July 2008 ACCESS Advantage
Artists Abound in Southern California!Perhaps it is our perennially blue skies and lack of rain or maybe it's the warm temperatures with both ocean and desert breezes that inspire and allow for both indoor and outdoor displays of arts and crafts; whatever the reason, we have an abundance of artists with a variety oftreasures and they can be included in your next program. Many of our clients call upon us to design and produce special events with local flavor, reflective of the area's culture and history. While many concepts come to mind, the use of art and artistry as a theme is a universal one, applicable to all of our ACCESS Southern California offices. In Orange County, for example, Laguna Beach is home to no fewer than 25 art galleries with a variety of unique specialties from original paintings to bronze sculptures, blown glass, coastal photography, fundamentalist furniture and mixed media. The annualFestival of Arts showcases hundreds of artists and artisans offering a diversity of artwork. Laguna Beach is also home to the annual Pageant of the Masters, well known for the "living pictures" where classical and contemporary works of art are recreated by live models in almost exact detail to the work of art they are portraying. Allow the event planning team at ACCESS Destination Services to create your very own "Gathering of the Masters" where living statuesamaze your guests with their ever-so-subtle changes in pose. Weaving local art into a Program Itinerary is fun and easy to do in Southern California. Guests love to observe and interact with engaging local artists working their crafts at on-property Welcome Receptions, off-property venues such as Art Galleries and Missions (some with outdoor courtyards and fountains) or at a cocktail reception designed to set the stage for a regal Gala affair. We can also arrange for artists to have their works for sale on-site or to be considered as welcome amenities and turn-down gifts. While each of our cities features its own unique arts and artists, a few of our clients' interactive favorites have been: wine glasses painted with California's state flower, the Golden Poppy; a local artist who works with guests to paint one-of-a-kind silk sarongs to be worn pashmina style or as a beach cover-up; watercolor artists painting local scenes; blown glass artists creating vibrant vases in unusual shapes; original beaded jewelry art and hand-made custom jewelry called "Neckcandy." Area specialties abound as well including nationally recognized beach sandals (the favorite of our local surfers) designed and produced in Orange County. An artistic display holds styles in all sizes from which guests select color and style prior to entering their beach bash. One doesn't immediately think of cigar rolling as artistic, but this ancient art is always a hit at Early California receptions, Mission events, and ultra-chic lounge inspired soirees. The art of Tequila tasting is also popular as a knowledgeable presenter offers up sips of a variety of selections from South of the Border. With an atmosphere of visual artistry in the event decor, table treatments and interactive components, perfectly blended musical complements can be found in some of the unusual local performance art. Your guests will be fascinated as they are entertained with a musical instrument comprised of 44 quartz glass bowls in an ingenious arrangement that makes it possible to play music. This series of glass bowls is mounted on a horizontal rod in tapering sizes and they are played like wine glasses as they spin. For sculptural elegance in musical design and a unique event visual, oversized harps with long string installations that extend up to 1,000 feet can be tied off to a building or treetop. Another unique musical ensemble features a guitar, viola, "Chapman Stick" and "Drumcussion." Their live performance is vibrant and turbo-charged with energy targeting the sophisticated palate of all ages. No matter where your artistic tastes lean, we have it all in Southern California! Let the creative team at ACCESS Destination Services paint the picture for you at your next meeting, conference or incentive travel program in any of our area cities.
