New Zealand: Prince William and Kate go for white-water thrill ride

New Zealand: Prince William and Kate go for white-water thrill ride

What did they do with baby George? The official trip that brought Prince William and wife Catherine to New Zealand this month took a turn for the adventurous Sunday when the couple hopped on a jet-boat journey down the Shotover River.

The jet boat ride in Queenstown on the South Island is known for dodging jagged rocks and zipping through narrow canyons during a white-water rush that lasts less than half an hour. The boat travels more than 50 mph on the fast-flowing river.

The New Zealand Herald reports that the boat carrying the royal couple shot up the river, made a 180-degree turn for the cameras, and then disappeared into the canyon. Photos of the trip (see above) show the couple in a relaxed outdoors setting.

The two, and George, move on to Australia where the three-week tour ends April 25.
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Standing at the site of Xian's famed terra cotta army, a local tour guide explains how the thousands of warriors were made and buried in about 200 B.C., then found by a farmer in 1974. Photo taken in 2013.

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.
Tens of thousands turned out April 20 at last year's 420 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver. Last year the event was marred by gunfire that injured three people.

Denver: Pot-loving 420 Rally this weekend, but beware at airports

If you're celebrating Easter this weekend in Denver, you might also ingest a bit of the city's pot-celebrating 420 Rally that has been expanded to a two-day event this year.

The 420 Rally, once an underground event but now very much above ground, embraces Colorado's Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use when it was signed itno law last year.

The 420 Rally has been around since the 1970s and describes itself as "a cannabis culture music featival." It walks a fine line because, despite the law that allows people 21 and older to use pot, public use is still illegal.

The event will feature Wyclef Jean, the Expendables, Rose Quartz and a bunch of other DJs and bands on Friday and Saturday as well as food vendors and other entertainment.

"Our goal is to create a positive environment for users to share stories, learn about the industry and create informed opinions on the remaining issues facing the industry,” rally organizer Miguel Lopez says in a statement.


TSA says it knows how fragile matzo can be and will provide hand checks for Passover travelers.

Passover: TSA plans safe travels for matzo and religious items

Passover begins at sundown Monday (today) and the Transportation Security Administration is assuring fliers that its officers will be sensitive to carry-on items associated with the Jewish holiday.

"Some travelers will be carrying boxes of matzo, which are consumed as part of the Passover ritual," the agency said in an April 2 statement.

"Matzo can be machine or handmade and are typically very thin and fragile, and break easily. Passengers traveling with religious items, including handmade matzo, may request a hand inspection by the TSO [transportation security officer] of the items at the security checkpoint."

The statement went on to say security officers would be aware of observant Jews who may particpate in prayer rituals and wear head coverings and prayer shawls.

Israel has been preparing for Passover too, though not in the same way. The Western or Wailing Wall in Jerusalem received a spring cleaning, which involves removing the notes to God to make room for new messages of...

In D.C., a new show of old national park posters

In D.C., a new show of old national park posters

A new art show in Washington, D.C., spotlights national park posters from the Depression years, including the frothy falls of Yellowstone, the jagged mountains of Glacier and the native ruins of Bandelier National Monument.

Titled “Posterity,” the show at the U.S. Department of the Interior Museum is built around six original posters that date to the Depression years. But it also includes later reproductions and contemporary posters in similar style, covering more than three dozen parks and wildlife refuges.

The original silkscreen posters (also known as serigraphs) were produced from 1938 to 1941, when the park service employed artists through the Works Progress Administration.  (The show’s subtitle is “WPA’s Art Legacy & America’s Public Lands.”) The artists worked on the UC Berkeley campus and began with Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

As for the artists' names, “that’s actually one of the ongoing mysteries,” said...

An artist's rendering of a king room at the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, where a special deal has weekday rates as low as $109 a night.

Deal: SLS Las Vegas Hotel to open in August, offers rates from $109

If you love being the first to sleep in a new hotel, this deal checks you into a hot new hotel as Las Vegas temperatures start to cool.

SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is scheduled to open on Aug. 25 and has an opening offer for a discounted stay in a superior king room when you book a minimum two-night stay by April 30. The deal offers a Sunday-Thursday rate of $109 and a weekend rate of $139 for stays Sept. 1-Dec. 27. The rate doesn’t include taxes or the $25 daily resort fee. Blackout dates are Nov. 3-6.

SLS Las Vegas will have three towers and more than 1,600 rooms. As the SBE group’s first Las Vegas hotel and casino, the SLS is expected to add some spice to the Strip with a live-music venue called the Sayers Club and restaurants including the Bazaar by Jose Andres, Katsuya, Cleo, Umami Burger and the SLS Buffet.

