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Southern California's best holiday light shows for keeping spirits bright

You’ve made plans for Thanksgiving, but what are you doing the day after? Going to see holiday lights may be the ideal bridge from Turkey Day to Christmas. Here are five events guaranteed to keep your spirits bright.

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Sneak peek at holiday weather: Snow in the Sierra (for now), dry conditions across most of nation

Snow has been falling on Sierra resorts since early Thursday morning, building hopes that mega-resorts such as Mammoth Mountain can be fully open for the holiday week. At noon Friday, high winds were howling across the Sierra, and Mammoth had only three lifts operating.

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Fly round-trip from LAX to Phuket, Thailand, for $400 on China Southern

You can fly to Phuket, Thailand, for $400 round-trip from LAX, including all taxes and fees, on China Southern, using the money you save on airfare for a splurge at the island resort in the Andaman Sea.

The fare, subject to availability, is for travel Jan. 17 through May 3. You must stay at least seven nights but may not stay more than three months.

Fares for February departures are higher.

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It doesn't get more authentic than this: a taro harvest at a Waikiki hotel's poolside garden

Waikiki is returning to its roots. One Honolulu hotel garden every month harvests a small patch of taro, a vegetable once ubiquitous along the area’s marshes and one critical to the islands’ most famous dish, poi.

Taro is harvested at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach, where a small garden flourishes beside the pool deck.

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Get ready for Black Friday-Cyber Monday travel deals on Cuba, Greece and more

If part of your Thanksgiving tradition involves Black Friday-Cyber Monday shopping, consider your travel plans when scouting for deals. Lots of tour operators and outfitters will be offering flash sales on overseas trips for one day or longer — and you can do it all online too.

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The Arizona Biltmore makes for an elegant weekend escape in Phoenix

When my husband, Paul, and I learned that the Arizona Biltmore was offering a special package in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright's birthday, we booked a room and a flight to Phoenix. What better enticement than a stay at the hotel associated with the most famous American architect of the last century?

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