What The Locals Know–Dancing and Dining at American Burger

Tonight, Friday, November 12, 2010, we will hold the very first West Coast Swing Dance and Dine from 7:30 – 10:00 PM, for just $15.00–which includes dancing and a special menu! Here’s the story behind it:

Jose Miguel and his family own the American Burger restaurant at 738 Lighthouse Avenue in Monterey, between Prescott and Irving, across from Gianni’s Pizza. Locals are starting to take notice of this Little-Burger-Joint-That-Could because Jose Miguel has a knack for good marketing that matches the tastiness of his burgers.

For example, Jose Miguel loves to dance, sing, and play music, but he has little time to do it all since he’s busy running a family restaurant. The solution? Bring the dance classes, social dances and musicians to his restaurant!

You may now find Argentine Tango at American Burger on Mondays, Salsa dance classes on Wednesdays, a West Coast Swing social dance on the second Friday of each month (starting November 12), and Latin social dancing every Saturday.

Let this lesson be learned by crafty businesses owners….How can you combine your passions under one roof? Jose Miguel’s solution is this: offer a Dance and Dine package of only $15.00 per person for each night there’s dancing. That means the following: You can Dance and Dine for $15.00 each person on Mondays if you like Argentine Tango, Wednesdays if you like Salsa, Fridays for WCS, and Saturdays for Latin dancing. Brilliant!

Insider’s Tip: Call American Burger at (831) 373-7573 for dance event information and directions. Depending on the dance crowd, American Burger may stay open later if there’s a good number of dancers still on the dance floor.

What The Locals Know–Big Sur Half Marathon Events, November 13-14, 2010

For those who love to run and walk along our beautiful coastline, the Big Sur Half Marathon is worth checking out.  This is the 8th year of the Big Sur Half Marathon and its popularity has grown!

Here’s what to expect if you participate in the half marathon:

  • A gently rolling fast course that winds through historic downtown Monterey, along Cannery Row, and proceeds along Pacific Grove’s coastline with incredible views of the Monterey Bay.
  • An unparalleled race destination weekend.  After the race, take some time to enjoy world-class golf, a Spa afternoon, whale watching, world-class dining, shopping, wine tasting, a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and much more.  Visit the Big Sur Half Marathon’s Visitor’s Guide for more options.
  • A walker friendly course that welcomes Half Marathon walkers.  Other weekend events include the Run Forrest Run 5K and the JUST RUN!®Just Kids 3K fun run, both held on Saturday, November 13th.

Insider’s Tip on Registration:  Register early to make sure you get all your ducks in a row before the big weekend!

Insider’s Tip for Non-Participants:  For those of you not interested in participating, but wish to hang out near the popular Recreation Trail and Cannery Row, keep in mind the following things:  1) It may be harder to find parking during the event.  2)  The trail may be closed to non-participants during the event.  3)  You may find more traffic congestion during the event.


What The Locals Know–Halloween Events

Autumn is a fabulous time of year and October hops along with harvest festivals, pumpkin patches and corn mazes for the whole family.  The climax at the end of October is, of course, Halloween, the second highest grossing holiday of the year.
Here is a link to various locations that celebrate Halloween all month long:  http://www.mbaykids.com/Halloween.asp.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium will host its annual Halloween party on Oct. 30 for its members.
The Lighthouse District will also host its Second Annual Children’s Trick-Or-Treat on Lighthouse from 3:00 – 5:00 pm.
Insider’s tip:  Even though there are numerous crosswalk personnel, drivers be AWARE and EXTRA careful when driving along Lighthouse that Saturday!
For adults, there aren’t that many events being promoted at press time, but here’s an insider’s tip:  Keep an eye out for event postings in the Monterey County Weekly and the Go! Calendar inside the Monterey Herald newspapers.

What The Locals Know–Where To Kayak

Kayaking on Monterey Bay is delightful! From shore, colorful kayaks add an accent of beautiful contrast against the backdrop of ocean blue and shoreline. There are many places to rent kayaks and stand-up paddle boards:

On the Monterey Peninsula, most kayakers stay close to shore between Del Monte Beach in Monterey by the Commercial Wharf, and Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove.

