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Climbing Kilimanjaro, hiking John Muir Trail, touring Japan

TANZANIA

Presentation

An REI expert will discuss climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Marangu Route.

When, where: 7 p.m. Tuesday at the REI store in Arcadia, 214 N. Santa Anita Ave.; Wednesday at the Rancho Cucamonga store, 12218 Foothill Blvd.; and Thursday at the Santa Monica store, 402 Santa Monica Blvd.

Admission, info: Free. (626) 447-1062 for Arcadia; (909) 646-8360 for Rancho Cucamonga; and (310) 458-4370 for Santa Monica.

HIKING

Workshop

Learn tips, logistics, route planning and more to prepare for through-hiking the John Muir Trail.

When, where: 7 p.m. Friday at the Adventure 16 store, 11161 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.

Admission, info: Free. (310) 473-4574.

JAPAN

Presentation

Frank McKown will discuss a classic tour of Japan, including Tokyo, Nikko, Mt. Fuji, Nara and Kyoto.

When, where: Noon Saturday, May 30, at Gitana Restaurant, 260 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank.

Admission, info: $21 for lunch and program. Hosted by the Network for Travel Club. RSVP to Odette Ricasa at (323) 578-3601.

Please...

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Reader Recommendation: Pato Thai Cuisine in Flagstaff, Ariz.

My wife and I traveled to Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon and stayed in Flagstaff, Ariz., where we came upon this great university city full of small restaurants. One place took me by storm. Pato Thai had the best spice flavorings of anywhere we have ever eaten, and we have traveled a lot in the Far East. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 15. Amazing food and varying spices in every dish, and at reasonable prices.

Pato Thai Cuisine, 104 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff; (928) 213-1825, http://www.patothai.com/home.html

Leonard & Linda Dugdale

Rancho Mirage

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Nine things you need to know about the world's biggest Disney Store
Paint the Night preserves wacky whimsy of Main Street Electrical Parade

Disneyland’s new 1.5 million-light show Paint the Night recalls the upbeat and offbeat nature of the Main Street Electrical Parade and is a worthy successor to the beloved nighttime parade that left the Anaheim theme park nearly two decades ago.

Based on a parade at Hong Kong Disneyland, the new Paint the Night is part of the Anaheim theme park’s 60th anniversary celebration with floats from "Cars," "Toy Story," "Monsters Inc.," "Beauty and the Beast," "Little Mermaid" and “Frozen” as well as 76 performers in lighted costumes.

Disneyland's 60th Anniversary: Overview | Parade | Fireworks | Water Show | Ride Updates

Paint the Night starts with a float featuring the feisty and silly Tinkerbell wearing a glowing green dress that sets a “light” tone for the rest of the parade -- in both the high-wattage and light-hearted sense of the word.

The most massive float by far is Mack, a life-size version of the big-rig truck from “Cars” powered by 25,000 lights. Mack’s bobtail trailer is filled with...

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Four traffic headaches you should avoid this Memorial Day weekend

Oh, the places you'll go -- and the places you shouldn't go-- this Memorial Day weekend. Record numbers of Americans on the road mean that trouble traffic spots will be even more troublesome.

The California Highway Patrol defines the holiday weekend as lasting from 6:01 p.m. on Friday to 11:59 p.m. on Monday. Here are five places you should avoid during peak hours, unless you look forward to bonding with family while stuck on the freeway.

Yosemite National Park: Don't come to the park between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the peak hours for traffic, a park statement says. Visitors inside Yosemite Valley are advised to park their vehicles and take the free shuttles, or bike or hike to get from point to point.

Also, know that reserved campsites in Yosemite are sold out; the few available on a first-come, first-served basis are expected to be filled by Friday afternoon. The park suggests looking for lodging or camping in the gateway communities at Yosemite's south entrance.

Interstate 15: Caltrans...

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The pain you feel at the pump? Bad, but not as bad as last Memorial Day

If you’re wincing at the cost of gasoline as get ready for your Memorial Day driving trip, take heart: You're not paying as much as you did last year.

Gas prices have shot up like a rocket in the last month. Californians are paying an average $3.79 a gallon for regular gas, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

In the Los Angeles/Long Beach area, we’re paying about 18 cents a gallon more than the state average, which puts us at the top of the charts. Even usually expensive San Francisco is paying less than we are, at $3.80 a gallon.

But gas prices are particularly painful now because holiday weekend travel (50 miles or more constitutes a trip, AAA says) is mostly by car: Of the 37.2 million people expected to get out of town, 33 million are expected to be driving, AAA says.

Here's the good (OK, maybe not so bad) news: You’ll pay less for a gallon of regular gas than last year, when it was $4.14 statewide and 3 cents more than that for L.A./Long Beach residents.

The chart above shows...

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