Gear, Home, News

Get it in Gear

Our swanky new Salomon snowboarding gear

The start of the year is a great time to take inventory of your ski and snowboarding gear. Blog entry 2 for Colorado Ski Country delves into whether to rent or buy, what’s new in  hard goods for snowboarding for someone who hasn’t boarded in awhile. If you’re like me, I hung up my snowboard when I became a mom and when my son, Ames reached the age to hit the slopes, skiing seemed like the place to start. I intended to get back to my snowboard sooner but suddenly, Ames is in already in fifth grade. He’s a strong skier and has taken one snowboarding lesson. I decided this year, with Colorado Ski Country’s Fifth Grade Passport, this would be the year to for us to both snowboard. We aren’t ready to turn our backs on skiing. I’ve always been a fair-weathered snowboarder. When living in Salt Lake City in the 90s, I’d put both my skis and snowboard on my roof rack. I’d board out the powder in the morning and if it got icy or too packed, I’d switch back to skis after lunch. So we’ll continue to ski this season, but I’m so eager to get to snowboard again after so many years and share that with my son. Read my blog entry 2 here.





All 22 Colorado Ski Areas or Bust

The Legendary Colorado Ski Country Map
Colorado Ski Country’s Legendary Map

These are 22 of the reasons we moved to Colorado a few years ago. I couldn’t think of a better place to raise a child and have access to so much incredible skiing right in our backyard. Fifth graders in Colorado get to ski them all free! This served as the perfect excuse to pitch a blog series of our attempt to hit all 22 of them this season. Please join us on this epic quest. Click here to read  blog #1 of my series.








Me Time in New Mexico

IMG_7602.jpgOver a decade into single parenthood, I found my first extended opportunity to indulge in some much needed me time. It was just after I  put my 10-year old on an airplane to visit family in Texas, for his two week kid-cation. The next day, I set out on a 10-day road trip to hit five spas in Northern New Mexico. Join me on a five-part road trip published on At the end of each segment, you’ll find the link to keep on driving to the next installment. It all starts, right here.


An interview with

Thanks to for picking my brain on his Travel Style section’s  Interview with Travel Pros series. The first question people ask me when I tell them I’m a travel writer is, “What’s your favorite destination?” It’s a little like being asked, “Which child is your favorite?” Something that separates a traveler from a tourist are the stories we bring back and the interview touches on a few of those. Mastering how to pack, those must-have carry-on items and discovering those hidden off-the-beaten-path eating spots typically only locals manage to know about. Read about those plus hear my earliest and most embarrassing travel moments. Learn which country I encountered the friendliest people, meanest immigration officers, favorite World Heritage Site, fav hole in the wall and fancy restaurant as well as my favorite island, beach, American city, International city, travel book/show/movies/apps/blogs, websites, favorite airline, travel lounge, travel tips and more. Just click here. 

News, Tips

Jet-setting with


I’m honored to get to be a contributor to one of the world’s leading advice and travel deal websites, My story, 10 tips for maximizing a family ski trip at Keystone Resort, Colorado published yesterday. If you only follow one travel site (well, two if you count mine), is well worth adding to your newsfeed. John is one of the handful of travel writers whose day job is travel writing and he’s traveled  some 150,000 miles a year for over a decade.

His website offers a wealth of tips and is loaded with travel tools to help you become a travel expert yourself. He’s appeared  on TV from The Today Show, CNN, MSNBC to The Travel Channel, BBC Travel and Ellen, heard on a variety of radio travel shows and featured in Travel & Leisure, Forbes, USA Today, Outside Magazine and countless others.

I first met John when he was speaking on a panel of travel experts at the Los Angeles’ Times Travel Show around 2000. I approached him afterwards to ask how I could get into travel writing and he suggested Book Passage’s annual Travel and Photographer’s Conference in Corte Madera, CA. My first assignment there, “Scared Shitless on Safari”  landed in Traveler’s Tales’ best-selling travel anthology, Sand in My Bra & Other Misadventures: Funny Women Write from the Road. It was always a pleasure to share a table with John at travel press luncheons when I lived in Los Angeles.

John’s number one travel tip (especially when flying)  is to simply be nice to everyone. If you’ve met John, you’ll know without a doubt, that’s no act. You’ll find my story next to John’s piece on his recent trip to “Shingles Hell“, a passport stamp I’m unfortunate to also share. Thanks for the writing opportunity John and well wishes on a speedy recovery.


‘Tis the season to check out a new season pass.

As fairly recent transplants to Colorado, it feels like we’ve only begun to scratch the surface on local ski resorts. Prior to parenthood, my Colorado ski experience included Purgatory once and Vail a few times. My son and I skied Beaver Creek our first ski season here, just before I bought our first house. (The rest of the ski season was spent unpacking and learning what the term, “house poor” would come to mean. The following year’s ski season was spent on the sidelines, after a truck hit us, resulting in surgery and a lengthy physical rehab. Just as soon as I got the green light from my doctor the following ski season to ease back into exercise, I went with Winter Park ski passes as it was the closest destination resort to us.

We certainly got our money’s worth out of our season passes at Winter Park, putting in a whopping 27 days. This year, the lucky roll of dice is Keystone/A-basin. A friend said Keystone is great for families (and A-basin is the bonus add-on ski hill that comes with our passes.) There are epic passes which include an epic-long list of resorts (at an equally epic price tag) but picking one resort and getting to know it inside and out seemed the smarter approach.

So Keystone is where we’ll launch the 2015 ski season. It’s exciting to discover a new ski spot and doubly so with my son alongside me. He’s comfortable on blues now with the occasional bragging rights to an easy black. What motivates my son is knowing his ability is just about to surpass mine.

Ames is 8 now. I learned to ski at age 10 when my family moved to Germany. In the four years we were stationed at Patch Barracks, we were fortunate to get to ski all over Europe, from Germany and Austria to France and Switzerland. Some of my fondest childhood memories include going to Swiss Ski School with my dad and countless other destinations with our ski club, the Sitzmarkers. (A sitzmarker is the German name for that wipe out mark you see on an otherwise pristine hill beneath two perfectly woven ski tracks.)

And so this ski season, Ames and I will carve out fresh tracks at a new ski resort, Keystone. Oh, and A-basin.   The Christmas decorations have been put away and we await the blackout dates to pass so we can make our first fresh tracks of the season.