Category Archives: California

Ocean Institute’s Million Dollar Home Raffle

I had the pleasure of exploring Ocean Institute for the first time on Friday and I was blown away! If you have not been to Dana Point to see this place, it is a must see in Orange County! They host hundreds of field trips, overnights, and sea adventures. Kids walk away saying it was the best trip they ever had.

Ocean Institute is a non-profit organization that has become nationally recognized for its hands-on marine science, environmental education and maritime history programs. More than 110,000 K-12 students and 8,000 teachers annually participate in the Institute’s 61 award-winning, immersion style programs.

To learn about oceanography, science, and California history, students voyage onto the ocean, study in labs and live aboard tall ships or in the chaparral, where they can feel and taste the salty sea spray, sort through live specimens, observe migrating whales, collect scientific data and investigate the culture and world around them.

On weekends, we open our doors to the public for a sneak peek into how ocean science, history, and literature are used to inspire life-long learners!

I was completely fascinated by Ocean Institute and wished that my school in Maine could’ve taken part of some of the adventures. Then I found out that the organization is nationally recognized and they also bring in groups of kids via live stream around the world. How cool is that! Seriously, this place is amazing.

So, you may have heard of Ocean Institute’s 6th Annual Laguna Beach Million Dollar Home Raffle. Since OI is a non-profit organization, this is the biggest event of the year and plays a large role in keeping their doors open. For the 6th year in a row, they are raffling off a Million Dollar Home in Laguna Beach! Don’t want a home? No problem, you can take the $1 million dollars instead!

Raffle tickets are $150 and a maximum of 20,000 tickets will be sold. You will have a lot better odds in this raffle than winning the lottery! Over 300 prizes will be awarded, including the grand prize of $1,000,000 cash or a beautiful, ocean-view home in Laguna Beach. Other prizes include cash, shopping sprees, dream vacations, iPods, hotel stays, and more!

Buying more then one ticket? You will also be entered into additional multiple ticket drawings including a Toyota Prius, South Coast Plaza Shopping Spree, Cash, or a dream vacation! If you refer-a-friend you will be entered into a separate drawing where you AND your friend could win $10,000 cash!

Raffle tickets may be purchased over the phone by calling 949-542-3600 or by faxing your order form to 949-542-3601.

By purchasing a raffle ticket, you will also receive a complimentary Individual Membership to Ocean Instittue. If you purchase two or more tickets, you will receive a complimentary Family Membership! Get ready to explore a whole new world, under the sea!

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit Ocean Institute, so really, this is a 100% win-win!

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2010 All-Star Summer Lineup

All-Star Summer has arrived!

FanFest: Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest is an interactive baseball theme park and the largest baseball fan event in the world. The event will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, located adjacent to the Hilton Anaheim. The event will feature interactive exhibits, MLB clinics, seminars, autograph sessions, memorabilia and more. For more information or to purchase tickets for All-Star FanFest, visit the MLB Website.

All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run: Run like an All-Star and sign up for the 5K or 1 mile Fun Run. This is a fun, family-friendly event and walkers and runners are all welcome. Part of the course includes running around Angels field! Each participant will receive a commemorative All-Star medal and t-shirt. Jillian Michaels, host of  The Biggest Loser, will be at the finish line cheering you on. All money raised in this event will support cancer charities.

XM All-Star Futures Game: The Futures Game is an annual exhibition between a team of top minor league prospects from the United States and a team from other parts of the world. Each roster contains 25 of the best minor league players. The Futures Game will be Game 1 of a Double Header for All Star Sunday.


Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game: This is an annual game that brings former Major-League All-Stars and celebrities together for an entertaining softball game! The softball game will be Game 2 of a Double Header for All Star Sunday.


Gatorade All-Star Workout Day and State Farm Home Run Derby: Watch four sluggers from the American League take on four sluggers from the National League in a home run derby at Angels Stadium!


MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show: The 6th annual MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show will give you the opportunity to see a parade of your favorite All-Star players, Coaches, and Hall of Famers, as they walk down the red carpet that will stretch 3/4 of a mile! The parade will begin on Convention Way (in front of our Anaheim Convention Center) and end on Main Street in Disneyland!

