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Accent On Tampa Bay


ome visit one of the area’s favorite places to shop, sightsee or just relax! Explore the fun at The Pier Aquarium and let their fish entertain you! Discover unique gifts and souvenirs at specialty shops, boutiques and galleries. Delight in our sit-down waterfront restaurants and the Dockside Eatery food court. Experience dolphin sightseeing tours, charter a sailboat, captain your own electric boat, pedal your way around downtown on a surrey bike, fish and feed the pelicans. Over 500 events annually. See you at The Pier!

Publisher Albert F. Martino, Jr. Senior Editor Melissa Wolcott Sales Sonny Lawton Barbara McGovern Vicki Kolb Senior Sports Editor Peter Martino Contributors Sylvie Damien Nancy Evans Marty Peters Deborah Quigley Roland Stone Photographers Melissa Wolcott Proofreader Charlie deCatta

Cover Photo Credits: Halloween Horror Nights courtesy Universal Studios Mickey’s Not So Scary courtesy of Walt Disney World Guavaween courtesy of CC-Events PUBLISHED BY

P.O. Box 20044 St. Petersburg, FL 33742 (727) 577-5500 e-mail - Accent On Tampa Bay Magazine™ is published bimonthly by AM Publications, Inc. Material submitted becomes the property of AM Publications, Inc. All material herein, including ads and artwork is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without written consent from the publisher.

© Accent On Tampa Bay Magazine.™

Guavaween 2010 halloweenhorrornightsorlando.

FALL ANTIQUES FAIR AND CLASSIC CAR SHOW - Sat, Oct 16. The City of Dunedin will host this event from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM. Main Street will be closed east of Alternate US Highway 19 for antique dealers to display their antiques and collectibles on the roadway. Over 60 dealers from throughout the state will participate in the show. This year there also will be a Classic Car Show on Broadway (between Skinner and Main Street). Admission to the public is free. For more information, call (727) 812-4530.

TAMPA BAY BRIDAL SHOW - Sun, Oct 17. Something old, something new, so many details you just don’t know what to do? Make plans to attend the Tampa Bay Bridal Show at the St. Petersburg Coliseum, Noon – 4pm. Meet the area’s top Bridal professionals at the show…more than 60 area businesses will be on hand. The Tampa Bay Bridal Show will feature the latest in fashions, flowers, photography, caterers and so much more. Learn from area bridal experts... great tips, trade secrets and advice. Register to win door prizes and grand giveaways. The Coliseum – 535 4th Ave N., St. Petersburg, FL 33701. For more information call 727-893-8523 or visit

PIER AQUARIUM’S SCICAFE - Tues, Oct 19. The Ocean and Human Health: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly. Speakers: Marine Biologist Mya Breitbart, Ph.D., and Chemist Bill Baker, Ph.D., 6-7:30 pm at The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge. 540 1st St. SE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. The free science conversation will be followed at 7:30pm with a Music for Fish concert fundraiser to benefit the Big Fish Tube Fund. The event features saxophonist and vocalist Cameron Decker and a few “fishy” silent auction items from Artists BC Woo, Christine Renc Carter, Joyce Curvin, Emily Stehle and more.

“COCOON” 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION - Tues & Wed. Oct 19-20. Join the “Friends of the Sunshine Center” in a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the filming of the movie “Cocoon” in St. Petersburg. Proceeds from the event benefit the Sunshine Center Fitness and Wellness Center for seniors. The two day celebration, Tuesday and Wednesday, October 19 and 20, includes the following: VIP cocktail reception, October 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the historical downtown Princess Martha, 411 1st Avenue N. Includes wine, beer, soft drinks and hors d’ oeuvres. John Wilson, co-anchor of the FOX 13 6 O’clock News, and his wife Mary Kay help host the celebration along with other local stars who were involved with the original filming. A Tea Dance will be held on October 20 at the St. Petersburg Coliseum, 535 Fourth Avenue, N. with live music from 1 to 3 p.m. Doors open at 12:30 a.m. There will be an open house on October 20, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Mirror Lake Complex, 559 Mirror Lake Dr., adjacent to the Sunshine Center. Events include free shuffleboard, “Cocoon” memorabilia, and a movie screening on the lawn at dusk. Concessions will be available for purchase. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. Call 727-893-7190 for more information.

A movie still of the original cast from “Cocoon”: Don Ameche, Hume Cronyn, Wilfred Brimley.

ST. PETERSBURG TIMES FESTIVAL OF READING - Sat, Oct 23. The 18th Annual St. Petersburg Times Festival of Reading is scheduled for Saturday, October 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. This free festival is a celebration of literacy- featuring nationally renowned authors, book signings, panel discussions and a variety of entertainment. To date, over 45 authors are confirmed to appear at the 2010 Festival. In addition to the author appearances, there will be an extensive Book Market, food and drink concessions, and family activities. The complete line-up of authors and activities will be posted on

STONE CRAB FEST 2010 - Sat, Oct 23. The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art will Stine is one of the besthost this fundraiser from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Tarpon Springs Yacht Club, 350 N. Spring Blvd., Tarpon R.L. selling children’s authors Springs, FL. The event will include casual cuisine and entertainment by the De Lei’ed Parrots, a Jimmy (“Goosebumps”) in history. He Buffet tribute band. There will be a cash-only bar for the purchase of alcoholic beverages; soda, coffee and will be at the S.P. Times Festival of Reading. tea are free of charge. Stone Crab Fest 2010 donors include: Fournos Bakery; J.J.Gandy’s Pies; Louis Pappas Market Café & Pappas Ranch, Catering; Frenchy’s Ozona Stone Crab, Inc.; Tarpon Springs Rotary; and Tarpon Springs Yacht Club. To make reservations call (727) 712-5222. The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is located just west of U.S. Highway 19 at 600 Klosterman Road, on the Tarpon Springs Campus of St. Petersburg College.

FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIES IN PIONEER PARK DOWNTOWN DUNEDIN - thru Oct 29. The City of Dunedin’s Parks & Recreation Department and the Community Redevelopment Agency will sponsor Friday Night Movies in Pioneer Park every Friday night in October. The park is located at Main Street and Douglas Avenue and the films begin at 7:00 PM: Oct 15 - The Wizard of Oz (1939); Oct 22 - The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953); Oct 29 - Dracula (1931). Admission to the public is free. For more information, call (727) 812-4530.

WINE, WOMEN & SHOES - Thurs-Sat, Nov 4-6. The Florida Fashionistas present a 3-day event to benefit the Children’s Dream Fund. The event will bring together charity supporters, wine enthusiasts and fashion lovers. Ten West Coast wineries will showcase their wine collections. The latest in fashion and shoes will be represented from local boutiques and high-end designers brought in from trend-setting cities – Italy, New York, L.A., London and Las Vegas. ‘Vintners and Vines,’ a unique spin on the traditional walk-around wine tasting, will kick-off the events on Thursday at Straz Center’s Maestro’s in Tampa from 7p.m. – 10p.m. During a special VIP Crush Hour pre-party from 6pm – 7pm, guests will meet the vintners from select West Coast wineries. The signature event, Wine, Women and Shoes, will be on Friday at the Straz Center’s Morsani Hall and Riverwalk Promenade from 10:30a.m to 2:30p.m. Wine, Women and Shoes is a strolling wine and food tasting, boutique shopping experience, live and silent auctions, and a high energy fashion show that come together for a few hours of fundraising, camaraderie and shopping. Ladies will be pampered by one of the event’s ‘Sole Men’ charming men from the community who will cater to the crowd with designer shoes presented on silver platters. On Saturday, seven wine-paired dinners will be held at exclusive homes throughout Tampa Bay for private ‘Vintner Dinners.’ Each will offer a unique and intimate dinner experience, having a different theme with a carefully paired menu and wine list. There will be a West Coast vintner on site to walk guests through the dinner pairing and answer questions. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit

GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM NOW OPEN. The new 53,000-square foot museum provides a safe and playful environment, where children and adults can learn about themselves, each other, and the world around them through exploration, role-playing and direct experience. The highly-interactive museum includes 12 themed galleries and 170 ‘interactivities’ - hands-on, minds-on exhibits for children aged birth to ten. A combination of permanent and traveling exhibits, comprehensive yearround programs and special events will provide children, parents, caregivers and teachers a rich and ever-changing environment for playful learning. To learn more about the museum, visit or call 813.443.FUN1(3861).


Tickets are now on sale for the American Stage remaining 2010-2011 Season: MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM Previews Jan 18-20, Opens Jan 21, Closes Feb 13. WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? - Previews Mar 8-10, Opens Mar 11-Apr 3. 26th Annual AmericanStage in the Park RENT - Previews April 13-14, Gala opening Apr 15-May 8. FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE - Previews May 31, June 1-2, Opens June 3-26. A STEADY RAIN - Previews July 1921, Opens July 22-Aug 14.

A hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era. This new musical comedy, direct from Broadway, is based on the hit movie and features Dolly Parton’s original hit title song along with her new Tony Award—and Grammy-nominated score. The book is by Patricia Resnick (co-writer of the original screenplay). 9 to 5: The Musical tells the story of three unlikely friends who conspire to take control of their company and learn there’s nothing they can’t do - even in a man’s world. Outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic, 9 to 5: The Musical is about teaming up and taking care of business ... it’s about getting credit and getting even.

Direct from Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater in New York City, a sensational new stage production of Dreamgirls comes to Tampa. Full of onstage joy and backstage drama, Dreamgirls tells the story of an up-and-coming, 1960s singing girl group, and the triumphs and tribulations that come with fame and fortune. Dreamgirls features the unforgettable hits: “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” “One Night Only” and “Listen.” Broadway director and choreographer Robert Longbottom (Bye Bye Birdie Broadway revival) and co-choreographer Shane Sparks (TV’s So You Think You Can Dance), along with some of Broadway’s top designers, re-envision this Tony and Academy Award-winning musical so it sparkles like never before. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 813-229-7827,

“Sex, drugs and chamber music! An absorbing new play, marked with a nuanced intelligence in its depiction of the complex relationship between musicians’ lives and their art.” — NY Times After firing one of their founding members due to his erratic behavior, a world-class string quartet takes a chance on a gifted, but relatively inexperienced, young woman. With only a few days to rehearse a grueling Beethoven masterpiece, the four struggle to prepare their highest-profile performance everóa televised ceremony at the White House. Their rehearsal room becomes a pressure-cooker as passions rise, personalities clash and the players are forced to confront the ephemeral nature of their life’s work. American Stage 727-823-PLAY.

Big River - Oct 29-Nov 14 Mark Twain’s timeless classic sweeps us down the mighty Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck Finn helps his friend, Jim, a slave, escape to freedom at the mouth of the Ohio River. Their adventures along the way are hilarious, suspenseful and heartwarming, bringing to life favorite characters from the novelthe Window Douglas and her stern sister, Miss Watson; the uproarious King and Duke, who may or may not be as harmless as they seem; Huck’s partner in crime, Tom Sawyer, and their rowdy gang of pairs; Huck’s drunken father, the sinister Pap Finn; the lovely Mary Jane Wilkes and her trusting family.

SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK - Nov 5-9 The Emmy Award winning 1970’s pop culture phenomenon comes to the musical stage. The Children’s Educational Series kicks off with the 1970’s pop culture hit School House Rock. The series features Broadway style musicals with moral messages about honesty, friendship, diversity, self-worth and fun for the whole family.

Tampa Bay Magic Club Presents 2010 BAY AREA’S BEST MAGICIAN COMPETITION - Nov 20 Who is the best magician in Florida? The Tampa Bay Magic Club hosts their annual Magic Competition, featuring the best magicians from Florida and around the United States competing for cash and prizes. See the stars of magic before they disappear to the big time. The Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Dr., Largo, 727-587-6793

Florida’s Most Exciting Theatrical & Dining Experience! Up Coming

Mon.-Thur. 9am-7pm Fri.-Sat. 9am-8pm Sun. 10am-3pm Now thru Nov 20 Dinner & Show-$48.00 + Tax • Show Only-$36.95+Tax

Nov 25 - Dec 25

OKLAHOMA! - thru Nov 20 Rodgers & Hammerstein’s first collaboration remains their most innovative, having set the standards and established the rules of musical theatre still being followed today. Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story. Although the road to true love never runs smooth, with these two headstrong romantics holding the reins, love’s journey is as bumpy as a surrey ride down a country road. That they will succeed in making a new life together we have no doubt, and that this new life will begin in a brand-new state provides the ultimate climax to the triumphant Oklahoma!

