The Dive & Adventure Travel Expo 2013 will connect scuba and snorkel enthusiasts with some of the industry's top experts, brands, and innovations. More than 50 seminars scheduled throughout the weekend will showcase the diving deftness of speakers from across the country, enabling attendees to net information on such topics as underwater photography and safety. ReefID founder and editor John Fifer will host two of these gatherings, sharing ways his online database of diver-captured photos is helping raise awareness for marine life. Fifer will also play host to the expo's signature Saturday Night Film Festival event at 7 p.m. alongside 3D photographer Mark Blum and other presenters.
In addition to engaging activities, the Dive & Adventure Travel Expo 2013 is also home to the best in dive-related gear and information. Approximately 140 exhibit booths connect attendees with purveyors of international adventure from global hotspots including Palau, Yap, the Virgin Islands, and Fiji. In addition to resort representatives, booths also house all of the equipment needed for undersea excursions, with new products ranging from snorkel and scuba innovations to travel accessories and luggage. During face-to-face conversations, dive skills clinics, or snorkel sword fights, expo-goers can get travel tips or plan dive vacations around the globe. While parents research, younger visitors can decamp to a youth section filled with interactive attractions designed for youngsters aged 8–12.
Attendees who come for the education should probably stick for the prizes; the expo plans to give away over $50,000 in door prizes, including a massive grand prize: a full set of dive gear including a drysuit, Weezle undergarments, ScubaPro G260 regulator, Aqua Lung BCD, a TUSA mask, fin, and snorkel set, an Oceanic dive computer, and trips including weeklong Philippine dive adventure from the Marco Vincent Resort.
From November 23 through January 6, inside California’s Great America theme park will be transformed into a Global Winter Wonderland complete with twinkling displays of rainbow Christmas trees, snowmen, and Santa Town. A highlight of the seasonal event, the Holiday Lantern Festival sets the night aglow with eco-friendly LED and fluorescent lanterns, some of which stand more than 50 feet tall. Joining the lanterns—which have graced international sites including the Statue of Liberty, the London Bridge, and an Egyptian pyramid—are laser light shows, martial-arts displays, and acrobatic performances, all of which enhance the festive atmosphere of the holiday celebration.
The stakes are undoubtedly high. At the current rate of donation, more than 30% of people on the National Organ Transplant Waiting List will never get the organs they need. California Transplant Donor Network aims to change that by educating people and raising awareness. They also put boots on the ground, facilitating organ and tissue donation by offering assistance to 175 hospitals in California and Nevada. In addition to their donation work, the network holds events such as 5Ks to raise funds and invites families of donors to contribute memories to the Donor Memorial Quilt Project.
Known in English as "way of the true sword," Shinkendo represents the distillation of founder (or Kaiso) Toshishiro Obata's vast knowledge of Japanese swordsmanship. Trained by Kaiso himself, Sensei Eric Lambert of Tojokan Dojo now shares this intricate training with students throughout Santa Clara County. In addition to Shinkendo, Sensei Lambert and his staff also teach Toyama Ryu, a martial art developed by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1925, and Aikibujitsu, a empty-handed discipline built on throws, joint locks, and control holds to overpower opponents.
Santa Clara Swim Club was founded in 1951 by decorated swim coach George Haines, and its swimmers have been making headlines ever since. The club has produced 33 summer-games gold medals, and members run the spectrum from beginners learning the basics of swimming to competitive swim-team athletes working toward becoming real dolphins. With classes for children and adults, private swim lessons, and three heated outdoor pools, Santa Clara Swim Club is a popular place exercise or go for a dip.
At Vino Artist, creativity flows from guests' paintbrushes to their canvases as easily as wine flows into their glasses. Friendly, talented instructors guide groups through the creation of their own works of art, providing all necessary materials. Guests sip, snack, and chat as they paint, often making new friends along the way. After classes have ended, groups often head to nearby Santana Row to continue the evening.