A cottage in the English countryside or a flat in Paris, a deluxe Caribbean villa or a house with a pool in Orlando, San Diego, Canada, Colorado, New York City or San Francisco. Take your pick for summer vacation. Price is no concern. It won’t cost you a penny -- really. There’s just one tiny hitch
Cheap hotels, every kind of food you can imagine. Plenty of sizzle, spectacle, first-rate theatrical productions, giant red rocks for climbing and water playgrounds.
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.
Whether you are splitting your time between a volunteer project, there is lot for a family to see and do in and around New Orleans
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).
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.
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?)
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.
We’re heading to Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado to meet up with an assortment of family, all staying at a condo in the spanking new Lodge at Mountaineer Square, which is part of the hundreds of millions of dollars of improvements here.
You gotta hate that guy. The guy sitting next to you on the plane, at the pool or the chairlift who can't stop bragging about the fantastic vacation deal he snared that saved his family big bucks.