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Fire dancers in the Philippines.

firedancers philippines(Photo by Pam Ramos-Casillan)

American Airlines gone from Expedia

Expedia Inc. is starting the new year with a break-up, suspending sales of tickets for flights on American Airlines after the two sides were unable to resolve a commercial dispute.Expedia’s Saturday announcement is the latest twist in the spat involving American and online giants that have revolutionized how travel is sold over the Internet. On Dec. 21, American yanked its fares from Chicago-based Orbitz Worldwide Inc.

Continental Airlines takes Boeing plane with New Sky Interior

CHICAGO — Continental Airlines today became the first carrier in North America to take delivery of a new 737-800 with Boeing's new Sky Interior.

This all-new interior features newly sculpted sidewalls, energy-efficient LED lighting and larger overhead bins that retract into the ceiling, permitting stowage of additional roll-aboard bags.

Other features include improved ventilation and cabin-noise reduction for customers and new, touch-screen flight attendant panels and controls.

"When customers first step on the plane, they will immediately notice the fresh cabin architecture," said Ron Baur, vice president fleet. "This modern interior gives the airplane a more open look and feel while increasing cabin comfort and overhead storage space."

Before entering scheduled service, the airplane will be flown to Continental's maintenance facility in Orlando, where it will be fitted with fuel-saving winglets. As part of its ongoing fleet modernization plan, Continental will take delivery of several more 737s with the new Sky Interior in 2011.

 harpers ferry

Historic Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, on a splendid fall day.

Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier National Park is situated near Juneau, Alaska. If you're cruising the Inner Passage, it's a side trip worth taking.

New in Alaska: Team Snowball Fight

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaskans have always embraced winter, and are increasingly encouraging travelers to do the same with a lineup of participation-required activities around the state. Yukigassen — a team snowball fight tournament that will be held for the first time in the United States in Anchorage — is the freshest 2011 offering.

Drawing thousands of spectators every year in Japan, Yukigassen will be the newest program addition to the 76th annual Fur Rendezvous, a winter celebration in Anchorage held from Feb. 25 to March 6. Called "Fur Rondy" by the locals, the festival is known for its wacky, family-friendly events, and Yukigassen shouldn't prove any different.  

Originating from the town of Sobetsu in Japan, "yuki" translates to snow, and "gassen" to battle — and an epic snow battle it will be. Two teams of seven follow strict game regulations enforced by Yukigassen officials on a rectangular court with chateaus, shelters and flags. Each teams packs its own snowballs. Helmets are mandatory, and any type of shield is prohibited. The first team to capture the flag of their opponents, or hit all members of the opposing team with snowballs, wins.

Visitors are encouraged to get involved in a Yukigassen team, as well as in other hands-on activities throughout the state. The possibilities range from skiing to dog mushing and snowmobiling:

— Alaska's been a popular heli-skiing destination for years, but the newest operator on the scene, Alaska Mountain Guides, offers trips out of Skagway, a historic town along the Inside Passage. From February to April, the adventure guide service will host skiers with varying skill levels in the northernmost region of the Coast Range.

— The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race draws spectators from around the world to Alaska each year. This winter, PAWS for Adventure not only will teach guests to drive their own team of sled dogs on multi-day tours out of Fairbanks, but also will host them overnight at the company's newly acquired Tolovana Roadhouse, the first transfer point in the original lifesaving serum run to Nome, which the Iditarod celebrates.

— Travelers who want to see the northern lights can hit the road with Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours and Alaska Snow Safaris in the Mat-Su Valley this year. A multi-day snowmobile tour takes travelers out to a lodge on the Yentna River, prime positioning for the lights show and ice fishing.

For more information on Yukigassen, go to, or to plan a trip, go to  


A view of Pittsburgh from the Duquesne Incline

woman in incline

Few things are more iconically Pittsburgh than the inclines that make their way up and down Mount Washington. Started as a practical way to transport hilltop commuters to the downtown, they provide an unparalleled view of the Steel City. Four inclines once operated on Mount Washington but only two, the Duquesne and the Monogahela, continue to this day. Both can be accessed easily from Carson Street.



Red Rock Canyon

red rock canyon

No one goes to Vegas for the scenary, do they? Well, it's worth the time. We definitely recommend making the short drive out to Red Rock Canyon, which sits about 12 miles northwest of the Strip.

The scenery is unbelievable and an antidote to the over-the-top commercialism of the city itself. You can easily spend the day there and have plenty time to get back to your hotel for a dinner and a show. Photo by Cynthia Deleon.




navigation map


Mount Fuji mount fuji(Photo by Cynthia Deleon)

Totem near Ketchikan

totem face


Travelers fight high air fares using the Internet

Airlines use powerful computers to see just how much they can squeeze passengers for air fare. Now passengers are fighting back, finding bargains on the Internet. The New York Times.





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