Sun Country adds two sunny countries

Sun Country Airlines has announced new nonstop seasonal service between Minneapolis-St. Paul and the Central American country of Belize, making it the first commercial carrier to fly the route. It will also be the first airline to fly MSP passengers to St. Kitts and Nevis, a twin-island nation in the Caribbean. “Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are amazing beach destinations that we have no doubt Minnesotans will be excited to flock to in the winter,” said Ben Brookman, vice president of network and pricing at Sun Country. The airline will fly one round trip between MSP and each of the new destinations on Saturdays from Dec. 22 to April 20.

Kristen Leigh Painter

United matches JetBlue

United Airlines is raising checked-bag fees for many passengers, matching a move last week by JetBlue Airways. United raised fees for checking a first bag from $25 to $30 and a second bag from $35 to $40 for tickets issued on or after Friday. The fees cover flights in North and Central America and the Caribbean. Chicago-based United says the money helps it invest in “the overall customer experience.” Delta and American still showed $25 and $35 bag fees on their websites.

Associated Press

Illinois’ prehistoric city

During the Mississippian period (circa 800-1400) as many as 40,000 people may have lived in Cahokia, considered the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico. Located just across the Mississippi River and 15 minutes from St. Louis, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, Ill., offers guided and self-guided tours and an interpretive center for children. Among the significant features is the 100-foot-high Monks Mound, considered the largest prehistoric earthwork in the Americas. A 5.4-mile nature and culture hike is also possible. A guide booklet helps families understand the culture of the Mississippians, where archaeology has taken place, and the use of various plants for food, medicine, dyes and fibers, as they explore.

Marijuana for dinner

More hotels and resorts are offering cannabis-based menu items and wellness treatments, as laws around the country relax toward medicinal and recreational use of the drug. The Thompson Seattle hotel is behind two dinners where different strains of marijuana were paired with food. Last year, executive chef Derek Simcik prepared a seven-course meal that took place in a rented townhouse in West Seattle. He sourced the marijuana from a local store that sells recreational marijuana, and served dishes such as beets with herring, scallops with apples and anise and veal cheeks with cauliflower and pecans. Simcik said that he is planning several more of these meals as ticketed events open to the general public. “The dinners are fun and not at all about people getting stoned,” he said. “They’re meant to be an innovative way to show off marijuana.”

New York Times

Tahitian treat

Air Tahiti Nui has a sale on flights from Los Angeles to Papeete, Tahiti. Round-trip fare starts at $994, with taxes; other airlines are matching, but fare typically starts at about $1,300. Lowest sale fares apply Nov. 13-Dec. 13 and Jan. 7-March 31; some flights are sold out, and sale does not apply to flights returning Nov. 19-28. Maximum stay is 15 days. Buy by Sept. 16 at

Washington Post