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Attend the Columbia Italian Festival and Bocce Tournament and Stay at Nearby Hilton Garden Inn Columbia SC Hotel

Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Columbia South Carolina (Northeast) offers nearby lodging to guests attending the 6th Annual Italian Festival and Bocce Tournament on September 28, 2013.

The Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Columbia SC (Northeast) offers convenient accommodations to guests attending the 6th Annual Italian Festival and Bocce Tournament. The free event will take place September 28, 2013 at the historic Robert Mills House and Hampton-Preston Mansion, located at 1616 Blanding Street in downtown Columbia.

Sponsored by the Sons of Italy Bella Italia Lodge, the festival is a celebration of Italian culture and heritage. Festival hours are 11am-10pm. Attendees can enjoy live music, folk dancing, grape stomping, an Italian car show, and an Italian market specializing in olive oils, pasta, produce, and Italian desserts. Watch or compete in the bocce tournament, a game similar to lawn bowling.

“We are happy to welcome guests attending the Columbia Italian Festival and Bocce Tournament,” shares Amber Cobia, the Hilton Garden Inn Columbia (Northeast)’s Director of Sales. “Our property is located a short distance from downtown Columbia. With affordable rates and packages, our Columbia SC hotel is the ideal local lodging choice,” continues Cobia. The property is ranked the #1 out of 92 hotels in Columbia SC.

A premier choice among other Columbia South Carolina hotels, The Hilton Garden Inn offers the Garden Sleep System . The hotel also features on-site dining and lounge, complimentary 24-hour business center, free high speed Internet access, a large indoor pool and fitness center. Each guest room is equipped with a 42-inch flat panel TV with HD, microwave, refrigerator and a clock radio with MP3 connection. The Hilton Garden Inn Columbia Hotel (Northeast) recently received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. Special rates and packages at the Columbia SC hotel include the Bed N’ Breakfast Deal, AAA member savings, senior age 65+ savings, the Double Points HHonors Weekend, and Advance Purchase discounts for guests who book early. Some restrictions may apply; rates and promotions are subject to availability.

For more information on the Columbia Italian Festival and Bocce Tournament, visit www.osiacolumbiasc.org. To book your stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Columbia South Carolina Hotel (Northeast), call 803-807-9000 or visit them at www.ColumbiaSouthCarolinaHotel.com.

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Halloween Prompts Mysterious Tween Behavior

Ashford University psychology professor offers parenting tips on trick-or-treating

Every Halloween, little princesses, pumpkins and pirates go door-to-door for the annual candy fest. It’s a night for kids to be kids and a great time for family fun.

At some point, however, children reach an age when trick-or-treating can feel juvenile. Moms and dads, accustomed to the yearly ritual of costuming their miniature ghosts and goblins, need not be spooked.

Dr. Pam Vincent, a psychology professor at Ashford University, offers insights on understanding children’s motivations and parenting tips for transitioning tweens to a more grown-up Halloween. According to Vincent, children usually begin resisting Halloween traditions, especially trick-or-treating, around age 12.

Although they aren’t yet full-fledged teenagers, even middle-schoolers may experience what is known as ‘adolescent egocentrism,’ which is a heightened self-consciousness, leading them to assume that everyone else is as worried about their appearance and behaviors as they are. “They often feel as though they are on an imaginary stage and that everyone thinks they may look silly in a costume or that they are (gasp!) hanging out with their parents and younger siblings,” said Dr. Vincent. “To go out in public – door-to-door – and invite people to look at them can be mortifying at this age.”

The fight for independence from their parents’ rules and routines is another reason tweens want to stop trick-or-treating. “While they still require parental supervision, they are also more self-aware and begin to realize they can make some of their own decisions,” Dr. Vincent said. “They’re ready to test their limits to see how far their parents will let them go.” She offers these tips on what to do:

Communicate - It’s essential to communicate with the child and acknowledge their reasons for not wanting to participate. If going door-to-door isn’t a big deal for the family unit, let it go and have the child help in handing out candy to others.

Reward Good Behavior - If there are younger siblings who still want to trick-or-treat and parents aren’t comfortable leaving the older child at home alone, or if there is an event that the whole family is expected to attend, parents should allow their tween as much independence as possible in choosing a costume and acknowledge their cooperation and participation.

Other Options - There are plenty of ways older children and pre-teens can get into the Halloween spirit without going door-to-door. If none of their friends have a supervised party planned, families may wish to throw their own! Otherwise, age appropriate events are oftentimes sponsored by a local library, community center or church youth group.

