Travel

Best Places to Ski in the Rockies

The Rockies are synonymous with stoke-worthy skiing but with so many resort options it can be tricky to pin down the spot that will be just right for your needs.

The following resorts offer a bevy of amenities; whatever kind of traveler you are, you’re certain to be pleased.

  1. Jackson Hole Mountain Ski Resort

Known for its extreme terrain and a few runs that require avalanche safety equipment, Jackson Hole is best left to the experts. A favorite for those who go hard is the heli-ski tour – what’s more extreme than dropping from a helicopter onto an epically steep slope?

If you prefer to leave the intense snow sliding to others, the overwhelming beauty of this rustic wonderland makes it a prime locale for sitting fireside with a hot cup of something tasty, while you take in the majesty of the American West.

Sleep: Spring Creek Ranch. Located on a wildlife sanctuary and towering 1,000 feet over the town of Jackson, these luxury accommodations will allow your ears to enjoy a symphony of howling coyotes and elks practicing their mating call, while your eyes feast on unbeatable views of the Teton Mountain Range.

Plus, the limitless blue skies and Wilderness Adventure Spa, which offers unique goodies like High Altitude Facials and Soul Readings, ensure your mind, body, and spirit leave refreshed.

Eat: Mangy Moose. This cavernous steakhouse offers location-appropriate hearty options, like elk burgers, prime rib, and brisket. The “Moose” also hosts live music and is a fave après ski bar for locals.

Explore: Tour the National Elf Refuge by horse-drawn sleigh. Sit back, cozy up, and get your camera ready as a horse pulls your sleigh through snowy terrain dotted with thousands of elk. These rides are generally available from mid-December through early April and allow you to fully immerse yourself in the Wyoming wilderness.

Read more on TRVL

Travel

As summer draws to a close, a primer on beating the post-vacation blues

*Article I was interviewed for, whose advice I desperately need right now.

Welcome back.

What’s that? You didn’t want to come home? You might have a touch of the post-vacation blues.

“It’s like an anxiety disorder,” explains Erika Martinez, a Miami psychologist who specializes in wellness issues. Symptoms, she says, include excessive worry, restlessness, irritability, headaches and poor attention or concentration.

Have you experienced these symptoms? As hundreds of thousands of Americans come home from their annual trips to the beaches and mountains, chances are many of them will. In a recent Wyndham Vacation Rentals study, 45 percent of respondents said the prospect of going home added to the stress of their vacation.

Read more on The Washington Post

Travel

Where to Stay, Eat and Explore In and Around Boston’s Legendary Kenmore Square

hotel-commonwealth-1
Photo Credit: Hotel Commonwealth

Boston’s vibrant hub of Kenmore Square is an area rich with history that serves as a favorite hangout for Boston University students, and sits on the doorstep of Fenway Park.

I recently had the opportunity to explore this area on a solo trip to Boston. This solitude allowed the city to be my companion and show me the nuances that make it so special: vine covered facades of Georgia and Federal style buildings, the creatively decorated plots of Fenway Victory Gardens, and the changing leaves that were like bright flames of Fall.

IMG_0202.jpg

Because exploring a city can easily make one feel hurried and drained, the following guide will help to ensure you absorb the historic adventure the area around Boston’s Kenmore Square has to offer, while tapping into comfort and creativity along the way:

Stay

Hotel Commonwealth

I splurged on a room at the iconic Hotel Commonwealth because I wanted all aspects of my trip to be drenched in Boston vibes. While many hotels feel separate from the heart of the city, because of the often-generic ambiance of the rooms, I felt that I was actually staying inside the heart as I perched in the window seat of my room overlooking Commonwealth Avenue. This cozy space above the chilly and bustling street allowed me to take in the big picture of Kenmore Square at all hours of the day.

img_0164

The rest of the hotel was filled with adornments that reminded me I was in Boston: large paintings depicting classic events like the Boston Marathon, seats from Fenway Park, and other Boston Red Sox memorabilia.

fenway-executive-suite-terrace-with-view
Fenway Executive Suite Terrace at Hotel Commonwealth

Eat

Eastern Standard

I was hit with old school charm when I first walked into this large brasserie-style restaurant. The waiters were friendly and eager to discuss the elaborate cocktail menu that read like an ode to the alchemy of mixology. I didn’t understand half of what I was reading, but trusted my waitress to guide me down a yummy path.

