The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

Letters: Huell Howser, Africa and more

Golden moment with Huell Howser

I will never forget the day at the end of 1998 that my friend Eva and I met Huell Howser ["What Made Him Huell," by Christopher Reynolds, Jan.13]. We had just visited St. Sophia Cathedral, inspired by one of Howser's shows, and afterward went to C&K; (Greek) Importing for lunch. To our amazement and delight, in walked Howser, the nicest guy in the world. He graciously allowed us to take a group photo with himself and the owner of the restaurant, Papa Cristo, one of his many friends. It was one of those memorable, serendipity moments that will stay with us forever. My son said of the photo, "He looks as happy to be with you guys as he did on one of his adventures. What an awesome guy!"

Margie Roblin

Simi Valley

Trips to remember

Thank you, Kari Howard, for your story about the trip to Africa ["Journey of the Heart," Jan. 6]. I went several years ago and, like her, think it was the greatest trip I've ever had. I went with a dear friend who is a travel agent; she had to nag me for a few years to make the trip, and now I thank her almost every time I see her.

Many thanks for the wonderful article, I thoroughly enjoyed it; it caused me to relive my trip!

Marjanne Priest



Airline seating

In a recent On the Spot column ["Why Seating Is Up in the Air," by Catharine Hamm, Jan. 6], the writer was questioning a seat change on United Airlines. I had a similar experience, having originally booked my flight online for first-class seating on four legs of flights.

I got an email from United informing me of a schedule change that was for flight times only. When I went to look at the new flights (this was some four months before the trip was to happen), all my seats had changed because the airplane model had changed.

Turns out it was all due to the logistics of United completing its merger with Continental and redoing all of their routes. When I called customer service, they were able to get me back in first class for three of the four legs and gave me a voucher for $150 to use on a future flight.

B. Hoff

Guadalupe, Calif.


Reno experience

Nice article from Catharine Hamm on Reno ["Like Vegas, but Calm," Jan. 6.] Interestingly, one online commenter (Jan. 5) that claimed that the Los Angeles Times is "missing the point." What point?

The commenter said that Reno is a "very depressed place with high unemployment" and that there is "more to Reno Nevada than just gambling." But couldn't the same be said for Las Vegas?

The commenter must have skipped the part where Hamm admits that she is "not much of a gambler" and mentions places to find antiques in Reno. She even wrote about her walking adventure in downtown Reno, not to mention her culinary experience.

David Tulanian

Los Angeles


Spano's journeys

I read everything Susan Spano writes in the Travel section ["Such Unspoiled Natures," Jan. 6]. Her articles are pure magic, her photos too. We have built entire trips on one small story.

Joyce Helfand


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