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  • Pamela Froman

Mad About March


Get moving this March! This time of the year offers fun for everyone. Get away on a perfect vacation for your spring break. Check out the infamous NCAA tournament and root for your favorite team. And of course don't forget to go green on St. Patty's Day!

Spring is the perfect escape the hustle and bustle. Even the ancient Greeks and Romans partied for spring! The arrival of the warmer weather was celebrated with the veneration of Dionysus or Bacchus – the Greek and Roman gods of wine. Festival goers dressed up, sang, and drank wine 'til they dropped. In 1936, the Colgate University swimming team decided to spend their spring break training in the town of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This turned into an annual happening. Which brings us to today – 40 percent of college students travel for spring break.

Thanks to the popular MTV specials, spring break has become synonymous with partying. But the truth is, sun and sand is the priority. We have many options to kick back and have fun.

A massively popular spring break spot is Cancun, Mexico. Offering sumptuous hotels, stunning blue water, and endless stretches of white sand, this resort destination is the perfect place to party with a cocktail in hand. We’re talking lazing around at the beach or the pool, DJs spinning, contests, all-inclusive accommodations and of course fun! Cancún remains one of the most affordable vacation destinations – you can pay less than $600 per person for an all-inclusive vacation.

Want more things to explore? You can make new aquatic buddies. Operating out of the Dreams Cancún Hotel in the Hotel Zone, Delphinus Dreams Cancún offers multiple interactions with the dolphins. www.delphinusworld.com/en/swimming-with-dolphins-in-cancun

And definitely check out Coco Bongo – it's the nightlife spot in Cancun. Witness nonstop performances from acrobats, conga lines, live bands, musician impersonators, projected videos, balloons, soap bubbles and confetti. www.cocobongo.com

San Diego is a perfect spot to cruise to for spring break. This waterfront city is calling your name.

San Diego's beaches are some of the best in the world. Grab your towels, sunscreen, and get out in the sunshine. Take your dog for a walk, ride that wave, relax and eat s'mores in front of a bonfire, take a bike ride, explore tide pools and more.

After your day at the beach a night on the town is in order. The heart of San Diego's nightlife action is in downtown's funky Gaslamp Quarter. There are sixteen walkable city blocks filled with rooftop bars, nightclubs with celebrity DJ's, jazz clubs and cool restaurants.

Balboa Park is a must while in San Diego. Balboa Park boasts 17 museums and cultural institutions with incredible diversity. Attractions are everywhere from iconic San Diego landmarks, to massive trees, to watching artists at work, to the World Famous San Diego Zoo. www.balboapark.org

A destination well-known for spring break fun is Palm Springs. For 40 years, spring break in Palm Springs was synonymous with revelry, craziness and mayhem. These hardcore antics were shut down when then-Mayor Sonny Bono upped police presence. These days, the atmosphere is a sophisticated array of fun that takes over the resort town.

Palm Springs and pampering go hand in hand. Book a spa retreat at La Quinta Resort & Club. They blend the most effective technologies with the world’s best skin care products to bring you an unparalleled experience of beautification, peace, and comfort. www.laquintaresort.com

Go window shopping as you walk down the blocks of El Paseo. There is fashion for both men and women and an assortment of yummies that will make every part of this shopping destination an experience.

Work your body with a hike along the Palm Canyon Trail in the Indian Canyons to the stone pools. Cliffs, waterfalls and rock gorges are stunning viewpoints through the San Jacinto Mountains.

Want some action in your stay? Visit the Wet 'n' Wild waterpark where you can have just that! Float on a raft, play in the wave pool or sail down a thrilling waterslide. www.wetnwildpalmsprings.com

Take a jaunt into the air when you book a Big Blue helicopter ride. The sky's the limit! bigblueaircorp.com

And of course, for a truly inspiring experience, take a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. At 8,516 feet you will overlook the panoramic landscape below. www.pstramway.com

It's time to boogie. The Copa Nightclub transforms into the hottest dance floor with interchanging lights flashing below your feet and colored lasers ripping through the air. A state-of-the-art sound system fuels your senses as the resident DJ mixes the music. www.copapalmsprings.com

The sophistication and glamour of the Rat Pack era comes alive at Michael Holmes' Purple Room, the desert's premier supper club. Tucked away in the Club Trinidad Hotel, The Purple Room is where Frank, Sammy, Dean, and their pals cavorted on and off the stage in the swinging 60s. www.purpleroompalmsprings.com

Spring break in Santa Barbara offers the ideal blend of festive and laid-back, along with perfect weather, and plenty to see and do. Relax on the stunning beaches, taste the grape offerings by exploring wine country with tours and bike riding, or just check out the gorgeous art scene. The fun is limitless.

Want to party? Take a jaunt onto downtown State Street for a plethora of restaurants and bars. Stop by Joe's Cafe for a strong drink and an easygoing atmosphere. They have been a staple since 1928. www.joescafesb.com

Have a great spring getaway!

