Super Fun at Super Fair


Went to the OC Super Fair this weekend. Pretty hot, both the temperature and the activities. I didn’t even get to do everything I wanted to, so I’ll have to go back again.

We went on some rides. The big ferris wheel, La Grande Wheel, is my favorite. What a view! The Giant Slide is exciting and you get your exercise hiking to the top. My hat almost blew off on the way down. When I grabbed it I put my hands down and skinned a bit from my wrist. So keep your hands up!

 Food is always fun at the Fair. They have the usual assortment of crazy things — a zucchini weenie with a hollowed out zucchini stuffed with a hot dog and deep fried like a corn dog. (Yes, Mom, I did eat my vegetables at the Fair. Honest.)  Then there’s the chocolate-covered bacon.

I’m looking forward to almost anything from the Greek Gourmet and Jeanne’s Artichokes.  My favorite place for steamed and deep fried artichokes has added paninis and vegetable skewers this year. So far I’ve had a barbecued beef sandwich from the Chuckwagon, a turkey leg from the Outlaw Grill, the world’s largest barbecue, a couple of samples of wine from the Wine Courtyard and a mixed berry smoothie from Terry’s Berries — all regular stops for me on my Fair grazing.

 Do you visit the craft exhibits? Look for my blue-ribbon-winning pink place mats or my sister’s division-winning collection of patriotic Disney pins. We were pleased with ourselves.

I still need to do some shopping, see the animals, tour Al’s Brain and learn about the history of the fairgrounds in the exhibit Air Base to Fair Base. So much to do.

Good thing the Fair runs until Aug. 9. You can learn more details at the OC Fair Web Site,






Super Fair opens in Orange County

It’s summertime, which means it’s time for the Fair. Not the LA Fair,
the OC Fair, or, as they’re calling it this year, the OC Super Fair.
Though smaller than September’s LA County Fair, the Orange County
Fair offers a full range of crafts to admire, carnival rides to
exhilarate and more fried foods than you can gnaw a stick at.
You don’t have to avoid the Fair if you’re trying to eat healthy. You
can find steamed artichokes, grilled corn, salads, grilled chicken
and more tasty but low fat options. One of my favorite spots is
Terry’s Berries where you can get fresh fruit and fresh fruit
smoothies. I swear the only truly ripe peaches I see all summer come
from Terry’s Berries.
I also love the steamed artichokes from Jeanne’s Artichokes. Of
course, I also love their deep fried artichokes. Maybe I’ll try the
mixed platter this year with zucchini, mushrooms and more.
For more substantial food, I’m partial to the barbecue beef
sandwiches at the Chuck Wagon and just about everything at an upscale
Greek place whose name I’ve sadly forgotten. The gyros and souvlaki
are heavenly. The tri-tip sandwiches at Baja Blues cantina are also
delicious and you can sit indoors in the air conditioning. Always a
plus in July.
I always visit the Wine Courtyard to sample different wines. I
discovered my favorite Robert Mondavi riesling at the Fair and now I
buy it all the time.
Yes, you can tell I mostly eat my way across the Fair. I also enjoy
looking at the exhibits in the Home Arts, Collections, Floral and
Farm and Garden divisions. I have entered all those in the past. I
entered patchwork place mats in Home Arts and a collection of Star
Wars pins this year. And for the first week of the Fair you can look
to see whether my four-pound zucchini won the largest zucchini
contest. (But only for the first week of the Fair. New entries in
fruits, vegetables and fresh flowers are turned in on Tuesdays
throughout the Fair.
Adrenalin junkies can find all sorts of carnival rides and a sky ride
that frankly scares the bejeebers out of me. It’s so exposed. I feel
like I could easily fall out. My sister loves it, however.
I also check out the animals. They’re going to feature horses for a
week, July 29-Aug. 2. I’d like to see the mustang demonstration and
the jousting, but it’ll depend on which day I can go. Pigs are also
featured this year. The theme of the 2009 OC Super Fair is Think.
Big. So they will have a Think. Pig. Exhibit July 22-Aug. 9 with
images, folklore, artifacts, history and more all about pigs.
Another featured exhibit this year is Al’s Brain, a 3-D movie of a
journey through the human brain featuring Weird Al Yankovic.
There are different shows and concerts every day. I am intrigued by
the events in the Action Sports Arena. They always have a demolition
derby, this year scheduled for July 25, but this year, in honor of
the theme, they will have a second demolition derby on July 26
featuring Class C motorhomes. The mind boggles.
The OC Super Fair is at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. Take the 405 or
the 5 south to the 55 Freeway south. Exit at Del Mar/Fair Drive and
turn right on Fair Drive. From the 57, head south to the 5 and follow
above directions.
The Fair runs Wednesday through Sunday, July 10 to Aug. 9. It is
CLOSED Mondays and Tuesdays. It is open 10 a.m. To midnight on
Saturday and Sunday and noon to midnight on weekdays.
Admission is $10 for ages 13-59, $7 for seniors 60 and older, and $5
for children 6-12. Children 5 and younger are admitted free.
Thursdays are Kids Days and all children up to age 12 can get in
free. Fridays are Senior Days when admission for ages 60 and older is
only $4. Fair devotees can get a season pass called a Super Pass for
$30 for ages 13-59, $25 for seniors and $20 for children. Parking is
$5 general and $10 for preferred and for buses and limos. Free
parking on weekends only is available at the Experian parking
structure off the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit of the 405
Freeway. There’s a shuttle from the parking structure.
For more info about the Fair, visit their website at

