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Unless you live on a different planet, you will have noted that "Black Friday" sales — once limited to the actual Friday after Thanksgiving — now start only a few days after Halloween and last until the year-end holiday travel hype starts. Although the original Black Friday promotions concentrated on electronic gear for a single day, they now apply to just about everything, including travel. My email inbox is full of messages from hotels, resorts, cruise lines, tour operators, local visitor promotion outfits, and their agents — far too many even to summarize here.

Jake Horowitz’s latest role is as a carnival worker in the film “Bones and All.” While he won’t divulge too much about the character he plays, the actor gave us some insight when asked if he would readily travel with the carny. “He’s a thrill seeker – that friend who would encourage you to hop the fence into the abandoned building (and) to say yes to the stranger’s party invite,” the Manhattan resident said. “He’s a bit of a wild card and trouble maker. So, depending on your taste, he’d either be an excellent or horrifying travel mate. You might not make it back but, if you did, you’d have some stories to tell...”

“I absolutely love Christmas,” said Denise Boutte. “So the joy I get from filming a holiday movie is next level! ‘Christmas with My Ex’ was so fun to shoot. (There was one particular) poignant and heartfelt moment — truly intense yet vulnerable. My character, Alicia, confronts her unappreciative husband for taking her for granted and failing her on many levels. She uncharacteristically erupts and demands the respect she's deserved all along as not only his wife, but also the mother to their unborn child.” Based out of Los Angeles, the actress may also be seen on the daytime drama “The Young and the Restless.”

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Need gift ideas to help with the ladies in your life? This list will surely help you make the grade.

Whether you're interested in dog-sledding through the wilds or touring luxurious mansions, here are 50 favorite small-town destinations with something to offer everyone.

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