A SHOW PALACE CHRISTMAS - Nov 25 - Dec 25 Each year the Show Palace celebrates Christmas and Hanukkah with an exhilarating production for all ages. Past productions have featured classic carols, high-energy dancing and special appearances by many of your favorite holiday characters. Show Palace, 16128 U.S. 19 N., Hudson. 1-888-655-7469,

Hound of the Baskervilles Mix a little cloak and dagger….. a hound from hell and a meerschaum pipe and what do you get? Why it’s elementary. The Hound of the Baskervilles opens the 86th Season at St. Petersburg Little Theatre. Running October 1-17, this Sherlock Holmes murder mystery is set to pounce onto the stage. “THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES” is the greatest of all Sherlock Holmes adventures. A setting that takes literature’s most spin-chilling mystery and turns it into a play of suspense, humor and ultimate terror. Sir Henry has become heir to the vast Baskerville fortune, a legacy that comes complete with a family curse – death at the fangs of a living horror prowling the English moor. Audiences will have a terrific time attempting to discover killer and reacting to the surprise twist. The St. Petersburg Little Theater is located at 4025 31st Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712; 727-866-1973,

The War Of The Worlds “New York is destroyed; it’s the end of the world. You might as well go home to die. I just heard it on the radio.”— Indianapolis woman, October 30, 1938. The War of The Worlds was a live radio play that became known as the night that panicked America. An entire country was convinced that Armageddon had arrived. “The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present ‘The War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells” is the most important introduction never heard on the radio. How can a simple radio play inspire mass hysteria? Was ‘The War of the Worlds’ broadcast an isolated event from an unsophisticated yesteryear? Can it happen again? This is an exploration of the manipulative role of media in our lives. The Friday Morning Musicale, 809 W Horatio St., Tampa, FL. Stageworks Theatre 813-251-8984

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Oct 22-Nov7 FreeFall Theatre returns to The Studio@620 with their production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Oct 22–Nov 7, with Preview Performance on Thursday October 21st. This intensely psychological and stunning new adaptation of the classic thriller by one of the American theatre’s most prolific and exciting playwrights captivates from its first shocking moments until the final scene. Henry Jekyll is a respected if controversial physician in Victorian London. His experiments into the multiplicity of man let loose chaos in the form of one Edward Hyde. When Hyde’s pursuit of the object of his seduction, Elizabeth Jelkes comes to Jekyll’s attention, the ernest doctor vows to end the experiments. However, Hyde has other plans. Who will end up servant and who master? “Sex, drugs, violence. What’s not to like? ...[A] psychological thriller that makes an old-hat horror story scary again. ...It would be a sin to miss it.” -The Arizona Republic Studio@620 is located at 620 First Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701; 727-895-6620;


CAFÉ PONTE Iron Chef Competition Story and photos by Melissa Wolcott and Al Martino


ron Chef cooking face-offs have become all the rage in the last few years, and when Chef Chris Ponte from Café Ponte in Clearwater heard that Chef Constantinos “Taki” Laliotitis of the Matanzas Creek Winery in Santa Rosa, CA, was coming to Florida, he arranged for a cooking show-down between the two chefs. To make it a little

Sauvignon Blanc Lavender Poached Shrimp with citrus shaved heart of palm salad and green apple jelly with a lavender vapor.

Chef Chris Ponte from Cafe Ponte.

more challenging — since both chefs were up to the task — it Constantinos “Taki” Laliotitis was suggested they prepare three Chef of the Matanzas Creek Winery small plate dishes using the same base ingredients, but add lavender into the mix. Lavender, as it turns out, is more than just a fragrant flower, it is an herb that lends a unique quality to a dish. Also the dishes were to be created to pair with different Matanzas wines — Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.


hef Ponte studied at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, and graduated at the top of his class. He worked at the famed Taillevent in Paris for a while before returning to the states and apprenticing at Daniel Boulud’s NY restaurant. He opened his own intimate Café

Seared Sea Scallops with potato brandade, tomato-date chutney, and a confit of zucchini and herbes de provence.

Ponte in Clearwater’s Icot Center in 2002, and has garnered a very strong following. His dishes are Contemporary American Cuisine with French, Asian, and Italian influences, with his Potato Encrusted Sea Bass and Filet Mignon particular favorites. Chef Laliotitis studied at the Ecole Supérieure de Cuisine Francaise in Paris and also studied different wine regions while traveling to understand the complexity of wine better. He has created meals at world-class restaurants in France, Italy, Japan and throughout California, including the legendary French Laundry in Napa. He is now the chef for Matanzas Creek Winery. The Matanzas Creek Winery was founded in 1977 in the Bennett Valley region of California’s wine country. Enveloped by three mountains, their location proved to be ideal for producing a long growing season that’s ideal for grapevines. The lavender used in the chef’s competition was grown on the Matanzas Creek property as well. If you visit their website (listed below), you will see gorgeous photos of their lavender fields, and the winery itself.

Lavender Tea-Smoked Duck Breast with crispy wontons of duck confit, with Hawaiian pomegranate sweet potato coulis.

Herbes de Provence Grilled Shrimp served with smoked mashed potato, white wine, and little-neck clam nage.

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Chef Chris Ponte and Chef Constantinos “Taki” Laliotitis of the Matanzas Creek Winery enjoy an Iron Chef “showdown” at Cafe Ponte.


his was a cooking competition too good to miss, as we patrons were to sample all the dishes and declare the winner. Since it was being held on Chef Ponte’s “turf”, to make it fair, the dishes were presented to us without telling us who created what. FIRST COURSE: Chef A. Coconut & Lavender Marinated Scallops with cilantro avocado puree, lavender pickled mango and cucumber. Chef B. Sauvignon Blanc Lavender Poached Shrimp with citrus shaved heart of palm salad and green apple jelly with a lavender vapor. SECOND COURSE: A. Herbes de Provence Grilled Shrimp served with smoked mashed potato, white wine, and littleneck clam nage. B. Seared Sea Scallops with potato brandade, tomato-date chutney, and a confit of zucchini and herbes de Provence. THIRD COURSE: A. Pan Roasted Maple Leaf Duck Breast served with lavender and truffle scented beet risotto, roasted golden beets, with a pomegranate and beet molasses. B. Lavender Tea-Smoked Duck Breast with crispy wontons of duck confit, with Hawaiian pomegranate sweet potato coulis. Dessert was not part of the competition, but was a delicious Lavender Panna Cotta with Pino Noir sauce and lavender chocolate created by Chef Ponte.


hoosing the winner was a very tough call since everything was delectable, but Chef Chris Ponte finally took the prize (which, I believe, was bragging rights) with a slight edge. However, we patrons took the grand prize, which was a memorable dining event.

For more information about Café Ponte, call 727-538-5768, or visit For more information about Matanzas Creek Winery, visit, and make sure you take the virtual tour.

Keep Mangos All Year Round in Your Pantry

cialty food stores at a suggested retail price of $1.49. Crispy Mangoes can also be purchased from Crispy Green’s online store. For more information about Crispy Mangoes and other Crispy Green products, please visit __________________________________


rispy Green’s new Crispy Mangoes keep mangoes in season all year round and ready to eat straight from your home pantry. Made of 100 percent high quality, freezedried mango slices and nothing else — no added sugar, preservatives (including sulfides), colors, fat, cholesterol or sodium. Crispy Mangoes are also vegan-friendly, peanut/tree nut-free, dairy-free and gluten-free and are kosher certified. These tasty, healthy freeze-dried mangoes are a delight with their intense, sweet Mango taste and a light, crispy crunch. Crispy Mangoes freeze-dried fruit snacks contain approximately one serving of fresh mangoes in a single serving (.36 ounce) bag and provide the same all natural fruit fiber and nutrients as fresh mangoes – without the messiness. The products’ long shelf life (36 months) and portability provide children and adults with a

nutritious, go anywhere snack that can be enjoyed anytime. Available in moisturefree, convenient single serving size bags or the handy ‘Grab & Go’ 6-PACKS, Crispy Mangoes provide the wholesomeness, natural goodness and fresh flavor of Mangoes in small, snack-sized portions. They are a healthy choice for kid’s lunches, hiking, school, work, or as in between snacks on the go. They can also be added to cereal, yogurt or ice cream. Crispy Fruit is also available in four other delicious flavors: Crispy Apples, Crispy Asian Pears, Crispy Bananas and Crispy Pineapples. Crispy Green’s products can be found in the produce and grocery aisles of many leading supermarkets and natural and spe-

CLICK Your Way To A Tasty Protein Drink


n Innovative, new drink, CLICK, combines high protein, espresso coffee and gourmet taste into one healthy, allin-one drink. With only 120 calories, 7 grams of sugar, 15 grams of protein and a double shot of real espresso coffee, CLICK provides consumers with a great tasting protein drink that has a rich gourmet flavor without the high calories, sugar and fat. CLICK is the perfect all in one drink for people on the go. It can help you lose weight as a meal replacement, snack, or as a pre or post workout drink. Now available in two flavors — mocha and vanilla latte, CLICK is a powdered drink that comes in a 16 oz., 14 serving-canister. Consumers are loving CLICK’s versatility as it is one of the few protein drinks enjoyed hot or cold, or blended frappachino style. Fans also personalize their CLICK mixing with water or other liquids such as milk or soy milk as well a variety of flavored syrups. As an all-in-one beverage, CLICK’s suggested retail price is $24.99 - $29.99. CLICK is available on,,, and, as well as specialty retail stores and in GNC stores. For more information about CLICK, visit

ig Cat Rescue is the world’s largest sanctuary for big cats who have been abused, abandoned, retired from performing acts, or saved from being slaughtered for fur coats. The sanctuary houses tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, lynx, ocelots, servals, caracals and others — a total of 16 of the 35 species of wild cat, many of whom are threatened, endangered, or now extinct in the wild. At this home for rare and exotic cats, The narrow mission of Big Cat Rescue is to provide the best permanent home they can for these cats. The broader mission of the sanctuary is to reduce the number of cats that suffer the fate of abandonment and/or abuse and to encourage preservation of habitat and wildlife. People are urged to behave in a way that will support these goals by teaching people about the plight of the cats, both in the wild and in captivity. This is accomplished through guided tours, educational programs for young people, and by maintaining a website that is a great resource for information about exotic cats. Big Cat Rescue has built enclosures in a very natural habitat with foliage and shelter on a 45 acre site, and provides the best nutritional and medical care possible. They have conditioning and enrichment programs to provide for the cats physical and psychological well being. The sanctuary is supported entirely by donation. Big Cat Rescue is located at 12802 Easy Street, Tampa. Call 813-920-4130 for more information, or visit

unken Gardens is a botanical paradise in the midst of a bustling city. As St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum, this 100 year old garden is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. Unwind as you stroll through meandering paths, lush with exotic plants from around the world. Explore cascading waterfalls, beautiful demonstration gardens, more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers. Sunken Gardens provides garden tours, horticultural programs, special events, field trips, weddings, private and corporate rentals. If you enjoy Yoga, Pilates, or want to try Hoop Dancing, why not go to Sunken Gardens and exercise in a botanical, tropical paradise. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:15 a.m. This class will help you build long, lean muscles and is perfect for women of all ages and fitness levels. It’s a 50 minute group personal training session with individualized attention. This format utilizes The Muscle Bar, a weighted bar and resistance tube combo that delivers faster results than just weights or resistance tubes. Every Tues. and Thurs. Breathe in and relax. - Every Mon. and Wed. Spend your lunch hour working out the kinks and learning how to relax. - Every Mon., Wed. and Fri. at 9:15 a.m. The class offers fitness and nutrition programs specifically designed to help moms get fit after childbirth and beyond. Parents bring their children in strollers as an integral part of the workout. Weekly play dates and monthly mom’s night out events provide valuable social interaction. - Variety of horticulture speciality classes offered every Sat.

Sunken Gardens is located at 1825 4th Street N., St. Petersburg; 727-551-3100;

A Botanical Experience Awaits You... • Discover the beauty of a 100 year old botanical paradise. • Explore cascading waterfalls, beautiful gardens, more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers and the walk through butterfly encounter. • Experience a guided tour, special event or workshop. $8 Adults; $6 seniors 55 & up; $4 ages 2 to 11 1825 4th St. N., St. Petersburg, FL • 727-551-3100

Preserve Weedon Island sland Preserve


’ve lived in the Riviera Bay area in St. Petersburg for 22 years, and am ashamed to say I never visited Weedon Island Preserve which is located right in my own neighborhood until recently. (I also lived in NY City for 35 years and never went to the top of the Empire State Building... still haven’t.) Anyway, I found I wasted many years not enjoying what the preserve has to offer. Weedon Island Preserve is an ecologically important reserve with a highly

informative and beautifully designed interpretive Cultural and Natural History Center. Their musuem exhibit focuses on Florida Native American history and artifacts. In the preserve visitors can enjoy 4.54 miles of hiking and nature trails that

meander through mangrove forest and seagrass flats, where one can spot wading birds, manatee and various fish species. Almost two miles of the trails are handicap accessible with boardwalk or concrete. Every Saturday guided Hikes of Weedon Island are conducted by volunteers. (Pre-registration is required at (727) 453-6506.) Guided canoe trips are

also offered through the Cultural Center. The Weedon Island Preserve Center’s hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Government budget cuts are always threatening all the Pinellas preserves, so please take out some time soon to enjoy our natural wonders. For more information on Weedon Island, visit For more Weedon Island photos, visit, click on Event Photo Gallery, click on Tampa Bay Attractions.

in Theater Lobby, 6:30 p.m., 5501 27th Ave. S. 727-8932237 or 727-893-1231. , 9 a.m.-Noon, Clam Bayou Nature Park (49th St. S. to 29th Ave. S. east to Miriam St.) 727-893-1060. Beach Blvd. S. – Art District – Schedule, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.: Arts and Craft Vendors throughout the day, City of Gulfport Auto Show from 11-4 p.m., Live Entertainment from Noon–8 p.m., City of Gulfport Water-ski exhibition on Gulfport Beach at 1 p.m., Centennial Taste of Gulfport (A taste of Gulfport’s fabulous restaurants) 4 p.m., Lions Club Shrimp Boil Casino side deck at 4 p.m., Centennial Art Show at the Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Blvd. S. (Saturday, 1-9 p.m.) & (Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.) and fireworks at dusk. 727-893-1118. , Beach Blvd. S. (Waterfront District), 6 -10 p.m. 727-322-5217. at Recreation Center, games with candy prizes, a snack shack with pizza, popcorn and drinks for purchase, tot boo room and the

Serving: Gulfport Senior Center; Gulfport Casino; Gulfport Waterfront District; Stetson Univ. College of Law; Pasadena Shopping Center Palms of Pasadena Hospital; St. Pete Beach

spookiest haunted house ever assisted by Stetson School Volunteers! FREE ADMISSION! 7-9 p.m., 5730 Shore Blvd. S. 727-893-1068. Beach Blvd., 9 a.m.–2 p.m. - Get fresh every Tuesday! Veggies, fruit, bread, cheese, seafood, nuts, herbs, plants, art and crafts, live music & much more. Beach Blvd. below 29th Ave. South. FREE. For information on many other Gulfport events, go to

The Apothecary Homeopathic Products & Remedies Traditional Pharmacy Compounding Specialists