March Madness Sidebar


Yay for basketball...March Madness is here! The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament is played each spring, currently featuring 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), to determine who wins the national championship. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. It has become one of the most famous annual sporting events out there!

Selection Sunday will take place on March 11 this year, when the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee reveals which 68 teams have made the field for that year's basketball championships.

With 11 national titles, UCLA has the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships; John Wooden coached UCLA to 10 of its 11 titles. He was quoted as saying,“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

CBS Sports analyst Jerry Palm's projections listed UCLA with a No. 10 seeding for 2018. The Bruins are 17-8 overall and 8-5 in the Pac-12 Conference, and they are tied with USC for second place.

So who will take it this year? We just have to wait and see.

Revive the old college spirit and cheer for your favorite teams with a NCAA Tournament March Madness party. Guests will be thinking about nothing but net. For invitations, use your favorite team's colors or orange and black for a basketball look. You can even make the invitation round like a basketball.

Create the ultimate VIP viewing space with tons of extra chairs, pillows, cushions or bean bags. Make sure grub and drinks are easily accessible with a buffet table and coolers or beverage buckets. Buy inflatable basketballs or foam balls and set up a basketball hoop for fun. Of course the party is all about watching the game. Make sure your settings are optimal – some TVs actually have a sports mode!

It can be fun to go out to a sports bar to check out the game. Here are great local spots for March Madness!

901 Bar & Grill is a second home for USC basketball fans. Holders of current USC ID cards receive an immediate 25-percent discount off all food and beverages between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The Trojan spirit is here, with a plethora of 50″ plasma TV monitors and a fun-filled vibe. www.901bar.com

UCLA fans have a pub too. Rivalry Sports Bar and Grill is jam-packed with sports lovers of blue and gold. There is delicious food and a ton of HDTV monitors placing center stage. There is also an extensive selection of beers and cocktails. www.rivalryla.com

With a really amazing atmosphere, Barney’s Beanery in Burbank is the perfect place for catching an intense basketball game. There are TVs everywhere, 200-plus beers and 700 menu items, and any sports package you could ever imagine. www.barneysbeanery.com

Rocco’s Tavern in Studio City is the best Valley sports bar around. Chill out as you watch the game with TV’s everywhere you look. The menu is all about the pizza and they have Happy Hour every day from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. http://roccostavern.com

A neighborhood drinking hole, The Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks is the type of place where you will see all of your buddies. Blue Dog offers a great patio, delicious food, and a friendly atmosphere. www.bluedogbeertavern.com

Go team!

St. Patrick's Day Sidebar


It's time to stay lucky and wear (or drink) some green. St. Patrick's Day is here and it's on a Saturday this year! So break out your inner leprechaun!

St. Patrick's Day began as a religious holiday in Ireland but became a celebratory affair because of Irish Americans. Parades are a statement of showing Irish colors.

This is the 30th year of The Annual Ventura St. Patrick's Day Parade. The theme this year is Ventura Strong, honoring the first responders of the Thomas Fire. Enjoy floats, music, four leaf clovers and that ol' Irish charm. www.venturastpatricksdayparade.com

The Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau presents the 23rd annual Hermosa Beach Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Over 100 local businesses, civic organizations and school marching bands will take part in the seven block parade down Pier Avenue. The Irish theme includes bagpipers from the Emerald Society, floats, horses and four legged friends from the Irish Setters Club of Southern California. www.hbchamber.net

Another St. Patty's tradition is wearing shamrocks on your coat. You then close the day by "drowning the shamrock" — placing it in a glass of whiskey and downing it.

Enjoy the day in Pasadena at Jigs, Rainbows, Bagpipes and Drums! St. Paddy’s inspired crafts will be available for the kids, there will be Irish dancing, and in the Pasadena Scots will entertain with classic tunes. www.facebook.com/OneColoradoOldPasadena/events

Guinness is the drink of choice on St. Patrick's Day. On a typical day, Americans drink about 600,000 pints of the Dublin-based beer. But on St. Patrick's Day, it's about 3 million! Planning on drinking a pint?

Brendon’s Pub, with three locations, Camarillo, Agoura Hills and Newbury Park, offers authentic Irish flavors in a unique pub atmosphere. Enjoy traditional Irish cuisine, pints of Guinness, and party like a Paddy! www.brendans.com

A time-honored Irish tavern with old-world charm and happy hours, JJ Sullivan’s in Woodland Hills will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day with flair. www.jjsullivans.com

White Harte Pub in Woodland Hills is an informal British-style pub. There are 18 refreshing beers on tap, such as Kilkenny Irish Ale. They are the perfect spot for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration. www.whitehartepub.com

Pickwick's Pub in Woodland Hills is a laid-back hangout for English pub food. The extensive menu is delicious along with 14 draft beers and a 3 craft beer corner, including Irish stouts and lager, English ales and cider. www.pickwickpub.com

Happy St. Patty’s!

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