Wednesday, July 22, 2020

California Dreaming - A Playlist To Lift Your Mood

Well, 2020 is a bust. What a year! 

Music is known to heal all wounds - so here without much further ado - 

I can't wait to see y'all in 2021.
Stay healthy and happy.
Thank you for reading! 


#Californiamusic #Californiadreaming #visitcalifornia #travelcalifornia #travel #tourism 

Monday, March 30, 2020


Musicians and art institutions worldwide are offering streaming live events and virtual tours. Get on a video chat with your friends, sip a little bubbly and carry on with your own party!


My personal favorite place for music and cuisine does not disappoint. You can spend the day listening to live streams from New Orleans musicians.

The Big Easy's WWOZ Online Wire lists all the daily events.

Head over to the Bayou this weekend.
Zydeco's superstar Nathan Williams and the Zydeco ChaChas go live on Youtube on April 3rd at 10pm local time and they will play into Saturday!

For Lovers of Classical Music: the Paris Opera is live streaming its recorded performances for free!

March 30 - April 5: Swan Lake (2019)
April 6 - 12: The Barber of Seville (2014)
April 13 - 19: Tribute to Jerome Robbins (2018)
April 20 - 26: The Tales of Hoffmann (2016)
April 27 - May 3: Carmen (2017)
March 17 - May 3: Cycle of Tchaikovsky's six symphonies played by the Orchestra of the Paris National Opera, conducted by Philippe Jordan

Find all performances on the website

Want more: BILLBOARD Magazine offers an extensive list of live streams:


Annenberg Space for Photography is taking its current exhibit "Vanity Fair: Hollywood Calling" online. Narrated videos get published to their Facebook page.

Getty Center issued a fun challenge via Twitter

Want more? GOOGLE lists 500 museums worldwide that now offer virtual tours.

Stay home and celebrate! 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Good News: Marion Joins 360º medien Mettmann's Authors Pool

Very Happy Announcement:
I am joining 360º medien Mettmann as author of an upcoming "California" edition.
I am very excited to have the opportunity to marry my two careers: Travel and Media.

I love to travel and I love to tell stories. This year I get to combine the two - by sharing my secret and best tips I collected on the road with readers and fellow travelers in an upcoming book by the renowned 360º medien Mettmann publishing house.
Look for it by the end of the year. And yes, I will let you know when it comes out.

If you have experienced my tours you know that every tour is a freshly customized, interactive reportage in motion.

I am looking forward to working with you and having fun with your guests!

Warmest regards,

Friday, May 10, 2019

New City Tour: Tracking The Steps of Presidents in Los Angeles

I love to combine my journalistic work, aka research and development, with live events. Travel reportage in motion.
So I was very pleased that I had the chance to design a Los Angeles Tour with a twist: on the trail of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.

My guests: a group from Pittsburgh, PA.
Length of the Tour: 7.5 hours including a lunch break.

The special itinerary still includes all the iconic sites our visitors want to see, of course.

However, I executed a deep dive into local and presidential history to include presidential sites throughout the Metro area.

While Los Angeles abounds with Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon locations, visitors are surprised to find out that even No 41, George H. Bush, lived in Los Angeles for a moment!
Donald Trump has a West Coast residence as well.

My guests were happy to walk in the footsteps of presidents and see the city through the lens of political history. The new angle enhanced the overall experience and added an unexpected dimension to the city tour.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Airport Security Screening: Are You Ready For Your Close-Up?

Are you willing to reveal "Genitalia, Breast and Buttocks" at the airport?

Quartz released an update on airport scanning technology in development on April 22nd.

"A new system being tested to screen passengers at US airports appears to be exposing more than it should.

Officials at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Department of Homeland Security division that keeps the nation’s airports safe, have discovered that the technology the equipment uses to render images poses “privacy risks,” according to a recent federal contracting document reviewed by Quartz. Its manufacturer is now working on “enhanced privacy software” to fix the issue, according to the document, though it doesn’t provide further details.

The screening system is an essential part of TSA’s “Future Lane Experience,” or “FLEx,” an initiative designed to speed up screening at airports."

Please find the whole story here:
This is not the first incident of such nature. Security scanning technology has been found to reveal too much for most passengers comfort in the past.

Furthermore the issue of RADIATION exposure remains controversial.
Wikipedia has a comprehensive page on the issue, publishing the findings of a variety of scientists. While some forms of scanners are generally considered safe, others may not be.

