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October is one of my favorite months with the Exceeding Expectations kids.  As you all know, our top priority for the kids is, and always will be, education. That said, every October we participate in two athletic events that I feel are significant in laying the groundwork necessary for them to be successful in the academic world and in their adult lives.  The first of these events is the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) triathlon, aptly called “The Best Day in Triathlon.” Here’s a brief overview from their website:  “In 1994, three friends started a triathlon fundraiser to help one man regain his independence after a tragic accident left him a quadriplegic. From one came many, and Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) took root in the belief that sports and an active lifestyle are a pathway to more in life. Since that fundraiser 25 years ago, CAF has been committed to breaking the financial barrier that individuals with physical challenges face to participate in sports and live a healthy and active lifestyle.”  Participating alongside challenged athletes in a very tough race gives our kids an additional perspective on their own lives. The racers on the course with them face obstacles that they

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Caruso Affiliated Refashions the Shopping Experience [Video]

A few months ago, we announced that Caruso Affiliated had selected Boingo to operate the Wi-Fi services at its Los Angeles shopping centers, The Grove and The Americana at Brand.  Now, we’re happy to report that Boingo Wi-Fi has been live and connecting shoppers…such as L.A.-based Boingo employees! It’s a breeze accessing the Wi-Fi on your gadget while browsing around! But enough about us. Actually, we want to rave about our unprecedented, spectacular experience with The Grove’s complimentary concierge services (also available at The Americana at Brand). The staff took care of us the moment we arrived in the valet circle, checked in at relevant times during the day, and sent us home with smiles at the end of the day. Check out the video above for a visual of the first-class treatment we received from the staff at The Grove. What’s so necessary and special about concierge services at a shopping center? As The Grove team can tell you, plenty. They fulfill numerous guests requests for dinner reservations (at The Grove, as well as throughout L.A.), transportation, personal stylists, tourist activities, spa treatments and more. We requested a car wash and, like magic, a squeaky clean version of our car awaited us

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Zagat Guide Re-Defines Rules of Dining Etiquette

Tim Zagat, co-founder of dining and entertainment Zagat guides, says it’s time to establish new dining etiquette. As we read through the list, we keep wondering: how do these rules apply in different countries worldwide? Seasoned travelers, what are some region-specific dining etiquette that you’ve encountered? Here’s a summary of Zagat’s “10 New Rules of Dining Etiquette:” Men and women deserve equal service quality. According to Zagat, most diners  think men receive better service because they’re perceived as the bill payers. The person who invites pays the bill unless an agreement made in advance says otherwise. Whoever is ready first orders first. The Emily Post tradition is women order first. Fiddling with any gadget (e.g., a smartphone) is bad manners. Do not bring children to non-relevant restaurants (e.g., romantic places). Dress casually, the way they do in Los Angeles. Let the restaurant know if you can’t make it for a reservation. Enjoy yourself, but don’t overstay if there’s a line of people waiting to dine. Chivalry is dead except for the act of door-opening: men should open doors and women should let them. Customers should expect good food and service. Short of that, they have every right to be disappointed and tell all