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NEWS
December 19, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
You don't really want a white Christmas after all, it seems. Orlando, Fla., home  of Mickey Mouse's tropical Disney World kingdom , turned up as the top Christmas search destination on travel price comparison website Kayak , followed by New York City and Chicago. And trending searches right now for a Christmas holiday are all in Florida: Fort Lauderdale , Miami and Orlando . But when it comes to New Year's Eve, New York City emerges as the most searched destination, followed by Las Vegas and Orlando.
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NEWS
November 29, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Gondolas aren't the only way to see Italy by water. Oregon-based Tofino Expeditions offers a new sea kayaking tour that introduces paddlers to the Mediterranean coastal villages of the Cinque Terre and the waters off Sardinia.  The 11-day trip, led by Tofino founder Grant Thompson, begins and ends in Genoa. Participants take the train south to the Italian Riviera and begin day-long paddle tours to Vernazza and Corniglia, where paddlers spend the night, and then to Portovenere and Montersso.
BUSINESS
November 9, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Priceline.com, the popular online travel service, agreed Thursday to acquire Kayak Software Corp. for $1.8 billion, a deal that would boost Priceline's customer base as it wrestles with a sluggish economy and newer, more nimble rivals. Under the terms of the deal, Priceline will pay $500 million in cash and $1.3 billion in stock for Kayak, a comparison travel website. The sale values Kayak at $40 a share, a 26% premium to its closing price of $31.04 on Thursday and 57% higher than its July initial public offering price of $26. Shares of Kayak jumped 27% to $39.30 in after-hours trading Thursday, while Priceline shares fell slightly.
BUSINESS
November 8, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Looking to expand its travel empire in a sluggish economy, Priceline.com plans to buy its younger, fleet-footed competitor Kayak Software in a $1.8-billion deal. Priceline, which was welped during the dot-com boom but has grown into the world's most valuable online travel agency, said Thursday it has offered to buy Kayak for $40 a share. That's a 29% premium on Thursday's closing price of $31.04. The move was seen as a way to grow its business at a time when it has been tougher to land new customers and it has been fighting off new rivals.
NEWS
October 10, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Puerto Rico wants you to have more fun. Really. Its tourism agency is giving away adventure tours -- such as a guided tropical rain-forest hike, a San Juan food tour and a kayak trip on a bay whose waters glow with sea life -- to visitors who stay four nights at selected hotels. The deal: To get this deal, you can book rooms directly with the hotels listed at the Puerto Rico Tourism Co.'s website or reserve via Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia and other discount websites. Then choose one of six free activities: a hike in El Yunque National Forest , a culinary tour of San Juan, a kayak tour of one of Puerto Rico's bays, a catamaran tour, a zipline ride at ToroVerde Adventure Park or a bicycle tour of Old San Juan.
BUSINESS
September 30, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
Looking to save money on a flight? Your best bet is to book your flights 21 days before departure, according to a new study by the travel booking site Kayak.com. Over a six-month period before departure, the average fare for a domestic flight is $370, according to a study of millions of flights booked by Kayak users. But that fare drops to its lowest level - $342 - when booked 21 days before departure, according to Kayak. But a separate study released in January said the lowest domestic fares can be found six weeks before departure.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 4, 2012 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Russell Crowe and a friend got into a bind while adventuring in kayaks over the Labor Day weekend - and unlike the semi-regular hoaxes that have the "Gladiator" star running afoul of adventure, usually in the mountains of Austria , this story's actually true. Crowe and trainer buddy Chris Feather rented two one-man kayaks out of Cold Spring Harbor, according to WPIX. Alas, they didn't make it all the way to their destination before the sun went down and decided to beach in Huntington Harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
BUSINESS
September 2, 2012 | By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times
The murmuring around Toluca Lake is that "Ghost Whisperer" star Jennifer Love Hewitt has listed a house for sale at $2.895 million and is trying to lease out another place she owns up the street — complete with watercraft. The traditional-style house for sale was built in 1952. It features a flexible floor plan, an office, six bedrooms, six bathrooms and 5,921 square feet of living space. The quarter-acre site includes a swimming pool and a patio with a built-in bar. Public records show the property was purchased in 1998 for $1.695 million.
TRAVEL
August 18, 2012
Truth Aquatics' one-day adventure to Santa Cruz Island is a great day on the water, with whale watching, a visit to Santa Cruz's Painted Cave, snorkeling, kayaking and just plain relaxing. $90 per person includes breakfast and barbecue lunch; $50 for kids ages 5 to 12. Multiday hiking trips to the island also are available. Truth Aquatics, Santa Barbara; (805) 962-1127, http://www.truthaquatics.com Doris Schaffer Santa Barbara
HOME & GARDEN
August 17, 2012
Tickets for kayaking the L.A. River this season are sold out, but for information on future seasons, visit the L.A. Conservation Corps site, www.paddlethelariver.org . Tickets sold through L.A. River Expeditions are $50 to $55; www.lariverexpeditions.com .
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