I survived a 30-day road trip with 4 teenagers (and had a great time)!

I love traditions. One of my favorite family traditions is the road trip I take with my two teenagers and a couple of their friends every summer. That’s when I load up the minivan with these four teenage girls, and all their “necessities” and we hit the open road looking for adventure — and plenty of Hampton Inn waffles and takeout pizza.

Powder Mountain, Snowbasin stir memories of Olympics past — and a few thrills

Maybe you’ve never heard of Snowbasin or Powder Mountain, two ski resorts a short drive east of Ogden, Utah.

But what about the Winter Olympics (you know, the ones that just started in PyeongChang)? You’ve heard of them, right? Back in 2002, Snowbasin hosted the downhill, super-G, and combined events for the Salt Lake City games.

How to get better in Boulder, Colorado (and find time for a few turns)

Before my feet touched the ground, I knew something was wrong. I felt that familiar sore throat, the feverish chills, the body aches and fatigue.

I had the flu.

I rolled back into my bed at the Crowne Plaza in Denver and silently wondered, “How bad is this going to be?”

The answer came soon enough. Two of my kids — the indefatigable 11-year-old and the high-energy 13-year-old — were uninfected.

Why Crested Butte is Colorado’s most serious ski resort

Crested Butte is Colorado’s most serious ski resort.

Seriously challenging, seriously scary — and seriously fun.

The mountain’s almost-vertical, double black diamond runs, most of them accessible from a T-bar lift, are in a class by themselves. (A T-bar? Haven’t seen one of those in years.) These slopes will put the fear of God in you even if you’re a lifelong skier.

Bouncing around Colorado Springs in the dead of winter

Mention Colorado Springs and you probably think of Pikes Peak, the highest mountain in the southern Front Range of the Rockies, or the Broadmoor Hotel, the historic resort nestled in the hills overlooking the city.

But what happens when you take both of those out of the picture, plus most of the other tourists?

Not the same “old” St. Augustine

St. Augustine, Fla., founded in 1565, is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States and is a destination for history buffs. But in late November through January it is transformed into a magical destination during the Nights of Lights with over 3 million lights welcoming visitors to the town.

Salt Lake City acquires a new taste for adventure. Have a bite.

This sure doesn’t feel like Salt Lake City.

My kids had no idea what that meant when I said that as we were strolling the streets of Utah’s capital. They weren’t here decades ago when I saw the old Salt Lake City, a less vibrant and interesting place than the one they were experiencing.

Happy trails (and a pumpkin or two) off the beaten path in Arizona

With its iconic painted deserts and vast, seemingly endless roads, Arizona is the ultimate off-the-beaten-path destination. But visit the Grand Canyon state during the off-season, when all the visitors have gone home, and it’s a special kind of quiet.

Alaska road trip offers a rare look at the last frontier

If you really want to see Alaska, you need wheels.

Most visitors come to the Last Frontier on a cruise ship or a plane. A motorcoach picks them up at the airport and delivers them to a hotel, to an airstrip or a national park, and they only see a small sliver of this state.

It’s a beautiful sliver, to be sure — but too small considering Alaska’s vast size.

Olympic thrills, and a few chills, on a summer Puget Sound adventure

Washington State’s Puget Sound area is famous for its moderate climate and postcard-perfect views of the Olympic mountain range. You’ve probably seen those gorgeous images of kayaks in the bay, a whale splashing in the distance, and, behind it all, snow-capped mountains.

Heartbreaking and heartwarming — helping out after Hurricane Harvey

I live in Houston, which received over 50 inches of rain during Hurricane Harvey between August 25, when it made landfall in Texas, and August 29. On Friday, August 25, I availed myself of Facebook’s Safety Check feature to notify my friends that I was safe. Earlier in the day, I had filled my car with gas, my bathtub with water, my freezer with ice cubes and my cupboards with food. Then I hunkered down to wait for the rain to stop.

You’ll never believe what I found on the other side of Reno

Reno, Nev., used to be my favorite road stop on the way to Lake Tahoe. I had a preferred 7-11 service station where I could check the tread on my snow tires and fuel up, an In-N-Out Burger joint, and within a few minutes, I was on my way to some of the world’s best skiing.

The real reason why Silicon Valley is the world’s most elusive tourist attraction

Silicon Valley draws me to it like a powerful magnet, with its Mediterranean climate, irresistible culture of innovation and iconic technology brands that have defined a generation. It pulls in my whole family, which, like many Americans, lives in a world defined by Apple, Facebook and Google.

Blink and you’ll miss Buellton, California. Here’s why you don’t want to.

Blink and you’ll miss Buellton, Calif., a tiny town a two-hour drive north of Los Angeles. And maybe that’s just fine with Buellton, one of those undiscovered destinations where everyone expects you to stay a few exits south, in touristy Santa Barbara, or just keep driving through to nearby Hearst Castle.

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