Epcot, Disney World

Disney World - Epcot - Spaceship Earth - at main entranceEpcot is the most unique theme park in the Disney World collection with rides, exhibits, and shows you can’t find in any other Disney property.

The park is a permanent World’s Fair with a Disney flair. As you enter, you are presented with Spaceship Earth, a huge sphere you walk into and ride through human history.

On either side of Spaceship Earth, you will come across Future World (East and West sections). The exhibits demonstrate the latest technologies and allow visitors to interact with hands-on experiments.

In the West section, the Land Pavillion is a showcase of human interaction with mother earth. Visitors here can enjoy the flight simulator ride Soarin over the World and a ride through innovations in agriculture. 

Huntington Beach

nullBetter known as Surf City, it boasts the longest uninterrupted stretch of beach on the West Coast. The city has a lot of attractions, parks, theaters, malls and restaurants – but let’s faces it: the main attraction will always be the beach.

There are several beaches to choose from, each one with its own personality. Some of them are managed by the city and others are part of the State Park system.

Kennedy Space Center

KSC - Rocket Garden - main plazaAnyone interested in the space program should try to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida located near Cocoa Beach.

This is where the American manned space history happened and is still happening. Visitors get to relive the great moments of the Mercury, Gemini, Appollo and the Shuttle space programs.

The vast 144,000 acres property houses 700 facilities including launch pads, vehicle assembly, Payload processing, Headquarters, Operations and Checkout, and the Central Instrumentation Facility. 

Visitors to KSC start their visit at the visitor's complex and can only see a small portion of those facilities.

Pirates Dinner Adventure

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We started by posing for a photo op behind the helm of a ship. You can pick some props from a basket – mainly different style captain and pirate hats - and be as serious or as silly as you like. You get to see the result at your table and decide whether to buy it – no pressure. The main reception hall is large and it has 2 bars and a gift shop. While you wait, you are served appetizers (included in the admission price). 

Once inside, you will come face to face with a huge replica of an 18th-century Spanish galleon anchored in a 250,000-gallon indoor lagoon. The seats are arranged stadium-style around this stage, so everyone can have a good view of the action.

“O” a Cirque Du Soleil Show

“O” a Cirque Du Soleil Show

This is not your average circus act. From the first opening moment of the show, I was enthralled with the man-made lake on the stage and the enchanted creatures that lurk in every corner. 

Like any circus act, it has its share of high-flying acrobats, contortionists, balancing acts, gravity-defying swings and clowns. But “O” manages to merge those traditional acts with the exotic element of aquatic magic to produce something totally new and awe-inspiring. 

Santa Ynez Wine Tour

Grassini Family Vineyards During a recent visit to Santa Barbara, we decide to check out wine country in the Santa Ynez valley. We booked a full-day tour with Sustainable Wine Tours.

During this tour, we visited 3 wineries that only cater to private tours and wine club members. All three were very gracious and generous with their samples.

Disney Buena Vista Street

Disney California Adventure - Buena Vista Street - by HarshLight - WikipediaBuena Vista Street is the first thing you will experience as you enter the park. It is meant to represent the actual in Burbank where Disney studios are located. The street leads to the central plaza that represents Los Angeles in the 1920s. 

For an overview of California Adventure, go here.

As you walk down this street you will notice many shops and snack stands but there are no major attractions here. It is just a gateway to the rest of the park.

San Pedro and USS Iowa Museum

Port-O-Call Village - San PedroPortions of San Pedro are also known as “Los Angeles Waterfront” and “Port-o-call Village”. The town is part of the greater Los Angeles city and home to the Port of Los Angeles. 
This doesn’t make it sound like a major tourist destination, but it is a nice fun outlet for locals and visitors.

The Port-o-Call Village Plaza offers several Seafood restaurants, gift shops, a cruise ship terminal and the Battleship Iowa Museum. A cobblestone walkway connects the shops with nice views of the harbor and the Vincent Thomas Bridge connecting San Pedro to Terminal Island.

Metro Bike Share has a station next to the USS Iowa. You can pay and rent a bike for $3.5 per half hour or get a discounted rate if you buy a pass.