2832 Beach Blvd. So. Gulfport, FL 33707


BEAUTY & FASHION A new innovation in sun protection is GliSODin Skin Nutrients Advanced Skin Brightening Formula – a.k.a. Sun Block in a Pill. Enhanced with melon and berry extracts, all one has to do is begin taking these vitamins prior to sun exposure to boost skin’s radiance and preLady Gaga is a fan! vent sunburn. All their products are carefully formulated with complementary nutraceuticals, natural isolates, vitamins, and minerals for an efficacious product line that enhances skin health and beauty, and supports medical aesthetic procedures. The Advanced Skin Brightening Formula with GliSODin, was developed to promote even skin tone while working to protect and reduce skin damage caused by UVR exposure, and to complement facial aesthetic treatments designed to reduce skin discoloration. When taken in conjunction with these treatments, the Advanced Brightening Formula helps to support the effects and healing process associated with facial skin resurfacing. “With the innovation of holistic skincare such as the GliSODin Skin Nutrients Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, you can now enhance the strength of your topical sunscreens without the worry of reapplying after a dip in the pool or at the beach,” says Paula Simpson, certified celebrity nutritionist. Celeb fans of this new product include Lady Gaga, Kellie Pickler and Vanessa Minnillo. For more information on GliSODin, please visit

KA b., known for its runway inspired yet comfortable flip-flops, sandals, slides and thongs, have presented its Summer 2010 Collection. Women are gravitating toward the citrusy colors, safari prints, gemstones and classy bridal shoes for looks and comfort. Touted as the ‘Ultimate Travel Shoe’ and ‘The Premier Spa Shoe’ by thousands of loyal customers worldwide, the newest hit in the summer collection is The Slate Colored Lucy. The sandal is adorned with seashell beads in a flower shape and is projected to be the best selling shoe for the company in 2010. All of OKA b.’s shoes feature an ergonomic footbed enhanced with massage beads to pamper feet with every step. The non-absorbent mate-


ersistent dark under-eye circles? Uneven skin tone? Blemishes? The camouflage specialists Cover FX have got you covered. Cover FX features foundations and concealers that adjust to your skin’s tone for optimum coverage. It instantly erases under eye circles, redness, dark spots, sun damage, blemishes, moles, tattoos, birthmarks and works to hide fatigue. Conceal FX contains a unique self-adjusting pigment that evolves upon gentle blending to offer custom color correcting tone. Dermatologists agree the daily use of sunscreen will prevent skin aging and the onset of common skin disorders such as melanoma and hyperpigmentation. Cover FX Skin Tint FX lends the perfect amount of sun kissed glow and provides sun protection to boot. SkinTint FX contains SPF 30 and multi vitamin anti-oxidants, A and E to quench free radicals and protect collagen and elastin to prevent wrinkles and sun damage. Its water resistant formulation results in long term protection. The product is available in light, medium and dark shade, and is ideal for all skin types — and dry, sallow, and sun damaged skin. For more information on these and more Cover FX products, visit

rial resists the growth of mildew, fungus and bacteria. They are also slip-resistant and machine washable. No animal byproducts of any kind are used in the manufacture of their shoes. OKA b. shoes are manufactured in the U.S. in a low waste facility. Customers are encouraged to send back their “well-loved” OKA b. shoes to the Buford, GA factory where they are ground and recycled with virgin material to create new product. Whatever can’t be recycled is sold to make kitchen mats. And even with production in the states, OKA b. has been able to maintain price points under $40, offering a two year guarantee on every pair of shoes. OKA b. is also socially conscious. Their most recent humanitarian initiative sent thousands of new and used shoes to Haiti in partnership with Souls4Souls, a Nashville, TN based charity. For every pair of gently worn shoes mailed in by loyal customers, OKA b. matched the donation with a new pair of anti-bacterial, waterproof and durable sandals, perfect for the Haitian climate. The two month project brought in thousands of pairs of shoes. For more information, visit

Country’s superstar couple, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw have each added a new fragrance to their Coty Inc. lines, which will be released in August. is the perfect complement to Faith’s first scent, which embodies her strength and confidence as a woman and as a performer, Faith Hill True displays her more relaxed side — the casual sensuality of a passionate and spirited beauty. In Faith Hill True, the exotic citrus Japanese Yuzu creates a sparkling burst at the fragrance’s beginning. Gardenia, lily and sheer mimosa weave a breezy floral middle while precious woods, sandalwood and musk provide a base of warmth and subtle sexuality. is the third fragrance from Tim McGraw. A cool, modern scent, McGraw Silver embodies the artist’s ability to remain real while masterfully riding the demands of an urban setting. The scent is a blend that captures Tim’s core: gallant yet sensual, clean cut yet rugged. An alluring woody fourgere with top notes of watery aromatics and green leaves, the complex formula includes mid notes of lavender and orange flower with a warm, seductive base of vetiver, musk, sandalwood and saffron. Faith Hill True and McGraw Silver will both be available tarting in August, 2010.

Summer Beauty Problems Solved!


air color fading fast? with Miss Oops. The SPF 15 finishing spray prevents color from fading between hair appointments from sun exposure. Just style your hair as usual, then spray a light coat of Block Your Locks on hair, paying special attention to the ends. The non-greasy, lightweight formula is an affordable way to extend the life of your hair color. Get a healthy-looking tan, without stepping a foot in the sun with , a natural-looking 2-in-1 gradual face tanner. Formulated with pure, nourishing ingredients such as organic peach, kiwi, apricot and papaya, the formula delivers the perfect amount of moisture and a streak-free, sun-kissed glow. Vitamins E and C offer antioxidant protection against environmental damage as organic calendula soothes, leaving skin fresh and radiant. Get sleek, smooth heat-styled hair without damage—or the oily residue of typical protective sprays—with . While standard stylers can leave behind oily buildup that leads to breakouts, the botanical-infused formula shields hair from the heat of styling tools while guarding against the acne other formulas cause, leaving hair healthy and skin clear.

Life Extension Fernblock


t is a little known fact that you actually can protect yourself from sun damage from the inside. With the newly emerging field of psychodermatology, scientists are realizing that protecting our skin from accelerated aging is not just about using external sun blocks and moisturizers. Life Extension offers the first oral supplement that complements topical sunscreens and helps maintain youthful skin by protecting against harmful solar radiation - Enhanced Fernblock with Sendara. An “internal sunscreen,” Fernblock provides optimal protection from sun exposure when combined with sun screen. During a decade of clinical trials, FernBlock has shown remarkable effectiveness in shielding skin against the aging effects of ultraviolet exposure. FernBlock is a natural extract derived from the fern plant Polypodium leucotomos. Used as a sunburn remedy by native Indians for centuries, this natural fern extract has been formulated by international scientists affiliated with leading institutions. Studies have shown that this fern extract has a high affinity for skin tissue and helps protect against ultraviolet damage shown to cause premature skin aging and wrinkling. FernBlock supplements the effects of sunscreens by protecting the entire skin surface. For more information, visit

Christopher Drummond Go Beyond Mineral Makeup


oes your skin feel itchy after switching to traditional mineral makeup? While minerals are often though to be the essence of nature and the perfect addition to makeup, it’s a little known truth that most mineral makeup actually contains some potentially toxic ingredients. Celebrity makeup artist Christopher Drummond takes you “Beyond Mineral Makeup” with his hydrating face powders, which do not contain the suspected toxic ingredients titanium dioxide, bismuth oxychloride, or zinc oxide. His products are 100% natural and organic-based, and made with the best cosmetic-grade ingredients available. He adds protective anti-oxidants, plant extracts, and botanicals to make light, creamy powder, and his colors are made to complement all skin tones. For more information, visit



rganic cocktails aren’t just for sipping poolside this summer. P2 by Philip Pelusi introduces its latest USDA-Certified Organic product – BeachComber. BeachComber is a water-based styling and treatment paste infused with an organic cocktail of plant extracts and antioxidants, including cane juice granules, grapefruit, lemon and olive oils, apricot and milk thistle. The super concentrated formula is convenient and easy to use – just throw it in a tote for Gisele-inspired waves anywhere. The eco-friendly paste builds outrageous waves and texture, smoothes hair cuticles, increases root volume, provides flexibility and protects hair from environmental damage. BeachComber gives hair that sexy, fresh-from-the-beach waviness without typical product build-up and the damaging effects of sun, sand and synthetic ingredients. It can be applied to dry hair as a mid-day grooming and styling product, worked throughout wet hair for a root lift or used in a lightweight, air-dried look. It’s also perfect for scrunching hair as it dries. Plus, the no-drip paste can be reapplied all day without over drying or wilting hair. For more information, visit


hildren’s sunglasses are not fashion accessories, but neces– sities that protect the eyes from serious eye damage, even irreversible vision loss or blindness. Parents are diligent about applying sunscreen, hats, and clothing to their babies and children while in the sun, but what about the eyes? The American Aca– demy of Pediatrics says that children’s eyes are at increased risk for permanent damage from sunlight until they are at least 10 years old, because their eyes are highly sensitive and still developing. Furthermore, 90% of total lifetime damage from the sun’s harmful rays occurs by age 18. The Real Kids Shades line of protective infants’ and children’s sunglasses provides the 100% UV-A and UV-B ray protection and are made of impact-resistant, shatterproof polycarbonate frames and lenses, as recommended by Prevent Blindness America, and endorsed by the Melanoma International Foundation. Designed for children 12 and under, Real Kids Shades are offered in a range of colors and styles, taking into consideration the need for venting, anti-glare, and antifog properties. Several styles are even made to float. They can also be fitted with prescription lenses. For more information, visit


esides creating great organic products, LUSH has a consumer friendly vibe with their simple packaging the personal touch of adding the date, face, and name of who hand made the actual product you are using. If that doesn’t show pride, what does? Their products are made from fresh organic fruit and vegetables, fine oils and safe synthetics—using little or no preservatives, and no animal testing. I have tried several LUSH products, and have not be disappointed in any. My particular favorite, however, is the Creme Anglaise Hand and Body Cream—a moisurizing infusion of almond oil, extra virgin coconut oil, organic shea and cocoa butters with some scent of almond, vanilla and sweet orange. You can probably tell how great it smells from the description, but it’s how great it works that really tells the tale. I apply it on my arms and legs before going to sleep at night, and in the morning, my skin has retained its softness. I have tried endless products that seemed great when applied, but quickly disappeared and my dry skin was back. Some other great LUSH products are: Lip Scrubs to exfoliate and soften lips made in 3 delicious lip-licking flavors; Colour Supplements (multi-purpose base color) which can be used directly as a concealer, or mixed with a moisturizer ; and Facial Serums—one which helps relieve dry, cracked skin and improves elasticity, and another for oiler skin, one that has a toning, restorative and astringent effect on skin. For more information on LUSH products, visit


o get your skin ready for the summer sun and rid it of its dull, lackluster appearance after the winter months, you need an exfoliating product that packs some punch in a natural way. Wembé’s handmade, multi-tasking soaps are filled with chunks of plants and herbs that add effectiveness and naturally aid in sloughing off dry, dead skin. The ultimate exfoliator from this eco-luxe collection of soaps is Wembé’s loofah exfoliating blend. It is an almond oil-based soap that is surrounded by a vegetable sponge to provide a firm slough. The powerful essence of this blend will awaken the senses, so both you and your skin look and feel vibrant and refreshed. For a gentle, yet effective exfoliation, Wembé’s coconut exfoliating blend combines two types of coconut pulps with rich essential oils and moisturizing butters. The tropical blend will gently scrub your winter woes away and leave your ready to bare-it-all for the summer heat. Other exotic exfoliating blends from Wembe include the Yerba Mate, Black Clay and Green Blue River blends. For more information, visit

Martini, and a Coconut Rum Lovebug. You don’t have to order food if you don’t wish, you can just enjoy the movie experience. The food is all fresh, prepared right on property, and brought to you Chef Mike Lopez by Chef Mike Lopez. Mr. Lopez comes to the Tampa Bay area from Las Vegas, having worked at New York New York Casino Hotel, and the Grand Luxe Restaurants at the Venetian. The menu is well selected, with diverse dishes, great desserts, and assorted coffees and teas. There is also a concession stand if you come in late. You can order your food, receive a pager, and pick up


mmm. Does Cinébistro go under the “FOOD & BEVERAGE” or the “AT THE MOVIES” section of Accent On Tampa Bay magazine? It is equally at home in both categories. This most delightful concept in theater/dining is located in Hyde Park Village, bringing new life to the neighborhood. An evening of dinner and a movie has a bold new face with Cinébistro, and once you experience it, you won’t want to go back to the same old same old. Imagine an upscale casual eatery and a comfort-

rest first). Each plush chair has a swing out polished wood tray with a deep cupholder. The theater operates much like live theater, in that when you purchase a ticket, you choose the seat you want to sit in. You can do it on line, or at the theater. A seating chart pops up, and you pick the seat from whatever is still available for that showing. When you arrive, a host will take you to your seat. The concept is that patrons arrive 30 minutes before their selected movie, and order dinner from a tantalizing menu. Your food Plush seating and handy swivel trays. and beverage are brought to Inviting lobby and dining spot. your seat by a waiter. The theater has a choice wine list and your food when it’s ready. Once the film able lounge and a state-of-the-art movie some signature house drinks, such as a starts, no waiters will be in the theater. theater all in one. Nationally known, and Watermelon Mojito, Raspberry Bliss And yes, you can still get candy and well-established Cobb Theaters has popcorn. boldly gone where no one has gone Don’t want to see a movie, but before in presenting Cinébistro. This would like to have a bite to eat, or have experience is not to be confused with a drink in comfortable surroundings? the card table/folding chair set up with Cinébistro is also the place to go, as drop down screen, and hot dog dinners their lounge area is open to the public. of some “dining cinemas”. This is Soon to be on tap, is a self-dispensing light-years ahead and many levels up. wine bar in the lounge area. When you pass through the cinema To seal the deal as a great date night doors and into the lobby, the ticket destination, the age limit for Cinébistro desk is low key and the area beyond is is 21 plus. The theater will, on occaa modern, softly lit, lounge and bar. sion, have family matinees when cerAttractive brick and steel hallways tain types of films are being shown. along the sides take you to one of six theaters, where you can watch popular first run movies in oversized leather rocking chairs with wide arm rests (no longer a fight over who gets the


In “Case 39,” family services social worker Emily Jenkins (Renée Zellweger) thinks she has seen it all... until she meets 10year old Lilith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland) and the child’s cruel and dangerous parents. Her worst fears are confirmed when the neighbor Abby (Chloe Moretz), an eerily self-possessed young girl who lives next door with her silent father (Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins). A frail, troubled child about Owen’s age, Abby emerges from her heavily curtained apartment only at night and always barefoot, seemingly immune to the bitter winter elements. Recognizing a fellow outcast, Owen opens up to her and before long, the two have formed a unique bond.

parents try to harm Lily, their only daughter. Frightened for her life, Emily enlists the help of Detective Mike Barron (Ian McShane) and takes Lily in while she continues the search for the perfect foster family. Just as it seems as though Lily is on her way to a more loving home, under the guidance of Emily and psychiatrist (Bradley Cooper), dark forces surrounding this young girl come to light and, little do they know, their attempts to protect her will only bring on greater horror...

