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6C | LAREDO MORNING TIMES

TRAVEL

SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2007

Allegiant Air expands Laredo-Las Vegas service

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Allegiant Air recently announced the seasonal expansion of its popular low-cost, nonstop service to Las Vegas from Laredo to three days a week. Due to popular demand, the carrier will add a Wednesday flight May 23 through Aug. 15. To celebrate, Allegiant is offering the chance to fly free to Vegas when purchasing a complete vacation package. The Fly Free promotion offers customers the chance to "get lucky" in Vegas and experience all the fun and excitement the City of Entertainment has to offer. Just purchase one air/hotel package by March 21 from one of the airline's 37 hotel partners and the second person flies free. "We are pleased with the performance of the Laredo market," said Maurice J. Gallagher, the airline's president and CEO. "The addition of a Wednesday flight will make it easier for cus-

tomers to get to the fun and excitement of Las Vegas. We are confident this new schedule will have great appeal." Beginning May 25, Allegiant Air will end its current Thursday and Sunday schedule to begin Monday and Friday flights with additional Wednesday flights May 23 through Aug. 15. Flights depart Laredo International Airport at 8:40 p.m. arriving in Las Vegas at 9:25 p.m. Flights leaving Las Vegas depart at 3:20 p.m. arriving in Laredo at 8 p.m. Allegiant began nonstop service from the Laredo International Airport to Las Vegas June 8, 2006. Through its Allegiant Vacations program, the company offers low-cost packages with Las Vegas' most exciting hotel properties including Wynn, Bellagio, Venetian, Paris, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Caesars, Palms, Monte Carlo, Mirage, Stratosphere, Excalibur, New York New York, Tropicana, Rio Suites, Bal-

ly's, Las Vegas Club, Flamingo, Riviera, Luxor, Terrible's, Circus Circus, Hooter's, Imperial Palace, Harrah's, Treasure Island, Gold Coast, Westin Casuarina, Golden Nugget, Aladdin, South Point, Four Queens, Plaza and Orleans. Reservations can be made on the airline's Web site, www.allegiantair.com, through an Allegiant Air ticket counter, the airline's Reservations and Information Center at (702) 5058888 or through professional travel agents. Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel is focused on linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations such as Las Vegas, Orlando, and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. Through its subsidiary, Allegiant Air, the company operates a low-cost, high-efficiency, all-jet passenger airline offering air travel both on a standalone basis and bundled with hotel rooms, rental cars and other travel related services.

Photo by Rachelle A. Soriano | Special to the Times

The majestic Eiffel Tower is one of the many Paris landmarks visited by thousands every year.

Paris offers warm experience during winter vacations

By RACHELLE A. SORIANO

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Four Laredoans, members of the University of Texas at Brownsville Master Chorale, were selected to travel to Ireland to perform during St. Patrick's Day. Pictured are, from left to right, Jesus "Willie" Lopez, Christina Cabrera, Jessica Martinez and Heathcliff Amado Lopez during a recent send-off celebration in Brownsville.

Paris is a beautiful city filled with monuments, museums, art galleries and buildings with dazzling architecture. With famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre Museum and the Notre Dame cathedral, the French capital attracts thousands of visitors each year, especially during the summer months. Paris is also synonymous with fashion. Whether it is walking in the streets, riding the subway or going to work, the men and women are sure to have fashionable outfits. The Champs-Elysees, one of

the many avenues leading up the Arc de Triomphe has many designer shops, cafes and boutiques. Winter in Paris can be quite cold with the temperatures dipping down to the 30s. Parisians dress up for the chilly weather with their colorful scarves, hats and long overcoats. The flowers may not be in bloom and the trees may not have their leaves during the winter season, but the absence of tourists makes it easier to visit the museums and other attractions without the long queues. (Soriano is a seventh-grade student at St. Augustine Middle School. If you are interested in submitting a travel story for consideration, e-mail it to [email protected] or call 728-2543 for more information)

Courtesy photo | University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College

Four Laredoans to perform in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day

By CHRISTINA ROSALES

LAREDO MORNING TIMES

The queen of England is known for knighting musicians such as Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John. Four Laredo college students have not quite made it to Buckingham Palace, but got a chance at their pot of gold from Lord Mayor of Dublin. The four students are members of the University of Texas at Brownsville Master Chorale. Director Dianne Brumley and the choir received an invitation in November 2005 from the Lord Mayor to sing for Ireland's most celebrated occasion, St. Patrick's Day. The four students, Heathcliff Amado Lopez, Christina Cabrera, Jesus "Willie" Lopez and Jessica Martinez, left on their flight to Dublin Saturday, along with 33 other UTB chorale members. "I have been, literally, marking the days off of my calendar," Lopez said. UTB held a despedida for all 37 students on Friday at a courtyard on campus. A trip overseas isn't really pocket change for most college students. Several members of the chorale found resourceful ways of using their musical talent for money.

"I worked a lot of music odd jobs," Morales said. "Teachers called me up and asked if I could accompany their choir students on the piano for competitions. I even played for this 1920s-themed fundraiser at a club." The master chorale is the only choir on campus that students must audition for. It is no wonder why. There has been talk of performing in Rome sometime in the future, Cabrera said. "I'm just looking forward to traveling overseas," Morales said. "Most of us have traveled up north and Mexico but never overseas before." Aside from traveling across the Atlantic for the first time, the singers are looking forward to performing their program in historic cathedrals such as St. Patrick's Cathedral, built almost 900 years ago, and St. Mary's Cathedral in Limerick, founded in 1168. "The program we put together sounds great in the choir room and local churches," Lopez said. "I'm excited to hear how it sounds at St. Patrick's Cathedral." Performing and rehearsals aren't the only thing planned. While the average UTB student is basking in the sun at South Padre during Spring Break, these students are relaxing at the Leisure Centre of their hotel, sight-seeing in Dublin and enjoy-

ing the St. Patrick's Day parade, complete with bag pipes and green beer. "The drinking age in Europe is 18, so a lot of us under 21 are looking forward to that," Morales, 20, said. "I won't want to drink though. We're representing UTB, Texas and the United States, so we'll be on our best behavior." It isn't often that students get these opportunities, Cabrera said. "I want to become the best choral director I can be," she said. "I want to come back to Laredo and be able to take my choir over seas. There are so many places to sing at and students should get the opportunity." In Laredo, there are two high school choir programs out of eight high schools. Lopez hopes to change that after he gets his degree in music. "I know when I get back from the trip I'm going to see things differently," he said. "I'm thinking I'll come back to Laredo and start a choir and develop a program. These kind of trips will happen for Laredo students and kids will hopefully get inspired." Knighthood for such noble aspirations may bring these students to Buckingham Palace after all. ( Christina Rosales can be reached through e-mail at [email protected])

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