Dead Exposure: Patient Zero skulls.
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Surviving Halloween Horror Nights

Having survived a night of gleeful terror at Universal Orlando’s annual Halloween Horror Nights, I can report that #HHN is a blast. Its  -- a frightful fest of doom that's worth repeating annually. Both Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood reach out to a fresh crop of master storytellers, as well as sharing original tales, so there are always new horrors to survive. This...

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Top Ten Geek Sights In Silicon Valley

In San Jose, the self-anointed “Capital of Silicon Valley,” what can the public see of the secretive tech industry? Google is headquartered in Mountain View, Facebook in Menlo Park, Yahoo! in Sunnyvale – all suburbs within a half-hour of San Jose. But my airport driver Luis (who drives for eBay, Adobe and Google) explains that Silicon...

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space theemd hotel
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Give Up a Night at 10 Unique Hotels

Want to skip the mass market hotel room for an Instagrammable sleeping experience your friends and family may envy – and the kids will remember forever? Travelers have a bigger choice of hotels and vacation rentals than ever before, as independent properties experiment with new forms of hospitality in décor, amenities and guest experiences. It’s time. Introduce the family to a whole new...

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Hofsas House Hotel Mural.
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Carmel-by-the-Sea, Kids in Tow

Quaint and walkable Carmel-by-the-Sea is packed with chic shops, trendy restaurants and stylish wine tasting rooms -- it’s been a romantic adult getaway for decades.  But it’s also the perfect romantic family place to headquarter with your children if you know where to stay.   The Bavarian-style Hofsas...

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Disney Theme Parks Worldwide Expanding

At the annual fan-con #D23, organized by Disney’s most loyal fans in Tokyo this month, the company’s top executives revealed that characters from Pixar, Marvel and classic Disney franchises would power new developments and expansions at properties worldwide. Here are some of the most exciting announcements for family travelers, who will also have lots of special summer-only events to look forward...

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San Francisco, California Hotels

With so many options and a plethora of unattended rentals, choosing the right hotel -- with a good staff, and a convenient neighborhood -- can be really soothing when visiting San Francisco, California. This great walking city full of hills will tire everyone out, so prioritize your attractions (a CityPASS saves up to 50% on...

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12 Reasons to Love Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Those who recall Vice President Richard Nixon opening the VIII Olympic Winter Games here on February 18, 1960, know Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort simply as “Squaw Valley.”  And, after 58 years, it just keeps getting better. Here’s why. Beginners love it. Squaw Valley’s learning terrain is at...

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San Diego, California Attractions

From Sea World to surfing to a world-class zoo, here are our favorite ideas on where to go when visiting sunny San Diego. By the way, southern California is a participant in the CityPass Program which includes the 3-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper ticket (back-and-forth admission to Disneyland and Disney...

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Fairmont San Francisco Does Family Well

At the Fairmont Hotels & Resort's flagship property, the beautiful Fairmont San Francisco, my family was lucky enough to find out what the "Affordable Luxury for Families" concept was all about. The Fairmont, recipient of several historically accurate facelifts since its 1906 opening, boasts its original grandeur without sacrificing any of the modern conveniences one...

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Custom Itinerary: San Francisco And Yosemite on Tight Budget

Q.  Cathy P. and family of St. Peters, Missouri are visiting San Francisco and Yosemite National Park and want budget hotel and sightseeing ideas along the way. A.  Thank you for your note requesting itinerary planning advice for your upcoming trip to California.  As we understand it,...

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