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.
The instructors at Bikram Yoga Santa Clara take Bikram very, very seriously. During the run of their 90-minute sweat sessions, students cannot leave the room or speak, and they keep still between asanas. Cell phones and other external distractions stay outside. It's this intense focus, concentration, and pursuit of self-control that distinguish this style of yoga.?
As sweltering heat engulfs the room, instructors encourage students to explore the limits of their body and mind by guiding them through 26 postures and two breathing exercises. The poses are simple enough that even yoga initiates can perform them, but at a humid and challenging 105 degrees, the body begins to sweat almost immediately. As the class progresses, heart rates speed up and the flow of the poses demands every ounce of mental energy to maintain focus. Eventually, toxins flush out of the pores, tension stretches out of the muscles and ligaments, and the heat begins to enable practitioners to perform deeper movements with a diminished risk of injury.
Bikram Yoga Santa Clara has onsite showers for a postworkout cooldown. Students are encouraged to bring plenty of water, a mat, and a towel.
For more than three decades, ABC Tree Farms have provided the Bay Area with seasonal fun October through December. Summer inspires the first round of recreation in the form of Summer Fun Zones packed with inflatable bounce houses masquerading as castles and slides and fresh harvests of local cherries, peaches, melons, and other fruits. During October, they run 20 pumpkin-themed locations, some of which also feature inflatable bounce houses and other attractions. Once Thanksgiving passes, groves of Christmas trees spring up, having made their way south from Oregon and Washington. There they will stand until Christmas Eve, hoping to decorate homes or become the model that inspires a revamped line of evergreen air fresheners.
From November 22 through January 4, Cal Expo Sacramento will be transformed into a Global Winter Wonderland complete with twinkling displays of rainbow Christmas trees, snowmen, and lit-up trains. Guests can travel the world in one night with the Worlds of Lights, where displays set the night aglow with more than 70 illuminated lantern scenes, some of which are more than 50 feet tall. The illuminated displaying include famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, the London Bridge, and the pyramids of Giza. The holiday festival also features more than 30 family and thrill rides, martial-arts displays, and gravity-defying acrobats, who perform four times a day, all of which enhance the festive atmosphere of the holiday celebration and make for a memorable holiday tradition for any family.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
The self-defense system of krav maga is most closely associated with the Israeli Defense Forces, which has taught the efficient and easy-to-learn combat technique to its members since the 1940s. The system is also popular among civilians, who in the Bay Area can learn beginner through professional level defensive moves from instructors led by veteran Master Shlomi Katz, who was head of krav maga training for the counter terror school of the IDF. In addition to learning krav maga, students can opt for training in other martial arts—MMA for adults and karate for kids—as well as intense fitness classes that combine cross-training, MMA conditioning, weight training, TRX resistance, and more.