Tested: When I tried booking a two-night stay, weekends and weeknights for all four months seemed widely available.  A two-night weekday stay from Sept. 9-12...

Six Carlsbad hotels, including the Omni La Costa Resort, offer a spa-pamper package for women on weekends in May.

Carlsbad: 6 places for women's spa weekends, starting at $299

Relax, breathe deep and head to Carlsbad, Calif., for pampering time devoted to women. The California coastal town launches its second Women's Wellness Weekends at six hotels this May.

Check out the hotels and extras they're offering for a wind-down weekend. Note that rooms are subject to availability (some blackout dates apply, some offers are good beyond May), and prices exclude tax.

--Beach Terrace Inn, 2775 Ocean St.; (760) 729-5951; starts at $299 a night and includes an ocean-view room, breakfast, welcome food basket, yoga on the beach on Sunday morning and late 1 p.m. checkout.

--Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa, 1 Ponto Road; (760) 602-0800; starts at $299 a night and includes a facial or massage, 10% discount on other spa treatments and free shuttle service in the area.

--West Inn & Suites, 4970 Avenida Encinas; (760) 448-4500; starts at $279 a night in May and includes breakfast, a facial or massage, and $50 dining card.

--Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, 5480 Grand...

A traveler passes a stacked cart of luggage while entering LAX's Terminal 4.

That favorite belt? Leave home without it when going on a trip

Question: On March 7, I flew to Sacramento from L.A. for an overnight trip. I packed light — just a dress, belt, shoes, sweats, nightshirt, a bag of toiletries and my iPad. When I arrived at my hotel and opened my bag, there was a notice that the Transportation Security Administration had gone through my luggage. When I was getting dressed, I noticed my belt was missing. I had carefully packed it in the see-through zipper compartment of my suitcase, as I didn't want it to fall out. It was my favorite belt, old, vintage, worn and funky. I guess someone at TSA liked it because they just took it. You can imagine how infuriated and violated I felt. If someone took my iPad it would have been more understandable, but an old favorite belt?

Sharon Richstone


Answer:"Checking your luggage is asking for trouble," the 1988 movie "The Accidental Tourist" tells us and goes on to say, "And most importantly, never take along anything on your journey so valuable or dear that its loss...

The picturesque city of Galway is among the stops on the Best of Ireland tour.

Ireland: First-timers' tour includes airfare, car

Swann's HD RemoteCam can shoot videos and stills in its disguise as a car remote.

Gear: Spy camera disguised as a remote can shoot video and stills

This is sneaky: What looks like a typical car remote is actually a spy camera. Swann’s HD RemoteCam has a tiny lens and microphone at one end, a key chain at the other, and, on top, a power button and a record button masquerading as “remote control” buttons.

Function lights flicker on to indicate you’re recording but then quickly go off for stealth purposes. Two additional dummy buttons are part of the disguise. The RemoteCam captures full-color video files or still photos, with time and date stamping.

A built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery powers up with a side micro USB port (USB cable included). The included 2GB microSD card, which pops into a side slot, provides about 25 minutes of recording time. You can double that with an (optional) higher capacity microSD card.

The device is billed as a tool for lawyers, salespeople and law enforcement officers on the go, but it’s not like you need a license to shoot (hopefully within some self-imposed ethical...

George Wallace performs at the Flamingo in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas: Comedian George Wallace to end 10-year run on the Strip

Comedian George Wallace is about to end his 10-year run on the Las Vegas Strip. He has announced that his show will go dark later this month.

Wallace, who celebrated his show's 10th anniversary during a star-studded performance in March, said his last 10 p.m. show at the Flamingo will be April 26.
"I've been headlining longer than any other African American comedian, and that includes Redd Foxx and Sammy Davis Jr.," he said.
"[Jerry] Seinfeld wants me to go back on the road with him," Wallace said of his longtime friend. "There are so many things to do. It's time to get into something new."
Wallace suffered an injury to his Achilles tendon during a performance at a private party in 2007 at the Bellagio.
Wallace sued the Bellagio, claiming the resort and its employees were responsible for his injury. A Las Vegas jury hearing the case awarded him $1.3 million on April 8.
After entertaining U.S. troops overseas this week, Wallace is scheduled to return to Las Vegas for his final five...

Web Buzz: tracks deals at your favorite destinations

Here's a website that can help you keep tabs on travel deals for your favorite destinations around the globe.


What it does: It's a search tool for discovering travel deals, including airfare and hotels.

What's hot: The site remembers your home airport, so even if you don't like what you see on your main dashboard of "favorite" destinations, additional travel inspiration is just a click away. On the left nav bar you'll find topic lists such as "most amazing beaches," "top honeymoon destinations," "foodie cities," "family

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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.