“Let Me In” tells a terrifying tale about an alienated 12-year old boy named Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who is viciously bullied by his classmates and neglected by his divorcing parents. Achingly lonely, Owen spends his days plotting revenge on his middle school tormentors and his evenings spying on the other inhabitants of his apartment complex. His only friend is his new

Wes Craven (“A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “The Hills Have Eyes,” “Scream” series) brings audiences his latest suspense thriller with “My Soul to Take.” In the sleepy town of Riverton, legend tells of a serial killer who swore he would return to mur-

der the seven children born the night he died. Now, 16 years later, people are disappearing again. Has the psychopath been reincarnated as one of the seven teens, or did he survive the night he was left for dead? Only one of the kids knows the answer. Adam “Bug” Heller (Max Thieriot) was supposed to die on the

bloody night his father went insane. Unaware of his dad’s terrifying crimes, he has been plagued by nightmares since he was a baby. But if Bug hopes to save his friends from the monster that’s returned, he must face an evil that won’t rest... until it finishes the job it began the day he was born.

c the world, Marie (Cecile De France), a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus, a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might--or must--exist in the hereafter. L

On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history... but for this entrepreneur, success

leads to both personal and legal complications. From director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin comes “The Social Network,” a film that proves you don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies. The film is based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich.

“Hereafter” tells the story of three people who are touched by death in different ways. George (Matt Damon) is a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of

MOVIES (con’t) Holly Berenson (Katherine Heigl) is an up-and-coming caterer and Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel) is a promising network sports director. After a disastrous first date, the only thing they have in common is their dislike for each other and their love for their goddaughter, Sophie. But when they suddenly become all Sophie has in the world, Holly and Messer are forced to put their differences aside. Juggling career ambitions and competing social calendars, they’ll have to find some common ground while living under one roof.

Based on the true story, “Secretariat” chronicles the spectacular journey of the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over her ailing father’s Virginiabased Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Chenery--with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich)-manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and what may be the greatest racehorse of all time.

The JACKASS pranksters are at it again in this third outing presented for the first time in 3D — an effect that will no doubt redefine the use of the in-your-face technology. Once again Jeff Tremaine returns to direct the MTV Films/Paramount Pictures production.

Based on the cult D.C. Comics graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, “Red” is an explosive action-comedy starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. Frank (Bruce Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIA’s top agents – but the secrets they know just made them the Agency’s top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, crosscountry mission to break into the topsecret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.

Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is living the American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and coworkers Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) and Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones) jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands, and fathers. Bobby soon finds himself enduring enthusiastic life coaching, a job building houses for his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) which does not play to his executive skill set, and perhaps the realization that there is more to life than chasing the bigger, better deal. With humor, pathos, and keen observation, writer-director John Wells (the creator of “ER”) introduces us to the new realities of American life.


at Universal Orlando Resort


he Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort celebrated its grand opening recently, becoming the only place in the world where the adventures of Harry Potter come to life. The Harry Potter books and films have captured the hearts and minds of millions - and now, guests can experience the adventure first-hand at Universal Orlando Resort. The spectacularly themed area, inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling

stories and characters, features multiple themed attractions, shops and a restaurant - all faithful to the books and films. Visitors to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be swept into the adventures of Harry Potter. They will tour

Hogwarts castle, shop in Hogsmeade and dine in the Three Broomsticks. Other adventures will allow them to fly with Harry, ride on a dragon, sample Butterbeer, eat exploding sweets - and experience all the magic and adventure of the Harry Potter books and films. “We have created a special place unlike anywhere else in the world,” said Tom Williams, chairman and CEO for Universal Parks and Resorts. “The adventures of Harry Potter are among the most popular of our time - and we are bringing them to life. We will put our guests in the middle of a Harry Potter adventure. They will feel as if they are in the movies with Harry and his friends.” “I said right at the beginning, either we do it right or we don’t do it at all,” said J.K. Rowling, author of the widely successful Harry Potter series. “The teams at Universal and Warner Bros. have done it right, so I am so happy.” The heart of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Hogwarts castle - visible from everywhere within Islands of Adventure. And within the castle is the exhilarating attraction: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. This all-new adventure combines a powerful storyline with spectacular new technology so guests are completely immersed in the experience. The ride takes guests on a journey where they travel by Floo Network, soar over Hogwarts, narrowly escape a dragon attack, have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow, get pulled into a Quidditch match and more. Guests can experience the mischief of Zonko’s, the magic of Ollivanders, the scrumptious delights of the Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head pub or buy their very own Marauder’s Map at Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods. They can mail letters from Hogsmeade at the Owl Post, buy Hogwarts school robes at Dervish and Banges or rest under the rafters of the Owlery. Visitors can brave a Hungarian Horntail or a Chinese Fireball on the dueling roller coasters of Dragon Challenge or learn a few tips from Hagrid before taking a training flight on Flight of the Hippogriff. “I remember when I was shooting the films when I was younger and I absolutely wished this world could be real and that I could be a part of it,” said Daniel Radcliffe, who portrays Harry Potter in the film series. “It’s amazing that people will finally get to do that and realize everything they’ve seen on screen.” For more information about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit

ORLANDO HAPPENINGS . Orlando welcomes the arrival of fall with one-of-akind events and big savings. The Orlando/ Orange County CVB has launched exclusive package deals, “Super Deals” at in partnership with Travelocity. Valid for travel through December 15, visitors save an additional $50 on hotel stays for three or more nights at a wide range of properties, on top of already discounted rates and special amenities. Properties highlighted as part of the Super Deal program include Nickelodeon Family Suites, Buena Vista

Suites, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Sheraton Vistana Resort. For more information,

,a new dinner show featuring 10 actors celebrating the most famous ship in history. The new show runs on Friday and Saturday nights. The menu features high quality, prime foods that are market fresh and very similar to menu items from


Edson Campos and Kathleen Brodeur, will be presenting their latest

creation on canvas and on paper. Kathleen will be painting and Edson Campos will be creating a large size painting at the Gallery during the Show schedule (not at the opening). An artists’ closing reception will also be held on Nov 12. Last year Edson painting “ Opera “ was awarded a Bronze Medal at the Salon event held at the Grand Palais in Paris. 407-312-0708,

Experience a storybook tale of excitement and intrigue. More than 60 horses are used to create a unique show. The show includes a 3course dinner. 3081 Arabian Nights Blvd., Kissimmee; 407-239-9223;

Bok Tower Gardens offers visitors Florida’s most abundant opportunities for aesthetic, cultural and personal enrichment. The lush landscapes of the gardens, the majesty and music of the Singing Tower with its 60-bell carillon and the splendor of create an experience that inspires all who visit.

Bring the whole family for a day at Bok Tower Gardens during the second annual Boktoberfest Plant Sale, one of Florida’s most unique Oktoberfest celebrations. This year’s celebrations feature live music, German food, craft beers, tree climbing and the all new Pumpkin Patch for kids. Some of the plants for sale will include orchids, palms, trees, tropical fruits, Florida natives, ferns, bamboo, roses, heliconias, bromeliads, tillandsia air plants and water lilies. Attend one of the many held throughout the day with Florida wildflower expert Dr. Walter Taylor; Tom MacCubbin, popular radio host and Florida’s foremost expert on lawn and garden issues; as well as Master Gardeners, plant societies, garden clubs and the UF-IFAS Extension Service. Head to the Biergarten for live music by Alpine Express, a fourmember lederhosen ensemble playing instruments from Germany, Austria and Switzerland including long Swiss alphorns the size of trees; a wooden Alpine xylophone, that is often referred to as “wooden laughter” the “Singing Saw” and more. Other entertainment will include WMNF 88.5 FM’s Polka Party Express, Good Times Jazz Band, Rifle Roost, the 60bell Singing Tower carillon and Juggles the Clown. Stop by the Pumpkin Patch children activity area, where $5 gets your child admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children can build a scarecrow, create fall art projects, bob for apples, and carve, paint and decorate one of the many pumpkins for sale. Face painting and air brush tattoos will be available for an additional fee. 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Bok Tower Gardens will present the 9th annual Sunset & Symphony concert with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Guest soprano Susana Diaz will be the soloist performing this year’s theme, “Masterpieces from Stage & Screen.” Families and friends bring elaborate picnics to experience a magical evening as the sun sets atop Iron Mountain. Flambeaux will illuminate the Olmsted-designed pathways leading up to the 205foot Singing Tower that houses one of the world’s great carillons that will be performed by carillonneur William De Turk. Concert tickets will include general Gardens’ admission so guests may enter anytime during the day for picnics. Event gates open at 3:30 p.m. The Instrument Petting Zoo will begin at 4:30 p.m. Located on the Garden Activities Center lawn, families can try their hands at a variety of instruments with the help of Orlando Philharmonic musicians. The popular picnic contest will award prizes for Most Elegant, Most Original and Best Fall. Winners will be announced during intermission. Visit for more information.

Foodies can sample the cuisine, culture and entertainment of more than two dozen countries during a 1.3-mile stroll around a picturesque 40-acre lagoon. At Walt Disney World Resort, more than 25 international marketplaces around the World Showcase promenade at Epcot invite guests to taste tapas-sized portions and sip wines, beers and spirits from six continents. This year, Disney and celebrity chefs have teamed with winemakers and brew masters from around the world to commemorate 15 years of Delicious Discoveries. During the festival, guests will discover: Three new tasting marketplaces – Belgium, South Korea and Singapore – plus new menu offerings at popular returning marketplaces including Argentina, Chile, Poland, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Australia, U.S.A., Spain and others. Celebrity chef appearances starring top culinarians like Warren Brown, Cat Cora, Todd English, Gale Gand, Robert Irvine, Art Smith, Andrew Zimmern and more. A complimentary Marketplace Discovery Passport to be stamped at each international marketplace visited for the perfect scrapbook souvenir. Daily wine seminars, bottle signings, author events and culinary demonstrations at the Festival Welcome Center. Two Epcot restaurants grand opening just in time for the festival: Via Napoli authentic pizzeria at the Italy pavilion and La Hacienda de San Angel at the Mexico pavilion. Eat to the Beat! concerts three times nightly at America Gardens Theatre. Remaining acts to perform are: Oct. 13-15 – Sister Hazel; Oct. 16-17 – Howard Jones; Oct. 18-19 – Expose; Oct. 20-21 – 38 Special; Oct. 22-24 – Night Ranger; Oct. 25-27 – Billy Ocean; Oct. 28-31 – Starship with Mickey Thomas Starship starring Mickey Thomas. All performances are at America Gardens Theatre, with shows at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. each day.

. . . So What Else Is Happening at Walt Disney World? - Approximately 150 award-winning artists who turn clay, wood, metals, oils, watercolors and more into creations that treat the eyes – into things such as paintings, jewelry, sculptures and photographs – will show off their works at Festival of the Masters Nov. 12-14 at Downtown Disney. One of the Southeast’s most highly regarded juried art festivals since 1975, Festival of the Masters features live entertainment and family-friendly activities each day.

- In time for fall, Givenchy is opening a shop at the France pavilion in Epcot that will be the only retail location in the United States to offer the full line of Givenchy make-up and skin-care products, as well as a large selection of Givenchy fragrances. - The 40th chapter of a PGA TOUR tradition will be written Nov. 11-14 when the Children’s Miracle Network Classic takes place on Disney’s Palm and Magnolia golf courses. - The latest luxury resort at Walt Disney World has fancy suites and a water park, but is not for humans. Pet lovers visiting Disney World can now board their furry friends at Best Friends Pet Care Resort. Best Friends has more than 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space including covered outdoor runs and play areas. A private dog park, that owners can visit with their pets, has a fenced walking trail bordering natural wetlands, separate areas with artificial turf and shade trees and a “canines only” water park. For more information, 407/824-4321 or

California Grill Fifteen Years and Counting


alifornia Grill, located on top of the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World, is celebrating it’s 15th year of operation, and 15 years of excellence in all matters of dining. Through the years, top notch chefs have graced the kitchen of this California Cuisine-style restaurant, the best sommeliers have handled the wine choices, and food has always been the freshest possible. That tradition continues today with Chef Brian Piasecki at the helm (since January, 2009), and sommelier Bridget Sherren providing clever wines pairings. Good restaurants usually change their menus around seasonally, but they also know they need to keep certain “old standard” dishes that they have become known and loved for. Chef Brian knows this, and although he likes to change up his foodstuffs, he still keeps a few old favorites (ours is the Grilled Pork Tenderloin with GoatCheese Polenta and Zinfandel Glaze.) Also on the menu since day one, is Yoshie’s Sushi, created by Chef Yoshie, and considered to be the best around, and the start of the sushi trend that caught on like East Coast Tempura Soft Shell Crab wildfire through the years. Chef Brian uses local produce when possible, but most important to him is quality, so he will bring in the best of the best from across the country for his culinary creations. He is quite the artist at combining ingredients that may sound odd on paper, but taste fabulous. Speaking of art, his presentations are also works of art, and you may find yourself turning your dish around to enjoy it at all angles before diving in. Chef Piasecki uses only the freshest ingredients.

