Girls Getaway offers special treats at Hilton Barbados

The Girls Getaway is a pipedream for some, and at its worst, conjures Spring Break-esque images of shiny beads, gaudy feather boas and cheap tiaras. For those who prefer more style and class to their girls’ getaway, Hilton Barbados has debuted a luxurious special offer.

For the woman who celebrates all her life’s milestones with elegance and style—be it an engagement, birthday or, for some, even divorce—Hilton Barbados Resort is elevating the occasion with posh special offers to pamper her and her guests like they deserve.  Plus, women who book between now and Sept. 30 for stays through Dec. 14, 2014, are treated with special room rates starting at US$179, and up to $400 in free spending money from the Barbados Tourism Authority to celebrate in the lap of luxury.

An opulent departure from your typical girls’ getaway, Hilton Barbados Resort is welcoming women to lavish activities throughout their stay, including a first-class retreat in the Prime Minister’s suite. The retreat includes welcome mimosas followed by a gourmet brunch, a choice between a manicure, pedicure, neck or back massage, and then afternoon cocktails with hors d’oeuvres on the balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Other gal pal bonding activities include a “Fancy Dress Up Dinner” hosted by the resort’s chef at the Grille Restaurant, a poolside tea party, cocktails at the on-site historic Charles Fort and more.

Ladies will also be rewarded with up to $400 in spending money per room: $150 per person when staying at least five nights and $200 per person for seven nights, based on double occupancy. This special offer from the Barbados Tourism Authority can be used for attractions and activities such as the Calabaza Sailing Cruises or the idyllic Orchid World, as well as the Aerial Trek Zipline Adventure and more.

For room reservations, visit  For further information or to book one of the enticing ladies’ programs, email or call +1 246 434 5720.  Offers and activities are subject to availability and advance reservations are required.


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Go bananas at Port Hueneme’s Banana Festival

It’s time to ‘Go Bananas’ once again when the 3rd Annual Banana Festival takes place on Saturday, September 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Port of Hueneme, Oxnard Harbor District, 105 East Port Hueneme Road.

The free festival provides visitors an opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled day in addition to learning about the journey of the banana and inner workings of the Port. Festival highlights include delicious food and banana treats, live music, interactive displays, recipe contests, arts & crafts, kid’s activities, Port tours and more.

Visitors can enjoy tasty banana flavors with the variety of dishes such as banana empanadas, banana tamales, delicious grilled bananas with chocolate, and fried savory bananas, including banana crepes and caramel banana crème brulee. Those taste buds desiring a different zest can enjoy dazed & confused fries, candied bacon sushi rolls, spiral fries, hamburgers, nachos, and tacos. Besides the food, attendees can quench their thirst with ice cold local brews, soft drinks, and banana ice cream, plus banana Italian ice and creamy banana smoothies.

Hot local bands will entertain the crowd on the main stage providing a wide array of music for all preferences.

A look into the Port’s daily operations and its interworking are provided at the Port Pavilion. Visitors can learn how the Port works for the community as well as about its many imports and exports that are transported globally throughout six continents.

For those wanting to view operations taking place during festival weekend, the Waterside Port Tours offer a rare opportunity to see The Port from the sea as the Bluefin boat of Hook’s Landing located in Channel Islands Harbor takes visitors in and around the Port and the Naval Base. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Kids can have endless hours of fun in the Kid’s Zone! Fun highlights include a banana crafts, inflatable fun, small rides, and a climbing wall!

Those who love to shop will enjoy browsing through local vendor exhibits offering gourmet foods, boutique clothing, hand-crafted jewelry, garden art, hats, sunglasses, maritime treasures and so much more.

For Festival information, call 805-535-4060 or visit the website at



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Win a Danube cruise with Viking River Cruises

Enter to Win a Danube Waltz Christmas Market Cruise for Two

Visit the Christmas Markets of Europe and explore four of the most enchanting countries along the storied Danube River.

Enter now on Facebook for your chance to win a 2015 Danube Waltz Christmas Market river cruise for two aboard a Viking Longship! Plus, roundtrip airfare is included. 

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Cook Islands offer free debit gift card for booking

Cook Islands Island Travel North America is treating qualified travelers to the Cooks Islands, who book travel now through Nov. 14, 2014 for travel from Nov. 2 through May 31 to one complimentary pre-paid $100 NZD (valued at $82 USD) Westpac Bank debit gift card.

The promotion is valid for the first 350 new ticketed bookings originating from North America per passenger on Air New Zealand for both adults and children with proof of a minimum of three nights’ accommodations.

There are three easy steps to accessing the cash:

  • Book and travel during the above specified times
  • Register at
  • Pick up the debit card at Cook Island Tourism Information Center in Avarua (Town Center) Rarotonga with an ID card, sign the back of the card and enjoy a shopping spree
  • “The gift card gives travelers another reason to visit the beautiful tropical paradise and experience the many attractions the destination offers, from first rate restaurants to casual cafes, a myriad of water sports and cultural attractions,” says General Manager Cook Islands Travel North America John Petersen.
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Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach offers $1,000 resort credit in Cancun

Guests visiting Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach now through the end of 2015 earn an extra $1,000 resort credit.  From romantic dining options and indulgent hydrotherapy Spa treatments at the 40,000 square foot Gem Spa, to a boat trip to nearby Isla Mujeres, guests can pamper themselves with this extravagant resort credit, creating their own perfect getaway.

