Outrigger Maui Eldorado offering free groceries

From free nights to free groceries, discounted spa treatments and special
dining offerings to unlimited golf – guests can find some bargains at
the Outrigger Maui Eldorado.


Lookingfor a great rate? Outrigger Maui Eldorado has it with rates
starting at just $129 per night — 60% off discount of regularly published


For a
multi-night visit, book the resort’s 5th night free program starting
at $205 per night, and receive the fifth night free (that averages out to $164
per night over the five night period), plus receive free groceries.

that stay a minimum of five consecutive nights receive on arrival a $50 grocery
certificate for a studio, a $100 grocery certificate for a one-bedroom, or a
$150 grocery certificate for a two-bedroom suite.

Guests that stay for longer
periods in increments of five nights will receive additional certificates. For
example, guests staying ten nights will receive two grocery certificates –
amounting to as much as $300 in savings!


“Guests will
definitely want to take advantage of our free grocery program,” said Bill Rees,
general manager of the Outrigger Maui Eldorado. “With the Foodland gift
certificates, guests can stock their condo fridges with free food – leaving more
spending money for fun and leisure like a day of unlimited golf or a soothing
massage at the brand new Spa at Black Rock.”


staying at Outrigger Maui Eldorado will enjoy the special green fees available
to condo guests for unlimited golf on the Kaanapali Beach Resort’s North and
South Courses (golf cart included).
Guests simply purchase a specially-priced coupon ($140 per person) from the
front desk and then call the golf course to set up their tee


According to
Rees, “Unlike some golf packages, Outrigger Maui Eldorado’s golf offer is
extremely simple and stress free. There are no minimum night requirements or
other strings attached. The coupon also allows for
one child 12 years or younger to play along at no additional cost.”


After a round
of golf, a spa treatment is certainly in order. Outrigger Maui Eldorado has
joined with the newly opened Spa at Black Rock in the Kaanapali Beach Resort to
offer Outrigger Maui Eldorado guests a special 20% discount now through
Sept. 7 (coupons available at the Outrigger Maui Eldorado front


A number of nearby restaurants are offering
special discounts to Outrigger Maui Eldorado guests.


Looking for a
quick snack or an easy lunch? Stop at Round Table Pizza at the Fairway Shops and
receive 10 % off the entire bill. Hungry for local Hawaiian dish? Lunch and
dinner is offered at the well-known Hula Grill located at Whaler’s Village.

Delicious Hawaiian cuisine is available from either the Barefoot Bar menu or the
dinner menu, and Outrigger Maui Eldorado guests receive a free appetizer when
ordering two entrees.

Restaurant Basil Tomato Italian Grille is offering
Outrigger Maui Eldorado guests a similar deal — a free appetizer sampler with
the order of two entrees. Located on the 5th green of the Kaanapali Golf course,
Basil Tomato is one of the town’s finest Italian dinner houses specializing in
Northern Italian cuisine and is a perfect place for an intimate dining
experience in a casual and cozy setting.

No coupons are needed for these special
dining offers! Outrigger Maui Eldorado guests simply show their Outrigger key
card to receive the discount at any of these restaurants.


Located along
the fairways of Kaanapali Beach Resort, the Outrigger Maui Eldorado is a short
stroll from Whalers Village’s shops, restaurants and nightlife, and a
five-minute walk across the fairways from the private pristine Kaanapali Beach,
where guests can sunbathe or enjoy the privacy of an exclusive beach cabana. 


reservations, travel agent specials and more information, visit www.OutriggerCondos.com
or call 800-OUTRIGGER (688-7444).

Midway Museum draws crowds in San Diego

30226-Busy USS Midway Hangar Deck.jpg

Visitors explore the hangar deck on the USS Midway Museum in San Diego. (Photos courtesy of Midway Museum

<p>By Richard Irwin Travel Editor</p>

<p>My brothers leaned forward in the air boss’ seat high up in Pri-Fly tower jutting over the flight deck of the USS Midway in San Diego.</p>
<p>Navy jets spread out below him, giving this Easterner a unique perspective that he would never get in Pittsburgh. But then, San Diego has always been a big Navy town.</p>
<p>It was only appropriate that they sample some naval history during a recent vacation.</p>
<p>We were surprised by the tight, steep ladders we had to climb to reach the Primary Flight control center of the Midway; the longest serving carrier in the 20th century.</p>
<p>But the view, with the beautiful harbor glistening far below, made it worthwhile. Our guide explained that the air boss controls everything from the flight deck up to 25,000 feet.</p>
<p>Another level in the island bristled with navigation equipment used to guide the ship around the world for 47 years. Commissioned one week after the end of World War II, the Midway’s odyssey ended as the flagship in the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm.