81st Annual All-Star Game: Also known as the Midsummer Classic, watch the All-Stars of the American League take on the All-Stars of the National League in the 81st Annual All-Star Game at Angels Stadium! All-Stars are selected by the fans, players, coaches, and managers. 80 All-Star games have been played with the National League winning 40, American League winning 38, and 2 ties. The game will be broadcast nationally on Fox at 5PM PST.


Here is your line up!

Friday, July 9

  • 8:30 AM – FanFest Opening Ceremonies
  • 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM FanFest Exhibit Halls Open

Saturday, July 10

  • 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM FanFest Exhibit Halls Open

Sunday, July 11

  • 7:30 AM All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run at Angel Stadium
  • 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM FanFest Exhibit Halls Open
  • 3:00 PM XM All-Star Futures Game at Angel Stadium
  • 6:30 PM All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at Angel Stadium

Monday, July 12

  • 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM FanFest Exhibit Halls Open
  • 5:00 PM Home Run Derby at Angel Stadium

Tuesday, July 13

  • 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM FanFest Exhibit Halls Open
  • 11:30 AM All-Star Red Carpet Show; road closures from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • 5:00 PM 81st Annual All-Star Game at Angel Stadium

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Hang Up and Drive…

The new laws in California regarding banning the use of cell phones while driving have been in place for well over a year now.  Just in case there is any confusion, I wanted to state the current laws before I go on with my rants.

Effective July 1, 2008, the state of California passed a law that prohibits drivers from using a hand held wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle. Motorists 18 and over may use a hands-free device, which also means, drivers that are under the age of 18 may NOT  use their cell phone at all, NOT even with the use of a hands free device. Kids, this means all hands on deck (steering wheel), put the cell phone in the glove box.

Effective January 1, 2009, the state of California passed a law that prohibits motorists from reading, composing, or sending any text-based communication while driving. If you don’t understand this completely, this means NO emailing, texting, instant messaging, or even Googling!

An officer can definitely pull you over if you are seen using your cell phone to talk or text. Fines can range from $20 for a first offense and up to a $190 fine if you are also cited for other violations. I did find a strange  loop hole that could possibly get you out of a ticket, though I would not gamble on it.  The new law does NOT prohibit dialing a phone number, although, drivers are strongly encouraged NOT to dial while driving, it is not illegal.

If you are looking to save some money right now on a blue tooth or installing hands free in your car, my guess is you probably DO have speaker phone on your mobile device. The law states that YES, you can use your Speaker Phone, but ONLY if you are NOT physically holding the phone to your hand. This means holding the phone 4 inches from your mouth is NOT hands-free. Sorry, Jennifer Aniston, (pictured left) unfortunately, this  includes celebrities too.

I think most people agree that talking on their cell phone and especially texting while driving, is dangerous, because we are not focused on the road. I came across a National Study in the Washington Post that revealed:

“Cell phones and texting were to blame for 28 percent of crashes, a report released Friday concludes that hands-free cellphones are no less distracting than those held to the ear.”

Let’s just say everyone DOES use a hands-free device. Is this really safer than holding the phone to your ear? When you are talking on the phone, your attention is still on the phone conversation. You mind may be processing what to say next. You may be looking at your surroundings but are you effectively analyzing your drive? We not only drive with our hands (10 and 2) but we also drive with our minds. Talking on a cell phone takes the essential attention that is needed to focus from the road to the phone.

It’s a fast-paced business world and we all have distractions. Whether it is your spouse, kids, or work, a stressful day can take our attention away. If you have to talk on the phone, I agree, hands-free is a better alternative but try to be mindful of your surrounding. Texting, Emailing, and Messaging on the other hand, definitely not safe, because now your focus is not only on your email but your eyes are on your phone and not the road. If there is something that is so urgent that it needs an immediate response, pull over. If you refuse  to do that, at least respond at a red light. There are way to many accidents and deaths that happen each year because someone urgently had to reply back, “lol” to their friend’s text.

I’m not here to police or judge, because although I do have hands free installed in my car, there have been times where I text back a friend or hold my phone that was on speaker. I understand we live in a busy world but I think if you read little reminders here and there, the next time you hear the beep on your phone, you may wait to respond until you’ve come to a stop or answer the phone on speaker and throw it your lap instead of holding it in your hand. Just focus on one trip at a time.

I would love your opinions!

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