Applicable toward stays of five nights or more in any room category at this all-suite ocean front resort; guest can enjoy the following experiences and activities:

  • One complimentary Romantic Spa Dinner for two guests
  • Two complimentary hydrotherapy rituals at Gem Spa
  • Two complimentary round tickets in Ferry to Isla Mujeres
  • A romantic beach cabana set-up (excluding dinner)
  • One complimentary bottle of sparkling wine at the pool or beachside
  • One complimentary Tequila Tasting for two guests at La Joya
  • In addition to much, much more for a total of $1,000 in extra value!

This offer is valid on new bookings only and travel must take place between now and Dec. 20, 2015.  All bookings are subject to availability. Blackout dates may apply.

 Located on Cancun’s most secluded stretch of white sand beach, Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort and Spa offers 602 all-suite ocean front accommodations, each with a private terrace facing the turquoise waters of the Caribbean and lagoon-like pool.

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Husk to harvest dinner at Half Moon Bay

The Half Moon Bay Coastside will celebrate its plethora of local chefs, farmers, fisherman and ranchers at the inaugural “Half Moon Bay Husk to Harvest Farm Dinner.”  The dinner will be held Sept. 28 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Hosted by the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce & Visitors’ Bureau, guests will gather on the magical grounds of La Nebbia Winery to honor the food grown on the coast at a five-course feast served al fresco. 

Price per person: $150; includes a special commemorative basket filled with seasonal produce and local artisanal treats. La Nebbia Winery, 12341 San Mateo Road on Hwy. 92.

To purchase tickets, call (650) 726-8380 or visit

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Frontier offers $29 one way from Chicago today only



Tickets must be purchased by 11:59 pm Eastern time on September 15, 2014 for domestic, nonstop travel on:  Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, September 22, 2014 through January 28, 2015.

The following blackout dates apply:  November 21, 2014 through December 1, 2014, and December 19, 2014 through December 28, 2014, and January 3, 2015 through January 4, 2015.   Fares are one way and do not require roundtrip purchase.

Fare(s) shown includes all transportation fees, surcharges and taxes, and are subject to change without notice.  Seats are limited at these fares and certain flights and/or days of travel may be unavailable.

Depending on the fare type purchased, nonrefundable tickets may be transferred for a fee of up to $50, or reissued for alternate flights for a fee of up to $75, as well as a possible fare increase. The name change fee and itinerary change fee are not exclusive of each other. Previously purchased tickets may not be exchanged for these special fare tickets. Flight segment(s) must be cancelled prior to scheduled departure time or the ticket(s) and all monies will be forfeited.

 Tickets purchased at or by calling Frontier’s reservations centers must be paid for at the time the reservation is made, but may be cancelled for a full refund without penalty up to 24 hours after the time of purchase. Additional travel services, such as baggage and advance seat assignments are available for purchase separately at an additional charge.

Some markets do not offer daily service. Schedules are subject to change without notice. Flights are operated by Frontier Airlines. Other restrictions may apply.

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Half Moon Bay plans pumpkin festival

The Half Moon Bay Coastside truly comes to life during the fall and early winter season. Located approximately 35 minutes south of San Francisco, this charming region embraces its reputation as the pumpkin capital of the world.

In addition to the annual pumpkin festival, visitors will delight in crab season, outdoor adventures and the much-anticipated inaugural Husk to Harvest Farm Dinner at La Nebbia Winery.

The gorgeous coastal views of the Half Moon Bay Coastside provides the perfect backdrop for idyllic hikes or kayaking adventures while the crisp evening air sets the mood for holiday shopping on the delightful Main Street.  
Below is a summary of what’s new along the Half Moon Bay Coastside. Visit mobile-friendly for everything needed to plan a visit including information on cozy inns and luxury coastal resorts, renowned restaurants, farm visits, golfing, wine tasting, fishing, pumpkin festivities, surfing and much more.

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Oktoberfest: One of the world’s largest stein exhibits located in Pomona

Curator of the Wilson’s Mettlach collection, Eugen “Gino” Ruzi talks about the display athe American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. There are approximately 3,000 pieces of Mettlach wares, including steins, in the collection which is the largest in the world. About 500 of these are on display in the lower level at all times and on view to the public. (Eric Reed/For The Sun)


The Robert and Colette Wilson Mettlach Collection

 When: Noon-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and noon-9 p.m. the second Saturday of every month.

Where: American Museum of Ceramic Art, 399 N. Garey Ave., Pomona.

Admission: $5-$7; free for children ages 12 and under.

Information: 909-865-3146,


 As Oktoberfest beckons, let’s lift the lid on one of the best-kept secrets in Pomona.

The city that’s home of the Los Angeles County Fair has one of the world’s largest collections of Mettlach beer steins on permanent view at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. The steins depict the history of European thought and art, from the Enlightenment to the Industrial Revolution.

“When people see this collection, they say, ‘Wow! This exists in Pomona?’ To tell you the truth, not even Mettlach has as large a collection as we have here,” says Eugen “Gino” Ruzi, curator of the Robert and Colette Wilson Mettlach Collection at AMOCA.

For the philistines out there who can’t imagine beer in anything but a bottle or can, a stein is a decorative mug with a fancy pewter lid attached to it. And the steins produced at the Villeroy and Boch factory in the western German village of Mettlach during the late 19th and early 20th centuries were the most celebrated when it came to craftsmanship and beauty.

Robert Wilson, who goes by Bob, says he acquired his first piece while antique shopping with his folks in 1943.

What caught his eye: a decorative mug that featured a scenic illustration of a foppish man sporting a yellow feather in his wide-brimmed hat from the German folktale “Der Trompeter von Säckingen.”

Read more in Barrera’s story OKTOBERFEST.

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