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December 30, 2007|Rosemary McClure, Chris Erskine, Jane Engle, Catharine Hamm

Animal attraction

Hear the call of the wild this winter in Yellowstone National Park on a four-night mini-adventure dubbed the Winter Wolf Discovery. Led by a naturalist, participants explore the frosty terrain of the Lamar Valley, where Yellowstone's wolves are often spotted. Other animals likely to be seen are bison, elk, coyote, bighorn sheep and pronghorn. The package starts at $545 per person, double occupancy, including lodging at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and some meals. For more details, call the Yellowstone Assn. Institute at (307) 344-5566. Other winter packages in Yellowstone start as low as $109 per person, double occupancy, for a two-night stay. Info: (866) 439-7375 or see www.travelyellowstone .com.

-- Rosemary McClure

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Signs of humor

Nearly every traveler has spotted some amusing road sign or advertisement. And it doesn't matter whether it's in South Korea or South Carolina, but these visual malapropisms abound. Lonely Planet's Doug Lansky has pulled together a treasure book of such funny signs. In "Signspotting 2," the 160-page sequel to his 2005 book, "Signspotting," Lansky compiles such gems as: "Handicapped Accessible Restrooms Located Upstairs" from Duluth, Minn., and "Members and Non-Members Only," from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A sign in Pocatello, Idaho, requests: "Warning to Tourists. Do Not Laugh at the Natives." This small photo-driven book comes with Lansky's own captioning, which riffs on the sign's message. $9.99 through Lonely Planet ( www.lonelyplanet.com) and bookstores.

Chris Erskine

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Yucatan luxury

Ready to take the plunge? Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, which has hosted Elizabeth Taylor, Brad Pitt and Gov. Schwarzenegger at its oh-so-discreet Las Ventanas al Paraiso, is opening a second Mexico resort, this one with private pools and over-the-water rooms. Rosewood Mayakoba, offering 128 suites and a private-island spa (above, a guest rides a resort vessel), is on the Yucatan Peninsula, 42 miles south of the Cancun airport. It's "easily accessible by private jet," press materials note. With winter rates starting at $695 a night, that's probably the way many guests will arrive. (Introductory discounts available.) Reservations for stays from Feb. 1; (888) 767-3966, www.rosewoodmayakoba.com.

-- Jane Engle

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At your fingertips

The Nikkei closed higher, and Texas levied a tax on strip clubs. Heavy rain was forecast in the Southeast. AirTran's phone number is (800) 247-8726, and Celebrity Cruises can be reached at (800) 647-2251. These are just some of the thousands of news and info tidbits one could glean from Pocket- Express, a program you can download onto your hand-held device. Travelers get plenty of info for free (news, sports, entertainment, travel numbers, weather); for $9.99 a month, they also can get premium services that include a 24-hour mobile concierge service and flight-status tracking. All this info? It's almost as addicting as the CrackBerry. Info: www.pocketexpress.com.

-- Catharine Hamm

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