Moss Landing is another popular kayak spot because you have a large slough to play in. Moss Landing is home to many sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, and many bird species, so don’t be afraid if a pack of sea mammals slowly follow you down the slough.

Canoeing and kayaking are supposed to be fun, but both can also be dangerous. Follow these tips to make sure the next paddle trip is a safe one.

  • Flotation is paramount to survival. Always carry a life jacket or life vest when paddling and more importantly, wear it.
  • Other essential equipment for paddlers:
  1. a whistle or air horn (whistles are easily attached to a life vest)
  2. abailing or bilge device for quickly emptying a swamped canoe or kayak, and
  3. a spare paddle in case the primary one is damaged or lost.
  • A paddle leash can help keep a paddle from being swept away in a strong current, but they should not be solely relied on or used in breaking surf conditions.
  • If you capsize, remain calm and stay close to the kayak.

Part of canoeing or kayaking is knowing personal limitations. This is why knowing proper paddling techniques like bracing or turning into a wave is so important. Canoes and kayaks can get swamped or capsized by unobservant motor boats, surf or bad weather. Knowing what to do in these situations is crucial.

Equally important is knowing how to perform a self-rescue. While it is advisable to always paddle with a friend or group of friends, bear in mind that they may lack the necessary skills to assist in a rescue or they may be involved in a crisis of their own when help is needed. Practice self-rescue in shallow water with the aid of a friend or find out when the local paddling club will be holding a kayak clinic.

Although a capsize scenario usually comes on suddenly, always try to maintain a grip on the paddle. Not only is it needed to direct the boat back to shore, but with the aid of a paddle float it can aid in re-entry into a kayak.

Tips for Planning a Float Trip

Research the area to be paddled, review local weather reports and find out what the local water levels or tides will be. Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia and dress for immersion. While it might be warm outside, water temperatures can vary drastically and hypothermia can set in quickly.

Always leave a float plan with a friend or loved one so that someone will know where to start looking if the group fails to return on time. Paddle with a friend or a group and make sure that cell phones are stored in a dry bag and safely secured inside of the boat. For extra security, consider investing in a personal emergency locator beacon as cell phones may not always be functional or in range of a signal.

Kayaking and canoeing can be fun and safe, with the proper precautions. Paddle safely and have fun doing it.

Read more at Suite101: Canoeing and Kayaking Safety Tips http://www.suite101.com/content/canoeing-and-kayaking-safety-tips-a269844#ixzz10J2yczNO

What The Locals Know–Whale Watching

October is a terrific month to go whale watching because it’s warmer here on the Monterey Peninsula and the water tends to be calmer during Autumn.

Late spring, summer and fall are the seasons to see Humpback Whales, Blue Whales and Dolphins.  We recommend every whale watching business on Fisherman’s Wharf because they’re all friendly, offer lots of education and know where to find all the whale action.

We do, however, want to give you an insider’s tip on how to get the most enjoyment out of your whale watching experience.  Here are a few things to remember and/or bring with you:

  • Whale watching takes 2 to 4 hours, depending on the tour, so plan for it to take up a big chunk of your day.
  • Wear layers because it can get cold and wet out there on the water.
  • Wear comfy shoes because high heels are less safe or fun on anything smaller than a cruise ship.
  • It is very wise to bring your own sunscreen and a hat because they’re more expensive when purchased on Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • Take your seasickness medication well enough in advance so your body’s ready for the boat ride.  (Follow your medication’s instructions on the label.)
  • If you feel ill while on the boat ride, do the following:
    • NEVER go down into the boat or the boat’s bathroom because you’ll feel worse down there.
    • Stay up on deck, get to the rear of the boat, downwind from where are the people are standing if you’re going to hurl.
    • If you’re feeling queasy but think you can manage not throwing up, stay up on deck and look out far into the horizon.  That horizontal line will give you something to look at and steady your eyes.
    • If you’re feeling queasy and don’t have medication, look up to the sky and stretch your throat.  This should get rid of any gagging feeling.
  • The boat crew depends on tips, so bring extra cash with you and pay before you leave the boat.  Let them know if they’ve done a great job!
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