Aquarium Of The Pacific Hosts 17th Annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival September 29 and 30, 2018 Giveaway Opportunity!

Aquarium’s festival celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month and features dance and music performances, bilingual environmental programs, arts and crafts, and a special annual award ceremony.

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which honors Latino and Hispanic cultures, the Aquarium of the Pacific will host its seventeenth annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This event will feature bilingual environmental educational programs, including films and underwater presentations with divers, and traditional dance, crafts, music, and interactive children’s programs. The festival will also include an award ceremony at on Sunday 1:40 p.m. honoring Andrés Pruna, who is a Cuban-American artist, former National Geographic photographer, and ocean explorer. The Aquarium will honor Pruna with its prestigious Heritage Award for his dedication to inspiring others to care about wildlife through his artwork, from his photography and films to his paintings, and his role in ocean exploration.

Latin American folk dancers, Aztec dancers, mariachi musicians, and other entertainers will perform in front of the Aquarium’s tallest exhibit, the Honda Blue Cavern—home to giant sea bass, rays, and other inhabitants of local kelp forests. Guests can witness colorful dances from México, Guatemala, El Salvador, Perú, Cuba, Colombia, and beyond. The Aquarium will feature interactive Central and South American music programs for all ages, live music from Bolivia and Ecuador, and Garifuna drumming, singing, and dance. Garifuna culture is rooted in the traditions of people of Carib, Arawak, and African ancestry and exists in various countries, including Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Hands-on activities for attendees include children’s crafts.

Baja Splash highlights Mexico’s Gulf of California, which is one of the most important wildlife havens in the world. Visitors can learn more about this important ecosystem, the threats it faces, and how people can help by exploring the Aquarium’s Gulf of California exhibition created with World Wildlife Fund Mexico. Guests can also learn about the vaquita, a porpoise found only in Baja’s upper Gulf of California, through film screenings and an interactive station.

Festival web page:

Mobile-print coupon:

We have teamed up for a Giveaway! One winner will win a Family-4-Pack of tickets for either Saturday or Sunday! To enter simply leave a comment below! Deadline to enter is Thursday, September 27th at 9 am PST. Winner will be notified later that day! 

Credit for Information and photos: Courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific. 

The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, and the new Tentacles and Ink and FROGS: Dazzling & Disappearing exhibits. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. Field trips for schoolchildren are offered at a heavily discounted rate from $7 to $8.50 per student. The Aquarium has won a 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award for Aquariums, as awarded by TripAdvisor® travelers. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other special benefits.



The City of Santa Monica Open Streets Event COAST Celebrates Art, Sustainability, + Mobility Sunday, October 7, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Coast 2017 (Photo Credit: Jonathan Abraham)

The City of Santa Monica’s third annual open streets event COAST will celebrate the city’s commitment to art, sustainability, and mobility on Sunday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At this free event, the public will experience two miles of streets closed to car traffic and filled with interactive art exhibits, live performances, local food and business purveyors, and connections with families, friends, and neighbors.

In its second year in 2017, COAST welcomed more than 50,000 visitors of all ages to Downtown Santa Monica for the event. This year, the route will feature a variety of interactive and eclectic performances including a performance stage on Ocean Avenue at Santa Monica Boulevard, strolling musicians, dancers and large-scale immersive art installations at site-specific locations to be discovered along the route.

 Aerial Artist John Q will gather up to 1,000 people in real time at the event creating a live human installation to artistically illustrate art, mobility and sustainability. Artists Jana Cruder and Matthew LaPenta demonstrate the impact of disposable plastic on the natural environment with their larger-than-life art installation titled, Natural Plasticity, constructed of a massive plastic straw and giant plastic bottle towering nearly 30 feet high. Event goers will have an opportunity to contribute their personal mark to artist Peter Tigler’s interactive thumbprint mural that will take shape with public participation to illustrate a message of mobility and sustainability.

The Santa Monica Community Garden offers a variety of ways to explore the natural world through garden tours, arts and crafts, planting tips, and a how-to on preparing home-grown vegetables. Active Santa Monica will lead a series of engaging sessions ranging from dance to sports. Santa Monica Spoke will teach bike and scooter safety skills at the Bike Rodeo as well as provide an opportunity for participants to decorate helmets.

COAST will be held on two miles of streets closed to street traffic, including Ocean Avenue from Wilshire Boulevard to Tongva Park, as well as Main Street to Marine Street. To attend COAST, visitors can ride the Expo Line, Big Blue Bus, or take advantage of Santa Monica’s 110 miles of bikeways.

