Thursday, January 23, 2014

Yosemite: Range of Light Film Festival

El Capitan and Merced River inYosemite Valley. Range of Light Film Festival Feb. 27 - Mar. 2, 2014
El Capitan in Yosemite National Park
One hundred and fifty years ago, President Abraham Lincoln recognized the beauty of the Yosemite Valley and vowed to keep it in its natural state, free from development. He signed the Yosemite Land Grant, ensuring that 39,000 acres of the Yosemite Valley and nearby Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias would be set aside for “public use, resort and recreation.” That act is believed to have given birth to the idea of the national park system.

To commemorate this milestone in the park’s history, Yosemite National Park is hosting the Range of Light Film Festival, a “mid-winter celebration of film, music, storytelling, conservation, art and adventure.” It takes place February 27 to March 2, 2014 at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center’s theater and auditorium. The theme of the event is "150 Years of Yosemite."

More than a dozen films, ranging from shorts to feature-length movies, will be screened, including “El Capitan,’” a digitally remastered, award-winning film from 1968 that’s recognized as one of the best climbing films of its kind. Also of note is a new documentary directed and narrated by Ken Burns called “Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit,” about the Yosemite Land Grant signed by Lincoln. In addition to the screenings, there will also be artist and filmmaker panels, and live musical performances.
More Information: Range of Light Film Festival
Yosemite Valley Auditorium, 9035 Village Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Phone: 209-372-0200
Dates: February 27 – March 2, 2014
Tickets: $10 to $30**
Lodging Discounts: 10%-15% with promo code ROLFF. Call 801-559-5057.
**Thursday night's screening of 100 years of Yosemite on Film and Yosemite: Fate of Heaven is a free event, open to the public.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Anaheim: SoCal Residents Save at Disney Parks

Discounts for Southern California residents at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure
Disney offers discounts to SoCal Residents
Disney discount tickets are back for SoCal residents! After a year’s absence, Disney has brought back its popular multi-day discount ticket packages to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for folks living in the Southern California region. You must reside in ZIP codes 90000-93599 (or Northern Baja California ZIP codes 21000-22999) to take advantage of the savings; proof of residency is required for purchase and admission. Here’s a breakdown of the ticket packages:
$129: 2-day ticket with your choice of one park per day
$164: 2-day Park Hopper ticket
$159: 3-day ticket with your choice of one park per day
$194: 3-day Park Hopper ticket
Each of the 3-day ticket packages also includes one Magic Morning early admission to Disneyland.
Tickets must be purchased by May 30, 2014 and are valid through June 6, 2014 (blackout dates apply March 31 to April 20, 2014). You may purchase up to 5 tickets per person per day with valid ID. For additional information or to purchase SoCal Resident Tickets, visit the Disney Parks website.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

San Francisco & Los Angeles: Edwardian Ball & World’s Faire

Edwardian Ball - an elegant and whimsical celebration of art, music, theatre, fashion, technology, circus, and the beloved creations of the late, great author Edward Gorey
Are you in a party mood, but tired of the same hum-drum get-togethers? You may want to check out the Edwardian Ball & World’s Faire, an eclectic event that’s anything but mundane. This annual bash celebrates the life and works of writer Edward Gorey, known for his illustrated books, but that’s only the beginning. The party is a mish-mash of music, dance, theater, art, fashion, gaming, and circus, where party-goers are encouraged to dress in costume – and that they do! It’s kind of like Dickens meets Goth meets Roaring 20’s, with a little top-hat and lace thrown in for elegance.
Edwardian Ball & World's Faire San Francisco and Los Angeles
The Edwardian World’s Fair takes place on Friday, January 17 in San Francisco and is less formal and a little more rambunctious than the Edwardian Ball which occurs on Saturday, January 18 in San Francisco and also Saturday, February 8 in Los Angeles. 
Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness, San Francisco, CA 94109
Date/Time: Friday & Saturday, January 17 & 18, 2014, 8:00pm
Tickets: $40-$50 General Admission; $80-$95 VIP (All prices increase $5 at the door)
Phone: 415-673-5716
Parking: Validated flat rate of $14 at Holiday Inn Garage, located at 1500 Van Ness. Limited street parking. Closest BART station is Civic Center.
The Fonda Theatre, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Date/Time: Saturday, February 8, 2014, 8:00pm
Tickets: $45 General Admission, $75 VIP
Phone: 323-464-0808
Parking: Several parking lots are located next to and near the theater. Prices vary.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Coronado: Hotel del Coronado - Skating by the Sea

Skating by the Sea at historic Hotel del Coronado. Holiday music, skating overlooking Pacific Ocean.
Skating by the Sea at Hotel del Coronado
Spend a day on a Southern California beach ice skating – yes, ice skating! The historic Hotel del Coronado has transformed its expansive Windsor Lawn into an oceanfront ice rink for the holidays. You can skate under the warm San Diego sun with a view of the Pacific Ocean and later enjoy holiday music and a warm drink while viewing a crimson sunset. You’d be hard pressed to find a more stunning location for this outdoor skate zone, so grab your blades and join in on the fun. Skating by the Sea is in its ninth year and runs until January 5, 20014.
More Information: Skating by the Sea  
Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, CA 92118
Phone: 619-435-6611
Date/Time: Daily through January 5, 2014; 11am-1pm, 1:30-3:30pm, 4-6pm and 7-9pm.
Cost: $23 per adult, $18 per child (ages 10 and under) for 2-hour session. Skate rental included or $5 discount if you wear your own ice skates.
A portion of the skating proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego.