Chef Bria

n Piaseck


A pleasant surprise for us was a Peaches and Cream dessert, made with delicious Florida peaches — yes, peaches from Florida — pretty new to the scene as they have been so difficult to grow in Florida in the past. Chef Brian discovered they were quite good and started using them in the California Grill — seasonally, of course. A special cocktail to celebrate the restaurant’s 15th anniversary has been created by bartender Ray, called the Golden Gate Cocktail, which includes Remy Martin VSOP Cognac, Amaretto Disaronno, cranberry juice, and a bit of orange juice. Of course, beside the incredible food and wine is the stunning view from the California Grill — a panoramic vision of the entire Walt Disney World Resort and beyond. If you time it right, you can catch the fireworks at the different Disney Parks. Perhaps you have an anniversary Seared Columbia River Wild Line-Caught Salmon coming up too. Why not spend it at one of the best restaurants around — the California Grill? Or, you can just celebrate their anniversary! In any case, you should definitely make reservations in advance, as this restaurant is hugely popular. For reservations and more information, call (407) WDW-DINE, or visit


Flint Riverquarium

Albany, Georgia — The Good Life

ocated in the Southwest part of the state, Albany has a good rep with industry magazines, who consider it to be a top-tier city with an attractive cost-of-living. The Flint River flows through the city and is a source of beauty and a great location for some new attractions. It wasn’t always so, however, when a devastating flood hit the city in 1994, it required a massive recovery effort on the part of the city and it’s inhabitants. Out of the bad comes good, and much revitalization has taken place since the flood. New museums and art — add in some interesting historical buildings, and you’ve got a really nice cultural base.


Pebble Hill Plantation

Meerkat at Chehaw State Park


relaxing stroll (or jog) along part of the three mile long beautiful Riverwalk takes you past several attractions, including the terrific Riverquarium, which has a 175,000-gallon 22-foot deep outdoor aquarium with carp, bass, gar, sturgeon, and more of the fish you will find in the Flint River, and it follows the path of the river which ends up at the Gulf of Mexico (886 miles). They have also installed a new bird aviary

rent version dating from 1931. The bridge was built by a slave-born African-American named Horace King, a master bridge builder who bought his freedom by working as a craftsman slave. As well as being a welcome center, Bridge House has some historic city memorabilia and also a hands-on, exact bronze miniature version of the Ray Charles sculpture created so that blind people may appreciate it as well. There is an excellent movie on Southwest Georgia shown upstairs in the building, which is a good way to start off your Albany visit. Oh, and there are also three ghosts who live at Bridge House — one of which apparently doesn’t like women — keeps opening the doors after they close them.


e stayed directly across the street from Ray Charles Plaza at the Hilton Garden Inn, and so, were able to appreciate the plaza at different times of day and night, always reflecting on the amazing musical contributions of Mr. Charles. The hotel has a Flint Riverquarium exhibit

where they rehab injured birds. Their Adventure Center has changing exhibits and houses Georgia’s only Iwerks movie theater, which is huge at three stories tall and four stories wide . Albany is the birthplace of the “Genius of Soul”, Ray Charles, and he has been memorialized in a moving (figuratively and literally) bronze sculpture by Andy Davis located on the bank of the Flint River. The sculpture of Ray capturing singing and play-

Ray Charles Plaza

ing the piano is surrounded by a fountain, and revolves slowly, taking 30 minutes for a full revolution, and going 24 hours a day. Ray’s music is piped in from morning ‘til night, and special lighting creates a particularly soothing ambiance. Sitting on the park bench, listening to his music and the soft sound of the water is like attending a special concert for one. Steps away from the Ray Charles Plaza is the 1858 Historic Bridge House, which is now Albany’s Welcome Center. It originally served as the toll house for traveling east and west on the Flint River bridge, the cur-

Thronateeska Planetarium

houses a large collection of traditional African art, and has rotating exhibits. Also under the Arts Council umbrella is the Thronateeska Heritage Center, which includes a history museum, a science museum and a planetarium in a complex that includes an old 1936 train depot. The museum takes visitors through Albany area history beginning with the Creek Natives up to today. The Union Train Station has steam locomotives and rail cars, and an HO-scale model railway exhibit set up inside of the train cars. An impressive planetarium has a “SciDome” high-definition projection system with digital surround sound, and is the first of its kind in the world. You will see the universe as never before in the movies projected.

One of the most important and moving of Albany’s sites is the Civil Rights Museum and the 1906 Mt. Zion Church. The museum is well Hilton Garden Inn laid out, with many photos, stories and memorabilia. We were very great location for touring the area, and cre- privileged to be visiting the church at the ates a home-away-from-home atmosphere same time that the legendary Freedom for guests. Decor is warm, cozy and inviting Singers were performing. Every 2nd throughout the hotel and guest rooms, and Saturday of the month at one PM they come their extremely comfortable adjustable sleep and sing, be it a full house or only two souls. system beds are very welcome after a busy During the early 1960s they performed day. The convenient onsite American Grill hymns and spirituals throughout the country Restaurant serves a free hot breakfast, and is to raise funds for the Student Nonviolent also open for lunch and dinner. Coordinating Committee (SNCC) for Civil Rights. Today they serve as an important he Albany Arts Council promotes the reminder of what man’s inhumanity to man different art, music and heritage organi- can be, and how far we’ve come, and how zations throughout Albany and is located in far we still have to go. the historic 1906 Neo-classical Rutha Harris leads the Freedom Carnegie Library (one of 2,500 Singers at the Mt. Zion Church. libraries Andrew Carnegie built scattered throughout the world), where they have monthly rotating art exhibits — definitely worth a visit. The Albany Museum of Art is perfectly designed for displaying art, with great spatial areas and high walls. Their collection includes 19th and 20th century American and European paintings, sculptures, and photographs. The Museum also



flowing at 70,000 gallons per minute, with trace sources of radium, and has an extensive underwater cavern system. Back in the 20s there was a casino and resort on the property that attracted folks for the properties of the water which was thought to be healthful because of the radium element. The water temperature is 68° year round. The casino was heavily damaged by a flood in 1998 and consequently was demolished. A botanical garden is currently in the works for the springs.

Southwest Georgia. It is an ideal place to take the family.


e took a day trip over to nearby Thomasville, a charming city with refurbished historic buildings downtown, and trendy shops and restaurants. The cur-


ome of you may remember Jim Fowler, the always entertaining wildlife expert from TV’s “Wild Kingdom” that used to appear on the Johnny Carson “Tonight Thomas Drug Store still operating since 1881 in Thomasville

Mt. Zion Church

Rutha Harris is the only original Freedom Singer in the current group, and her voice is the most powerful one we have ever heard. It’s guaranteed to bring chills down your spine. When the group sings soaring spirituals like “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child”, it’s hard not to weep openly and reflect on our country’s sorrowful past. Rutha told us about how Martin Luther King spoke from the pulpit in 1961 at the Shiloh Baptist church across the street, and how people who marched for freedom hid toothpaste and soap in their clothing, and wore extra padding under their clothes because they knew they would be arrested and (literally) dragged off to jail. Rutha herself was arrested three times in two weeks and hauled off to jail — dragged, but not beaten. Their music kept them motivated and even had a positive effect on some of the police at the time. Music is indeed a powerful tool for spreading the word.


ne of the “Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia” is located in Albany — Radium Springs. It is the largest natural spring in the state with deep blue water Radium Springs

Chehaw Park walkway through natural setting

rent shops have plaques outside their building with the name and 1880s date of the original store at that location. The Thomas Drug Store is still operational, and their plaque is dated 1881, and Jerger Johnson Jewelers is still going since 1857, to name a few. A famous landmark in town is not a building, but rather a huge 322 year-old oak tree with a limb span that is wider than A horse and buggy ride around Pebble Hill Plantation.

Cheetahs get ready for their run.

Show” bringing all sorts of unpredictable wild animals with him. Jim is originally from Albany, and designed one of the best Niagara Falls is deep, and one of the largest nature parks we have ever seen, called east of the Mississippi. Chehaw. Created 36 years ago, it is a 700 There are around seventy-four planacre park, 100 acres of which are a zoo kept tations in Southwest Georgia today, but only in a totally natural setting. You will find 55 two are open to the public. The other planspecies including rhinos, eagles, lemurs zebras, cheetahs, and crowd favorites — The charming city of Thomasville. meerkats. If you go to Chehaw, try to schedule your visit timed to catch the cheetah run — it’s amazing to see them in action. The animals have plenty of space in which to roam, and the alligators have a huge natural swamp to live in. Jim is still actively involved with the park which has a BMX trail, RV camps, cabin, a fishing pond, a sightseeing train, lake for kayaking and canoeing, and the largest children’s play park in

the greatest racehorses of all time, “Man O’ War”. We had a delightful tour of the property via horse and buggy, and could see why it is a favorite place for a dream wedding. We visited another plantation which is for serious wingshooters. It’s the Wynfield Lodge, an Orvis endorsed Wingshooting Lodge. It’s a first class operation offering hunters the option of bringing their own dogs and guns, or they have everything available at the lodge. Wynfield’s dogs include English setters, pointers, cockers, Brittany’s and labs, are from the best bloodPearly’s General Mgr. Carl Mann greets customers lines, get the best training, and are at the famous landmark. Gorgeous wall paintings adorn several rooms at worth around $6,000 each. Pebble Hill Plantation. Wynfield’s accommodations are Riverfront BBQ is less than three years old, tations are privately owned and are either sumptuous cabins, and the main lodge but the crowds come for the great barbecued just being used as residences or are hunting serves fine Southern cuisine. pork offered up with your choice of 4 deliplantations. We visited Pebble Hill, which cious homemade sauces. Wraps, pasta and peaking of great was built in the 1820s. It was used as a great friendly atmosphere can Southern cuisine, resort plantation from the 1870s to the turn be found at Harvest Moon. of the 20th century, where wealthy we found it in abunThe Cheese Steak Sandwich is Northerners would come to spend winters dance during our really tasty! Folks pile into shooting quail. The property can still be Albany stay. The Blackbeard’s Restaurant for leased out for hunting. Pebble Hill is beau- Catch Restaurant had their huge portions, and alltiful, and reminiscent of “Tara” from Gone great seafood and a you-can-eat specials. Their With The Wind. It is set on 3,000 acres, with Cheese Grit Cake to fried seafood is a favorite. an old growth forest, and the home itself is die for. Pearly’s The Sunset Grill’s cuisine is Country now a fabulous museum time capsule of dif- Famous more California than Southern, ferent periods of the home’s life with origi- Cooking is the place The Catch serves great seafood and their and we enjoyed their baconpopular Cheese Grit Cake. nal furnishings. Thirty-six 1st edition to go for breakfast, wrapped scallops and a huge Audubon prints adorn the walls in addition where they serve a delicious full sit down plate of nachos. to some fine American sporting art. Pebble breakfast with the speed of fast food takeHill’s beautiful stables were created after a out. You had better know what you want lbany may provide the good life for design by Thomas Jefferson, and one of the when you get to the counter, or you will be residents, but it also delivers a good horses in the stable is a descendent of one of taken to task! Locals line up for Pearly’s. time for visitors.



View from Wynfield Plantation Lodge

- , Albany, GA - - Albany, GA Albany, GA - Albany, GA - - Albany, GA -

Tarpon Springs Events Opera Tampa celebrates with highlights of the season. Opera Tampa Apprentices present a program of the most beloved opera music, directed by Maria Zouves, Associate General Director of Opera Tampa and Founder and Executive Director of The V.O.I.C.Experience Foundation. Heritage Museum, Tarpon Springs.

Maria Zouves

(Halloween weekend) From 10-6 enjoy a plethora of Arts, Crafts and Food at the Sponge Docks located on Dodecanese Boulevard between Hope and Athens Streets. at 7:30 pm. An old-fashioned sing-along with folk hits such as This Land Is Your Land, Michael Row The Boat Ashore, Scotch & Soda, If I Had A Hammer, and many more. Song sheets provided. Guitarist and singer Dave Wladaver leads the audience on a journey down memory lane. Heritage Museum. at 2 pm. Dr. Mary Safford (1834-1891) discusses the ancestors and lives of the Safford Family. “Dr. Safford,” portrayed by Dr. Elizabeth Coachman, shares details of her fascinating life story and that of her family. Enjoy a walk through the Safford home during this historical re-creation event. Also meet Anson Safford (as portrayed by Bruce Miller) the ex-governor of Arizona Territory, founder of Tarpon Springs and believer in spiritualism. Madame Isobel Victoria, a Professional Spiritualist with 140 years experience, will be a highlight of this Halloween afternoon. Light refreshments and predictions. Safford House Museum.