Attendees are encouraged to ride their bikes and walk along the route. Bike rentals will be available at multiple locations along the route as well as 85 Breeze stations located throughout Santa Monica. Free bike valets will be available to make it easy to check-in your bike to grab lunch and enjoy the entertainment.

For more information about COAST, visit and join the conversation on social media using #COASTSaMo.

Credit: COAST.

The Habit Burger Grill Continues Fight to Help End Childhood Hunger in America For the Fourth Year, The Habit Will Offer a Free Charburger with Cheese for Donations of $2 or More To No Kid Hungry

The Habit Restaurant, Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT) is continuing its commitment to help end childhood hunger in America by partnering with No Kid Hungry for a fourth year.

One in six kids in the U.S. lives with hunger. The Habit Burger Grill, together with its loyal guests, is committed to changing this. Now through the end of September, The Habit will be collecting donations for No Kid Hungry. Guests who donate $2 or more to the No Kid Hungry campaign will receive a free Charburger with cheese certificate, good on a return visit through October 2, 2018.

To help raise awareness about childhood hunger, No Kid Hungry is launching the Hunger Can’t Wait tour, which will travel to five cities across the country, hosting special events from August 28 to September 17. The Habit will kick off the tour on August 28 with an event at its El Segundo, Calif. restaurant.

Over the past four years, The Habit has raised over $1 million for the No Kid Hungry campaign, providing millions of meals for kids across the country.

“The sense of urgency around childhood hunger remains high, and that’s why it’s important to us to support No Kid Hungry. We are proud to have helped provide millions of nutritious meals to kids in need,” said Russ Bendel, CEO of The Habit Burger Grill.

Since 2010, No Kid Hungry and its partners have provided children across the country with more than 775 million meals. For more information, visit The public can join the conversation on social using #HungerCantWait.

And, if you rather have salad then you just have to try the Habit’s hand-breaded Golden Fried Chicken Salad. Inspired by the Golden Fried Chicken Sandwich, the Golden Fried Chicken Salad features the Habit’s golden chicken, hand-dipped twice into house-made seasoned flour and buttermilk, before being fried to perfection and custom made to order for both the salad and the sandwich.

I had the opportunity to try this one and I loved it! It’s fresh and I love the golden fried chicken!

About The Habit Restaurants, Inc.

The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and sandwiches featuring USDA choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade ahi tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it features fresh made-to-order salads and an appealing selection of sides, shakes and malts. The Habit was named the “best tasting burger in America” in July 2014 in a comprehensive survey conducted by one of America’s leading consumer magazines. The first Habit opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. The Habit has since grown to over 230 restaurants in 11 states throughout California, Arizona, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Idaho, Virginia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington and Maryland as well as four international locations. More information is available at

About No Kid Hungry

No child should go hungry in America. But 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. Learn more at

Self Disclosure: I received a Media comp to try out the new salad. No other compensation was received.. Information and images were also provided. 

La Jolla is the place to visit and Pantai Inn is the place to stay!


Summer is almost over but is it really ever over in sunny So Cal? I’m sure that we will have our sunny weather on and off throughout the year! If you love the ocean, sea lions and art galleries then I know the perfect place for you to visit! La Jolla is one of my all time favorite places to visit in San Diego! My family had such a wonderful time visiting this past August and if I could only visit one place in Southern California every summer it would be La Jolla!

If you know me at know that I love Sea Lions! I was a volunteer Education Docent with the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles for a year and am still a volunteer on their outreach program. Even though I am not able to volunteer as often as I would like now-a-days…sea lions are special to me. You can see so many sea lions up close in La Jolla although I do recommend keeping a good distance from them.


One of my favorite places in La Jolla is La Jolla Cove. It is a beautiful small (but not too small!) cove and beach surrounded by cliffs.


I just love to see sunsets at the beach and sunrises! This trip I didn’t catch any sunrises because it was overcast in the morning but when it isn’t overcast, seeing a sunrise at the Cove is a must! It simply is breathtaking!

So, where should you stay in La Jolla? In my opinion..there is only one place to stay! Pantai Inn!