30227-Dramatic USS Midway Flight Deck.jpg

<p>The pride poured into this museum shows and visitors have responded. The Midway has become the most-visited floating ship museum in the world, with more than four million visitors from 2004 to 2009.</p>
<p>Clambering back down, we toured the large flight deck, which features 26 meticulously restored aircraft. Everything from the huge Skywarrior, the largest aircraft to operate off American carriers, to the tiny Skyhawks used in Vietnam squatted on the deck.</p>
<p>The Midway has aircraft from all the wars, ranging from World War II to Desert Storm.</p>
<p>Be sure to stop at the forward catapult, where a museum docent will explain how the steam-driven system shoots a 45,000-pound plane from 0 to 165 mph in a couple seconds.</p>
<p>These volunteers are often retired Naval officers. The ones who helped us flew Crusader jetfighters off the pitching deck.</p>
<p>Another docent showed us how a tailhook grabs an arresting cable to slow a plane from 150 mph in 315 feet of landing space.</p>
<p>Below is a huge hangar deck, where aircraft was stored and repaired. This large space also has aircraft on display, as well as flight simulators that anyone can enjoy for a additional cost.</p>
<p>Visitors receive digital audio guides to show them around the rest of the ship. The audio tour explains what life in this floating city was like. A cook describes how they prepared 13,500 meals every day in the shiny galleys below.</p>
<p>There’s also a barbershop, hospital, post office and brig below. Visitors can also drop down to the engine room to see how the giant boilers produced 212,000 horsepower to drive the warship through the water.</p>
<p>The Midway is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $17 adults, $9 for kids 6-17 and free for kids 5 and under.</p>
<p>If you have any energy or time left, leave the car in the parking lot and walk down North Harbor Drive to the nearby Maritime Museum.</p>

30228-USS Midway Docent Entertainment.jpg

<p>There they can explore the Soviet attack submarine used to stalk American carrier groups. Carrying 24 torpedoes, including some with nuclear warheads, the low-tech Foxtrot hunted U.S. warships for 20 years. </p>
<p>A word of warning, however: If you have trouble climbing, bending and crouching then you don’t want to tour this submarine. We still can’t figure out how they managed to cram 78 men into this tin can.</p>
<p>The HMS Surprise docked next to her is a replica of a 24-gun Royal Navy frigate from Lord Nelson’s era. Russell Crowe commanded this ship in the Academy Award winning film “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.” </p>
<p>The attention to detail is quite striking. And the many exhibits do a good job of explaining what life was like for sailors in the 18th century. </p>
<p>The flagship has to be the Star of India, the world’s oldest active ship according to museum officials. Launched in 1863, she was one of the first iron ships. </p>
<p>The Star’s woodwork is very impressive, as is the size of her holds. Visitors can go below to learn the history of this majestic sailing ship. </p>
<p>The museum also has many other exhibits and vessels to explore. It is open every day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $8 for kids 6-17, and free for children 5 and under. For more information, check the Web site www.sdmaritime.org</p>
<p>richard.irwin@sgvn.com </p>
<p>(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2801 </p>

Passport to travel in San Francisco

The Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco has introduced passports as a fun way to engage children.  Each child receives a passport upon
arrival. When they return to the hotel after their San Francisco
excursions, they will be given “colorful” stamps that illustrate their

   In a passport contest campaign, non-adult
guests are encouraged to photograph their way through San Francisco and submit
their unique (family or individual) images for submission to the hotel’s


  1. Contestants will post (San Francisco
    vacation) photos on the blog with a summary photo caption of their whereabouts
    (passport must be included in photo submissions).
  2. The contest will run from through Labor
    Day weekend, 2009.
  3. Grand Prize (1st place) =
    future weekend stay at Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf for a family of
    four. Runners up (2nd and 3rd places) = Hyatt gift cards
    in the amount of $??, for use at any Hyatt,
  4. Winners will be selected, and notified, by

The Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf is now offering the new “Just Ducky” Package, through Aug. 30. 
This new family package features four tickets
(two children/two adults) aboard Ride The Ducks’ amphibious vehicles with a 1
hour land and water tour of San Francisco. 
Starting at only $204, the package includes overnight accommodations for a family of four (two
adults/two children); breakfast for the family of four; tickets for Ride The
Ducks tour (two adults/two children); four wacky quacker (whistles); and two
passports for the children.