The drinkable art, called a Southside Royale, that arrived woke up every one of my taste buds – and they had a raging party. Best. Drink. Ever. I did not have just one.

4738769440_f382f7d7d9_b
Main dining area of Eastern Standard. Photo Credit: Flickr- Nathan Forget

The food that quickly followed was equally unique and delicious: A Turkey and Bacon Cobb salad that had uncommon Cobb salad accompaniments like roasted squash and cranberries that elevated the dish in all the right ways.

Bruegger’s Bagels

4479238121_2358b815ed_b
Photo Credit: Lara604

For easy, hearty and mega-tasty breakfasts I would wander over to this New York- style bagel shop that stuff their fresh-baked-goods with generous helpings of classic breakfast ingredients, and serve up coffee strong enough to get me through a full day of city strolling.

Island Creek Oyster Bar

This elegant, yet unpretentious, establishment offered similar creative and OMG-delicious cocktails to the ones found at Eastern Standard, and seafood selections so good the noise of the patrons was drowned out by my happy tummy howling “Oh yeah!”

8340942466_b7c76577ae_k
Photo Credit: Marco Varisco

Explore

Fenway Victory Gardens

img_0255

While making my way to a museum I stumbled on these 7.5 acres that house over 500 gardens tended by Boston community members. Each garden featured eclectic décor, vegetables, flowers and more. Curious geese roamed the gardens alongside members who were busy caring for their colorful fares. One woman I talked with has been gardening there for over 50 years in rain, snow and sun.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

img_0274

I had two hours to explore this palace of masterpieces, but I should have allotted two days. This museum is home to almost 500,000 works of art: paintings by masters like Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh, jewelry from ancient Egypt, Buddhist sculptures, thought-provoking pieces by contemporary artists and so much more you could spend years visiting this museum and see something new on each trip.

Mary Baker Eddy Library and Mother Church

img_0211

If you want a dose of female empowerment do not miss these stops: the library tells the story of Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, during a time when women weren’t even allowed to vote, and the awe-inspiring adjacent church shows what a purpose-full vision and dogged passion can produce.

img_0212

The library also features the Mapparium, a three-story, stained-glass globe you can walk inside, offering a surreal and poignant experience.

To take in this landmark city in all its glory I recommend visiting in October when the vivid colors and crisp air of Fall are present, but the layers of snow have yet to appear.

And don’t forget to take an obligatory selfie in front of Fenway Park!

Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love, Travel

#KudosToYou: Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Hosts “Over the Edge” Fundraiser for Special Olympics

There are many ways to enjoy the views of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii- by airplane, boat, foot or car. But, what do you think it would be like to take in the turquoise textures of the water, the swaying palms popping out of fluffy sand and the yawning sky disappearing into the Pacific Ocean while rappelling down a 40 story (more than 400 feet!) building?

The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach is providing this high-thrill vantage point, via an event called Over the Edge on Saturday November 5th, to adventure-seekers able to raise more that $1,000 for the Special Olympics Hawai’i. They hope to raise $130,000 for Special Olympics Hawai’i with all funds used to benefit local athletes.

The Over the Edge event has raised over $900,000 (!) for Special Olympics Hawai’i since it was first held in 2009. The proceeds have provided services to more than 3,700 athletes statewide.

Read more on Huff Post!

Airplane Travel, Family Entertainment, Uncategorized

How to Mix Adventure with Relaxation on Your Cabo San Lucas Vacation

Have you ever gone on a vacation and felt a need for a vacation when you returned home? Or, gone on vacation and arrived home feeling like you missed out on memory making during the trip? Cabo San Lucas, Mexico offers a lovely alchemy of relaxing and adventurous opportunities sure to send you home feeling rested, yet electric with memories of stimulating experiences.

