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Where T. Rex and horses roam: Ricardo Breceda's studio in Temecula

When you see galloping metal mustangs jumping over California Highway 79 in Temecula, stop the car and turn around. The horses are a startling roadside site that will lead you to the man who made them.

I pulled off the two-lane winding highway in late November while driving from Temecula to the Anza Borrego Desert. Earlier I had seen a stagecoach pulled by horses and a T. Rex with signs inviting all to come visit Ricardo Breceda's studio.

Enter the Vail Lake Resort RV Park (they give you an hour of free parking if you tell them you're visiting Breceda's studio) and follow the signs to see the metal menagerie the artist keeps here. In a quiet oak grove below the highway sits a warehouse surrounded by animals, real and imagined.

Marlins and dinosaurs share space with scorpions and bears; figures are mostly Old West types of cowboys, and Native Americans that seem to fit in the woodland setting. But you'll also find a polo player or a buxom mermaid.

Inside are small sculptures of...

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After its final flight Sunday, AirTran to become one with Southwest

AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines will finally be one. The last AirTran flight scheduled for Sunday will retrace the route of the airline's first flight -- when it was known as ValuJet -- from Atlanta to Tampa, Fla.

AirTran Flight 1 (or Southwest Flight 5001) will leave Atlanta at 10:25 p.m. Eastern time and arrive in Tampa at 11:55 p.m. It's the same route that ValuJet flew when service began in 1993.

Southwest executives will mark the event with a few final words and a gate party will be held for all on the flight. It's full, with many longtime AirTran employees as crew members and passengers.

In Southern California, AirTran flights left Los Angeles on Nov. 1, according to Airways News.

Ticket counters and gates merged several months ago at Los Angeles International Airport. Ditto at Orange County's John Wayne Airport, where the side-by-side airlines in Terminal C had an easy transition to become one.

During the ValuJet years, the airline had two high-profile accidents. One...

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Airfare: Round trip from LAX to Malta on Turkish: $667

You can take a winter holiday in Malta, the island nation in the Mediterranean, for less with this round-trip airfare from LAX on Turkish Airlines: $667, which includes all taxes and fees.

It is subject to availability and is for travel Jan. 26-March 24. You must stay over a Saturday night and purchase your ticket by Jan. 19.

Info: Turkish Airlines, (800) 874-8875

Source: Airfarewatchdog

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Myanmar and Thailand: Tour takes in-depth look at nature

Natural Habitat Adventures’ 13-day tour of Myanmar and Thailand offers an in-depth look at the countries’ little-known national parks and wildlife reserves.

Highlights include looking for rare wild langurs, or leaf monkeys, in Popa Mountain National Park in Myanmar, also known as Burma, and snorkeling in the Mergui Archipelago, where Burmese macaques, one of the world's few tool-using primates, live and breed. Also on the itinerary are highlights of Burmese culture, such as Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda and the temple spires of Bagan.

After boarding a luxury catamaran, guests will cruise the Andaman Sea to Thailand, where they will visit Khao Sok National Park, the world’s oldest rainforest and home to the rare Malayan tapir and Asiatic black bear.

Dates: Feb. 2-14, Feb. 23-March 7 and Nov. 30-Dec. 12, plus four dates in 2016

Price: From $8,895 per person, double occupancy ($2,295 single supplement), plus $1,275 for internal airfare. Includes accommodations, meals, airport transfers, land...

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Las Vegas: New 'ShowStoppers' revue bears Steve Wynn's imprint

“ShowStoppers,” the Strip’s newest musical production, marks a change of roles for casino mogul Steve Wynn. The show is his vision, and he is the executive producer.

"ShowStoppers," which opened Dec. 20,  features 35 singers and dancers performing 20 songs from 11 Broadway musicals. The numbers include “One” from “A Chorus Line,” “Razzle Dazzle” from “Chicago” and “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” from “Guys and Dolls.” A 31-piece orchestra completes the Vegas-style onstage ensemble.

Wynn is the resort developer who brought such big-name acts as Cirque du Soleil’s “Mystère”  and magicians Siegfried and Roy to Vegas. But “ShowStoppers”  marks the first time he has taken such a personal role in a production.

Wynn got the idea after pulling together a troupe of performers for a one-off show to celebrate the 50th birthday of his wife, Andrea.

I was beginning to miss the magic and delicious joy of watching gifted artists perform with great music, and so I hope the public loves the show...

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How to, where to photograph a starry night sky

If the heavens fascinate you (and maybe Santa brought you a new camera), you may wonder how to take a photo that captures starlight like the ones used in the time-lapse video above.

That "how-to" question was on my mind in the fall as I headed to Jasper, Canada, home of the annual October Dark Sky Festival. (Jasper National Park is an official dark sky preserve.)

There I encountered Dark Sky photographer Jack Fusco, long a fan of Alberta and creator of the video above, "Chasing Starlight - An Adventure in the Canadian Rockies."

“Jasper was always a place I wanted to visit since I saw my first photo [of it],” Fusco said in an interview about last year's YouTube video for Travel Alberta. “The first time I saw Moraine Lake, it was amazing -- blue lakes, gorgeous mountains in the background.” Photographing it seemed “kind of like cheating because it’s just so beautiful.” 

Fusco shared tips with me to help me in my quest to capture starlight: 

--Get away from city lights. "Many places...

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