Big Bear Lake giving away free gas

Big Bear Lake is giving away free gas this spring and summer. Guests that stay two nights at a participating lodge receive a free $50 gas card, a three-night stay is worth $75 in free gas, or stay four or more nights at a participating lodge and receive a free $100 gas card.  To top it off, anyone who books Big Bear’s free gas card offer automatically qualifies to win a free $500 gas card.

The bonus $500 gas card is given out twice during the promotion. The first drawing is set for Aug. 1 for lodging arrivals from April 21 to July 31, 2013. The second drawing is Nov. 25 for lodging arrivals from Aug. 1 to Nov. 18. There is one entry per drawing.

The free gas card offer for $50, $75 and $100 ends Nov. 22. Minimum night stays vary per lodge, and other restrictions may apply. The free gas card promotion must be mentioned at the time of booking.

A $50, $75 or $100 Shell Gas Card, redeemable at participating Shell gas stations, will be given to the guest at check-in.  Limit one gas card per reservation. This offer may not be used in combination with any other offer.

Anyone who books the free gas card offer automatically enters to win a free $500 gas card. To learn about the free gas card promotion, or to book accommodations log onto www.bigbear.comor call 800-424-4232.

Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show coming to Half Moon Bay

There are car shows, air shows, motorcycle shows, tractor shows, county fairs, music festivals, food festivals and living history festivals galore.

Mix them all together in one venue on one weekend and you’ve got Half Moon Bay’s beloved, one and only Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show, coming up April 27-28,running both days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Half Moon Bay Airport.

An added bonus this year: with the opening of the brand new Devil’s Slide Tunnels on Highway 1, driving to the show will be easier and more interesting than ever!

admission to the show is $20 ($30 for 2-day pass) for adults, $10 ($15 for 2-day pass) for ages 11-17 and 65+, and free for kids age 10 and under. Tickets are available at the gate only.

Half Moon Bay Airport, at 9850 N. Cabrillo Highway, is located on Highway 1, about 20 miles south of San Francisco and five miles north of Highway 92. For information, call650-726-2328 or visit

Legoland Hotel opens in Carlsbad

Premium room at Legoland Hotel. (Photo courtesy of Legoland California)

Driving up to the Legoland Hotel in Carlsbad, it’s clear that this isn’t your usual hotel. The brightly colored columns can be seen clear across the vast parking lot. And a large smoke-breathing dragon hangs above the portico.

Welcome to the latest addition to Legoland California. The new 250-room hotel opened Friday. And everything inside caters to children 2 to 12 years of age.

Inside the lobby, kids are greeted by large Lego sculptures, with airplanes and pirates ships sailing overhead. In fact, the resort features more than 3,500 Lego models built from three million blocks.

While you’re checking in, check out the Lego minifigures lining the wall. Kids love to collect the little figures and this is one of the largest collections in the world. A bicycle slowly pedals across the wall, it’s plastic wheels magnifying the detail on 5,000 figures.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story LEGOLAND.

Try flying down a hill upside down in New Zealand

Adventure flies down zipline with Ziptrek Ecotour in Queenstown, New Zealand. (Photo courtesy of Ziptrek Ecotour)

Flying down a wooded hillside upside down and backwards can be quite invigorating. I’ve done it once accidentally when I went out of control skiing in the Canadian Rockies.

But this time, I had intentionally decided to try this flying adventure, goaded on by our tour guide and my friends. In fact, such aberrant behavior is encouraged by Ziptrek Ecotours in Queenstown, New Zealand.

And after ziplining around the world from Canada to Chile, with Hawaii and many places in between, I was very impressed with all the safety precautions that Ziptrek takes.

So I felt perfectly safe as I soared down Bob’s Peak upside down. I even waved excitely to my friends as I zipped away.

Visitors to Queenstown can actually walk to this little adventure, which begins with a ride up the Skyline Gondola on the edge of town.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story ZIPTREK.

San Diego attractions welcome baby animals this spring

This Spring, say hello to some of the newest additions to San Diego attractions including plenty of adorable baby animals!

SeaWorld San Diego will have a few days with extended hours offering more time to see the new baby orca, the sixth successful orca birth in the park’s 49-year history.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has been busy caring for two new California Condors and an African White Rhino in addition to over 10,000 butterflies in the Butterfly Jungle. Also the San Diego Zoo hosts Play Days with daily activities for kids including the baby panda, Xiao Liwu.