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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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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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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The Muellers Have Big Plans for Crested Butte
Lodge at Moujntaineer Square in Crested Butte CO

The Muellers Have Big Plans for Crested Butte

The first phase is the new Lodge at Mountaineer Square and the Mountaineer Conference Center where we’re staying, just steps from the lifts. The lodge and conference center wrap around a cozy courtyard, in which guests can find visitor services, dining and shopping. Here the Crested Butte Adventure Center serves as the “resort concierge,” a one-stop shopping venue.

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