A Sweet Alternative - If all else fails, put tweens in charge of candy duty. Even if they don’t want to open the door, perhaps they’ll be willing to make sure the bowl is always fully stocked, all the while doing a little taste testing for themselves.

Dr. Vincent notes that tweens are just beginning to form their identity, and it lacks the stability of an older teenager. Sure, they’ll test their boundaries to see how far they can go, but it doesn’t have to be a frightful experience for their parents.

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San Pedro, CA, USA

1,100 Lobsters in a Pot: San Pedro Lobster Festival Sets Guinness World Record

San Pedro Fish Market sets mark for World’s Largest Lobster Pot cooking 1,100 Maine Lobsters at Ports O’Call Lobster Fest 2013 in San Pedro, CA.

Facing the challenge of feeding tens of thousands of lobster hungry festival goers led the team of San Pedro Fish Markets and Restaurants to a simple conclusion months ago that they had to build the world’s largest lobster pot.

“As California’s largest fish market and restaurant with over 2,000 seats, we know how to create incredible meals for huge groups of people,” said Mike Ungaro, Vice President of San Pedro Fish Market. “Each year, the Lobster Fest keeps growing and so our capacity has to grow. That put us on the path to create the world’s largest lobster pot.”

Each year in mid September over three days, the world famous Ports O’Call hosts its acclaimed Lobster Fest, which each year attracts more than 20,000 diners hungry for complete lobster dinners for $20 and up served in a lively festival atmosphere with top bands, local vendors, and all around fun. This year’s entertainment was headlined by the English Beat over the three day festival, stretching from Friday, September 13 through Sunday, September 15.

“On any given weekend, we serve diners that have driven up to 100 miles to get to us, or in many cases included us in their vacation plans from around the globe,” explained Ungaro. “This forces us to look at each meal individually, cook it with the individuals at the table in mind, and serve them like they were our family. That was the challenge with the lobster pot - being able to translate that level of quality to 1,100 lobsters at once!”

Using a mobile platform as the base, San Pedro Fish built a pot of its own design that involves a winch to lower the live Maine lobsters into the boiling water at once. Video of the world record, and the observer from Guinness Book of World Records certifying the feat can be found at San Pedro Fish Markets Facebook page at http://ow.ly/ob0xa.

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Vail Oktoberfest Wraps Up in Vail Village This Weekend with Beer, Brats and Bavarian Entertainment

Munich comes to the Vail Village this weekend for the second and final weekend of the world’s greatest celebration of beer, music and autumn in Vail: Oktoberfest! The event will see another full weekend of authentic Bavarian fun including the return of many crowd favorites like the Bratwurst Eating Contests, Adult Keg Bowling and Adult Stein Lifting Competitions, and Bavarian Costume Contest. Emulating the age-old celebration known all over the world, Vail Oktoberfest in Vail Village will delight guests with Bavarian music and dancing, traditional fare like Klement’s Bratwursts, yodeling, alpenhorn blowing, beverages from Hacker-Pschorr and Jagermeister and much more.

Entertainment and Fun
Throw on the lederhosen, tie the dirndl and grab your stein because the lineup of entertainment for Vail Oktoberfest in Vail Village this weekend is not to be missed. Things kick off Friday afternoon at 5PM with live oom-pah music from Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders Band starting at 5:30 p.m. and play through the evening. Helmut and the band will be on hand throughout the weekend to keep the crowd going with favorite Oktoberfest tunes. Guests are also invited to enjoy the Hacker-Pschorr Keg Tapping Ceremony at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, officially marking the start of Oktoberfest in Vail Village.

All throughout Vail Oktoberfest, guests will enjoy oom-pah music from Oktoberfest legends Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders Band. In addition to the live music, guest can participate in Bavarian dancing demonstrations from the Storm Mountain Bavarian Dancers, see traditional alpenhorn blowing, hear yodeling and much more. On Saturday, the party goes into the night with a free concert from Bluzilla.

Vail Oktoberfest is a family affair, and the event features fun activities during the day for kids. Children will find lots on things to love in the Bighorn Toyota Kids’ Zone, from live entertainment to crafts, pretzel necklace making, and more.

Keg Bowling is back giving anyone interested in the game the chance to hurl a keg shell on wheels down the lane at a pyramid of keg shells with the intention of bringing down the pile. It’s not as easy at it seems, however. The top competitors from the first round of the competition move on the final round of Keg Bowling, where the champion of the day will be crowned and prizes will be awarded. Participants must be at least 21 years old to compete.