Critics of backscatter x-ray scanners, including the head of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University, say that the radiation emitted by some full-body scanners is as much as 20 times stronger than officially reported and is not safe to use on large numbers of persons because of an increased risk of cancer to children and at-risk populations.[80][81][82] Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, (UCSF) have argued that the amount of radiation is higher than claimed by the TSA and body scanner manufacturers because the doses were calculated as if distributed throughout the whole body, but the radiation from backscatter x-ray scanners is focused on just the skin and surrounding tissues:[83][84][85]

One issue rarely addressed is the possible malfunction of scanners in any situation. I attended a lively dinner party and shared the table with a surgeon and his neighbor, a medical malpractice attorney, a while back. The attorney is specialized in cases where average radiation exposure in medical cases was far exceeded, causing harm to the patient, due to malfunctioning and poor equipment maintenance. The bottom line: if a technician does not calibrate a scanner correctly, you will get zapped.

So what are our options in the airport?

However, if you do, you will have to go through a vigorous, physical, hands-on inspection instead that some call a "free massage".

Despite the hassles: bon voyage!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Important Safety Note: Deadly Selfies On The Rise. What Can We Do About It?

8 days, 3 deadly accidents in Grand Canyon National Park, more at Horseshoe Bend and Yosemite NP. It is time to better prepare visitors about the risks. As I am getting ready to take groups, including students, on the road I would be grateful for every one's ideas and input on how to keep them safe.

Observed in the summer of 2018 at the Grand Canyon South Rim. Visitors cannot resist the rim. Many tourists take enormous risks to get that perfect selfie. Deadly falls are rising sharply.
Squint and you will notice. All along the South Rim trail which is the main visitor area and attraction in Grand Canyon National Park tourists venture out onto unsecured ledges over the canyon. In its deepest parts Grand Canyon is over a mile/ 1.8km deep. A fall into the rocky depths will result in death. Furthermore the South Rim of Grand Canyon averages 7000 feet/2134 m above sea level. This may cause shortness of breath and lack of concentration in sensitive visitors.
However, sights like these below, not my guests, are common. I have observed them on every visit.

The park offers many secured viewing platforms, such as this one here below where yours truly likes to take the annual selfie. Obviously the park posts many safety instructions along the Trail of Time. The following warning is on the website: View Grand Canyon Safely. Stay at least six feet (2 m) from the edge. Hold on to Children. Do no lean over or go past walk and railings. Always be aware of your surroundings. Do not back up without first looking where you are going.
I visit the parks regularly with groups of varying ages, including an annual french student trip. I reiterate safety instructions and warnings on our way to the park - and I repeat them several times. Chaperones are also very aware of the risks.  Despite all of these efforts we always observe visitors of any age dangling precariously over the ledge. Hunting that better photo of the depths, or searching for that perfect selfie.
Similar risks present themselves at Horseshoe Bend. The new fee and regulations may lessen the problems. I am hoping that the new platform, allowing a clean view over the whole bend, may deter risky behavior.

Yosemite NP and Zion NP are less risky to the casual visitor as most high-risk trails are only visited by rock climbers and serious mountain hikers. However, here again it is possible to injure yourself.
At Zion NP it is forbidden to climb up the mountain slopes along Riverside Walk, the mile-long trail along the river into The Narrows. But visitors do not follow the rules. One of my guests sustained a head injury when other visitors, not part of my group, climbed up the slope ahead of us and triggered a rock slide. A sizable falling rock hit my guest in the head, causing a bleeding gash that required medical attention.

So my question to you: what else can we do to prevent falls and accidents? We are issuing warnings and giving instructions. Not everyone will comply.

My thoughts:

  • student trips: include a firm warning and instructions in the printed documents that families receive prior to departure. This would alert parents and children to the risks ahead of time and give them a chance to discuss. 
  • all guests: issue an overall, written 1-page safety information sheet addressing all park visits and all risks - falling, snake bites and more - and collect signatures to acknowledge receipt from every participant at the beginning of the trip in the hopes that they will pay more attention to the seriousness of the risks. 

I would be grateful for your response and ideas.

Hoping for a safe season.
Bon Voyage!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Update on Malibu - The City Is Up And Running!

A few days ago I had the opportunity to check in with the City of Malibu and its three most important event and tourism sites on behalf of EventWorks. Good News: Malibu is open for business and visitors!

Images of the devastating Woolsey Fire and more recent mudflows are fresh on every one's mind. We get questions about wonderful Malibu, California, weekly from our friends and clients around the country and the world.