  Another affordable option is the Classic Family Vacation Package, which
starts at a rate of only $194.  In
addition to accommodations for a family of four for one night, the
package includes full breakfast, 15% savings on restaurant dining, welcome snack
amenity for kids, a 20% shopping discount on
NationalGeographic.com, and of course, the Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf signature
San Francisco Passport.  This offer
is valid through Sept. 7.

Mimi’s Cafe partners with San Diego Zoo

Mimis Cafe is sponsoring a summer partnership with the San Diego Zoo and San Diego
Zoo’s Wild Animal Park.  Through Aug. 31 guests who dine at any of the 39
participating Mimis Cafe restaurants in Southern California will receive a
coupon for one free Child’s Best Value Admission Ticket with the purchase
of an Adult Best Value Admission Ticket to use toward their next visit to the
San Diego Zoo or Wild
Animal Park

Guests will also receive a Mimis Cafe coupon for the Just Enough menu items
good on their next visit.

 “We are always looking for ways to
enhance and add value for our guests,” said Mimi Somerman, Senior Vice
President for Marketing.  “Our partnership with the San
Diego Zoo, one of Southern California‘s
most popular attractions, provides another way our guests can enjoy

 In addition to the summer deals, a special
fundraising day will occur on Wednesday, Aug. 12, at all 39 participating
locations, in which 15 percent of net sales generated with a downloadable flyer
will be donated to the San Diego Zoo’s conservation efforts.

 “We welcome Mimis Cafe guests to
experience what makes the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal
such a unique and
one-of-a-kind experience for people of all ages,” said John Dunlap, San
Diego Zoo director.  “The money raised during the fundraising day,
will aid the San Diego Zoo’s mission of conservation and preservation of
animals and their habitats.”

 To find participating Mimis Cafe locations,
download the special flyer and more, visit mimiscafe.com and click on the San
Diego Zoo logo.

Campgrounds offer doggone good time

Looking for a doggone good time. Here’s some California campgrounds that treat pets like people.

The Edgewater Resort
in Kelseyville, which not only gives each dog a treat and their
own nametag when they arrive, but invites them to swim with their
owners at its private beach, which fronts Clear Lake, California’s
largest natural body of water.

“There aren’t many places where
they let dogs swim, which is a shame since most dogs love to swim and
play catch,” said Sandra West, the park’s owner.

Edgewater Resort’s dog-friendly approach has made it a top destination
for camping enthusiasts who travel with their pets.

“At least half of
the people who come here bring dogs,” West said, adding, “We probably
have 30 to 50 dogs here every weekend.”

Debbie Sipe, executive
director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds,
said private park owners are becoming more sensitive to the needs of
dog owners in response to industry research, which has shown that large
numbers of people travel with their pets.

While over 90% of the
RV parks and campgrounds listed on Camp-California.com accept dogs,
most have relatively limited amenities for pets, aside from a
designated dog run. However, a handful of parks are investing in unique
pet amenities and activities. They include:

Benbow Valley RV
Resort in Garberville: This park, which is part of the Benbow Valley
Hotel and Resort, has its own “Salon de Soggy Doggy,” an outdoor dog
washing area that includes a raised platform and wash basin for easy
access with a hose and shower nozzle with warm water. Toni Daily, the
director of sales and marketing for resort, said the facility is
popular with guests who want to “spruce up their pooch” as they travel
or after letting their dog swim in the neighboring Eel River.

Clio’s Rivers Edge RV Park in Clio: This 220-site park recently added a
20- by 40-foot dog run, which it plans to equip with exercise and dog
play features this summer. The park also allows owners to let their
dogs swim the Feather River, which runs alongside the park.

San Francisco North / Petaluma KOA: This park is investing about
$200,000 in improvements this year, which include a 4,000-square foot
dog park.

San Diego KOA: This park, located in Chula Vista,
has just completed construction of a 7,800-square foot dog park,
completed with agility obstacles and ball play areas.

Bear’s Jellystone Park in Cobb: This campground has themed weekends and
related special activities throughout the summer, including a “Pets
Weekend” (August 1-2), with a special activities involving animals,
including a best dressed pet contest.

