I’m honored to get to be a contributor to one of the world’s leading advice and travel deal websites, johnnyjet.com. 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), Johnnyjet.com 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.
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.