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California: Leaves popping with color at Idyllwild and Lake Hemet

With Halloween today and the Day of the Dead starting Saturday, there may be little time for a leaf-peeping trip. Fortunately, some of the best color this weekend isn't so far away. Lake Hemet and Idyllwild are reportedly at peak or a little past -- and they're within a day drive of Los Angeles.

"Fall has been more like a scalding summer, but signs abound that the seasons finally changed this week," Bob Pratte of the Riverside Press-Enterprise wrote Thursday. Oaks and cottonwoods have turned yellow, and the San Jacinto Mountains seem to have turned all at once, his sources reported. Good place to see the trees: Drive to the town and head north on Highway 243.

Farther south, Lake Hemet off Highway 74, which has low water levels because of the drought, has "intense fall color" right now that's expected to last for the next few weeks, reported.

The website also said that the L.A. County Arboretum in Arcadia is starting to show color too. It's about a third of the...

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Minute Away video: Fish, flowers, fun in Seattle's Pike Place Market

Here’s a busy minute of video from Seattle’s Pike Place Market, which goes back to 1907.

The place always makes me crave coffee, perhaps because Starbucks was born here in the 1970s, perhaps because it’s always full of such high energy, even if the tourists sometimes outnumber locals.

On its busiest days, up to 13 buskers (management keeps track) play alongside more than 200 vendors, shops and restaurants. If you'd like to know more, we've got more than a few tips and pictures here.

Meanwhile, here’s a question to ponder as you hear that music and taste the coffee: Would you rather see the fish and smell the flowers or see the flowers and smell the fish?

“A Minute Away” is a video series in which nothing much happens -- except you see the world, and hear it, and get a minute’s respite from workaday life. (Actually, some are as long as 1:40.) These are casual moments without talking heads or narration – just natural sound from Machu Picchu, Red Square, the Yucatan, an Alaska float plane...

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It's child's play with the Lego Experience MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises goes all in with Legos in a new feature on its fleet of 12 ships.

Its 12 ships will feature a Lego Experience Day on which children and adults can break out the plastic bricks to compete and play games, the cruise line announced Thursday.

Human-sized Lego mascot Sailor Walkabout will be on board to meet kids and pose for selfies. Some ships also will feature Lego-themed play areas.

With the Lego partnership, MSC joins the family cruise lineup that includes the DreamWorks Experience on Royal Caribbean, Nickelodeon on Norwegian Cruise Line and the ever-present cast of characters on Disney Cruise Line.

A Lego kid space designed by the company makes its debut Nov. 19 when the Armonia, now in dry dock, returns to service on a cruise from Italy to Portugal.

A vertical play wall, a "building happening" and Duplos (the larger Legos for little ones) are part of a play package that's free to passengers.

The line also has clubs and activity areas that cater to five age groups: baby...

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Vegas' Quad becomes the Linq, and the Linq becomes a bargain at $79

Goodbye, Quad Resort & Casino. Hello, Linq Hotel & Casino. In the ever-changing world of Las Vegas, the Quad was renamed the Linq on Thursday and is ushering in this new era with room rates beginning at $79 a night.

The property, which is across the Las Vegas Strip from Caesars Palace,  welcomed its first guests  Thursday.

If the name the Linq sounds familiar, that’s not surprising. That’s what the entertainment and retail district anchored by the High Roller, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, is called.

The mall opened in December, about a year after the time-worn Imperial Palace, built in 1979, became the Quad. Given the Linq’s (the hotel’s) proximity to the Linq (the retail center), the folks at Caesars Entertainment  decided another name change was warranted.

Through Jan. 29, the property is offering an introductory rate starting at $79 a night, including two tickets to the High Roller. The “Sweet Package” must be booked by Dec. 12, online or by calling (855) 891-6863. (The site’s...

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Soon-to-close Mt. Ada inn to reopen early next year

The Inn on Mt. Ada, Santa Catalina Island's iconic hilltop bed-and-breakfast that's set to close Nov. 30, will reopen early next year under new management.

The reopening will bring the inn, onetime home of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., full circle. The bed-and-breakfast will be operated by the Santa Catalina Island Co., which Wrigley founded in 1894.

"We think we're the only company on the island or overtown [mainland] that will truly have the passion to meticulously restore the inn to where it was," said Randall Herrel Sr., president and chief executive of the island company.

The inn, which offers a spectacular view of Avalon Bay, had begun to weather in recent years. Herrel thinks it will cost millions to restore the inn.

The Wrigley family donated the home to USC more than half a century ago; eventually the university granted a 30-year lease to the current bed-and-breakfast operators, who will continue to run the facility until the end of November when that lease expires....

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Airfare: $858 round trip from LAX to Cebu, Philippines, on United

United is offering a round-trip fare from LAX to Cebu City, Philippines, for $858, including all taxes and fees but subject to availability.

You must purchase your ticket at least seven days in advance and stay a minimum of five nights but not more than 12 months.

Departures are Mondays-Thursdays through Dec. 11 and again Jan. 12-April 30. Overnight connections by way of Hong Kong are required, and holiday blackouts apply.

Info: United, (800) 864-8331

Source: Airfarewatchdog

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