This place is simply an amazing place to stay! The location is perfect and the service is amazing! Every single staff person is friendly and it’s a beautiful place to stay! But, Pantai Inn is much more than just a beautiful place to stay and great service. It’s all the little extras such as Tea and coffee in the lobby and fresh baked cookies in the afternoons to the Chef prepared breakfast in the mornings. They even bring chocolate bars and place them on your bed in the afternoons! We stayed in a 3 bedroom and the design of the place is just beautiful! Pantai Inn’s one-of-a-kind architecture and dedication to creating a luxurious home-away-from-home makes it the ideal getaway spot year-round, a veritable oasis on the iconic California coastline that can’t be beat. Whether for business travelers, lovers of the great outdoors, families, couples, or groups of friends looking for that next great adventure, there is simply no better place to make an autumn or wintertime escape as the temperature cools down.


But, like I said ….it’s definitely all the little things that make this place a real gem!


  And, you can walk down to the water and to the Village. I loved walking from the Pantai Inn to the shops, restaurants and Art Galleries! Visiting the Art Galleries is a must! My favorites were the National Geographic Art Gallery and Legends Gallery.


Such amazing Artwork and Legends Gallery had a Peanuts (Snoopy!!!) exhibit which I’m a big Snoopy fan! They also had a Dr. Seuss exhibit!


So although Summer is coming to an end Pantai Inn and La Jolla would be a wonderful place to visit this upcoming Fall! And, if you do visit Pantai Inn…don’t forget to say “Hello” to the amazing Manager Mike!

About the Pantai Inn
The Pantai Inn’s distinct guest accommodations blend a unique Balinese-inspired décor with luxurious comforts and contemporary conveniences.  The relaxing oceanfront retreat offers a lush garden setting with soothing water features and an inviting courtyard to stimulate the senses.
Offering a variety of accommodations from ocean view studios and one-bedroom suites to three-bedroom cottages, the Inn is perfect for romantic getaways or family vacations.  Whatever the occasion, the Pantai experience is completed by the warmth and authenticity of the Inn’s extraordinary guest service.   Ranked as a top hotel in La Jolla by TripAdvisor, the 30 room Pantai Inn is located in the charming seaside village of La Jolla and is steps away from the finest restaurants, boutiques and galleries the area has to offer.  The Pantai Inn is located at 1003 Coast Blvd, La Jolla CA, 92037. For information and reservations call toll free 855.287.2682 or visit


Self Disclosure: My family had the opportunity to stay at the Pantai Inn to facilitate this post. Images: SoCal City Kids. 

Tall Ships Festival Sails Into Dana Point Harbor September 7-9 Festivities include the Parade of Sail, mock cannon battles, craft beer tastings, mermaid encounters, historical reenactments and more

The County of Orange and OC Parks in partnership with Ocean Institute, invite the community to celebrate California’s rich maritime history with the Ocean Institute’s Tall Ships Festival Presented by Toshiba. Gather friends and family for a weekend full of seaside adventures Friday, September 7 – Sunday, September 9 at Ocean Institute in Dana Point Harbor.

 Ocean Institute’s 34th Annual Tall Ships Festival offers multiple activities throughout the weekend. The celebration kicks off on Friday, September 7 with the Parade of Sails and the Sails ‘n Ales kick-off party, followed by a weekend full of tall ship tours, pirate voyages, mermaid encounters and vendors on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9.

On Friday, September 7 from 4 – 7:30 p.m., the Parade of Sail kicks off the historic weekend as visitors experience the sight of several iconic tall ships pass by as the sun sets behind the open sails. Visitors are encouraged to bring their cameras to capture the remarkable views.

Festival-goers can continue the festivities during Sails ‘n Ales on Friday from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. with craft beer tastings from six different California breweries. Visitors will be able to sip craft beer and enjoy delicious eats from local food trucks while listening to live music.

The young and young at heart can enjoy a Mermaid Breakfast on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9 from 9 – 10:30 a.m. This one-of-a-kind breakfast experience will give visitors the chance to make crafts, enjoy pancakes and interact with mermaids as they swim underwater.

Experience the action of Cannon Battle Sails on board a historical tall ship! Guests ages 4 and older can end their Tall Ships Festival experience with a bang during an exciting mock cannon battle on Saturday and Sunday from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

The Tall Ships Festival Pass includes tours of the Brig Pilgrim, the Spirit of Dana Point and all visiting vessels from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., in addition to access to pirate encampments, exhibits, crafts, the craft beer garden and much more.

Prices vary per event and can be found at Free parking is available at the designated shuttle lots located at Strand Vista Park and Dana Hills High School with free shuttle rides to the festival. Shuttles will run from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. from all lots.

