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Readers slip off to a 'Happy Place'

September 22, 2013

Thanks for the great articles in "Their Happy Place" [Sept. 15]. I often slip off to peaceful places, both in the middle of stressful times and, fortunately, to my favorite place just minutes away: the Santa Monica Mountains.

Every chance I get I like to either hike or mountain bike in our amazing backyard. As much as I love Yosemite and the few other national parks I've seen … I can't wait to get back to our chaparral-covered mountains.

There are so many trails, and every year I hear about new ones. There are human trails to follow, deer trails and rabbit trails.

If you're willing to get a little scratched up and don't mind an occasional outbreak of poison oak, there are hidden streams and waterfalls you can have all to yourself. Every season has its own magic; even in the autumn when everything seems so dried-out, brown, even dead, there is magic.

At this time of year, it does help to get quiet in order to see that hidden wildflower or that bird in the brush or even the baked-bread aroma of the meadows.

My favorite place is Malibu Creek State Park. Even though it can get quite crowded on the weekends at popular spots such as the Rock Pool and Century Lake for swimming and the "MASH" site, there are plenty of amazing trails to explore. And it's just an hour from downtown.

Tom Kaplan

Valley Village

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Thanks for the "Happy Place" series and for "Prize Is Beach Itself." I've never been to Hawaii, and that picture just shows the beauty of the place. The story used the phrase "life's meanest moments," and that got me. It is so true: Everyone has to have someplace or memory to retreat to when it's heartsick time.

Julie T. Byers

Arcadia

Domestic-to-international isn't a fair comparison

The statement in the Sept. 15 Letters column about the superiority of international carriers — "We were not charged to reserve our seats, check our bags or for meals, pillows or blankets" — is somewhat misleading and suggests that U.S.-based based carriers do charge for those items.

Most of the major airlines do not charge for these things (checked bags do have limits) on international flights. Moreover, many carriers even offer free alcoholic drinks on some routes.

The writer is comparing the service and fees charged by a U.S.-based airline on domestic flights versus those offered on an international flight, and that is misleading and unfair.

Rob Lam

Orange

Air travel change: Look to supply and demand

In response to On the Spot ["Sky-High Fare Adds Insult to His Injury," Sept. 8] in which the letter writer's husband was injured and had to make a last-minute change in airfares, I am surprised that neither she nor Catharine Hamm mentioned or even considered the basic pricing mechanism in a free market: supply and demand.

I can only assume the route between Cody, Wyo., and Los Angeles is very lightly traveled, and the injured party needed service promptly. They did have other options (bus, train, rental car, taxi, etc., albeit maybe not as convenient or feasible) and were not forced by the airline to purchase the tickets at a higher fare than desired.

Would the same sympathy be shown to a business traveler who purchased the same ticket at the last minute?

Steve Wells

Long Beach

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