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Friday Travel Ticker: Holiday flock grows

November 18, 2011|By Chris Erskine | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
  • Almost 43 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving this year, AAA says.
Almost 43 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles for…

About 42.5-million people will journey 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving this year, AAA says. That’s up 4% over last year. The increase would be the first significant gain in holiday travel in 2011, the travel service says. The number of air passengers will rise 1.8% to 3.4 million, according to the report. Other estimates have predicted a drop in air travel. . . . TLC has ordered a new reality series that will take viewers behind the scenes at Southwest Airlines. The air date has not been announced. . . . California’s winegrowers struggled with above-average rainfall, the coolest growing season on record and the latest harvest in memory. "It was very region-specific, quality-wise, reports La Rochelle winemaker Tom Stutz. "It all depended on your location in terms of the early fall storm patterns and how long you could afford to wait before picking.” . . . . “Earthquake," a new exhibit and planetarium show, opens at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco on May 26. The exhibit will feature a walk-through model of the Earth, an earthquake simulator and an interactive obstacle course to teach earthquake preparedness . . . . The Tahoe Queen paddle-wheeler will be transformed into a cross-lake ski shuttle every Tuesday and Thursday beginning Jan. 4. It will leave Ski Run Marina on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe and stop at the Hyatt Regency and on to Northstar ski resort on the North Shore. Boat tickets start at $59 for adults and $30 for children. For details, click here . . . . Today’s forecast for Tahoe and Mammoth calls for rain early turning to snow in the afternoon. . . . Western River Expeditions inaugurates lodge-to-lodge rafting trips on Oregon’s Rogue River this summer, with three- and four-day trips scheduled each week . For details, click here . . . . The Colosseum at Caesars Palace has been named top venue under 5,000 seats at the recent 2011 Billboard Touring Awards, based on box-office numbers. . . . Travel Quote of the Day: “People don’t take trips – trips take people.” (John Steinbeck)

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