The fun continues with the return of the Klement’s Bratwurst Eating Contests, where the strong-willed and the strong-stomached battle it out to see who can down the most brats in three minutes. The competitor who wolfs down the most brats in the allotted time wins not only a great prize package from Klement’s Sausage Company.

The Bavarian Costume Contests rewards those festival participants who go all out and show up for the day in full Bavarian flare or in another Oktoberfest related costume. Those who do will be invited to participate in the Oktoberfest Costume Contests on Saturday and Sunday. All ages are invited to participate in the costume contests. The winner will be determined by crowd response and will take home an Oktoberfest stein and token package.

The Stein Lift Contests will test the arm strength and stamina of even the fiercest competitors. Competitors will hold FULL beer steins - one in each hand - out from their body at shoulder level. The last person standing with arms outstretched will take home an Oktoberfest prize package. Participants in the Stein Lift Contest must me at least 21 years of age.

A variety of these contests take place both Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 14 & 15 in Vail Village. There is no cost to participate in these contests. Competitors who wish to participate can sign up at the Oktoberfest token booth closest to the Oktoberfest stage at Checkpoint Charlie.

Oktoberfest Fun Run, benefitting the Children’s Garden of Learning
Kids and families alike are also invited to participate in the Vail Summit Orthopedics Oktoberfest Fun Run, benefitting the Children’s Garden of Learning. The event features a 5K and Kids’ 1K. The Fun Run happens on Sunday morning at 9 a.m.; information on registering can be found online at http://www.vailoktoberfest.com.

Exclusive Oktoberfest Lodging Packages
The Sonnenalp Resort of Vail, a resort steeped in rich Bavarian tradition, has put together two exclusive lodging packages for guests coming to Vail to take in beauty of fall and the energy of Vail Oktoberfest. Experience Oktoberfest in true Bavarian style at the Sonnenalp. Vail comes alive with festive music, dance and traditional Bavarian fare.

$255* per night Includes:
• Lodging in a Junior Suite
• 2 official Oktoberfest beer steins
• 6 Oktoberfest tokens in each stein
• $15 Discounted Valet Parking
• Complimentary Basic Wi-Fi
• No Resort Fees

$310* per night Includes:
• Lodging in a Junior Suite
• Breakfast for 2 each morning
• 2 official Oktoberfest beer steins
• 6 Oktoberfest tokens in each stein
• $15 Discounted Valet Parking
• Complimentary Basic Wi-Fi
• No Resort Fees

*Rates are per night based on double occupancy in a Junior Suite. Valid Sept. 13-15, 2013. 9.8% taxes and gratuity not included. Subject to space available, some restrictions apply. Limit (2) two steins and (12) twelve tokens per stay, while supplies last. May not be combined with other offers. Please inquire about larger suites.

Vail Marriott Mountain Resort is a 344 room, AAA Four Diamond Resort with
amenities, hospitality, and special touches to accommodate any escape, celebration, or gathering of minds.

Only a short three minute walk to Vail Square in Lionshead with the Eagle-Bahn
Gondola, shopping, and dining. For outdoor recreation including ski and bike rentals, Charter Sports, is conveniently located on property and fly fishing and hiking trails are just outside the doors. Start the day with a signature breakfast buffet in First Chair Cafe, or enjoy your evening in 7One5 Restaurant, and for cocktails and lite bite stop by Avalanche Pub in the lobby. At Vail Marriott experience local charm and a relaxed way of life. Book your reservation online now and take advantage of the $50 resort credit plus room upgrade.

Vail Oktoberfest is presented by Hacker-Pschorr, Town of Vail and Vail Dentistry and sponsored in part by Bighorn Toyota, Arrowhead Water, Sonnenalp Hotel, Klement’s Sausage Company, Marriott Mountain Resort, Loki, Jagermeister, Shawls by Veronika, Vail Daily and KZYR the Zephyr.

Friday, September 13 - Vail Village - 5PM-10PM
5PM Vail Oktoberfest Opens to Public
5:30PM Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders Band
6PM Oktoberfest Opening Ceremony & Hacker-Pschorr Keg Tapping
6:15PM Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders Band
10PM Vail Oktoberfest Closes for the Day

Saturday, September 14 - Vail Village - 12PM-10PM
12PM Vail Oktoberfest Opens to Public
12-2PM Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders Band
12-5PM Bighorn Toyota’s Family Zone
1-2PM Storm Mountain Bavarian Dancers
2-2:30PM Klement’s Bratwurst Eating Contest
2:30-3:30PM Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders Band
2:30-3:30PM Storm Mountain Bavarian Dancers
3:30PM Bavarian Costume Contest
4-5PM Adult Keg Bowling Contest
5-7PM Swiss Man Band
7PM Stein Lifting Competition
7:30-9:30PM Bluzilla
10PM Vail Oktoberfest Closes for the Day

