An email app that filters and notifies

Get more quality time out of your vacations, let alone weekends at home, with this app.

Name: AwayFind

Available for: Android and iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (requires iOS 6.1 or later)

What it does: It alleviates the need to check your email continually by letting you filter which topics and people you need to hear from when you're away. Assign the priority email addresses or keywords and AwayFind will send you an SMS text to your smartphone when they arrive.

Cost: Free for 30 days; $5-$49.99 a month after that.

What's hot: It really works, and it works fast. I got the app so that I could increase my freedom. I signed up on a Friday and forgot all about it. Then important work emails arrived on Sunday and AwayFind sent me an immediate text. I was jolted from my family-focused weekend and reminded that my business was launching a product this week and I still had work to attend to. I became an instant fan. You can even fine-tune what time of day you'd like to be notified.

What's not:...

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The Sentinel Building on the city's Kearny Street is a three-sided marvel, more than 100 years old. It houses Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope production company and Cafe Zoetrope. Photo shot in 2012.

Daily Detour: Odd spots, strange trips, great moments in travel

Welcome, Detourists! This slide show, shot and written by L.A. Times staffer Christopher Reynolds, goes all over and grows every weekday.
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Flowers and miniature confederate flags are seen alongside a gravestone in Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery.

Charleston visit evokes mixed emotions

Mixed views on Charleston

I'm glad Alice Short highlighted the most troubling aspect of visiting Charleston, S.C., in her cover article ["In a New Light," April 13].

What is on the surface one of America's finest historic towns was built and maintained by enslaved African Americans whose history is mostly hidden and unspoken, while the Confederate past is celebrated.

The only thing that "saved" our stay in Charleston was Alphonso Brown's wonderful Gullah Tour (www.gullahtours.com) that explores and celebrates the culture of those black Charlestonians who were so brutally treated in such an outwardly genteel place yet maintained their rich culture.

It's a shame these folks remain disrespected by a city that still largely fails to confront its ugly past directly and honestly (much like our nation as a whole).

Bernie Resser

Pacific Palisades

::

Charleston is a wonderful city, and I found Short's articles quite good, although I do have a nit. The Old Slave Mart museum had "almost no...

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Travel stories, advice about Asia

ASIA

Presentation

Justin Rubin will share stories and advice about traveling to Myanmar, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, India and Nepal. Topics include how to survive being held hostage by an orangutan and the proper way to drink cobra blood.

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena.

Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (626) 449-3220.

EUROPE

Workshop

Hostelling International will conduct a workshop for those interested in exploring Europe by rail. Topics include Eurail passes and classes of service.

When, where: 7 p.m. Tuesday at the REI store in Santa Monica, 402 Santa Monica Blvd.

Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (310) 393-9913, Ext. 3104.

CLIMBING

Presentation

Hear Tyler Armstrong tell his story of setting the world record on Dec. 24, 2013, at the age of 9, as the youngest person to climb Argentina's 22,841-foot Mt. Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western and Southern hemispheres.

When, where:7 p.m. Wednesday...

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Nashville's Music City Tippler mixes fun and friendship

To top off your next trip to Nashville, I recommend Music City Tippler, a midtown Cheers-like pub, as a must visit. It offers a 100-year-old bar, music played on a 120-year-old barn wood stage and more, while featuring outstanding classic cocktails, craft beers and eclectic wines. Truly an upbeat time for all, and when I left later in the evening, everybody knew my name. Cheers!

Music City Tippler, 1922 Adelicia St.; (615) 457-3406, http://www.musiccitytippler.com.

Pete Puzo

Encino

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Judith Tuch and her husband, Gene, toured northern India in December, stopping in Varanasi, a holy city that hugs the banks of the Ganges River. During their stay, the couple observed these pilgrims, with their belongings balanced atop their heads, as they made their way to the Ganges to bathe. "Varanasi was truly the most spiritual place I have ever been to," Judith said. The Beverly Hills resident used a Canon PowerShot SX200 IS.

Your Scene: A spiritual stop in India

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A Southwest Airlines flight attendant kept passengers laughing before takeoff with a near stand-up routine/safety briefing. Other airlines have introduced levity to the talks.

Southwest, other airlines take safety talks to new, hilarious heights

Southwest Airlines flight attendant Marty Cobb has gone viral -- just for giving the in-flight safety briefing on a recent flight.

Cobb's one-liners delivered with impeccable comic timing sent a YouTube video of her hilarious instructions into the stratosphere. By Thursday, it had 8.7 million views and counting -- and it's just one of the funny ways that flight attendants and airlines bring new life to stale safety briefings.

Cobb had a planeload of fliers in stitches. Here's the YouTube video posted Saturday and some of her best quips:

"As you know, it's a no-smoking, no-whining, no-complaining flight. It's a 'please' and 'thank you' and 'you are such a good-looking flight attendant' flight.