Cabo’s desert climate, warm waters, luxurious yet playful accommodations and activities in water, sand or spa, create ideal conditions for vacation magic to grow. If you’re looking for a destination that will “magically” strip your inhibitions, and give you a tender loving massage (or mud bath) in between your bursts of adventure, get on the next plane to this land of milk and honey (and tequila.)

The following activities will help you and your Cabo getaway develop undeniable chemistry.

Margaritas Beach 4×4 UTV Adventure

Burst your “safe zone” bubble right out of the gate by hopping in a UTV and exploring the desert that flows onto white sand beaches. You’ll feel much more deserving of that margarita by the pool after coating yourself in a few layers of thrill, and dirt.

Read more on Huff Post! 

Airplane Travel, Family Entertainment, Travel

Why Reno Should Be On Your List of “Must See” Cities

Reno has been percolating with opportunity that is now being realized in community-focused gentrification- and I’m loving it. I used to think of Reno as a gateway to Tahoe, but a recent trip to “The Biggest Little City in the World” has flipped my script. I now view Reno as a trendy and entertaining stand-alone destination that allows me to carry a cup of wine around my neck as I walk along the river flowing through its center. I struck gold when I “discovered” Reno.

Here’s a few reasons you should shimmy into a plane seat headed for a Reno vacay, or maybe even score in their real estate market before it’s gobbled up by hipster Millennials.

1. Community Work Spaces

Read more on Huff Post!

Airplane Travel, Travel

A Collection of the Best 82 Tips for Traveling With Children

*I did not write this entire piece but contributed many of the tips. Happy travels!

You never know how easy solo travel is until you have kids. Family travel numbers are lower than you would expect considering all the great benefits to traveling with children. The top reasons why families aren’t traveling with their children are the cost and not feeling comfortable and confident. This collection of 82 tips will help travelers be prepared and confident to take their children on a vacation regardless of their age.

But traveling with kids doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you’re imagining right now, and travel can be extremely beneficialfor your kids. In fact, there are families — with kids as young as infants and as old as grumpy teenagers — traveling around the world every day. These 82 tips are compiled from travel bloggers and parents that have become experts on the topic of traveling with children, and they’re guaranteed to improve your family travel experience.

Read more on FlyFar!

Travel, Uncategorized

Ringling Brothers Took It Out of This World

Holy acrobats-light show-unicycles y’all- Ringling Brothers brought it. And now, they’re bringing it to you. “It” being their new show, Out of This World. I went to Florida (to the 580,000 square foot complex that houses the Ringling Brothers family!) to preview a few of the acts, and the opening of the show – oh my wow. I thought I was going to see some hoops, a bit of flying trapeze shenanigans and popcorn- but saw so much more.

 

I left this experience totally star-struck by these obscenely talented people. I’m not even sure they’re people- they’re so skilled they may actually be from someplace out of this world. (I also left with videos of me jumping rope and unicycling with the Saint Charles Troupe- and when I say “unicycling” I mean “me being held up on a unicycle and pushed around by two strong men.”)

Read more on Huffington Post!

Travel, Uncategorized

How to Prep for a Multigenerational #DisneyGrandAdventure

MK_MSUPTOWNJL_7594173551

The magic of Mickey is not just for the three to ten crowd. I believe the true magic of Disney is that it helps all ages return to that delicious space of wonder we all lived in as children.

I had forgotten about that lighthearted goodness until Disney kindly invited my husband, toddler, mother-in-law, and myself on a #DisneyGrandAdventure.

Before we flew across the country (from Ojai, CA to Orlando, FL in not-fun turbulence) I spent three hours exploring the My Disney Experience website where the little (sometimes neurotic) planner in me was in heaven.

First off, I got to choose characters to represent myself, and each of my guests. I was Sleeping Beauty, the hubs Buzz Lightyear, the toddler a little squishy alien from Toy Story, and the mother-in-law Mrs. Incredible.

