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Stanford Symphony to perform on Catalina on Dec. 12

Celebrate the holidays with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra on Dec. 12, when the Catalina Island Museum sponsors a concert at the Avalon Casino Theatre.

If you’re a member of the museum or 17 years or younger, you get in free. Otherwise, tickets are $5 apiece

The 7 p.m. program will showcase compositions by Mozart. Anna Wittstruck will conduct a Stanford Symphony Orchestra ensemble with special guests from the San Francisco Symphony: violin soloist Chen Zhao and classically trained soprano soloist Clancy Cox.

This is the second year for the concert, which Steve Mandel, president of the museum's board of trustees, calls "a great new tradition in Avalon."

Because of the island's remote location, cultural activities are limited. The museum teamed with Avalon Public Schools to develop a program during which members of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra would introduce their musical instruments, share their experiences and explain the role of each instrument.

Info: Catalina Island Museum,...

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Thanksgiving travel: 650 flights canceled so far on busiest day

If your Thanksgiving travels are taking you to the East Coast on Wednesday, be prepared for flight delays and cancellations as a powerful storm moves from North Carolina up to New England.

A nor'easter dumping rain and snow in the Northeast is adding to travel angst on the day before Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of the year in the nation.

As of Wednesday afternoon Pacific time, more than 3,000 flights departing from or heading to U.S. cities were delayed and 650 were canceled, flight-tracking service FlightAware reports. More than 200 flights were canceled late Tuesday, even before the storm hit, as a preemptive measure, the website reports.

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey, LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in New York City and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) led the pack of airports with the most cancellations.

The FAA reported average delays of nearly an hour and a half for flights into Boston Logan Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in...

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8 car games -- slightly updated -- for your Thanksgiving road trip

Here are eight games for that car trip you’re taking this Thanksgiving weekend; they may appeal to a slightly older crowd that is, perhaps, a bit more cynical than a 6-year-old and is also interested in traveling, beyond being held captive in the family car.

Some are a freshening of old standbys—the Alphabet Game, Team Storytelling—and others are unique to California.

These may come in handy if your trip is long or your plans are slowed by the weather or by the sheer number of others on the road (3 1/2 million Southern Californians on the road to Turkeyville between Wednesday and Friday).

Play nicely, travel safely and let the games begin. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Spot the Expensive Car: Call out the cars on the road--they'll probably pass you--that cost more than $50,000. You can use a list from US News and World Report. (There may be too many of these to play easily in L.A. so you may need to get away to a more rural area to avoid a call-out frenzy.)  The Aston-Martin V-8...

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Macedonia: Tour offers hands-on culinary experiences

Little-known Macedonia, just north of Greece, is the focus of a 10-night tour highlighting its cuisine, a blend of Balkan, Mediterranean and Turkish influences.

The Macedonia Experience excursion begins in the capital city of Skopje, where participants will visit a market and roll up their sleeves for the first of several hands-on cooking demonstrations.

Days three, four and five are spent sampling wild game in Mavrovo National Park; exploring Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and experiencing more Macedonian cuisine. Additional highlights include tours and tastings in Bitola and Krusevo, the town with the highest elevation in the Balkans, and the Tikvesh wine region.

Participants also will have a chance to prepare a dinner, using local ingredients, on the terrace of their hotel in Berovo.

Dates: Offered year-round, with a two-person minimum.
Price: From about $2,500, double occupancy, based on four participants. Includes accommodations; all transfers; tour guide, tours and...

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For Super Bowl weekend, Phoenix-area hotel room rates have soared

We hope Super Bowl XLIX fans who bought tickets for the Feb. 1 game near Phoenix next year already booked a hotel room. If not, there'll be a stiff price to pay. 

Hotel room prices have skyrocketed in and around the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., where the NFL showdown will take place.

Travel booking site Cheaphotels.org conducted a survey of room prices on Nov. 15, and the news was not good.

"Currently only about one in 10 hotels in the greater Phoenix region still have vacancies for the Super Bowl weekend of Jan. 30 to Feb. 2," the website says.

Four- and five-star hotels have sold out, and even budget hotels have raised prices more than 300% above their usual rates.

I checked hotel websites Tuesday afternoon and found rooms available at these prices:

--Best available rate at La Quinta Inn & Suites Phoenix I-10 West about 10 miles from the stadium starts at $849 a night for Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 rooms. The following weekend the same rooms start at $99. 

--Gaslight Inn...

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New San Diego Dr. Seuss exhibit focuses on Seuss the artist

Most of us know about Dr. Seuss the author, but a new exhibit in San Diego showcases Seuss the artist.

"Ingenius! The World of Dr. Seuss" focuses on original sketches and oil paintings by Seuss, the visual and literary genius behind the fantasy world of the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat and other characters.

"Many locals know that Dr. Seuss lived here, and while they have read his books, many have not yet seen his art," Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises L.P. says in a statement. "This exhibition will show the community another fantastical side of Dr. Seuss."

Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodor Geisel, was born in Massachusetts but lived and worked in La Jolla for more than four decades. He died in 1991 at age 87.

The show, which opened last weekend, includes artwork of famous characters such as the Cat in the Hat and the Lorax as well as a Seussian interpretation of local landmarks like the historic Hotel del Coronado.

Other original artworks on display include a wildly colorful...

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