"Everybody gets a door prize in the seat-back pocket in front of you along with dirty diapers, chewing gum wrappers, banana peels, and all other gifts you leave for us.... It's the safety information card.

"Sit back and relax -- or you can sit up and be tense, either way."

Some airlines...

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Chef and television personality Guy Fieri arrives with a group of cheerleaders at a welcome event for Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar.

Las Vegas: Guy Fieri opens restaurant fronting the Strip

Chef Guy Fieri returned to Las Vegas to open his newest restaurant on Thursday, 24 years after graduating from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The new 200-seat Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar is the first he has launched since the creation two years ago of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Manhattan, which received a memorably scathing review in the New York Times.

"Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret -- a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers -- called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?" New York Times critic Pete Wells wrote as one of the series of questions that made up the review.

Wells said the New York restaurant's watermelon margarita glowed like "nuclear waste" and tasted like "some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde."

Asked about the review, Fieri said: “Did we make mistakes? Without question. Every...

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You can fly round trip from Long Beach to Anchorage for less than $300 as summer wanes.

Airfare: JetBlue offers Long Beach-Anchorage round trip for $276

As the tourist season winds down in Alaska, airfare deals to Anchorage heat up: You can get a $276 round-trip fare, including all taxes and fees, from Long Beach to Anchorage.

The fare is subject to availability; there is no minimum stay. You may travel any day of the week between Aug. 10 and Sept. 2.

Info: JetBlue, (800) 538-2583

Source: Airfarewatchdog.com


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Charlie Chaplin in a scene from "City Lights." An exhibit and a benefit will honor the silent screen star.

Catalina museum exhibit, benefit honor silent star Charlie Chaplin

Celebrate the life and loves of actor Charlie Chaplin at an exhibit that opened this week at the Catalina Island Museum, which is toasting the 125th birthday of the iconic silent screen star.

Besides the exhibit, Chaplin, known for the lovable "little tramp" figure he often played, will also be honored during the museum’s 27th annual Silent Film Benefit on May 17, which will feature the actor starring in “City Lights,” considered a vintage film masterpiece.

“City Lights,” which will be shown at Avalon's Casino building, will be accompanied by a 39-piece symphony orchestra led by Grammy award-winning conductor Richard Kaufman.

Tickets cost $18 general admission, $15 for museum members, $9 for children or people wearing period dress.

Info: Catalina Museum(310) 510-2414, (310) 510-2414

Even if you can’t make the film, you can learn more about Chaplin at the museum’s exhibit, titled “A Secret Love Affair: Charlie Chaplin and Paulette...

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Fishermen cast their lines along the Malecon in Havana. The number of U.S. visitors to Cuba continues to rise.

Number of U.S. travelers going to Cuba is on the rise, report says

More Americans are going to Cuba, which makes the U.S. the second tourism source for the island nation after Canada, according to a new report. Despite a travel embargo that's been in effect for half a century, 173,550 Americans went to Cuba in January through March.

"The data confirms, although the Cuban government does not recognize it publicly, that the United States, even with the effect of the embargo, is the second greatest source of tourists to Cuba after Canada," Emilio Morales, president of U.S.-based Havana Consulting Group, wrote in a report provided to the Associated Press.

"Most of the U.S. travelers are Cuban-Americans visiting family but others have no ties to the island and travel to participate in academic and cultural programs," the AP reports, noting most flights originate from Miami.

The number of Americans visiting Cuba has been on a steady increase. In 2007, 244,699 Americans went to Cuba. By 2013 that number had more than doubled to almost 600,000. That lags behind...

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The AirTrain at Newark Liberty International Airport will close May 1 for repairs.

New Jersey: Newark airport's AirTrain to shut for repairs in May

AirTrain service at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, which New York-bound travelers use as an alternative to New York's JFK, will be suspended starting May 1 to repair the 6.3-mile rail system. That means you won't be able to hop on the AirTrain to get to a rental car agency or connect with other transit to Manhattan.

Shuttle buses will be used to help passengers get from terminal to terminal and to connect with Newark's Penn Station, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said.  It also suggests fliers "consider getting dropped off and picked up at the airport" -- and to expect delays.

"Customers using shuttle bus service are strongly urged to allow extra time and be prepared for possible delays," the statement says.

Travelers arriving at Newark (EWR) usually have the option of taking the AirTrain to New Jersey Transit for a $12.50 trip to New York's Penn Station. Or they may take it to Amtrak trains heading to Boston and Washington, D.C.

Now free shuttle buses...

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Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger Mary Forgione likes to hit the dirt when she's on vacation. An avid hiker and runner, Mary likes speed-touring cities on foot and sightseeing by running marathons.


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