Monday, December 9, 2013

California: Christmas Boat Parades 2013

 2012 Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade (photo: John L. Blom)
The holiday season is in full swing. How do we know? Because of the dozens of Christmas boat parades taking place this month.
Lavishly decorated and brightly lit vessels will navigate California waterways like proud peacocks, each with its own festive style. Whether it’s the multi-million dollar yachts of Newport Beach or the modest skiffs of Mission Bay, one thing is for sure – the boats will be decked out to the nines in lively, seasonal splendor.
The lighted boat parades start their procession in early December. Here's a list of holiday boat parades (and start times) for the remainder of the month. Some parades run on multiple nights and all are free to view. Click on the individual links for more information.
Friday, December 13, 2013
San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Lighted Boat Parade, 5:30pm
Sunday, December 15, 2013
San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, 5:30pm
Venice Canals Holiday Boat Parade, 4:30pm
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 through Saturday, December 21, 2013
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, 6:30pm each night
Friday, December 20, 2013
Ventura Harbor Holiday Parade of Lights & Fireworks, 6:30pm

Monday, December 2, 2013

Los Angeles: Oscars Red Carpet Tickets 2014

win-tickets-oscars-red-carpet. see-hollywood-celebrities
George Clooney greets fans on Oscars Red Carpet (photo:
The Oscars aren’t until next March, but now is the time to win coveted tickets to the red carpet and a chance to see A-list celebrities on Hollywood’s most glamorous night.
Monday, December 2 starts Academy Fan Appreciation Week, and the folks behind the golden statuette are using social media to find Oscar’s biggest fans. Unlike years past where red carpet tickets were obtained by lottery, this time around a pair of tickets will be offered to fans who actively engage with the Academy by tweeting, commenting and sharing their posts. It’s a way to reward their most active and devoted followers. Newer fans will have fun ways to win, too.
To get in on the action, connect with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences via any of their social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, and Tumblr.
The 2014 Oscars will be presented on March 2, 2014 at the Dolby Theater at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. It will be televised live in more than 225 countries around the world. Will we see you there?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Riverside: Festival of Lights – A Holiday Must-See

Riverside Festival of Lights illuminates downtown Riverside with nearly 4 million holiday lights
Riverside Festival of Lights - Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
Today is the day! It’s the start of the five-week long Festival of Lights in Riverside. And what a spectacle it is! With the flip of a switch, downtown Riverside will be illuminated by the glow of nearly 4 million holiday bulbs and electrified by the burst of fireworks. The lights, accompanied by dazzling holiday decorations and animatronic displays, can be found along Mission Inn Avenue as well as at the historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa and numerous other buildings. A tradition for 21 years, the Festival also features an outdoor skating rink, horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday vendors, live entertainment, carolers, and delectable food. Of course, Santa Claus will be there too.
The festivities get started today at noon, with the official lighting ceremony commencing at 4:30pm. This is an extremely popular event, drawing over 250,000 visitors over the multi-week run. If attending opening day, plan to arrive early – it’s estimated over 60,000 folks will be there and downtown streets surrounding the event start closing to motor vehicles around noon.
More Information: 21st Annual Festival of Lights
Mission Inn, 3649 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA 92501
Dates/Times: Friday, November 29, 2013 - 12:00pm to Saturday, January 4, 2014 - 10:00pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission: Free

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lancaster: Musical Road Will Have You Humming

Lancaster Musical Road plays William Tell Overture AKA theme from Lone Ranger
Musical Road in Lancaster
A stretch of road in the city of Lancaster has earned the moniker Musical Road and will actually have you hearing music while you drive – specifically the William Tell Overture. Here’s why: rumble strips, like those on the shoulder of a freeway to keep you alert, are strategically placed on a section of road on Avenue G between 30th and 40th Streets West.  As you drive over the grooves in the pavement, the sound generated produces notes of the familiar song, otherwise known as the theme from the Lone Ranger. It may not be note perfect, but it’s recognizable enough.
The Musical Road is the brainchild of Honda. It was built in 2008 for a commercial featuring the Honda Civic. Originally located at Avenue K, it had to be moved to its present location after locals within earshot complained that the noise kept them awake. Since the move, the musical road has been a hit, luring tourists to the location and putting Lancaster on the map. Drivers can’t seem to get enough of the engineering marvel, circling around to listen a dozen times or more while humming along with the tune. It’s a rarity, to be sure; this is the only known "musical road" in the nation.
To reach the Musical Road in Lancaster, exit Avenue G off the 14 Freeway and travel west. Stay in the far left lane and watch for the road sign signaling the start of the tune. For best sound quality, it’s best to be going 55mph.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ventura: Public Art Bus Stop – Waiting For a Ride

Bus Home by Dennis Oppenheim is a bus stop located at the Pacific View Mall in Ventura.
“Bus Home” created by Dennis Oppenheim (photo: Donna Grananta)
A curious structure adorns the north end of the Pacific View Mall in Ventura. The contraption of twisty-curvy steel and brightly covered paint is more than a just piece of public art - it’s a bus stop.
Created in 2002 by conceptual artist/sculptor, Dennis Oppenheim (1938-2011), “Bus Home” remains one of the most talked about pieces of his portfolio. Standing 36 feet tall at its highest point, the work depicts a bus transitioning into a house. When it was erected, residents of Ventura either liked it or hated it. Some recognized the artistic value of the piece; others considered it a magnificent waste of money, claiming the bus stop was impractical and offered no shelter from the rain. In addition, improper techniques used by the paint contractor during its construction caused the structure to rust and decay in just a few short years. It gave the haters even more reason to dislike it.
A major renovation, partially supported by funds recovered in a settlement with the contractor, was undertaken and completed in 2008. Although spruced up, “Bus Home” still stirs controversy among those that view it and those that use it.
“Bus Home” can be found on Telegraph Road next to the Pacific View Mall located at 3301 E Main Street in Ventura.