OC Parks, Dana Point Harbor and the Ocean Institute encourage guests to embark on the ultimate seaside adventure during the Tall Ships Festival Presented by Toshiba September 7-9. For more information on activities, events, tickets, and parking visit

Credit: OC Parks.

Surf’s Up! Pageant of the Masters Revisits Gary Prettyman’s “Cutting Glass” in 2018 Production “Under the Sun” Pageant Tickets Still Available Through September 1

The creative team at the Pageant of the Masters –  Laguna Beach’s world-famous theatrical celebration of art in tableaux vivants– have always loved challenges. And nothing inspires them more than approaching an artwork they hope to transform into a “living picture” than the declaration, “It can’t be done!” Their philosophy has always been: big risk, big reward.

In 1992, when Glen Eytchison, director of the Pageant at the time, first approached Festival exhibitor Gary Prettyman about his vibrant acrylic portrait of surfing icon Kelly Slater executing an athletic maneuver riding a local wave, Gary’s first thought was, “There’s no way they could do this on the Pageant stage.” That summer, Prettyman’s “Cutting Glass” became one of those “how did they do it?” moments in the Pageant, as his acrylic painting became a living picture that seemed to defy gravity in recreating Slater’s dramatic feat onstage.

At that time, 26 years ago, Prettyman, who still lives in San Clemente, was busy establishing himself as a prominent proponent of surf art, a genre that has proven as evergreen and popular as plein air scenes of Laguna’s shoreline. With his painting on display in his booth on the Festival grounds and also recreated on the Pageant stage, Prettyman was enjoying his own “endless summer.”

Using photographs as sources for his surfing-inspired paintings, Prettyman was also perfecting his own unique style, creating acrylic scenes that seem to glow from within, as if the painting were floating on the surface of the canvas. In the case of “Cutting Glass,” he’d purchased a photo from a local newspaper photographer covering a surfing competition in 1990 held at Lower Trestles beach. Prettyman was drawn to that particular dramatic shot of Kelly Slater (who went on to win the competition) “cutting glass,” riding a wave. The photographer had rejected the shot because the light and color weren’t ideal. This, of course, was no problem for Prettyman, who was already envisioning the kinetic “pop” he could achieve through his experimental painting technique using transparent colors floating over a clear-coat.

Since its earliest years, the Pageant has sought occasional opportunities to showcase local artists. In 1935, Julia Bracken Wendt’s sculpture, “The Spirit of History, Science and Art” was featured as the finale of Roy and Marie Ropp’s 1935 Pageant. This summer’s Under the Sun goes out of its way to feature artworks by painters and sculptors associated with the Southland. But, in revisiting Prettyman’s “Cutting Glass”, there are new reasons to appreciate the artwork and artist.

For one, its subject, Kelly Slater, who was already making a name for himself in the surfing world in 1990, has gone on to become one of the acknowledged legends of the sport. Still competing, he’s also spent the past several years creating his “Surf Ranch” in Lemoore, California, where he’s developed technology to manufacture nearly ideal man-made waves in his high-tech “pool” far from the ocean.

On a far more personal front, however, this summer’s Pageant also provides another opportunity to be grateful that Gary Prettyman is still with us, and still excited about getting back to painting. In the 1990s, Gary was the victim of a freakish and near-fatal health emergency where he was informed that his survival was nothing short of a miracle. A prolonged and arduous recovery added to the challenge, and he often wondered if he’d ever paint again. Happily, Gary managed a full recovery and is more determined than ever to get back to the art he has always loved. With retirement after 20 years from his day job, he’s excited that a whole new Pageant audience will be introduced to his work this summer.

“My goal now is to paint, paint, paint!” he exclaimed. His love of surfing is undiminished by time or circumstance. “I still love the beauty of surfing, the uniqueness, the camaraderie, the tribe, the lifestyle,” he said of his nearly lifelong muse.  Among his first projects is a portrait of an old friend who’s a famous surf board shaper soon to be inducted into Huntington Beach’s Surfing Walk of Fame. Prettyman would also love to believe he’ll one day have his art juried into the Festival of Arts again. In the meantime, he’s just excited to have “Cutting Glass” back on the Pageant stage, this time as a highlight of Under the Sun.

“Cutting Glass” will also be featured offstage in the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters gift shop. Prettyman’s image will be highlighted on the 2018 commemorative poster and program cover as well as additional merchandise including t-shirts and sweatshirts.

