If you are still making the five-hour or more drive to Mammoth during ski season, you might consider a 70-minute flight this winter from LAX. Horizon Air, which had one flight a day from Los Angeles-Mammoth Lakes Yosemite airport last year, has added a second daily nonstop for the coming winter season. Rates start at $69 each way, pretax, out of Los Angeles. This year's Mammoth schedule begins Dec. 17 and runs through April 11. Departing flights will now leave LAX at 8:40 a.m. and 2:40 p.m., arriving in Mammoth 70 minutes later. Return flights from Mammoth will depart at 12:50 and 5:50 p.m., also with a 70-minute flight time.
Contact: Horizon Air, (800) 547-9308, www.alaskaair.com.
-- Jen Leo
Mammoth plans in flight
A suite life
Take a peek behind the closed doors of a Beverly Hills penthouse suite in the pages of a new coffee-table book. "Room 23" checks out celebrities who checked into the suite at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. The photos, shot by Los Angeles photographer Deborah Anderson, depict a year in the life of the penthouse suite; 100 celebs were among the guests, including George Clooney, Cindy Crawford, Minnie Driver and Elton John. Proceeds from the book will be used to raise funds for a human rights project at UCLA School of Law. The book will be widely available in the U.S. after Sept. 8; it is from Daab Publishing and costs $99; www.daab-online.com/books.
-- Rosemary McClure
For outdoor events, where the seating is not designed for comfort and there's no clean place to stash your nibbles, you'll be glad you brought along the Picnic Plus Stadium Seat with Cooler. The collapsible padded seat and back (joined by adjustable straps) has a roomy zippered cooler section that hangs down from the front of the seat.The cooler has two mesh side pockets for water bottles or canned beverages. Fold the whole thing up and carry it using the attached double-handle strap, the detachable shoulder strap or the padded built-in back straps -- a particularly welcome hands-free alternative. Picnic Plus Stadium Seat with Cooler (Item. no. 3698575) is $40 at www.dickssportinggoods.com, (877) 846-9997.
-- Judi Dash
The world's largest river cruise ship, the Victoria Jenna, begins its maiden voyage Sept. 6 on the Yangtze River. With 189 cabins and a passenger capacity of 378, the ship will sail Three Gorges itineraries. Rates start at $920 per person, double occupancy. "Apart from its size and technological upgrades, a major advantage for the Victoria Jenna is the number of suites," said Victoria representative Larry Greenman, referring to the 40 suites. "The Junior Suite and Shangri-La Suite categories are usually the quickest to fill up on most sailings. With the Victoria Jenna, this will be less of an issue." All cabins have televisions with HBO and CNN, private bathrooms with showers and tubs and private balconies. The ship has two dining rooms, a fitness room and a lecture room for talks and lessons in tai chi, Mandarin and mah-jongg. www.victoriacruises.com
-- Rosemary McClure