Orange CountyThe Need for Speed! Why is it that Orange County is home to two high performance karting courses while other Southern California locales are lucky if they have one? We suggest that this is for the same reason that Orange County has more vintage automobile museums and venues than anywhere else. Those who live and play in The OC are fascinated, sometimes to the point of obsession, with all things automotive; OCers like their wheels and we know you will too! Whether you are looking for a corporate event, teambuilding exercise, an exhilarating stop on your "Amazing Race", or a high octane optional activity for your incentive winners, sales force or guests, they won't forget the opportunity to drive the new generation of state-of-the art high-torque zero-emission Electric Pro Karts that put the old-style gas-powered karts to shame. These new high-tech karts, combined with the large asphalt road-race style track, are designed to thrill your guests with the experience and feel of a real formula race-car driver. The electric Pro karts are the best in the world with 20 HP which makes them faster (45 mph), easier to handle and eliminates the smog, grease or gasoline smell. Safety features include full computerization, roll hoop, helmets, racing harness, a protective barrier and rail system, and professionally trained flag marshals. The European road course racing tracks are awesome and they are re-designed each year. A live scoring system with giant scoreboard and TV monitors allows for great viewing. Your guests are sure to remember the thrill of flying around the racetrack at speeds up to 45 mph. With trophies on the line, the excitement builds as the green flag drops. The fun continues beyond the track as guests are free to view the authentic racing memorabilia including retired race cars, signed artwork and pictures, car parts, racing suits, helmets and much more. Video games and air hockey tables enhance the experience and provide some hands-on fun. For something a little slower-paced, we have used the facilities for a charity-driven teambuilding event where guests were challenged to "win" bicycle parts by correctly answering trivia questions. Once the bikes were assembled, guests competed in laps around the course to determine the winners. Following the event, bicycles were donated to an area charity. So join the high octane revolution in Orange County and allow the team at ACCESS Orange County to show you and your guests a supercharged special event. Contact ACCESS Destination Services for all of your destination management needs.
San DiegoSpace - The NEW Frontier! Two venues in Balboa Park's museum complex are getting a lot of attention lately. The San Diego Air & Space Museum, more widely known for its outstanding exhibits celebrating the history of aviation and space, is boldly going where it hasn't gone before! Star Trek The Exhibition, a touring exhibition containing the world's most comprehensive collection of authentic Star Trek ships, sets, costumes and props from all 5 series and 10 films is here for a limited engagement. The separate-ticket exhibit will be in town for several months without a specified closing date. It not only allows visitors to see sets, props and other items from the long-running TV series, but also allows them to interact with the digitized actors from the shows via photographs and video, and to ride along with the crew on motion simulator rides. Highlights include: the opportunity to sit on a full-size Enterprise bridge from the original TV series and sit in an original Captain Kirk command chair; recreations of original sets from Star Trek: The Next Generation, including Captain Picard's quarters and command chair; a "Transporter Room" photo opportunity and more. The most authentic part of the exhibit may be the costumes, some of which are originals worn by cast members. With no disrespect to "trekkies" out there, the Air & Space Museum also makes for the perfect patriotic backdrop year-round with its collection of mint condition aircraft including a Navy F6F Hellcat and an A4 Skyhawk jet showcasing the classic military aircraft of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Allow the destination management team at the ACCESS San Diego office to create for you an "In the Mood" event in the museum's 23,000 square foot Pavilion of Flight, complete with USO Show and costumed period characters. In other Balboa Park news, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center (formerly known as the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater & Science Center) is launching a $20 million fundraising campaign to cover improvements to the world's first IMAX dome theater which will transform the theater into the most technologically-advanced facility of its kind. The Fleet Science Center will be the first IMAX Dome Theater to show films on a seamless "NanoSeam" screen, allowing for sharper colors and brighter, higher contrast images. A new, specially-designed digital surround sound system, more comfortable seating, upgrades to the IMAX projection system and numerous other improvements will also be installed as part of this fall's renovation phase. The Fleet is one of 42 theaters in the United States that show IMAX films on a dome screen, which makes the viewer feel inserted into the movie's action. Says Lori Fleet-Martin, board member and great-granddaughter of founder Reuben H. Fleet, "This is probably the biggest thing that will hit Balboa Park in a long time." Our team will continue to keep you posted on updates in Balboa Park and throughout San Diego. Contact the team at ACCESS Destination Services today to design a creative program itinerary around your next conference, meeting, or incentive travel program coming to San Diego.
Spice it up with ACCESSBalsamic-Glazed Portobello Mushrooms with Herbed Polenta! Enjoy this favorite from North County San Diego's Sage Grill as featured in The San Diego Restaurant Cookbook. Serves 6 Ingredients:
- 5 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup wild honey
- 1/2 teaspoon white truffle oil
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups polenta
- 2 cups fresh sweet basil, julienned
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 large Portobello mushrooms, stalks removed
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1 cup canola oil