. Dine under the stars from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. Enjoy free activities, including Greek music, dancing, dining and more at the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks located on Dodecanese Boulevard between Hope and Athens Streets. The event features live music by Ellada, Greek dancing and free lessons in tavli (Greek backgammon) offered by players from the World Tavli Association. Ellada, an exciting Greek band composed of three of the most accomplished Greek musicians in the state. Ellada will perform nisiotika, the lively traditional music of the Greek islands, as well as old and new Greek favorites. Ellada includes George Soffos, bouzouki; Dino Theofilos, keyboard; and Elias Poulos, vocals. Prior to the main event, there will be live Greek music by the Bouzouki Boys between 4 and 6pm on Dodecanese Blvd. at Riverwalk, west of Hope Street. A down-and out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon “Audrey II” grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&Bsinging carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination.Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. For more information, 727-942-5605,


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e already knew we liked cruising and the Bahamas, so this clever concept sounded like a fun trip. We chose the one night over cruise, two nights at the resort, and the return one night cruise. Our four night getaway satisfied both pleasures for us.


he 1,500-passenger MS Bahamas Celebration is a smaller size cruise ship (originally a cruiseferry) that has been totally renovated and updated with a $10 million makeover into an attractive ship with the same amenities you will find on her

supervised and age-appropriate kids clubs with a variety of games and activities. There’s also a kids’ water park area with a 180-foot water slide. Wifi is available in the lobby for a price (not cheap, but that’s true on all cruise ships.) We found the food to be quite good, and at least comparable to the large cruise ship lines, and in some cases, surprisingly better. One thing the ship doesn’t have at this time is 110 AC current (they use European 220 DC) so your hairdryers and any electronic devices you bring with you will not work. If you care about this, you should bring a converter with you. arriving in Freeport, pasU pon sengers can enjoy the

Our Lucaya pretty much has everything you could possibly need for a resort vacation, with golf courses, tennis, a spa, casino, dining, steps to shopping, and all sorts of water sports along their 370-acre stretch of soft-sand beach.

excursions they signed up for on the ship, such as snorkeling, horseback riding, glass bottom boat rides or they can spend the day at Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort, before heading back to the ship by 4:30 larger counterparts, but scaled down, and less glitzy. A lot of people prefer this more intimate size to the new mega-ships. To our delight, we found our modern outside cabin to be the same size that we are used to on the

PM. The folks that chose to stay over on the island head over when the ship docks to check in to the resort. Hint: Everyone arrives at the same time, so you may want to plan to drop your suitcases with the bellman and enjoy the resort or tool around Freeport for a few hours to avoid the long line at check-in.


he five-star Our Lucaya Resort is actually two separate hotels on one large property. The Reef Village is a more casual style, and the luxurious Radisson is a bit more posh. We, being more laid back, stayed in the Reef Village, and had a lovely tropical-style room overlooking the pool and gorgeous blue waters of the Caribbean beyond. large cruise ships. (The Bahamas Celebration is not to be confused with Carnival’s ship named Celebration, as it is not associated with Carnival.) The ship offers four restaurants, a casino, nightclub, lounges, live shows and entertainment, dancing, a spa, pool, and jacuzzis. There’s something going on at all times for those who are interested in a lot of ship activities. For kids, there are three


his “combo” cruise/Bahama vacation, or any version of it, should satisfy anyone who, like us, enjoys both. For more information about Bahamas Celebration, visit and more more information about Our Lucaya Resort, visit



he incomparable Mel Brooks’ movies are now available in Blu-ray, and are a must-have for any fan of the undisputed king of parody. Such classics as History Of The World Part I (1981), High Anxiety (1977), and Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993) are presented with special features throw in. Brooks takes us on a laugh-filled look at what really happened throughout time. His delirious romp features everything from a wild send-up of “2001” to the real stories behind the Roman Empire (Brooks portrays a stand-up philosopher at Caesar’s Palace), the French Revolution (Brooks reigns as King Louis XVI) and the Spanish Inquisition (a splashy song-and-dance number with monks and swimming nuns.) It’s Mel and company at their hilarious best. - Brooks’ renowned spoof of the most

NEW DVD RELEASES DRAMA Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana star in James Cameron’s masterpiece. A reluctant hero embarks on an epic adventure, ultimately fighting to save the alien world he has learned to call home. Avatar, a live action film with a new generation of special effects, delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story. - Blu-Ray. A sizzling, starstudded cast brings to life the legendary battle to deliver justice to Tombstone. Kurt Russell turns in a gripping performance as U.S. Marshall Wyatt Earp, and Val Kilmer ignites the screen as Doc Holliday. Together, they team up to bring law to the lawless in a notorious showdown with the ruthless outlaws at the O.K. Corral. Experience the remarkable picture and theater-quality sound of Tombstone in Blu-ray, High Def. Blu-Ray. Starring Clint Eastwood in three of his classic films. -A mysterious gunman has just arrived in a dusty border town where two rival bands of smugglers are terrorizing the impoverished citizens. A master of the “quick-draw,” the stranger soon receives offers of employment from each gang. But his loyalty cannot be bought. He pitts one against the other in a series of brilliantly orchestrated set-ups. - Eastwood is a bounty hunter on the bloody trail of the territory’s most treacherous bandit. But his rival is determined to bring Indio in first...dead or alive. - A cashbox containing $200,000, that was stolen and hidden in an unmarked grave, is the focus of three men: two criminals and a stranger.

famous Hitchcockian classics — “Vertigo,” “The Birds,” “Psycho” and “Spellbound” — is one of his most outrageous comedy classics. After a Harvard psychiatrist (Brooks) takes over the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous, he realizes his predecessor died under suspicious circumstances. When events take a murderous turn, he is accused of the crime and left with a full blown case of High Anxiety. Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman and Cloris Leachman costar in this hilarious parody. - Cary Elwes stars as Robin Hood, the dashing defender of the down-trodden, who along with his merry men and Maid Marion, resides in Sherwood Forest. There they have become together to fight against the seriously neurotic Prince John, the not quite-evil Sheriff of Rottingham, and the mad scorceress Latrine. Funny stuff!

[SERIES] - This compelling documentary series unlocks the hidden secrets, psychological flaws and events that result in the tragic deaths of famed notorious and the iconic. Every episode maps out the final 24 hours of a different famous person’s life. The series weaves the star’s back-story with events from their last day, which lays bare the threads of fate that led inextricably from childhood to the moment of death. Featured celebrities are: JANIS JOPLIN, KEITH MOON, SID VICIOUS, MARVIN GAYE, HUNTER S. THOMPSON, ANNA NICOLE SMITH, GIANNI VERSACE, and NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON. : Naughty Nurses & Tawdry Teachers. Known as ‘King of the Bs,’ iconic filmmaker Roger Corman ruled the exploitation movie genre, beginning in the mid1950s and continuing through today. A number of important actors and filmmakers got their first big break from Corman, including Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Jonathan Demme and Ron Howard. Featured in this special four-disc collector’s set are short skirts, bad apples, failing grades, sharp needles, and cold bedpans. Blu Ray, Starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, and directed by Michael Bay. When NASA’s executive director, Dan Truman realizes the Earth has 18 days before it’s obliterated by a meteor the size of Texas, he has only one option — land a ragtag team of roughneck oil drillers on the asteroid and drop a nuclear warhead into its core. Spectacular special effects, and great characters make this an exhilarating thrill ride. - Blu Ray & DVD. Vegas, Baby. Nomi’s (Elizabeth Berkley) dreams and desires to make it big are high. When she catches the eye of Cristal (Gina Gershon), the Stardust’s

headliner, Nomi is on the brink of realizing her dreams. But she soon realizes that there is only room for one starlet on the marquee. - One by one the townsfolk of Ogden Marsh are falling victim to an unknown toxin and are turning violent. People who lived quiet, unremarkable lives are now depraved, blood-thirsty killers. The government uses deadly force to close off all access and won’t let anyone in or out – even those uninfected, which becomes a horrifying struggle for the few remaining survivors as they try to get out of town alive.

- Unidentified Farm Objects and paranormal sightings are the norm with Shaun the Sheep and his barnyard buddies Bitzer, Shirley, and Timmy, as they encounter more madcap mischief along with those Naughty Pigs next door. - Send the little ones off to dreamland with visions of flowers, clouds and butterflies dancing to the delightful vocals of renowned singer-songwriter Sara Hickman in this beautifully animated DVD. Big Bird, Little Bird features 13 soothing songs for children ages newborn to five. - The Purple One continues to entertain the kiddies with two new DVDs. Go on magical journeys filled with fun and excitement as Barney and friends branch out and enjoy the outdoors with activities, exercising, discovery and just relaxing along the way. - Saving the earth never gets old with Elmo and his gang. Learn why it’s important not to litter and why it’s best to completely use both sides of a piece of paper before throwing it away. Lively songs and animated segments mixed in with live action and

puppetry keep viewers focused and glued to the screen. - Pre-schoolers favorite friends are back with two new DVDs. COLORS ARE FUN! - Come along with Barney and find out how bright the sunshine is when colors dance in the air, Bob the Builder as he discovers rich cave paintings, and Thomas as he collects colorful items for a magic show. BEING A FRIEND - Join the friends as they discover that being a friend brings responsibility and adventure, but that friendship is a reward you will treasure forever. - Experience the lovable antics of three of the world’s most famous musicians with 7 specially selected episodes of the hit Disney Channel Original Series. DVD includes the never-before-seen bonus feature, “You’ve Just Been JoBro’d! — Surprising Jordin Sparks,” I HEART JONAS is a must-have for any Jonas Brothers fan. 2 Discs includes 19 Episodes. This half hour comedy focuses on the bizarre experiences of fresh faced medical intern John JD Dorian as he embarks on his healing career in a surreal hospital crammed full of unpredictable staffers and patients, where humor and tragedy can merge paths at any time. - Ending its critically acclaimed CBS-TV run after just one season (1963-64), the Judy Garland Show’s 26 episodes are revered by many today as the legendary entertainer’s finest work. These delightful episodes feature Lena Horne, Terry-Thomas, Tony Bennett, Dick Shawn and Jerry Van Dyke. Restored and digitally remastered from the original videotapes and digitally remixed sound. - Go where no Family Guy fan has gone before with Family Guy Volume 8 with 15 uncensored and extended episodes on 3 discs, and loaded with outrageous extras only available on DVD.

- Zappa published a record of his most important influences on the inside cover of his debut album. This film explores the musical roots of Frank Zappa by putting The Freak Out List under the microscope and tracing the lineage from the most pivotal names therein to the recordings and performances of the man himself. - This DVD contains some of the Kinks finest moments and is full of rarely seen performances from the sixties through the nineties with comments from band members including Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory. Footage comes from live concerts and television performances. - Re-live every great moment, knockout, submission and fight with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships). All the superstars are featured in their most spectacular bouts. Includes footage from the history making UFC 100 event. Over 2 Hours of Bonus Fights, Behind the Scenes Featurette, Interactive Jump to Fight Mode Allows Instant Access to Bonus Fights During Main Feature. - Tai is discharged from jail and returns home only to find his brother in a coma. Determined to find the truth, Tai assumes his brother Tan’s identity, which ultimately leads him to an underground ultra-violent game based on Muay Thai and Basketball principles, but hosted by criminal drug lords. Tai risks his life to avenge his brother on the only court where murder is legal. - It’s the world’s most powerful residence, where making decisions affecting millions of Americans is routine business. But the White House is also home for the president and his family. Smithsonian Networks takes you on an insider’s tour to meet the people who make the world’s most famous house a home. Loyal White House residence staff share their unique and personal views on eve-



rything from first pets, preparations for inauguration, behind-the-scenes views of world-altering events … even presidential scandals.

XBOX 360 Samurai Shodown Sen by Xseed

The eleventh overall game in the longlived and popular Samurai Shodown series features 24 available fighters, more than half of which are returning from earlier game versions. Set during the twilight days of Japan’s feudal Edo period, this latest iteration reveals a society on the brink of collapse, as encroaching Western influences threaten to overrun the ancient, once-hidden culture of lords, serfs, and samurai. Impressive 3D visuals, brutal finishing moves and online play and leaderboards via Xbox Live complete the series’ much anticipated rebirth on a Next-Gen platform.

lot of character. No building above three stories is allowed, and you will find very few chain establishments.

My husband and I may not agree on a lot of things — Neil Diamond vs. Jimi Hendrix (that just dated us, didn’t it!) But one thing we do agree on is our decision to move to Florida from our respective Northern cities. Warm weather and great beaches sold us. As we travel around Florida, we are constantly amazed by how varied the beaches and beach towns are and all they have to offer. Somewhere in the state is the perfect beach experience for everyone — be it utter seclusion or around the clock partyPart of the Honeymoon Package includes rose petals and candlelight.

time. We heard that Anna Maria Island is the perfect beach area for unwinding and relaxing, so we headed down to the island’s BridgeWalk Resort to catch some rays. It turns out the BridgeWalk is a popular getaway for folks from the close-by cities of Tampa, St. Pete and Orlando, just because of the “homey” feeling of the hotel, and the relaxed reputation of the island. Anna Maria Island is actually three separate municipalities — Bradenton Beach, Homes Beach and Anna Maria. From the casual observer, it’s pretty much a seamless blend between cities, but they each have their own mayor, police force, etc. But they all agree on one thing — keeping the island as is, with a

Built some nine years ago by a charming mother and daughter team, BridgeWalk Resort is located on the southern end of the island, and close to the shopping and attractions found on Longboat Key and Sarasota. The resort is the Living suite largest hotel in in a BridgeW alk Townhous e. the area with 28 rooms, from studio suites to 2 bedroom townhouses. strong in the area. Artists come They have connecting and do some working displays rooms which makes it at the resort, as well as feature great for families or their paintings. A scheduled dinfriends traveling together. ner with the artists leads to aniTheir guest suites are Sun House’s Steak Oscar with Dill mated discussions about art, and very spacious, and, of Mashed Potatoes. the events are growing in popuspecial note — absolutely larity. spotless. Our 2 bedroom townhouse looked Right across the street from the hotel is the like we were the first people to ever use it. really cute Fish Hole Miniature Golf, and The furnishings and fixtures are high quality some funky and artsy boutiques line the and pristine. street. If you go to the resort with your sigWhat else is there to do on the island? nificant other, treat yourself to the Again, relaxation, unwinding is the key. “Honeymoon Package” — a chilled bot- Watersports are plentiful, there’s great fishing tle of champagne and chocolate covered at the historic pier, and some fine golf strawberries await you when you enter courses are nearby as well. your suite, and the kingsize bed and The BridgeWalk’s slogan is “You’ll Love jacuzzi are covered in rose petals sur- It Here!” and it’s true... you will. rounded by candlelight. It will set your mood up for your entire getaway! The BridgeWalk is located at 100 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island, Just a two-lane road separates the hotel FL 34217. For more information about from the beach, and BridgeWalk’s Sun BridgeWalk, call 866-779-2545, or visit House Restaurant offers a panoramic view of the beach. The resort staff is as warm and friendly as can be, and we For more photos of BridgeWalk, visit made sure we had dinner at sundown for - Travel & the Sun House’s evening “celebration” of Event Photo Gallery - Florida Travel. green flash shooters and the singing of “You Are My Sunshine” when a bang on a gong announces the official dip of the sun. The Sun House is a local favorite, and serves up some very attractive and delicious dishes. Their Steak Oscar with Dill Mashed Potatoes is a real crowd pleaser. The resort’s complimentary breakfast is very satisfying as well, with a wide array of breakfast choices. Their makeyour-own waffles are especially tasty, and folks kept going back for more (including us). BridgeWalk plays host to the Anna Maria Artist Guild, which is very