Find a pet friendly campground in other areas by checking www.Camp-California.com. The site
includes links to RV parks and campgrounds, which provide their own
“activities” or event calendars, which can help you figure out which
parks have activities your family will enjoy.

Witness for the defense in Columbia California

         This summer, families and friends can
come together to witness a crime in the streets of Columbia, California, based on a real event that happened
in 1856.

After viewing the scuffle, it will be up to the public to decide among
themselves whether the crime was self-defense or attempted murder. Participants
will be able to subpoena witnesses and a trial will be held to decide the fate
of the attacker.

Join the trial on July 25 or Aug.15, at
10 a.m. to participate in this exciting event. Reservations are recommended as
space is limited and are $15 for groups of up to six people and can be made by
calling (209) 588-9128.

Columbia State Historic Park,
located in Tuolumne County, is designated as a National Historic Landmark
District, and has been preserved to tell the story of the towns which arose
during the California Gold Rush to serve the needs of miners.  California State
Parks has restored and continues to preserve over 30 of the original brick
buildings along the town’s Main


It’s Shark Week at Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography


<p>Birch Aquarium</p>
<p>2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla</p>
<p>Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily</p>
<p>Admission: $11 adults, $9</p>
<p>seniors, $7.50 children (3-17), free kids 2 and under</p>
<p>Information: (858) 534-FISH or the Web site at aquariuminfo@ucsd.edu </p>
<p>kicker: Tanks for the Memories</p>
<p>hed: Encounters with ‘misunderstood’ predators</p>

<p>By Richard Irwin Travel Editor</p>
<p>Hooray! Shark Week begins this Saturday, July 18, at the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.</p>
<p>We know you all love to watch Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Now’s your chance to get close to these marine predators. It makes it so much more personal.</p>
<p>Kids and families can learn all about these amazing creatures from July 18 to 24. The aquarium has planned many hands-on activities.</p>
<p>If you’ve never been to the famous ocean institute in San Diego, this is a great chance to throw the family in the van and drive down for a visit.</p>


<p>The Birch Aquarium is a great place for kids to learn about the seas surrounding Southern California. There are many fascinating exhibits, but be careful or you’ll end up learning more than you wanted.</p>
<p>Scripps scientists say sharks are misunderstood. They’ll discuss recent discoveries, as well as new conservation efforts aimed at reversing the declining shark population.</p>
<p>There will even be hourly presentations featuring live shark encounters. Heed this warning, though: Please do not pet the fish!</p>
<p>And be sure to check out the dive shows that will focus on sharks in the two-story kelp forest tank. Get there early for the shows at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 18; 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 19; and 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21, and Thursday, July 23. </p>
<p>Personally, we’re rooting for the divers, but you decide.</p>
<p>On Wednesday, July 22, there will be a special screening of the award-winning documentary “Requiem” at 6:30 p.m. This film explores the true nature of these “misunderstood” predators of the deep.</p>
<p>Cameras take viewers deep underwater to uncover the stunning beauty, power and skills of sharks. The documentary visits the creatures at home in the Bahamas, Hawaii, Tahiti and Mexico.</p>
<p>Afterward, Scripps scientists who study sharks will answer any questions. </p>
<p>Tickets are only $5. For reservations, call (858) 534-4109.</p>
<p>Throughout Scripps’ Shark Week, the aquarium will have more than 10 species of sharks on display. How many can you name? hammerhead, mako, sand, leopard, Great White &mdash;</p>
<p>Speaking of the Great White Shark, families can have their photos taken in the Great White photo booth. There’s plenty of room in this monster’s mouth if you’re brave enough to crawl in. My two brothers and I fit in easily.</p>
<p>Don’t miss the Shark Reef exhibit in the courtyard. The 13,000-gallon tank features species that live in tropical reefs. There’s whitetip and blacktip reef sharks, brown-banded bamboo sharks, Port Jackson sharks.</p>
<p>Nearby panels explain shark biology and conservation.</p>