It’s family time in Hawaii

resorts are noted for their many children’s activities that allow their
parents some well-deserved rest while knowing their little ones are well
supervised. With record low prices, this is the time to consider taking your family


Here are
some of‘s favorite resorts that cater to children
and to their
parents. Be sure
to check rates carefully as they are constantly changing and new specials are
offered every day.


1. Turtle
Bay Resort, Oahu

This resort
on the
North Shore boasts some of the best surfing in
all of
Hawaii, as well as the
island’s only on-site helipad. For teens
looking to “catch a wave,” group lessons begin at $75. (For safety reasons,
children under 13 require private lessons, starting at $95 for one hour.) For
future equestrians, The Stables at
Turtle Bay offers a 20-minute
pony walk for
children under age 7. And don’t let your kids miss out on the clear-bottom
kayaks, allowing them to see the sea life in an unforgettable way. There’s also
a “buried treasure” hunt and 12 miles of hiking trails to accommodate any age.

We have seen rates at around
$237/night for an oceanfront king room.


Grand Hyatt Kauai
Resort & Spa, Koloa, Kauai

There is
something for every child at this resort. He or she can choose from a variety
of complimentary activities available in the lobby atrium each day including
lei making, hula lessons or ukulele lessons. Or there’s a meandering river
pool, a thrilling 150-foot waterslide and an active pool for basketball or
volleyball. Children love the expansive saltwater lagoon where they can swim,
float or kayak together. Non-water options include an easy hike along a sea
cliff with spectacular views…they might even see endangered humpback whales,
green sea turtles or monk seals.

We have seen rates at for
$300/night for a garden view room.


3. The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Honolulu,

Kahala Hotel & Resort has a dedicated club (the “Keiki Club” – keiki is the Hawaiian word for child)
for children ages 5-12 to enjoy diverse activities and learn about Hawaiian
culture.  Among the many activities
offered are reef walking, snorkeling, bamboo pole fishing, lei making, hula
dancing, crabbing and cavorting with the dolphins.

We have seen rates at for $395/night for a scenic
view room.


Waikoloa Village, Kohala Coast, Big Island

Located in the expansive Waikoloa
Beach Resort, there’s plenty to occupy children’s time and interest at the
Hilton Waikoloa. The “Dolphin Quest” will be a sure hit (parents are likely to
enjoy it as well) and the resort also offers classes in hula dancing and the
making of flower, ti leaf or shell-and-bead leis. Also,
“Waikoloa Family Golf
Days” will
take place every day after
3 p.m.
July 31,
Families will have the opportunity to play nine holes on the Kings course for
extremely reasonable rates.

We have seen rates on
for $199, one of the best deals in the islands for a major resort.


5. Hyatt Regency Maui,
Lahaina, Maui

Tots and
teens alike will have a field day at the “Camp Hyatt Ka’anapali.” Children of
all ages will delight in creating photo memories with their own camp-issued
cameras.  (Their favorite picture will be
turned into a photo t-shirt.) They will also be able to play tennis, try “coconut
bowling,” fish on the banks of the Hyatt stream and explore
Maui‘s wildlife and
volcanoes. By night, children will learn about the Hawaiian night sky with the
“Tour of the Stars” astronomy program.