A Pink Jeep Tours the Valley of Fire

. Freak ‘N Magic perform Weds through Suns on the 3rd Street Stage. Frank & The Steins will perform Thurs through Mons on the 1st Street Stage. These performances will be a live music review of classic Halloween songs like “Spooky” and “Time Warp.” Tues through Sats will feature Alice and Ozzy Frightmare, an Alice Cooper/ Ozzy Osbourne Tribute Band on the Main Street Stage. All shows will begin at 8 p.m. and are free and open to the public. or call 702-6785600.

love Las Vegas — the glitz, the shows, the great food, the resorts, the slots, shopping — all of it. But there is another world beyond the strip, and it is chock full of fascinating discoveries. True, you can rent a car and flounder around on your own, but you don’t have to. With Pink Jeep Tours, anything of interest can be found on one of their many tours covering anything drivable from Las Vegas. And, as the


Pink Jeep Guide Carlos Tello

at the Las Vegas Rocks Cafe in the Embassy Theatre is a music, comedy and multimedia journey through the history of Las Vegas. It

starts from the 1930s, progresses to the present day, and includes a look into the future of Las Vegas in the year 2050. Vegas The Show stars entertainer Tony Sacca, impressionist Tom Wallek, and singer/dancers Laurie Caceres, Nellie Norris and Amanda Kaiser. , a new bar, restaurant and entertainment hot spot at Circus Circus. Flair bartending, live music and festive signature dishes will be the focus at this 14,000 sq. ft

rock-inspired venue. Bartending will take center stage as drinks and bottles are flipped, juggled, spun, balanced and poured by some of the best professionals in the business. Chef Alfonso Contrisciani brings his unique food presentations to Rock & Rita’s menu.

name implies, you do it in a pink jeep (actually a 10-passenger all-terrain “Tour Trekker or a 6passenger SUV - both comfortable and air conditioned.) Most importantly, the Pink Jeep folks hire only expert and affable driver/guides to take you on your adventures. The tours mostly consist of the natural (and some man-made) wonders that surround Las Vegas, such as: The Grand Canyon West Rim, where the amazing Skywalk out over the canyon is; Hoover Dam; Red Rock Canyon and it’s scenic drive; Mount Charleston, where you can drive from shirtsleeves on the strip to snow on the mountain in 45 minutes; Eldorado Canyon, where you can tour an old goldmine; the famous Death Valley National Park with the ghost town of Rhyolite; Zion National Park with it’s amazing landscape; and the stunning Valley of Fire State Park. For this, my first Pink Jeep Tour, I chose stunning, and signed up for the Valley of Fire tour. I was picked up right in front of my hotel by my guide, Carlos Tello, and we picked up a few more fellow adventurers at their hotels, and were off. Although he’s done it a zillion times, Carlos made it feel like it was the first time he was viewing the wonders on our tour his enthusiasm was infectious, and he was very knowledgeable. The Valley of Fire is not far at all from Vegas (less than an hour’s drive northeast), so we had plenty of time to drive through the most interesting parts of the 46,000 acre park. There is a new Welcome Center in the park which blends nicely into the scenery, and is cleverly laid out. Part of the Mojave Desert, the valley was once the bottom of a deep ocean basin many millions of years ago. Faulting, uplifting and shifting of the earth’s crust created the

ingly diverse geological formations found throughout Southern Nevada. The Valley of Fire was so named for the amazing color variations to the ancient sandstone rock. There are many natural caves to be found in the valley, some used by animals through the centuries, some by man. There are several areas where man left his ancient mark, via rock art (called petroglyphs) which are still visible today. There are also some natural formations which resemble certain things or animals, and are so named. We saw “gorilla” rock, and “elephant” rock, but there’s certainly a bit of artistic license to call them that. None the less, the formations throughout the park are fascinating. Interestingly, but sadly, a well-known rock formation collapsed the day we were there. Since the rock is sandstone, it is actually delicate, and changes shape through the centuries due to wind and weather. Apparently, the time had come for Natural Arch to fall after standing for who knows how long. Lunch is included in the Pink Jeep tour, so we had a pleasant picnic at an area that had an old 1930’s stone cottage once used by travelers, and ancient petroglyphs adorning the rocks above. Though desolate and dry, the desert is home to many species of plant and animal. To see how amazing nature is, one only needs to look at desert flora and how it adapts to the most inhospitable landscape of the Mojave Desert. And eagles, turkey vultures — even an occasional condor may fly overhead, while fox, bighorn sheep and coyote roam the rocks, and Elephant Rock in Valley of Fire

scorpions, tarantulas and four varieties of rattlesnakes slither across the ground. You will rarely see them, since they are more afraid of you than you are of them — but you must still be careful where you walk. Our tour was a total of 6 hours, and Carlos delivered each of us back to our hotels in time to relax and reflect on our wonderful day away from the Vegas strip. For more information on Pink Jeep Tours, call (888) 900-4480, or visit Please visit to see many more photos of the Valley of Fire tour.

All guestrooms are suites at The Palazzo.


(which are already heads and tails in luxury above same price point rooms at other Vegas resorts, at a spacious 720 square feet.) The beautifully appointed suites have a sunken living room, large 130 sq. ft. marble bathroom with a Roman tub, 3 flat-screen TVs throughout, remote-control shades and curtains, a dining table, and a work desk. The bedroom area comes with either two queens or king beds that are super plush. And that, dear readers, is their basic guestroom. They actually get more and more luxurious as you upgrade.

s if staying in their gorgeous guest– room suites wasn’t enough, the Palazzo in Las Vegas has upped the The Palazzo and it’s next door sister ante, and now offers a “Prestige” package, resort, The Venetian, have it locked with which, at $100 more per night, is too good to the best of everything — guestsuites, pass up. Does that sound a bit pricey to you? dining, spa, entertainment, shopping, and Here’s what you get for your extra $100: gaming. We’ve already mentioned the • Champagne upon check in at the private guestsuites, and dining at the resorts is Prestige level on the 23rd floor. superlative as well, with many and varied • Packing and unpacking service. choices. From the basic (the food court in • Personal concierge service. Venetian’s Canal Shoppes) to the fine • Daily newspaper delivery to your suite. (celebrity chef restaurants) there is some• Complimentary cocktail reception in the thing for every budget and every mood. 12,000 sq. ft. Prestige Lounge. Particular fine dining standouts are • Access to the Canyon Ranch SpaClub fitMario Batali’s Carnevino, Wolfgang ness center. Puck’s CUT, and Thomas Keller’s • Admission to Azure, the Palazzo’s luxury Bouchon. pool. Shopping within both resorts is pretty • Complimentary WiFi. • Complimentary local and Hot and cold hors d’oeuvres are served upscale, and you will find your most coveted 1-800 calls. in the Prestige Lounge. brands setting up shop • Business center with copyhere (think Barneys, ing, printing and internet availJimmy Choo, Piaget, ability. Ferragamo, etc.) • Plasma TVs throughout Some of the hottest the Prestige Lounge. shows in Las Vegas are • A deluxe continental at the Palazzo/Venetian breakfast in the Prestige lounge with the blockbuster • Afternoon teas and coffees “Jersey” Boys”, the in the Prestige lounge. quirky “Blue Man • Hot and cold hors d’oeuGroup”, and the best provres in the Prestige lounge. duction you’ve ever seen • Desserts and snacks in the of “The Phantom Of The Prestige lounge. Opera” to name a few. If you add all these perks Between the two casiup, they will certainly come nos (Palazzo & Venetian) you will find every well over $100, and you have the convenience table game imaginable and all the latest slot of not dealing with anything individually. So, machines. The two resorts are also offering a yes. Well worth it. new exclusive feature called “PocketCasino”, which enables you to keep gambling while you The guestrooms in the Prestige Package are drink, dance or dine. You can play Sports Book the same as the regular Palazzo guestrooms games, Extra Odds Baccarat, True Odds Prestige Lounge for relaxing and having a drink and a bite to eat. Black Jack, Extra Odds Black Jack, DeepStack progressive video poker and many more on this handheld device you can pick up in the casinos. (I’m not sure how you play blackjack or poker and dance at the same time, but that’s me.) Palazzo’s Azure (only open Friday thru Sunday) is the ultimate

in luxury pools. It looks like the French Riviera, and feels almost overindulgent (if there’s such a thing.) Complimentary fresh fruit, frozen grapes, beverages, ice towels, Evian mistings and fine cuisine samplings are offered while you lounge on a daybed or in a cabana. Enjoy music and fashion shows, and tasty treats by Wolfgang Puck (like smoked salmon pizza with black caviar, or Maine lobster salad) along with cocktails and champagne before or after you relax with a 50-minute massage. Ahhh. As you can see, you can stay at the Palazzo and actually never venture outside it’s complex

Inviting Prestige lobby.

for a complete resort vacation. And we have done it many times. If you visit Palazzo’s website, you will see some fabulous vacation package offers. As of this writing, there is a Special Moment’s Package for $139 per night, which includes a luxury suite, view upgrade, $30 dining credit, $50 off 50 minute spa service, 30% off Blue Man Group tix, $50 PocketCasino gaming credit, and $25 slot credit per guest. If you add that all up, the Palazzo is in the minus column.

Friendly concierge staff welcomes guests to the Prestige level.

Throw in the Prestige Package and you’re still way ahead of the game. But wait! There’s more! Join the Player’s Club (free) and enjoy gaming, and you will receive very generous offers for future visits (which can include free stays, dining credits, and slot/gaming free play). By the time you read this, that particular package may no longer be available, but there will be some other great offer in its place. I do believe I just talked us into heading back to Vegas and the Palazzo real soon! For more information on the Palazzo and the Prestige Package, visit




his gorgeous coffee table book is dedicated to America’s most famous wetland. The hardcover, fullcolor volume of 320 pages is filled with brilliant photography, including many two-page spreads and numerous full-page images, and is laid out at a generous size that heightens the book’s visual impact. Along with his photographs, the author also provides a descriptive essay that is personally touching, and scathing in its assault on current policy and cultural attitudes affecting the Everglades region. The result is a book of tremendous visual beauty that simultaneously packs a potent emotional and intellectual punch, a work of significance for lovers of the Everglades, but also for the future of environmental thought in general.

NEW RELEASES MEG: HELL’S AQUARIUM by Steve Alten. The Philippine Sea Plate is the most unexplored realm on the planet. Hidden beneath its primordial crust lies the remains of the Panthalassa, an ocean that dates back 220 million years, and is inhabited by nightmarish sea creatures long believed extinct. A 76-foot, 100,000 pound Megalodon birthed a litter of pups, and a Dubai royal prince wants two for his huge aquarium. David Taylor agrees to be their handler — not realizing that he is being set up to lead an expedition that will hunt down and capture the most dangerous creatures ever to inhabit the



lorida author Kim Cool will never quit until she has uncovered every ghost in Southwest Florida. With her sixth foray into the afterlife, she has researched haunted theaters along the Cultural Coast of Florida. With more theaters per capita than New York City, this area also seems to have more than its share of supernatural tales. Talks with actors, directors, playwrights, costumers, designers and other theater folk yielded hundreds of tales of wandering lost souls. A must read for ghost fans and those who are not quite sure what to believe. Kim Cool also writes about Florida, its travel destinations in her popular Cool Road Trips series, and its history.

JUSTICE IN JUNE by Barbara Levinson


riminal defense attorney Mary Magruder Katz gets caught up in a whirlwind of three different cases. Judge Liz Maxwell’s job, sanity, and reputation are at stake, and she needs Mary to ferret out wrongdoing in Miami’s courts. Luis Corona, a family friend of Mary’s boyfriend, Carlos, needs help with a legal matter that turns out to be a terrorism charge. Carlos gets in his own nasty legal quandary-one that could cost him everything. Three cases. One Mary. One torrential downpour of turmoil. Can she weather the storm? Ride out the cold front that settles over her once-hot romance? Salvage what remains of her-and her clients’-reputations? For Mary, this month’s forecast calls for trouble. Author Barbara Levenson has lived in Miami for the past 32 years. Barbara has served as a prosecutor, and run her own law practice where she focused on criminal defense and civil rights litigation. Barbara was elected to a judgeship in the circuit court of Miami-Dade County where she still serves as a senior judge.

