Volunteering in New Orleans (where they still need a lot of help)
Common Ground Relief effort in New Orleans

Volunteering in New Orleans (where they still need a lot of help)

All along the block in the middle-class Lakeview neighborhood where the Strauss family lives, less than a mile from the 17th Street Canal levee break, are houses in various stages of construction. Some are still boarded up; others are brand new, with flowers planted outside. Fewer than half the houses in the neighborhood are occupied.

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Families working to help the Strausses get back into their home
Volunteers at the Strauss home in New Orleans

Families working to help the Strausses get back into their home

Eleven year old Izzie Alley, who is from suburban New York, is looking around the converted garage where the Strauss Family is living while their house is being rebuilt in…

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It’s New Orleans — LET’S EAT!
Brennans Restaurant in New Orleans

It’s New Orleans — LET’S EAT!

I think New Orleans is a great city to encourage kids to sample food they might not have tried before (Turtle Soup, or fried alligator anyone?) Every restaurant has its own version of gumbo, the rich seafood stew. But there are also plenty of places to get a burger, pasta or chicken fingers. Here’s just a sampling of the good eats I enjoyed in my few days in New Orleans recently. And I certainly left my diet at home (unfortunately).

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New Orleans — a Tale of Two Cities
Jackson Square in New Orleans

New Orleans — a Tale of Two Cities

This is a tale of two cities -- literally. Walk the narrow streets of the French Quarter, where I was staying in the historic Hotel Monteleone with its Carousel Bar that turns (once a haven for writers) and the city that was devastated by hurricane Katrina in Aug 2005 seems back to normal. But go just a few miles, and it’s clear to see that all is not yet well in New Orleans.

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A LAST-MINUTE SPRING BREAK
Spring Break Ideas

A LAST-MINUTE SPRING BREAK

What are you waiting for? Spring Break is looming and you haven't planned a getaway. We're not talking a Big Trip -- a cruise, for example, or an adventure trip to Costa Rica, though, according to Travelzoo.com, there are good last-minute deals to be had in Costa Rica.

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You can have fun and help out in New Orleans

I just got back from New Orleans and it was packed with spring breakers. They were doing their share of drinking on Bourbon Street but they were also doing their share of helping to clear debris and build houses in neighborhoods that still have not rebounded nearly three years after Hurricane Katrina.

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To a favorite Colorado ski town that’s as much fun in summer as winter
Eva Weinbers with ski instructor at Crested Butte CO

To a favorite Colorado ski town that’s as much fun in summer as winter

A gem of a mountain (no lift lines here!) just minutes on a free, festively painted shuttle bus from the tiny (less than 2,500 people) town of Mt. Crested Butte, so steeped in mining history that most of the downtown area, with its wooden, multicolored, 19th-century buildings, is on the National Register of Historic Places. (Ever see a two-story outhouse?)

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Not many fur coats in this crowd
Elk Avenue in Crested Butte CO

Not many fur coats in this crowd

Mel seems to be rebounding from her fall and disappointment during the Junior Extremes qualifying run down a terrifyingly steep slope. Everyone has been telling her it’s a lot better to give your all than to not try. That she didn’t succeed just goes with the territory. It helps when she learns a lot of other kids fell on the same run.

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