We have seen rates as low as $240/night for a terrace
room on


6-9. Prince
Maui, Oahu and the Big Island

Each of the
four Prince hotels offers a comprehensive children’s program. You can request a
private nanny for about $18 per hour or have your children participate in the
Prince Keiki Club. Half-day and full-day programs are available and many fun
activities are included. Prince has certified children counselors to make sure
your offspring are well cared for and have fun. Rates usually begin at $415/night at, however, right now there is a special rate
beginning at $269 and you might be able to have a fourth night free.


Be sure to check
out all of these properties on
and be sure to visit on Facebook.


Jamaica Night planned in Chino Hills

Want to learn how to get your reggae
moves on? The Second Annual Jamaica Night at the Shoppes of Chino Hills
will teach you how!

The fun event will be held Saturday from
6 to 8 p.m. Hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board, it is free and
open to the public.


The night will feature free reggae dance
lessons by local group Island Groovers, live reggae music. Travel experts will be on hand to show why Jamaica is an exciting get-away
for Southern Californians.

 “We are delighted to host
this entertaining event and promote all that Jamaica has to offer to the
visitors and residents of Chino Hills and the surrounding areas.  Jamaica
provides so many activities perfect for singles, couples, and families,” said
John Lynch, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism.

 Representatives from Apple
Vacations, Pomona Travel and the Jamaica Tourist Board will be available to
help you plan your next getaway.

San Diego challenges you to spread the joy

The San Diego Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is challenging visitors to spread the joy.

Many have seen their Happy Happens commercial and told them that they loved the song, “Smile
by Anthems, but they couldn’t find it.  People can now download it for

the bureau is challenging people to spread the happiness to
their friends by sharing the song with them too.  When you send
your friends the song you’ll be automatically entered into the Spread the Joy Challenge where you’ll have a chance to win a trip
for two to San Diego.

If you haven’t heard Smile On yet, click here to view our Happy Happens video. They guarantee you’ll be humming it the rest of the day.

Visit to download the song
and learn more about the Spread the Joy Challenge.

Snorkel off Catalina Island

Catalina’s Hotel Villa Portofino offers the Villa Venturer Package through Oct. 31, beginning at $161.50/night, double occupancy, plus

The package includes: 


  • Accommodations
    at the oceanfront Hotel Villa Portofino
  • Continental
  • Welcome
  • R/T
    boat transportation aboard Catalina Express from Long Beach, San Pedro, or
    Dana Point
  • R/T
    taxi transfers between boat dock and
  • 1
    hour snorkel trip with Catalina Ocean Rafting


rates are higher, and a two night minimum stay is usually required


arrival at one of the best snorkeling spots on the island, guests will enjoy 45
minutes of water time to explore the undersea gardens. Snorkel gear and
instruction is included.


start at 8:30 a.m. every day and run every 1 until the last departure at 4 p.m.
Guests must meet at Catalina Ocean Rafting 15 minutes prior to departure with
bathing suits on and their own towels.

Wetsuits may be rented for an additional
$5. Children under 5 and pregnant women cannot participate. In the
event of rain or rough seas, the trip may be cancelled or


For more information, call (888)-34-OCEAN, 888-510-0555, or locally,
310-510-0555.  Visit  For transportation, call Catalina
Express at 800-429-4601, or log on to

Northwest moves to Terminal 5 at LAX in Delta merger

Things may look a little different the next time you fly out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Northwest and Delta Air Lines are joining forces. When you travel out of LAX,  you’ll notice that Northwest
has moved from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5. The signage has been
replaced by the Delta brand.

Delta Sky Club members and BusinessElite
passengers can head to the Delta Sky Club in Terminal 5 on the
mezzanine level between gates 53 & 55 to enjoy the premium perks
you know and expect.

Spend the Fourth at Pier 39 in San Francisco


San Francisco offers fireworks,
film festivals and jazz this summer. Pier 39 is one of the best places to spend the Fourth of July.

Free concerts by Take 2 and Tainted Love at the pier’s entrance welcome
you to an Independence Day festival of food, crafts and music.

Of course, the main
event is a spectacular over-the-bay fireworks display. The show begins
at approximately 9:30.

Be sure to dress warmly, as the breeze off the
water can make the pier a bit chilly.