We Californians know how fast an area can rebound from wildfires. This is the case in Malibu right now. After all the winter rains the hills are currently covered by California poppies and purple lupins. We checked in with three main beautiful event locations, King Gillette Ranch, Calamigos Ranch and Malibu Wine Safari.
The City of Malibu confirms that all city services and businesses are open!
Please read the update.

Saddle Rock Ranch - Malibu Wine Safari

First of all, an important note to all the fans of Hollywood star Stanley the Giraffe. Stanley is happy and healthy! Local residents were concerned about the well-being of all the animals at the ranch during the fire. All animals survived the ordeal and they are all doing very well.

Malibu Wine Safari reopened to the public by end of November 2018. They offer a jeep safari adventure combined with wine tasting. Yes, we do love this combination!
Furthermore they invite corporate and private events of all sizes. Preferred vendors work with MWS to provide top tier catering with many cuisine options.
Saddle Rock Ranch is located in the Santa Monica Mountains, a wilderness area of Malibu, just a few miles from Los Angeles. The 1,000 acre large ranch houses retired animal performers, among them zebras, camels, alpacas, bison, and even Stanley the Giraffe.
The access roads are open and all operations at Saddle Rock Ranch are up and running.
Reconstruction at the Malibu Wines Tasting Room is almost finished. The owners expect a spring reopening.

King Gillette Ranch

This is Classic California, The King Gillette Ranch, named after its original builder of shaving razor fame and managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, was not affected by the fire at all.

"Nestled in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu and Calabasas, King Gillette Ranch sits on 588 acres of scenic parkland, frequented by native wildlife and visitors alike. At the center of this expansive property is the Mansion, a historic Spanish Colonial Revival formal residence built for razor magnate King C. Gillette in 1928.

The stunning mansion was designed by Wallace Neff, known as the Architect of California’s Golden Age. A grand tree-lined driveway majestically welcomes all guests. The Ranch’s rolling lawns, distinguished courtyards, and a tranquil pond with bridges and swans, set the stage for an elegant occasion. Aside from the popular mansion, King Gillette Ranch’s surrounding lawns and buildings offers many choices for weddings, dinner and cocktail parties and other special events.

Benefits of booking private events at King Gillette Ranch:

Flexibility in layout, design, decor, food and other vendors. We do not require you to use our preferred vendors, and we welcome new vendors to the venue.
Price flexibility with different packages available for weddings and private events.
Affordable ceremony-only outdoor spaces available.
Expansive mountain views and garden environment, less than an hour away from downtown Los Angeles.
Easily accessible between both the 101 Freeway and Pacific Coast Highway.
Ample on-site parking.
Affordable overnight accommodation is also available for guests and bridal parties.

The scenery and the mansion are nothing short of stunning and truly unforgettable."
Source: King Gillette Ranch website.

Calamigos Ranch and Beach Club

Calamigos Guest Ranch, opened in 1937,  does it all in stunning locations. Lodging, fine dining, conferences, team building programs, outdoor fun, corporate retreats and private events in the gorgeous landscapes just north of Los Angeles.

The 250-acre Ranch location in Latigo Canyon offers comprehensive indoor and outdoor possibilities for any corporate event style in an elegant, rustic setting. Lodging includes cottages and bungalows, a spa, multiple pools and fitness centers.
The Beach Club sits on 5 acres overlooking the Pacific ocean. Drinks, dinner and beach equipment deliver a well rounded California experience. Calamigos offers a free shuttle service to get guests between the Ranch and the Beach Club.
However, unfortunately the Beach Club suffered extensive fire damage and it is currently under construction. Calamigos expects to reopen the Beach Club, more beautiful than ever, this summer.

Once your group is here there is no reason or need to leave. From surfing to horseback riding to your elegant closing night dinner and gala event, Calamigos truly does it all. And yes, they serve exclusive local wines as well.

Readers of EventWorks' Monday campaigns have seen previous updates for the event and hospitality industry following disasters in New Orleans, Southern Florida and Houston, Texas.

Bringing your business back to these locations as the surrounding community rebuilds from a disaster goes a long way in helping the recovery efforts.
At this time, the hills around Malibu are covered in lush green grass and the colorful super bloom. The ocean shines in bright blue green colors and grey whales and dolphins can be spotted along the coast. The City of Malibu is open for business.

Thank you for reading.

All Photos Copyrights belong to the locations, Calamigos Guest Ranch, King Gillette Ranch/MRCA and Saddle Rock Ranch. Except for Zuma Beach photo - Marion Renk-Rosenthal