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Category: Vacations

In northern Arizona’s Hopiland, an ancient culture lives on

Posted on February, 28 2015

A ferocious wind fell like a pack of hounds upon the village of Old Oraibi, flinging clouds of dust around stone houses perched on the cliff’s edge.

An old woman struggled to carry a basket of cornmeal up an alley as ragged dogs took shelter by a trash can. Prehistoric potsherds skittered across the road.

“Maybe we should get back in the truck!” my guide, Gary Tso, called, trying to be heard over the roar.

We were exploring this lonesome village of about 75 that can trace its origins to 1100, making it perhaps the oldest continuously occupied community in America.

Once the largest, most important village on the Hopi reservation in northeastern Arizona, it’s now a crumbling relic rooted to a mesa that juts like a ship’s prow over the desert.

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Category: Vacations

NASCAR rolls into Las Vegas with a parade, country music and fast cars

Posted on February, 25 2015
 NASCAR rolls into Las Vegas with a parade, country music and fast cars

NASCAR rumbles into Las Vegas on Sunday, Mar. 8, when the Kobalt 400 takes place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Last year, Brad Keselowski won the race, passing Dale Earnhardt Jr., who ran out of gas on the final lap.

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Category: Vacations

Video: China’s earthen army marches in Xian — and farmer shares fame

Posted on February, 21 2015
 Video: Chinas earthen army marches in Xian    and farmer shares fame

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Category: Vacations

New national monument on Oahu is a ‘gift for future generations’

Posted on February, 18 2015

The creation of a national monument on Oahu to remember the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II is a “great gift for present and future generations.”

Carole Hayashino, president and executive director of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, applauded the news that the site of the former Honouliuli internment camp 25 miles northwest of Honolulu is being acquired by the National Park Service.

The center led the effort to create the monument.

President Obama, who was born on Oahu, is expected to make the announcement Thursday, the 73rd anniversary of the signing of the executive order that allowed the internment.

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Category: Vacations

Web Buzz: Tixchart.com finds lowest airfares in U.S., Europe, Pacific

Posted on February, 16 2015

What would you be willing to do for the lowest fare?

Name: Tixchart.com

What it does: Searches for and compares low-cost carriers to help you find the lowest fare as well as reveals whole-year price trends. Searches carriers in the United States, Europe and the Pacific.

What’s hot: Plug in your destination and travel dates and up pop two graphs: one charting prices within a certain number of days of your departure date; the other, prices for your return. Click on the peaks and valleys to see the various travel dates and their corresponding prices. Then scroll down to find specific flights. There’s a filter bar that opens and closes on the left side of your screen if you want specifics about destinations, stopovers, duration and more. I found routes and prices I would never have known about had I used my usual search methods for a trip to Europe this summer, when fares are traditionally high.

What’s not: Not for the faint of heart or for those looking for first-class travel. Your desire for a bargain must be matched by your eye for detail. Although I found flights from Los Angeles to Europe that saved thousands of dollars for my family of three, the short segments had to be booked on different carriers and on different websites. I had to take notes and use a calculator in order to make sure the routes were going to work logistically and financially. Would it add adventure (or inconvenience, depending on how you look at it) by having us travel to other countries, experience long stopovers and change planes several times in order to get the low fare. With a young child in tow, is it worth it? For our easy-traveling trio — heck yes. Note: Still in beta.

travel@latimes.com

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Category: Vacations

Letters: Families trying to sit together on flights face challenges

Posted on February, 16 2015

I appreciated Catharine Hamm’s article on the dilemma of families wanting to sit together on a flight and the airlines’ “game” of extorting more money from them in order to sit with their young children ["Togetherness Has Its Price When Flying," Feb.8].

My wife and I faced this problem several times when our kids were younger. Five options were listed that may help the situation.

I respectfully submit our chosen option, which is No. 6.

Don’t pay extra to find seating together. Simply bring a coloring book, some crayons and a bag of graham crackers — and hand them to the gate attendants. Tell them to please give the items to whomever is sitting next to your child — and mention that your child likes to be told stories as well. You can give them a few tissues too, if the child’s nose is runny.

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Category: Vacations

A slice of hipsterdom, a scoop of cool in Goleta, Santa Barbara

Posted on February, 14 2015

Traveling with a teenager doesn’t often offer appealing options for keeping parent and child equally entertained. Laid-back mom avoids commotion; high-energy kid craves action. The (sneaky) compromise? A vacation that can do double duty as an introduction to college. A two-hour drive to the town of Goleta gave us a look at a new hipster hotel, a student-swarmed college town and a peek at Antioch University, the Brooks Institute and UC Santa Barbara. The tab: from $ 229 a night, depending on the season, at the Goodland, $ 65 for dinner, $ 50 for breakfast and $ 10 for ice cream.

Travel Las Vegas Entertainment California

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Category: Vacations

IMAX theater, water park and pool cabanas on new Carnival Vista

Posted on February, 11 2015

When the Carnival Vista hits the water in 2016, it will be the cruise line’s biggest ship.

But size alone doesn’t distinguish the Vista. What sets it apart are novel features like an IMAX theater, and fun factors like a water tube slide in an expanded water park and SkyRide, which allows passengers to cycle on recumbent bikes on a suspended track 150 feet above the ocean.

The Vista also will bring the cruise line back to Europe for the first time in three years, according to a Carnival statement last month.

Travel Las Vegas Entertainment California

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Category: Vacations

Vamo.com helps plan trips to multiple cities

Posted on February, 09 2015

Turn a vacation into an adventure by adding more stops to your ticket.

Name: Vamo.com

What it does: The website combines itinerary inspiration with multi-stop flight and hotel booking for global destinations. Use one of its itineraries or create your own.

What’s hot: If you’re surfing for a package deal on Vamo, the website will offer you cash back when you book one of its hotel options. It’s easy to filter for budget, midrange and high-end options so you can customize your style of travel. I also liked that the flight itinerary was broken into individual segments so that if you didn’t like a segment when booking, you could opt out but keep the others.

What’s not: I tested flights for an actual trip I need to take from Los Angeles with two stops in Italy and another in London before heading back to California. The site was easy to use, but I wasn’t sure I had the best price.

travel@latimes.com

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Category: Vacations

Avian ballet now live at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Posted on February, 07 2015

They circled overhead in a gathering white cloud swirling with energy, then dropped from the sky like large snowflakes, coming to rest on a nearby pond.

These geese, mostly Ross’s geese and snow geese, were joined by several varieties of ducks and other waterfowl that winter in the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, a series of five refuges dotting the valley of the Sacramento River. These resting spots are part of the Pacific Flyway, which stretches 4,000 miles from the Arctic to Mexico and 1,000 miles east to the Rocky Mountains.

Jennifer Patten, coordinator and co-founder of the annual Chico-based Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway, described the flyway as a “historic highway in the sky” through which migrating waterfowl have passed for millions of years. Attracted by the mild climate, they often stop and spend the winter here, making this time of year optimal for viewing.

The spectacle — a sort of avian air ballet set to music by Mother Nature — is jaw-dropping.

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Category: Vacations
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