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The total eclipse will bring a few minutes of darkness for some. But if it's just inky blackness you seek, here's where to go
6 places to go to experience the planet's dark side, no total solar eclipse necessary

When the moon blots out the sun during Monday's total solar eclipse, 12 states in its path of totality, from Oregon to South Carolina, will be plunged into darkness for a few minutes.

The eclipse will begin over the Pacific Ocean at 8:45 a.m. Pacific time and start to darken the sky at the first U.S. point in Salem, Ore., at 9:05 a.m.

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Planning your hike on the John Muir Trail



Learn the basics of plotting your adventure on the John Muir Trail, including how to plan meals and schedule resupplies, as well as discuss logistics for thru hikers.

When, where: 7 p.m. Wednesday at the REI store in Tustin, 2962 El Camino Real.

Admission, info: Free. (714) 505-0205

Please email announcements at least three weeks before the event to

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Don't let foreign exchange rate overcharges go unchallenged

Catharine Hamm was much too kind when describing the situation involving currency exchange rates (“The Five Words You Never Want to Say When You’re Paying by Credit Card in a Foreign Country,” On the Spot, online, July 30,

I do an annual London theater binge and always stayed at the same hotel. Three years ago, I noticed an anomaly on my hotel bill.

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What's up for next weekend: an Elvis fest, Pride in Santa Barbara and a Big Bear Air Fair will keep you running

From Elvis to LGBTQ mariachis to protecting Southern California lands, next weekend has a lot going on.

Garden Grove

Are you lonesome tonight?

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Oslo is oh so cheap: $414 round trip from LAX on Lufthansa

And you thought fares to Asia were low? Check out this rock-bottom price to Oslo, Norway, from LAX on Lufthansa: $414, which includes all taxes and fees.

The fare, subject to availability, is for travel from Wednesdays through Sundays Oct. 28 to March 28. You must stay at least seven nights, and holiday blackouts apply.

Info: Lufthansa, (800) 645-3880.

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