Presented by the Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach

The Pageant of the Masters is arguably one of the most unique productions in the entire world. Audiences are amazed and enchanted by ninety minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”), incredibly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces.


July 7 – September 1, 2018

Performances Nightly at 8:30 pm

Advance Tickets $15 – $260


The Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters are sponsored in part by
Southern California Acura Dealers, Fidelity Investments, KOST Radio 103.5,

Pavilions and the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.


Irvine Bowl at the Festival of Arts
650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651


(800) 487-3378


Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Partners with Disneyland® Resort to Offer Summer Savings to Experience Pixar Fest Travel on the Pacific Surfliner for less and take advantage of limited-time savings on Disneyland® Resort theme park admission through September 3, 2018

This summer, travel for less on the Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® and enjoy limited-time savings on Disneyland® Resort theme park admission to experience Pixar Fest through September 3, 2018. The Pacific Surfliner train travels to Southern California’s top destinations including Anaheim, the gateway to the Happiest Place on Earth.

Special offers on Pacific Surfliner travel and Disneyland® Resort theme park admission include:

  • Save 5% on Disneyland® Resort theme park admission: Use your Amtrak reservation number to unlock special savings at
  • Save 15% or more on train travel: Seniors, students, and passengers with disabilities save 15% on train travel with California Everyday Discounts. Kids (ages 2-12) ride half-price with a paid adult. Ages 2 and younger ride free.

“We are committed to enhancing connectivity in the communities we serve and are excited to offer savings not only on train travel, but also on a quintessential SoCal summer experience,” said Bryan MacDonald, chairman of the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency, which oversees the Pacific Surfliner service. “Through this partnership, we hope to enhance the journey for those traveling to the Disneyland® Resort theme park, while also providing added value to our existing Pacific Surfliner customers.

Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) provides a convenient connection from the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) to the Disneyland® Resort, free when you present a valid Pacific Surfliner train ticket. Passengers can travel to ARTIC on the Pacific Surfliner from multiple points throughout Southern California, including San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

Program details:

  • Visit and use your train reservation number from a recent or upcoming trip to unlock 5% savings on Disneyland Resort theme park admission through September 3, 2018. The offer includes savings on one-day and two-day tickets.
  • The following discounts are available for Pacific Surfliner trips booked online, by phone, and at staffed Amtrak stations:
    • Kids Ride 50% Off: One child (ages 2-12) ride half-price with a paid adult. Ages 2 and younger ride free. No promo code is needed.
    • Seniors Save 15%: Travelers ages 62 and older receive a 15% discount on the regular adult fare with promo code V282.
    • Passengers with Disabilities save 15%: Adult passengers with a disability receive a 15% discount on the regular adult fare with promo code V577.
    • Students Save 15%: Students ages 13-25 with a valid student ID are eligible for 15% off the regular adult fare with promo code V353.

For more information and for complete offer details visit


About the Pacific Surfliner
The Pacific Surfliner travels along a 351-mile coastal rail route through San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, serving 29 stations. It is the busiest state-supported intercity passenger rail route in the United States with 24 daily trains and annual ridership of nearly 3 million. To learn more and plan a trip, visit, like Pacific Surfliner on Facebook, or @PacSurfliners on Twitter.

About the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency
The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency is a joint powers authority composed of rail owners, operators and planning agencies along the entire LOSSAN rail corridor. In addition to working to improve passenger rail ridership, revenue, on-time performance, operational flexibility, and safety, the LOSSAN Agency assumed management responsibility for the Pacific Surfliner service in July 2015, following the execution of an interagency transfer agreement with the state of California. For more information, visit

The 2018 LA Taco Festival

LA’s Taco Festival returns to Grand Park in support of ending youth homelessness in Los Angeles.
 The festival is organized by and benefits Jovenes, Inc., a non-profit organization in Boyle Heights that provides housing and supportive services to homeless youth between the ages of 18-25.
 Enjoy some of the most delicious tacos Los Angeles has to offer, including Kogi BBQ, Epic Gourmet Taco Catering, Thai-Mex Cocina and many more. Live music performances will be held all throughout the day, with interactive activities and vendor booths.
 The event is open to the public and all taco lovers! It is free to attend with a $5 suggested donation to support Jovenes’ work with homeless youth.

When: Saturday, August 18th from 12:00 – 8:00 pm
Where: Grand Park, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Directly in front of City Hall between Spring St and Broadway)

For more information visit: and
Credit: L.A. Taco Festival/Jovenes, Inc.