The last thing many Americans need is more stuff. Contrary to the popular notion that those with the most toys win, it isn’t necessarily so. Experiences, not things, often can be more meaningful.  With the major gift-giving season upon us, perhaps it’s time to rethink the piles of tchotchkes we bestow upon our loved ones

The holidays are fast approaching. Perhaps you haven’t had time to enjoy the special events provided during this time of year. It’s not too late. Following are just a few of the upcoming holiday happenings around Southern California. Read article here:  http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-holidays-happening-all-over-southern-california-2006dec17-story.html

“Konichiwa,” the slight, kimono-clad woman behind the hotel lobby counter said softly. In broken English, she added, “Welcome to the Ryokan Shigetsu.” Jet-black hair was coiffed perfectly atop her head; her small feet, in white socks, perched on wooden getas — sandals. She bowed; her simple elegance was an introduction into the Asian culture and

For one evening every year, the small town of West Hollywood with 36,000 residents becomes the sixth largest city in California.On Oct. 31, more than 450,000 revelers descend on the celebrity enclave to participate in “the largest Halloween street party in the world.” A one-mile stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard hosts the West Hollywood Halloween

The resurgence of urban life is prolific throughout America. Once dilapidated city buildings are being reconfigured, painted, polished and shined, resulting in uber-chic districts. Streets splayed from the heart of downtown unravel into cultural treasure-troves of trendy restaurants, exotic hotels, and unceasing activities. Los Angeles is no exception. Within a three-mile radius of Union Station,

Death Valley, California. The name is foreboding, with visions of bovine skeletons and snakes slithering between the chaparral. I am here to tell you it’s nothing like that. My neighbor, Lynn, and I decided to take a few days and check out this 3.3-million-acre national park. Sand dunes, sculpted rocks, isolated valleys, snow-covered peaks and

According to the Travel Industry Association of America, shopping and outdoor activities are the top two pastimes for domestic travelers. With this revelation, the entrepreneurial spirit of Southern Californians has combined the joy of shopping with the pleasure of the outdoors to create shopping tours. Each has its own offerings, but all include fun. So

Nestled between Huntington Beach and Seal Beach in Orange County lies Sunset Beach — a one-mile stretch of sand that epitomizes the California dreamin’ lifestyle of yesteryear. This small town — population 1,288 — has retained its charm by preserving its mom-and-pop restaurants, quaint B&Bs and locally hosted festivals. Read article here:  http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-kick-off-your-summer-at-laidback-sunset-beach-2006may20-story.html