Next, I was able to pre-schedule our Fast Passes, which familiarized me with the rides and attractions at the four parks, reminding me that they really did have something for everyone. Roller coasters for husband (and sometimes me), flying elephants and rocket ships for my son, themed boat and pirate ship rides for myself, and all of the above for my mother-in-law (she’s a versatile grandma.)

My Disney Experience served as my one-stop-shop trip planner.

Navigating this site got me totally hyped up for the trip. I used to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of a Disney vacation because there was so much to plan- I never knew where to start. This site allowed me to suss everything out pre-touchdown, so I could spend my vacation enjoying instead of planning.

My level of neurotic-planner-excitement bumped up a level when I realized the My Disney Experience had a phone app! Whoop whoop!

The app included all the information listed above, plus GPS enabled maps of all the parks (including an insta-Restroom locator), the ability to make dining reservations or find restaurants in close proximity, locate the home of your favorite characters, and access up-to-date wait times for rides. Let me repeat that, instead of walking all over a park trying to find the shortest line, you can pop into your app for the approximate time you’ll have to wait. #GameChanger

If you choose to pay a little extra, you receive access to the Memory Maker feature which allows you to have unlimited professional photos taken at all the photo stops in the parks, including the always-attractive photos taken on select rides.

Expert Tip: Don’t forget to check out the strangers in your photos from the roller coasters- their facial expressions are often classic.

STUDIO_ROCKNRCOASTERRIDE_7591980464 - Version 2
Riding with ghosts! 

Just like Disney World, the site and app were colorful, easy to navigate, and fun.

Let’s break it down.

6 Months Before Vacation

  • Register for a My Disney Experience account
  • Check back in to this here blog for insider tips and suggestions. Just do a #DisneyGrandAdventure search on the site- and BAM.
  • Reserve your resort reservations
  • Purchase your park tickets
  • Reserve your plane tickets (if needed)

3 Months Before

  • Reserve your Fast Passes on the My Disney Experience site. (You can reserve up to three each day. Reserve them for earlier in the day, because once you’ve used them all you can obtain more at designated kiosks in the parks.)
  • Download the My Disney Experience app on your phone and familiarize yourself with all the goodies.
  • Decide where you would like to eat your meals in the resorts, parks, or Disney Springs, and make your reservations via the My Disney Experience site or app.
  • Explore the different dinner shows (like the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review!) and make reservations for those that tickle your fancy.

IMG_7025

One Week Before

  • Double check all reservations to make sure everything is in place.
  • Go over your travel itinerary with all family members to ensure everyone is on the same page, or even better, the same paragraph.
  • Check the weather in Orlando and pack accordingly. Make sure to pack comfortable shoes as you’ll likely walk many miles each day. And pack layers as the temperature fluctuates from morning to evening. (And some of the parks stay open late into the night!)
  • Watch your favorite Disney movies to pump yourself up!

My next #DisneyGrandAdventure post will explore the different personalities of five of Disney World’s best resorts. They’re all full of adventure, thoughtful detail, and sass. Lots of sass.

 

Airplane Travel

I Never Had A Fear Of Flying —​ Until I Had Kids

IMG_4349So sorry to anyone who has to sit next to me on a plane.

It used to be so easy for me to fly that I could fall into such a deep state of sleep, I’d wake up drooling on the kind yet disgusted stranger next to me. I’m now the one being drooled on, as I have a series of hidden panic attacks with every jiggle of the plane (and non-jiggles, because it means a big one is coming).

What changed? I had a baby.

Mortality wasn’t a big topic in my inner dialogue until I became a mom. Control has always been a headline in my life — I like control. My need for control, coupled with my newfound preoccupation with mortality, has equaled mayhem when flying in a metal death trap.

Before arriving at the airport, I now take screenshots of statistics to assure me the metal death trap I drive in is much more dangerous than the one I fly in. But I have control over the car. I obsess over those screenshots until my conscious mind is convinced that flying is safe, statistically.

Read more here!