The Fillmore Street Jazz Festival
(July 4-5) brings art and soul to three stages. The festival features 300
artists’ booths as well as an international food court.

Ride the rails this Fourth of July

On Saturday and Sunday,
July 4, 5, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park invites visitors
to celebrate our American heritage by taking a steam train ride, and picnicing
on the shaded grounds. 


Railtown’s excursion trains will depart on Saturday
and Sunday from the Railtown Depot, on-the-hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The
six-mile, 40-minute roundtrip ride takes passengers through the rolling Gold
Country foothills, passing through meadows and along grassy hillsides covered
with ancient oak trees.  


Families are encouraged to bring a picnic, set up your BBQ
on our shaded lawn, or enjoy lunch at the new Carriage Room Caf and Snack Bar
at the Freight Shed.  On Fourth of July from 11-2, there will be a
special offer of 1/3 lb hamburger, fresh coleslaw and beans for $7.50. 


the holiday weekend, visitors will have the opportunity to ride first-class, on
Railtown’s restored Pullman car, and also see the San Diego & Arizona
Eastern’s Ford Model AA 1931 Fire Engine in service.  Additional activities
throughout the weekend include live music, old-fashioned games and
demonstrations in the roundhouse shops.


Railtown 1897 State Historic Park’s Depot Store, Interpretive Center, and grounds are open daily
April-October from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Guided Roundhouse Tours are available
daily. On Saturdays and Sundays, Trains depart hourly 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. from
the Railtown Depot; regular train tickets are $8 adults, $3 youths ages 6-17,
ages 5 and under ride free.


Railtown 1897 State
Historic Park
is located at the corner of Fifth
and Reservoir Road in Jamestown,
near Sonora.  For
more information, call 209-984-3953.

Celebrate Fourth of July in San Diego

San Diego
has some of the best Fourth of July festivities. Here are some top picks for
watching fireworks this Independence Day. 


  • Glorietta Bay (Coronado): 9 p.m. Day-long festivities with the annual Coronado Independence Day parade at 10 a.m.  
  • La Jolla Cove: 9 p.m. 
  • Mira Mesa Recreation Center: Food, rides, games and entertainment in Mira Mesa Community Park during the day.
  • Mission Bay Yacht Club: 9 p.m. 
  • Ocean Beach Pier: 9 p.m.
  • Paradise Point Resort and Spa: 9 p.m.
  • PETCO Park: Fireworks follow the evening game 
  • San Diego Bay: 9 p.m. 
  • SeaWorld (Mission Bay): 9:30 p.m. 


  • Town Center Community Park Ballfields (Santee): 9 p.m. 
  • Spring Valley Park: 9 p.m. 
  • Lake Murray Music Fest and Fireworks (La Mesa): 9:05 p.m. 619-583-5211.


  • Bradley Park (San Marcos): 9 p.m. 
  • Brengle Terrace Park (Vista): 9 p.m. 
  • Del Mar Beach: 9 p.m. All day activities. 
  • Grape Day Park (Escondido): 9 p.m. 
  • Julian: No fireworks, but a day full of celebration! 
  • LEGOLAND (Carlsbad): 8:30 p.m. 
  • Oceanside Pier: 9 p.m. 
  • Olive Peirce Middle School (Ramona): 9 p.m. Grounds open at 5 p.m.
  • Rancho Bernardo High School: 9 p.m. (619) 889-8505.
  • San Diego County Fair (Del Mar Fairgrounds): 9 p.m. 
  • Valley Center High School: 9 p.m. (760) 670-7062.


  • Kimball Park (National City): 9 p.m.

4th of July Hotel Deals


West Park Inn – Rates from $79 based on availability.

The Vagabond Inn Chula Vista – Exclusive Limited Time Offer – 25% off . Rates from $86 based on availability.

Hampton Inn San Diego/Kearny Mesa – Rates from $109 based on availability.

Lake San Marcos Resort – Summer on Sale! Stay 2 Nights, Save 20%. Rates from $124 based on availability.

Inns of America Suites – Stay 2 nights & Save 15%. Rates from $140 based on availability.

The Keating – Super Hot Spring Promo! Save 30% + a $30 Dining Credit. Rates from $202 based on availability.

The Welk Resort – Stay 2 nights & save 20% on your stay. Rates from $247 based on availability