Earth. FORTUNA by Michael R. Stevens. A Stanford computer science major, Jason Lind signs up to play Fortuna, an online role-playing game set in Renaissance Florence. He tumbles into a vibrant, lush, anonymous world. Swept up in the highly addictive game of power, Jason becomes obsessed with breaking Fortuna’s code of anonymity. When a sizable debt incurred in the game spills over into reality, he is forced to leverage the legacy of his father to pay off the debt. In the world of Fortuna, it’s not how you play the game; it’s if you survive. FRAGILE by Chris Katsaropoulos. In a lifelong act of penitence and defiance,

Amelia has remained a virgin and saved herself for Tris, her first love, who abandoned her more than fifty years ago. Tris has led a separate life of his own in the confines of a loveless marriage and shattered by his decision to leave Amelia. The only person who can repair the rift between Tris and Amelia is Holly, a single mother without means, who is trying somehow to mend her life while laid out in a hospital bed, a victim of her own suicide attempt. The stories of Tris, Holly, and Amelia are woven together by a connection that transcends the boundaries between this world and the next.

THE BUCK STOPS HERE: The 28 Toughest Presidential Decisions and How They Changed History by Thomas J.

Craughwell and Edwin Kiester. This book consists of twentyeight engrossing accounts of the most important United States presidential decisions in history. They range from the abolition of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation to the acquisition of vast new territory with the Louisiana Purchase to the establishment of enduring institutions such as Medicare and America’s national parks. This fascinating survey of twenty-eight crucial presidential decisions opens a door into the White House’s corridors of power, giving readers an insider’s view of how and why these decisions were made. THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SECOND LARGEST EMPIRE IN HISTORY: How Genghis Khan’s Mongols Almost Conquered the World by Thomas J. Craughwell. In the early 1200s, the Mongols, under their ferocious leader, Genghis Khan, quickly carved out an empire that by the late 13th century covered Eastern Europe to the eastern shore of Asia—and encompassed 110 million people. This book recounts the rapid expansion and dramatic decline of the Mongol realm, while examining its enduring influence on communities from the Danube River to the Pacific Ocean. OUTNUMBERED: Incredible Stories of History’s Most Surprising Battlefield Upsets by Cormac O’Brien. How did Hannibal’s 55,000 Carthaginians turn the tables on an 80,000-strong force of the ancient Roman army? What allowed 6,000 Englishmen to overcome 30,000 French at Agincourt in 1415? Which errors in judgment doomed a Russian army twice as large as its opposing German force at the Battle of Tannenberg during World War I? Author O’Brien’s powerful recreations of history’s most surprising military victories illuminate the strategies, secret weapons, and fateful decisions that turned the tide of battle in the most extraordinary ways. McCOY’s MARINES: Darkside to Baghdad by John Koopman. They were the soldiers who pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein — the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, led by Lt. Col. Bryan P. McCoy (radio call sign: Darkside). This is the story of their war, seen from the inside by reporter John Koopman, who captures the war in Iraq as it was lived, fought, and felt — the nitty-gritty as well as the guts-and-glory of it.


Kersh. Author Hoy Kersh gives readers a unique picture of the sorrows and joys of growing up on a dirt road in the Jim Crow South in the 1940s and early 1950s, prior to the Civil Rights Movement. Ms. Kersh shares her memories, including those of the historical figures who inspired her — Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr. all from a child s perspective. Kersh spent many of her days fending off the Ku Klux Klan, questioning authority, and avoiding her mother’s heavy hand, but she still managed to remain compassionate and determined. DEAR DAD by Ky-Mani Marle. Though reggae-music icon, Bob Marley’s iconic life was cut short before his time, his legacy lives on in part due to the musical talents of his children. The tenth son of Marley, Ky-Mani has written and performed songs of redemption around the world. This book is a narrative of a son locked out of his iconic father’s shelter for the first half of his life and forced to survive the poverty-stricken, violent ghetto, Liberty City in Miami. We follow his ascent from a bullet-riddled life to the world stages he now commands as a Grammy-nominated recording artist.

QUENTIN TARANTINO: Life at the Extremes by Aaron Barlow. This book explores the uses of violence in the films Tarantino has written, directed, and produced. Arguing that extreme violence is central to Tarantino’s art, the book helps readers understand its purpose in his films—as metaphor, as movement, and as motivation. In each of his movies, he explores the boundaries of taste and audience reaction, using violence and shock to bring questions of responsibility and expectation to the forefront of discussions on cinema.

START TALKING by Mary Jo Rapini & Janine Sherman. A Q&A guide for motherdaughter conversations about female health and sexuality, this book targets both daughters and mothers. Start Talking contains more than 113 questions girls ask including questions about periods, sex, relationships, body development, etc. Each chapter contains basic information accompanied by real-life vignettes, questions and answers for moms, questions and answers for daughters. “Table Talk” is meant to spark conversations.

LITTLE WHITE WHYS: A Woman’s Guide Through the Lies Men Tell and Why by I. Major, M.D. In this creative, honest approach, author I. Major helps women uncover the truth about men. A board certified psychiatrist, he provides intimate information about what takes place in a male’s mind and tells the truth about why men lie. Mixing humor with serious advice, the book serves as a guide for women navigating the dating world. Each chapter concludes with a realistic and functional quiz that analyzes the dating world and provides clues to men’s intentions. THE LAW OF THE GARBAGE TRUCK: How to Respond to People Who Dump on You, and How to Stop Dumping on Others by David J. Pollay. Author David J. Pollay’s life philosophy: By letting other people’s “garbage” — their negativity — simply “pass by,” and not dumping garbage on others, you can become happier and more successful, both personally and professionally. People remember the metaphor of the garbage truck for what can be achieved in life by not staking success and happiness on the behavior of others. Powerful and easily understood, The Law of the Garbage Truck will guide and inspire readers every day. MY LIFE: A Workbook by Lyzz Yamazaki. A journey of self discovery for anyone who wants to know more about themselves, this workbook consists of 254 questions that will provide invaluable insight into your true self, your goals, and your fears. The experience of answering the questions is one of liberation, discovery and honesty. This book will help move all aspects of your life into focus, leaving you with a clear vision of who you are, and who you want to be.

U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS: Growing My Leadership Garden by Debra J. Slover (Author), Darlene Warner (Illustrator). Using the classic model of the Ken Blanchard/Spencer Johnsonstyle business fable and adapting it to younger audiences, Debra Slover has created a sweetly illustrated book that empowers children, steers them toward positive patterning, and shows each child how to plant and nurture the seeds of good leadership while ridding their metaphorical gardens of the “weeds” (negative qualities that can harm children’s self-esteem). Kids who’ve been bullied may respond especially well to this book.

Cool NEW Stuff


K. I’ll admit it. I am a sucker for “As Seen On TV” stuff. I order it, and most of the time I’m not all that thrilled with what I get — yet I keep getting sucked in by a mind-controling commercial that convinces me I cannot live without their product. However, once in a while I’m actually happy with a product, and in this case — thrilled! I saw the Haan Steam Cleaner doing its thing on TV, and upoon checking it out, decided to upgrade to the Hann duo Steam Sweeper & Floor Sanitzer, since it looked like it would cut out the work step of sweeping first. I was skeptical about it working, but it does. We have tile throughout most of our house, so anything I can do to make my life easier is the way I go. The duo is easy to assemble from the package, and then you fill the tank, plug it in, and wait just 3 minutes for it to get up to temperature. Then place a microfiber pad on the bottom and you’re ready to go. The duo has a sweeper in the front, which catches bits of this and that on your floor before the steamer in back steams and cleans. The sweeper part won’t pick up nuts and bolts, but it will certainly take care of pet hair, cereal and even sloppy messes like spaghetti and icecream. We have tile throughout most of our house, so anything I can do to make my life easier is the way I go. The duo is also for carpet, rugs, hard-surface floors like hardwood, laminate, vinyl and more. Haan claims that the duo’s 212°F steam kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria, and it doesn’t use chemicals for a healthy home environment. Indeed, since you’re filling the tank with plain tap water, you’re saving money on chemical cleaners. It’s pretty lightweight also, weighing in at just under 8 pounds. The Haan duo actually makes cleaning the floor — dare I say it? — kinda fun. For more information on the Hann duo Steam Sweeper & Floor Sanitzer, visit You can see a little video of the product in action on their website.

Star Wars Mimobot Popular USB Flash Drives


esigner USB flash drive pioneer Mimoco has unveiled its newest line of Star Wars Mimobot designer flash drives. Devoted to the film that started it all — Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope — the latest series of classic characters immortalized as USB flash drives includes astromech droid extraordinaire, R2-D2 and the shootingimpaired Stormtrooper, both back by popular demand from the original Star Wars Mimobot series. Two newcomers also join the 2010 series, including the scavenger of the desert, the Jawa, and Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Mimobot designer USB flash drives are available in 2GB, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB memory capacities and are bundled with preloaded digital extras to enrich one’s personal desktop experience. Mimoco has been changing the way people think about USB flash drives. With characters ranging from original and community designs to crossovers with pop-culture newcomers like tokidoki, and iconic behemoths like Hello Kitty, Mimobot combines pop art and consumer electronics. For more information, including a full list of Mimobot characters and outposts, visit


here’s a new way to enjoy your favorite past travel spots — embedded in a beautiful paper weight. Glass Atlas is a paperweight like glass dome on top of an artistic image of a specific region or area from an outer space view. The authentic satellite imagery magnified through the crystal dome can be seen from all angles. You can pick the favorite place you’ve traveled, like Italy, the Grand Canyon and many more. The NASA satellite images provide an artistic way to enjoy the gorgeous view of the earth’s surface of places you’ve traveled. Each Glass Atlas is beautifully packaged in a unique ecofriendly wooden crate and comes complete with a small fact sheet about the specific image you’ve chosen. They can even engrave your Glass Atlas to make a great personalized gift. It’s a great piece of art that brings back memories of your special trip. You can also pick your special spot for birthday, graduation, retirement, promotion or any occasion. These creative accents will inspire and engage the imagination. The clever presentation box is handcrafted from the scraps of log cabin construction. Each Glass Atlas paperweight is 3 1/2” across, 1 7/8” deep and weighs 1 lb. 5 oz.

For more information on Glass Atlas, visit


chedules fill up fast, so it’s wise to begin planning your events with a good lead time. From clam bakes to coastal family gatherings, can help you get the word out to family and friends. The company offers one of the internet’s widest selections of invitations, announcements, stationery products and gifts to make every occasion special. offers over 9,000 products that include a wide variety of designs ranging from classic and traditional to modern and chic elements for every occasion. They carry some of the most popular vendors in the industry, Inviting Company, Stacy Claire Boyd, Odd Balls, Picture Perfect, SanLori Designs, Cross-My-Heart and Paper So Pretty, just to name a few. Consider some of their unique and festive selec-

tion of invitations. Hosting a Seafood Boil or Oyster Roast by the ocean’s edge? Mouths will start watering with a choice of several themed invitations. Whether you’re planning a milestone birthday like a first birthday or Sweet 16, or throwing a yearly bash, has hundreds of birthday party invitations to help you celebrate in style. They offer boy, girl and gender neutral birthday invites for children’s parties, birthday invitations for your baby’s first birthday, Sweet 16 birthday party invitations, and a huge array of chic birthday invitations for the adults. Since this will be the first impression people have of your party; it’s important to choose invitations that perfectly represent you and set the tone for your party. To peruse their varied stock of invitations, please visit

Cool NEW Stuff


ccording to the American Pet Products Association, 21 percent of dog owners and 3 percent of cat owners take their pets with them when they travel by car. That means more than 8 million pets per year gear up for some serious road tripping. Kakadu Pet has come to the rescue with their unique line of fun and funky pet travel products. Among their line of specialty travel products, the Kakadu Pet Adventure Mat is kind of like a “doggy blankey” that rolls up like a yoga mat and travels with your pet anywhere you go. It’s machine washable and comes in 4 funky color combinations. Traveling with the mat gives your pet a sense of security and a familiar smell at unfamiliar locations. While visiting friends, relatives, or even a pet friendly restaurant or coffee shop, your pet will always know where to sit and relax. Kakadu Pet’s line of high quality and fashionable travel bags provide pets weighing


USH Cosmetics believes in quite a few things as a company. They don’t test on animals or have any of their ingredients tested on animals. They don’t over package their products and don’t want to harm the environment. This is why they replaced the traditional gift wrap in their stores with Knot-Wrap stations. A Furoshiki-inspired technique, Knot-Wrap uses scarves, either made of recyclable materials or vintage fabrics, to package products in a fashionably and environmentally-friendly way. They were inspired by the Japanese art of wrapping, or ‘Furoshiki’, which means ‘bath spread’. Since the 1600s Furoshiki was used in public bathhouses to wrap and carry bathing articles. LUSH loved this style of wrapping so much that they borrowed the idea and put an eco-friendly twist on them; each Knot-wrap is made

up to 18 pounds the utmost comfort while still being stylish to carry. Available in 4 styles: Milan, Paris, New York and St. Germain, Kakadu Pet’s travel bags have an adjustable shoulder strap for a custom fit. They feature double front pockets to store essential treats and toys, as well as a water bottle pouch on the side. The Kakadu Pet Cot is another pet travel product. Unassembled, the cot fits into an easy-to-carry “tent” bag so you can take your pooch camping, to mom’s house, or even to a BBQ on the beach. The lightweight construction and design makes the cot easy to assemble and also allows air to circulate underneath dogs and cats, helping them regulate their body temperature while relaxing outside. The Kakadu Pet All Seasons Mat comes in the same colors as the cot and is designed to fit on top of the Pet Cot if your pooch or kitty wants extra padding. This reversible pad features a nylon canvas on one side and a fleece fabric on the other for extra warmth during the cooler months. Currently, the Kakadu Pet line includes collars, leads (traditional and retractable), harnesses, beds, clothes, bowls, and travel bags. For more information, visit

from recycled plastic bottles. These scarves can be used and reused in a variety of ways (purse, grocery bag, décor, etc.) and can be wrapped (in origamistyle) to carry products of all shapes and sizes. In just a few easy steps you can make a book wrap, a shoulder bag wrap, a 4-tie wrap and a bottle wrap. Collect all of the beautiful designs, wrap gifts in them or wear them in your hair. This is recycling at its best! For more information, visit LUSH at

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Accent On Tampa Bay Magazine 159  

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