Sunday, September 15 - Vail Village - 12PM-6PM
9AM Vail Oktoberfest Fun Run benefitting Children’s Garden of Learning
12PM Vail Oktoberfest Opens to Public
12-2PM Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders Band
12-5PM Bighorn Toyota’s Family Zone
1-2PM Storm Mountain Bavarian Dancers v
2-2:30PM Klement’s Bratwurst Eating Contest
2:30-4PM Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders Band
2:30-4PM Storm Mountain Bavarian Dancers
4-4:45PM Adult Keg Bowling Contest
4:45-5:15PM Swiss Man Band
5:15-5:30PM Stein Lifting Competition
6PM Vail Oktoberfest Closes for the Day

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Wine connoisseurs are in for a magnifique adventure as Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, the only French luxury resort hotel in the Philippines, together with all Sofitel hotels around the world, launches the French Wine Week 2013 celebrations this September.

Embark on a journey from North to South of France in exploration of the world’s finest wines. An exclusive dinner featuring fine wines from the famed French châteaux Poyferre, Moulin Riche and Le Crock, as well as wine tasting events and wine and massage treatment pairing are slated.

What better way to experience French culture in Manila than to immerse in an interactive wine and cheese pairing experience at Sofitel. From September 23 to 29 at 4pm to 10pm, a wine and cheese delicatessen in a luxury setting will unveil at Le Bar featuring artisan cheeses from Spiral’s L'Epicerie and a selection of over 15 wines from Bordeaux, Provence, Côtes du Rhône and Loire Valley, France’s best wine producing regions. Canapes and charcuterie are sure to complete the unique degustation experience. Rate is set at PHP 1,500 nett per person inclusive of cheese buffet and wine, free-flowing for two hours. Wine and cheese to go are likewise available at the deli counter. Wines are sold by the bottle, with prices ranging from PHP 380 to PHP 1,000 nett. Delivery is available for an additional fee.

Prepare for a delightful dining experience under the moon and the stars at Sofitel’s Sunset Bar inspired by the French tradition of closing the harvest season with festive celebration hosted by winegrowers on the 28th to the 30th of September at 6:30pm to 10pm. Weather permitting, Wine Harvest Dinner at Sunset Bar features sumptuous French buffet paired with premium Vigneron harvest wines. Rate is set at PHP 1,480 nett for adults and PHP 800 nett for children 5 to 11 years old.

At Sofitel’s Le Spa, the wonders of wine and traditional massage treatments are combined as “vinotherapy” to Filipino wine lovers and beauty enthusiasts are introduced. Starting the 23rd up to the 30th of September, indulge in a luxurious massage treatment and discover beauty from the vineyards with grape-based products from Les Sources de Caudalie, winner of the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Spa Awards 2012. Complement the experience with a glass of a perfectly paired Château Smith Haut-Lafitte, one of the best wines from Bordeaux, France. Wine Lovers Treatment is set at PHP 30,000 for two persons, inclusive of a bottle of Château Smith Haut-Lafitte wine or PHP 20,000 for two glasses per couple.

For inquiries and resevations on Le Spa’s Wine and Spa Treatment Pairing, please send an email to [hidden email].

For inquiries and reservations on Le Bar’s and Sunset Bar’s offers, please send an email to [hidden email].

To know more details on these magnifique offers, please go to http://www.sofitelmanila.com/en/special-offers.html!

Sofitel, World Class Hotels & French Elegance

Sofitel is the only French luxury hotel brand with a presence on five continents with 120 addresses, in almost 40 countries (more than 30,000 rooms). Sofitel offers contemporary hotels and resorts adapted to today’s more demanding and more versatile consumers who expect and appreciate beauty, quality and excellence. Whether situated in the heart of a major city like Paris, London, New York, Shanghai or Beijing, or nestled away in a country landscape in Morocco, Egypt, French Polynesia or Thailand, each Sofitel property offers a genuine experience of the French “art de vivre”.

Sofitel Legend and & Sofitel So are two labels that come to enrich Sofitel Luxury hotels

Sofitel Legend hotels are iconic and mythical; they are often centuries-old listed heritage buildings: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam and Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan.

Sofitel So hotels are new « boutique hotels » characterized by a stylish focus on contemporary design by famous architects and/or embellished by international celebrities from the world of fashion, design or art: Sofitel So Mauritius Bel Ombre, Sofitel So Bangkok and Sofitel So Singapore (2013).

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