Starry nights once again

Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory to reopen after restoration and renovation

The Smart Traveler

October 29, 2006

WEEKENDS FOR TWO IN NEW ENGLAND: 50 ROMANTIC GETAWAYS

Chronicle Books / $19.95

Covering Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachu-setts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, Bill Gleeson traveled thousands of miles to find the region's most romantic inns and small hotels. Every venue listed had to conform to his high standards, including private bathrooms, in-room fireplaces, down comforters and romantic decor. Some of the choices are rare finds, such as the Squire Tarbox Inn in Maine, a combination of working farm and country inn. Others, such as the Stone Hill Inn in Vermont, boast soundproofing between rooms. The color photographs by Cary Hazlegrove capture New England in all its glory.

JUNE SAWYERS

DESTINATIONS

Top spots for U.S. vacations

Las Vegas led the list of domestic destinations booked for fall, but Florida had four cities in the top 10, according to a survey of 334 agents from Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates. The most popular Florida cities were Orlando, Fort Meyers, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Other domestic vacation spots in the top 10 were Honolulu, Maui, New York, San Francisco and Phoenix.

Associated Press

AIRLINES

Stretching out on Delta flights

Delta Air Lines is the latest airline to enter the increasingly competitive flat-bed race. Realizing it had to bolster amenities to compete for premium customers, Delta plans to install lie-back seats in the Business Elite cabins on all its Boeing 777 aircraft by 2009. Delta, which is operating under bankruptcy protection, says it will cost $2 million to put the seats in each 777. The seats will stretch to 6 feet 3 inches and offer on-demand digital video and music. British Airways was the first to introduce lie-flat seats, adding them to its business class cabins on long-haul flights in 2000.

New York Times News Service

HOTELS

Advice for tea lovers

England is serious about its cup of tea, so it's no surprise that the Lanesborough Hotel in London has added its first-ever tea sommeliers. The sommelier welcomes guests upon arrival to the hotel's conservatory and presents a tea box to explain the various tea blends available and to help the guest make the appropriate choice. For example, green tea is for detoxifying and rooibos tea is high in antioxidants. The tea sommelier also provides the guest with a gift box of teas tasted that day. Information at starwoodhotels.com.

Dallas Morning News

GEAR & GADGETS

If a dog can have a house, why not a tent? The Mutt Hutt from RuffWear is a pooch-size version of full-featured people tents, with the helpful modification of a dog door (overlapping flaps) that lets Fido come and go as he pleases. The door also has a zipper so you can enforce curfew rules. The frame and attached tent open like an umbrella. The Mutt Hutt has built-in ventilation panels and comes with a rain fly for extra protection. Mutt Hutt is $70 from RuffWear. 888-783-3932 or ruffwear.com.

JUDI DASH

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