique shopping opportunities in Santa Barbara include an event similar to shopping events at the Autry in L.A. Museum of Natural History’s 23rd Annual Folk & Tribal Arts Marketplace will be held on December 4-6.
Holidays are special in the Central Coast wine country:
- 57th Annual Downtown Holiday Parade lights up State Street on Friday, December 4.
- The holiday spirit takes to the sea Sunday, December 13 for the 24th Annual Harbor Parade of Lights.
- Kids will enjoy Santa Barbara Zoo’s Sledding at the Zoo & Snow Leopard Festival December 5.
- Casa Del Herrero, a beautifully-preserved Montecito Architectural Heritage site, offers holiday-infused tours in December.
- State Street Ballet, The Nutcracker is an annul tradition for all ages, held on December 12-13
- Santa Barbara Theatre produces a delightful Peter Pan December 20-January 3
- PCPA Theaterfest’s The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe has tickets for the shows, November 5-December 23.
- Special holiday concerts in historic venues and theatres include the Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Pop’s at The Granada December 31.
If you need some fresh ideas for visiting this world class destination, don’t hesitate to check out the official web site of tourism for the region, Santabarbaraca.com!
, california's riviera
, harbor parade of lights
, holiday parade
, peter pan
, santa barbara
, santa barbara theatre
, santa barbara zoo
, starbucks coffee
, state street ballet
, sweater weather
, whale watching