Endeavour goes on display
Southern California has been a player in America's space programs since the early years. For instance, all the space shuttles were assembled there.
So it's fitting that the space shuttle Endeavour will be buffed and polished and placed in what will be its permanent home the California Science Center. The unveiling and celebration will be Tuesday. For pricing, reservations and ticketing, go to www.californiasciencecenter.org. The center is at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles; (323) 724-3623.
You'll recall Endeavour's flyover above Sacramento on Sept. 21. The fifth and last shuttle built by NASA was mounted on a jumbo jet, making its way to its final destination in Los Angeles.
In conjunction with the Endeavour event, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board has organized a "Museums LA" package. Travelers who book two nights at participating Los Angeles hotels will get free admission for two people (and museum-store discounts) to more than 30 area museums, a $450 value. Included are the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, the Grammy Museum and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Go to www.discoverlosangeles.com/culturela to sign up. The offer is good through Nov. 11.
Film festival ready to roll
Any excuse to visit the Napa Valley is good one, but especially when the destination is the second Napa Valley Film Festival, Nov. 7-11.
The action will take place in Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. Expect five days of celebrity tributes, winemaker dinners, wine tastings, panel discussions, awards programs and plenty of parties.
And movies 100 of them at a dozen venues. Look for food- and wine-centric films, sneak previews, documentaries, narrative features, independents and more.
Opening the five-day fest will be a screening of "Somm," a documentary on "the cutthroat world and process behind the Master Sommelier exam." Hundreds of sommeliers from around the world are expected to attend the screening and the "Somm" premiere party.
Closing the fest will be a showing of Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, the comedy "Quartet," which wowed 'em at the Toronto Film Festival.
For information and to buy tickets: www.napavalleyfilmfest.org.
LOOK AT THE SWANS
Tours near Marysville
Few birds are more graceful than the swan. See for yourself during the free series of winter swan tours sponsored by the California Department of Fish & Game.
Tours will be from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturdays from Saturday through Feb. 2 near Marysville, in one of the top areas for viewing swans.
DFG naturalists and area rice farmers will host the tours focusing on tundra swans. Ducks, geese, shorebirds, herons, egrets and raptors are also native to this area, which contains 23,000 acres of rice fields and restored wetland habitat.
Binoculars will be available.
Pre-registration for the driving-walking tours is required at www.dfg.ca.gov/ regions/2/swantours.
Information: (916) 358-2852.
The numbers from 2011
Kampgrounds of America and the Outdoor Foundation have co-sponsored a study that shows 43 million Americans went camping in 2011. That's according to their 2012 American Camper Report, which tracks camping statistics in the United States.
Among the findings:
Most campers pitched their tents in the "Mountain Region."
Nearly 80 percent of all campers are married or living with a significant other.
Nearly 70 percent of campers stayed in public campgrounds.
The average camper went on five camping trips last year.
They traveled an average of 190.6 miles away from home to camp.
To get your copy of the report, go to the Outdoor Foundation's website at www.outdoorfoundation.org/ research.camping.2012.html.
'Journey Through Jordan'
Veteran traveler Lynne Lindsey will present her "Journey Through Jordan" in words and photos at the No Reservations Travel Club, 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Arcade Library Community Room, 2443 Marconi Ave., Sacramento. Everyone is invited to this free event. Information: (916) 786-8208, noreservationstravelclub. blogspot.com.