<p>Birch Aquarium is family friendly. Families flooded the complex perched on a buff overlooking the Pacific. Everyone seemed to be having a great time learning about the watery world just down the hill.</p>
<p>The Hall of Fishes takes visitors on a trip from the Pacific Northwest along the California coast to the warm waters of Mexico.</p>
<p>Halfway through the exhibit, a 70,000-gallon tank contains a kelp forest two stories high. A towering glass wall makes visitors feel like they’re walking across the bottom of the ocean.</p>
<p>Some of the fish will freak you out. The Moray eels look especially evil.</p>
<p>We loved the “Art of Deception” exhibit. At first, they look like empty tanks, but if they look really close, visitors will discover perfectly camouflaged fish.</p>
<p>The rock fish is especially hard to see, blending into the coral formations with nary an outline. The leafy sea dragons looked like kelp floating around the tank.</p>
<p>Outside, the Preuss Tide Pool Plaza overlooks La Jolla. Guests will be stunned by the panoramic view of the Pacific. </p>
<p>Kids will love exploring the tide pools. Windows permit tykes to see brilliant seastars, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers and lobsters up close.</p>
<p>But please remember tide pool etiquette: Watch where you step; if you pick up a rock, put it back as you found it; and try not to touch &mdash; animals with protective mucus layers and delicate tissues are easily damaged by touching.</p>
<p>”Feeling the Heat: The Climate Challenge” explores global warming. This award-winning exhibit presents the science of global climate change, supported by 50 years of ground-breaking research by the institute.</p>
<p>The coral displays were beautiful. Scientists note that 16 percent of the planet’s reefs have been destroyed in the past five years, while 25 percent have been severely degraded. </p>
<p>So go for the sharks, but stay for all the other exhibits this fascinating aquarium has to share with families.</p>
<p>richard.irwin@sgvn.com </p>
<p>(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2801</p>

Free travel guide to Orange County

Visitors coming to the Anaheim/Orange County area now have a comprehensive resource when it comes to planning trips and vacations: the 2009 OC Travel Guide. The OC Travel Guide is
the area’s primary travel-planning aid, and it is now available for order online.

The 138-page, 2009 OC Travel Guide offers a comprehensive overview of Orange County area accommodations, attractions, arts and culture, beaches, sports and recreation, shopping, dining, entertainment and transportation.

The guide also features updated maps, a calendar of annual events, build-it-yourself itineraries and in-depth information on Southern California theme parks. The compact guide fits easily into
a pocket, purse or backpack to use on the go.

This year’s OC Travel Guide pays homage to one of Orange County’s legendary artists. The cover art on the 2009 OC Travel Guide features the work of acclaimed SoCal artist John Van Hamersveld.

Hamersveld, whose most recognizable work is the renowned “Endless Summer” sunset and surfer movie poster from 1966, felt compelled to contribute his iconic artwork to the destination that inspired his early works. “I feel the cover reflects Orange County, and pulls the ‘Forever Summer’ attitude together,” says Hamersveld.

A free copy of The OC Travel Guide is now available online at anaheimoc.org or by calling (714) 765-8888.

Bach Festival begins Friday in Carmel


The Carmel Bach Festival begins July 17. The 16-day celebration is inspired by the historical and ongoing influence of J.S. Bach
in the world.

For 72 years the Festival has brought Baroque music to the Monterey Peninsula. Well-known artists join the
Festival orchestra and chorale, along with the local chorus,
for performances that move the soul and inspire the spirit.

A rich schedule features
full orchestral and choral works, individual vocal and chamber ensemble
concerts, recitals, master classes, lectures and informal talks, in
addition to interactive social and family events.

Patrons will find special restaurant and lodging discounts at www.bachfestival.org

Carmel Heritage Society offers home and garden tour

If you’ve
ever wanted to look through Carmel-by-the-Sea’s charming cottages and
architecturally distinctive homes, the Carmel Heritage Society is presenting
just such an opportunity from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, with the self-guided
Carmel House & Garden Tour.

year, for the first time, the house and garden tour will be held while the Carmel
Bach Festival is in full swing, which affords out-of-town festival goers a
chance to see a little more of Carmel than they might have planned.

again, the Frank Lloyd Wright house on Scenic Road will be the focal point of
the tour. Harmony House, the former residence of Carmel Bach Festival founders,
Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous, and Forge in the Forest House – original site of Master
Blacksmith Francis Whitaker’s first forge in Carmel — will be among the nine craftsman-style
and architecturally eclectic homes and gardens included in this annual event.

the tour, ticket-holders are invited to an informal reception with refreshments
in the garden behind First Murphy House.

for the tour are $25 per person (or $30 the day of the event) and may be
purchased online at www.carmelheritage.org,
or at First Murphy House on Lincoln
, just north of Sixth Avenue, Carmel-by-the-Sea. Included
with the tickets will be an easy-to-follow map showing the exact location of
each of the homes and gardens.   

inquiries, call the Carmel Heritage Society at (831) 624-4447.