Thursday Travel Ticker: Happy birthday, John Steinbeck

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The National Steinbeck Center in Salinas celebrates John Steinbeck’s 110th birthday on Feb. 26, with author talks, book signings, reading circles, cultural presentations and more. For info or tickets, call (831) 775-4721 or click here . . . . Spend New Year’s Eve overlooking San Francisco Bay, at the The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa. Tix are $129 per person. For info, click here . . . . The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will present Jessica Chastain with the Spotlight Award and composer Howard Shore with the Frederick Loewe Music Award Jan.  7, at the Palm Springs Convention Center . . . . The MGM Grand Las Vegas Lion Habitat and the Habitat Retail Shop closes for good Tuesday, part of a major makeover for the hotel. Plans for the space will be released at a later date . . . . After a dry and disappointing December, Jackson Hole is bracing for a New Year’s blessing. A major system is expected to hit Wyoming over the next few days . . . . A mid-sized Vermont airport responded to two emergency landings in one day. A Delta flight carrying 33 passengers and three crew members landed safely Wednesday afternoon at Burlington International after a main door was making noises. Earlier in the day a Chicago-bound United Airlines regional jet made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff after a cockpit light falsely indicated smoke in the cargo hold. No injuries were reported in either incident . . . . Travel quote of the day: “An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” (Bill Vaughan)

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